T Nation

DL Help

Hi all. I don’t normally post here but I’m looking to get all the help I can. I’m entering my very first PL meet on 31st of March (30 days away), it’s a National comp and I’ll be competing raw and in all three lifts. Training is going well at the moment but I’m just trying to fine tune the last few bits and pieces.

I don’t know if what I’m doing is training westside/ upside/ sideways/ conjugate or any other ways, because I’m still pretty new to this and I’m still learning! A fellow PLer is helping me with the training so I get told what to do and then do it.

My DL is my strongest lift and (fingers crossed) I’ll pull a 160kg (352lb) on the day. I would really appreciate some feedback on how my DL is looking right now though - this was a 3 x 308lb pull I did today and I’d love hear what you guys think is going right/ wrong with it. At this point I think any minor tweaks will give me that extra edge, and I want to be sure my form is solid. From what I can tell my grip is still probably a bit wide, my knees are buckling inwards (I have the same issue with squats) and I’m not sure if I’m getting my ass low enough.

All help greatfully received - the DL is my lift and I really want to nail this one on the day. Oh and I promise I won’t cry if you say something mean :wink:

I should put this one in too - this was my second set of 308lb, it was meant to be three reps but I failed on the third. On the third set I only managed one. (My back is in tatters now too!!). Thanks again…

That’s a great deadlift you’ve got there!

First thing that really jumps out at me is that you start with the bar a little bit further from your shins than in probably necessary. It’s maybe only an inch or half an inch too far forward, but it’s enough to pull you forward instead of letting you sit back more.

Look at how close the bar is to your shins on the first and third deadlift in the first video. It’s a bit farther forward. Notice how your second rep is probably your smoothest rep too.

-Matt

[quote]g’em wrote:
Hi all. I don’t normally post here but I’m looking to get all the help I can. I’m entering my very first PL meet on 31st of March (30 days away), it’s a National comp and I’ll be competing raw and in all three lifts. Training is going well at the moment but I’m just trying to fine tune the last few bits and pieces.

I don’t know if what I’m doing is training westside/ upside/ sideways/ conjugate or any other ways, because I’m still pretty new to this and I’m still learning! A fellow PLer is helping me with the training so I get told what to do and then do it.

My DL is my strongest lift and (fingers crossed) I’ll pull a 160kg (352lb) on the day. I would really appreciate some feedback on how my DL is looking right now though - this was a 3 x 308lb pull I did today and I’d love hear what you guys think is going right/ wrong with it. At this point I think any minor tweaks will give me that extra edge, and I want to be sure my form is solid. From what I can tell my grip is still probably a bit wide, my knees are buckling inwards (I have the same issue with squats) and I’m not sure if I’m getting my ass low enough.

All help greatfully received - the DL is my lift and I really want to nail this one on the day. Oh and I promise I won’t cry if you say something mean :wink:


[/quote]

not an expert on DLs so ill leave it to the powerlifters on here. But damn thats a strong pull! good luck on ur competition!

First off, great pulling. The secret to your weak point is plain as day on your video. Look at the point where you fail…your butt is shooting out and your back is almost parallel to the floor.

As soon as your butt shoots out you’ve taken your hips out of the lift and are left to struggle with a modified stiff leg deadlift. Try to keep your head and butt as close to the same plane as possible. A conventional deadlift should begin like a strong leg press…keep that back straight and upright! Your a month away from your meet, don’t kill yourself pulling to failure 3 weeks before the meet. work on technique at 80% 1RM till the meet. You’re not dropping the bar so I won’t comment on grip but the closer you hold the bar the less distance it has to travel.

Lastly, on knees buckling in. Don’t be afraid to point your toes out a hair experiment with it. Good luck.

Just a minor thing. It’s not exactly form related and maybe it’s to do with your gym but,

You seem to take a bit long lowering the bar. You don’t need to do that in the meet so why do it now?
If building reversal strength can help with PL deadlift then please correct me but it seems like your wasting valuable energy instead of dropping it.

I’m surprised I only noticed that now considering I’ve seen you pull numerous times!

[quote]DominicanDL wrote:
First off, great pulling. The secret to your weak point is plain as day on your video. Look at the point where you fail…your butt is shooting out and your back is almost parallel to the floor.

As soon as your butt shoots out you’ve taken your hips out of the lift and are left to struggle with a modified stiff leg deadlift. Try to keep your head and butt as close to the same plane as possible. A conventional deadlift should begin like a strong leg press…keep that back straight and upright! Your a month away from your meet, don’t kill yourself pulling to failure 3 weeks before the meet. work on technique at 80% 1RM till the meet. You’re not dropping the bar so I won’t comment on grip but the closer you hold the bar the less distance it has to travel.

Lastly, on knees buckling in. Don’t be afraid to point your toes out a hair experiment with it. Good luck.[/quote]

I’m not a deadlifting expert but this advice is spot on. And also, like you already said, I think you need to get your butt down more.

Great pull though, with some minor tweaks on your form I’m sure you’ll kick ass at your comp. Good luck!

nice lifts!! I would say to bring your hands closer to your legs, and like matt said to bring the bar closer to your body at the start–good luck

[quote]DominicanDL wrote:
First off, great pulling. The secret to your weak point is plain as day on your video. Look at the point where you fail…your butt is shooting out and your back is almost parallel to the floor.

As soon as your butt shoots out you’ve taken your hips out of the lift and are left to struggle with a modified stiff leg deadlift. Try to keep your head and butt as close to the same plane as possible. A conventional deadlift should begin like a strong leg press…keep that back straight and upright! Your a month away from your meet, don’t kill yourself pulling to failure 3 weeks before the meet. work on technique at 80% 1RM till the meet. You’re not dropping the bar so I won’t comment on grip but the closer you hold the bar the less distance it has to travel.

Lastly, on knees buckling in. Don’t be afraid to point your toes out a hair experiment with it. Good luck.[/quote]

should have read this before i posted–this is good advice imo

[quote]gags wrote:
DominicanDL wrote:
First off, great pulling. The secret to your weak point is plain as day on your video. Look at the point where you fail…your butt is shooting out and your back is almost parallel to the floor.

As soon as your butt shoots out you’ve taken your hips out of the lift and are left to struggle with a modified stiff leg deadlift. Try to keep your head and butt as close to the same plane as possible. A conventional deadlift should begin like a strong leg press…keep that back straight and upright! Your a month away from your meet, don’t kill yourself pulling to failure 3 weeks before the meet. work on technique at 80% 1RM till the meet. You’re not dropping the bar so I won’t comment on grip but the closer you hold the bar the less distance it has to travel.

Lastly, on knees buckling in. Don’t be afraid to point your toes out a hair experiment with it. Good luck.

should have read this before i posted–this is good advice imo[/quote]

Agreed. Once you get the bar closer to your body as well, you’ll shorten the lever and it will be easier to keep your ass down and chest up. As opposed to before, where you pick up the bar and then it has to drift towards you midair. The further the bar is from your body the harder it will be to maintain and upright posture with the hips shot under.

-Matt

SOLID PULLS

Great advice above I will add You can tell your new to this. Why your doing all the move slow. the eccentric and concentric. Many people do that when new to PLing etc. GET that damn load UP the faster you move it the easier it will be.

Sure the bar on max pulls will move slow but your aiming to move it fast. do the same darn thing with submaximal load train your self to always give 100% not just give what it takes to move said load. Treat the light weights like they are heavy and heavy weights like they are light. Get it done lock it out and put that darn thing DOWN. Like above poster said your expending a ton of energy lowering that bar great for added TUT but man save that for more pulls

Good work keep it up

Phill

Great advise so far, I would like to add one more thing.

Keep your shoulder behind the bar at all points during the lift.

A couple of times your shoulders are drifting out in front of the bar, this destroys leverage.

Again, keep your shoulders behind the bar at all points during the lift.

Good luck in your comp!

First off, thanks so much guys for taking the time to post on this, I really appreciate it.

[quote]Matt McGorry wrote:
That’s a great deadlift you’ve got there!

First thing that really jumps out at me is that you start with the bar a little bit further from your shins than in probably necessary. It’s maybe only an inch or half an inch too far forward, but it’s enough to pull you forward instead of letting you sit back more.

Look at how close the bar is to your shins on the first and third deadlift in the first video. It’s a bit farther forward. Notice how your second rep is probably your smoothest rep too.

-Matt[/quote]

That’s interesting actually, I hadn’t noticed it before. I’ve been warned against actually pulling the bar against my shins when I pull (something I’ve ever done tbh) but maybe I’m overly conscious of it? And actually today I did notice that I’m not driving my heels as much as I know I should be so that would make sense if the bar is too far forward to allow me to do that? Great tip, thank you.

[quote]DominicanDL wrote:
First off, great pulling. The secret to your weak point is plain as day on your video. Look at the point where you fail…your butt is shooting out and your back is almost parallel to the floor.

As soon as your butt shoots out you’ve taken your hips out of the lift and are left to struggle with a modified stiff leg deadlift. Try to keep your head and butt as close to the same plane as possible. A conventional deadlift should begin like a strong leg press…keep that back straight and upright! Your a month away from your meet, don’t kill yourself pulling to failure 3 weeks before the meet. work on technique at 80% 1RM till the meet. You’re not dropping the bar so I won’t comment on grip but the closer you hold the bar the less distance it has to travel.
[/quote]

yeah, getting that ass down is seriously something I need to work on. It’s the one thing I have trouble with. For some reason when I try to keep my bum lower down though my head seems to somehow lose “contact” with my legs and I can’t drive as hard with them. That probably makes no sense I know but as it’s what I’ve always done I guess I’ve tried to adapt around it and this is the result? I have great hip drive (very heavy pull throughs are no bother to me and my oly lifts are pretty good weight-wise) but there’s just something stopping me from fully implementing that strength on the DL.

[quote]DominicanDL wrote:
Lastly, on knees buckling in. Don’t be afraid to point your toes out a hair experiment with it. Good luck.[/quote]

that’s been suggested to me before - thanks for reminding me!!! I know that when I have someone standing beside me literally shouting at me to remember to push my knees out I improve on this. The trick I need to master is pointing them out enough to encourage my knees to push out, but not so much that I can’t engage my quads fully - does that sound about right?

[quote]tribulus85 wrote:
You seem to take a bit long lowering the bar. You don’t need to do that in the meet so why do it now?
If building reversal strength can help with PL deadlift then please correct me but it seems like your wasting valuable energy instead of dropping it.
[/quote]

For this particular fed I’ve actually been warned not to drop too fast/ lose control of the bar. But also, there’s also a wonderful element of control in being able to lower the bar nice and smoothly - it’s like my own personal two-fingered salute to the weight!!!

[quote]Phill wrote:
SOLID PULLS

Great advice above I will add You can tell your new to this. Why your doing all the move slow. the eccentric and concentric. Many people do that when new to PLing etc. GET that damn load UP the faster you move it the easier it will be.
[/quote]
oops - I’ve been DLing for about 2 years - do I still look like a n00b?!?! Aggh!!

It’s funny, it’s not until I look back at the videos that I realise how slowly I’m pulling. I guess I’ve always been so conscious of form I’ve been afraid to just rip the bar off the ground - I’m so used to pulling for reps and being careful not to waste myself before hitting the higher reps of the set and that’s an ingrained style of pulling that I’m trying to adjust away from?

[quote]Phill wrote:
Sure the bar on max pulls will move slow but your aiming to move it fast. do the same darn thing with submaximal load train your self to always give 100% not just give what it takes to move said load. Treat the light weights like they are heavy and heavy weights like they are light. Get it done lock it out and put that darn thing DOWN. Like above poster said your expending a ton of energy lowering that bar great for added TUT but man save that for more pulls

Good work keep it up

Phill[/quote]

Sweet - I’ll keep that in mind for the next few sessions. I’m even surprised how timid I appear in the videos - man I’m much more aggressive than that usually - I need to transfer that to pulling the bar don’t it?!? Darn my “lovely lady” upbringing!!! Thanks Phill.

[quote]unearth wrote:
Great advise so far, I would like to add one more thing.

Keep your shoulder behind the bar at all points during the lift.

A couple of times your shoulders are drifting out in front of the bar, this destroys leverage.

Again, keep your shoulders behind the bar at all points during the lift.

Good luck in your comp![/quote]

Ah, it’s all beginning to fall into place now after reading these - if I keep my shoulders back and the bar closer to me it’ll naturally help my heels drive in and be easier to keep my ass low won’t it??

Bah, why do I have to wait another week to have a DL session again!!

Seriously though, thanks everyone for the help, it’s fantastic, and some brilliant things for me to think about. I virtually always train solo so I tend to err on the side of caution where form is concerned. I guess it’s left me with a relatively conservative approach to DLs - that’s great and all, but I know there’s more strength in me!! Much much appreciated.

Dragging the bar up your shins is only bad if you don’t like your shins to be scrapped up to hell.

And I was going to say that some fed’s make you lower the bar slowly under control.

what fed are you competing in ? USAPL?

[quote]romanaz wrote:
Dragging the bar up your shins is only bad if you don’t like your shins to be scrapped up to hell.

And I was going to say that some fed’s make you lower the bar slowly under control.

what fed are you competing in ? USAPL?[/quote]

IDFPA - the Irish branch of the WDFPF

[quote]g’em wrote:
For this particular fed I’ve actually been warned not to drop too fast/ lose control of the bar. But also, there’s also a wonderful element of control in being able to lower the bar nice and smoothly - it’s like my own personal two-fingered salute to the weight!!!

[/quote]

Why is that rule in place?

Fair enough but still, if you can get the weight up, you can bring it back down again, I don’t see why you need to do it every rep?
Maybe just do it on your last rep when you’re more tired and so it possibly reflects more accurately what it’ll be like at the meet.