Deadlifting Dilema

Hey all,
I’ve been working out for around 4-5 weeks now, Monday and Thursday, doing deadlifting and bench pressing, and exercises to help those 2 lifts.

I thought I was doing everything right, but yesterday when I was deadlifting, the owner of the gym told me that it looked like I was doing a stiff-leg deadlift rather than a regular deadlift.

I do them non-sumo style. I’m 6’ 6" , and currently my pr is 265.

Here’s how I set up. I walk up to the bar place
my shins so they’re touching the bar around shoulder width apart.

I then bend down and grab the bar,1 hand facing in,one facing out.

Here’s where the dilema is.

When I set up, I keep my butt as high as I can, and I keep my chest up, but when I’m in the ready position, my torso is parallel to the ground. When I start the pull, I pull with my traps, and with my legs. My legs aren’t bent very much when I start, but it feels good to do it that way. All of the tension is in my glutes and hamstrings, and my lower back is sort of just a stabilizer muscle. I think I’m lifting the weight a lot with my glutes.

The gym owner wants me to think of it like a squat, but instead of the bar being on my shoulders, it’s on the floor.

I tried it his way, and either I’m not doing it right, or he’s wrong, because my back is more sore now than it ever was doing it my way.

I don’t think there’s really a “right” way to deadlift, and there seems to be alot of differing oppinions.

On this site the article Precision Pulling by Mike Robertson, says to keep the hips high, and the chest high,and not to make it a reverse-squat.Precision Pulling is the article that I’m using for the deadlift, but I may be mis-interpreting it.

But on Charles Staleys site, he says to treat it like a squat, except the bars on the floor.

Really all I want is to be able to pull the most weight. It feels correct to me the way I’m doing it now, which I’m told looks like a stiff-legged deadlift, anthough my legs aren’t straight.

I’m not really sure what my question is. I want to ask am I deadlifting correctly, but is there such a thing?

Anyway, here it goes. Am I doing it right?
I know, no video, but hopefully I described it well enough

Thanks for any comments.

short answer, im no expert, but hes basically right. My stats so you at least dont think im total bullshit (and i get a chance to brag and show off hard work, haha): age 19, weight 170, biggest all time deadlift (with straps) 515. Basically, you want to use your legs and back at same time, straight leg will definitely hold you back, if you want a perfect deadlift technique to look at: just search for it, look at videos of the biggest deadlifts in the world (andy boltons 933, garry franks 932, ed coans 900 at light bodyweight, etc) just look it up and you should find something. Seems to me, cant tell but you probably have your butt WAY too high to start (i know its gonna be harder for tall guys but still), when you are starting out with your back running parallel to the ground the first thing your body is going to do when pulling is extend its legs and then you will have to pull harder with back to overcome that. Hopefully somebody bigger and stronger than me will come on here and help even more.

So you’re the resident new guy, I’ll help you out a bit:

Some videos on exercise techniques:

10 Ten Muscle Mass Builders Article:;jsessionid=430237085A5507F4A33E7032B2D92672.hydra?id=483907

Ian King article that answers several questions, in the middle is the part about deadlifting:

Make good use of that search function bro :smiley:

Hey All,
Thanks for your replies. Now that I’ve read the above articles, I realize now that what I was doing is pretty much a stiff-leg deadlift. That’s actually pretty exciting to me. I’m doing stiff-legs with 256lbs. Once I get my regular deadlift form down, I think I’ll be able to add some serious weight. Hmmmmmm…

Thanks, Steve.

Welcome to the club. I started deadlifting last year at this time. I’d been to a seminar my little brother was giving, so somehow I thought we were supposed to deadlift Romanian style(RDL). I did this 8-week cycle and finised with six singles at 300. Since I was 55 at the time and weigh 175, I figured that was pretty good.

Somehow, we finally had a conversation on the phone and he set me straight. But, then, the more I searched for a deadlift style, the more confused I got. Single best article I have ever read is by Dave Tate:

I have it printed out next to my weights. Whenever I go heavy singles, I follow it exactly.

Mike Robertson and I have both written detailed pieces on deadlifting technique and troubleshooting, so give those a read and see if something is out of whack. If you can get a video, I’d be glad to give you some feedback.