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Failed Sumo Deadlift, Lockout Advice?

Can anyone give me advice on what to work on to fix my sumo lockout. This was my second attempt at 605. My first attempt i tried hook gripping without straps because mine got stolen and I was at a new gym and didn’t know there was a pair for anyone to use. i broke the floor with my hook grip but lost it right after that.

The attempt in the video I got it up pretty smooth but I am not exactly sure why I couldn’t lock it out. I got a weird feeling in my body like i lost tightness and then dropped the weight but i don’t think it was grip failure since I was using straps. Looking at the video makes me think I need more upper back work because I got my legs locked out but didn’t get my shoulder blades retracted. I know I also need grip work so that I can get my max without needing straps and just ordered fat gripz to start doing back off sets with after my main sets with straps.

Do your normally pull with a rounded upper back? All the videos of yours that I remember seeing were from the front. If you pull rounded then it’s normal to be weak at lockout. If you don’t normally pull rounded and this was a technical breakdown then you need to get your upper back and lats stronger. Either way, adding bands and chains can help your lockout.

Fat grips are way too thick to work for deadlifts, your back off sets will be limited by grip. I own a pair and I was disappointed the first time I tried deadlifting with them, I don’t think I could pull 315 with them. Do separate grip work instead. Static holds for time, heavy static holds until your grip gives out. I have been doing shrugs with thumbs over the bar, I got that from Ed Coan’s book. I pull hook grip and I don’t have any grip problems (I just don’t want to have any) but everyone that I have heard discuss grip training has said to use a double overhand grip, which would make sense because it is more challenging. Another thing, hold the last rep of every work set for 5 seconds, that alone should help.

You’re inches away from a 605 pull, good work!

I don’t ever intentionally try to round my upper back. I am thinking the load was to heavy for my upper back to handle and that’s why I rounded. Do you think sumo block pulls or conventional rack pulls would be more useful or just focus on rows and pull ups. I’d like to use bands and chains but the gyms I train at don’t have them.
The new gym I was at today had fat gripz and 245 was a challenge but I want them more as extra grip work then to really work my pulling muscle. I was holding each rep at the top for ~5 seconds and got a couple sets of 5. I know they will require a drastic reduction in weight initially but I think it should improve quickly as my hands and forearms adapt quickly.

Block or rack pulls could help, but if you’re rounding at the bottom of the lift it might not be as effective as bands or chains. No sense in conventional rack pulls if you pull sumo though.

Rather than deadlifting light weights with fat grips, do heavy barbell rows without touching the floor or heavy shrugs. Fat grips are highly overrated, they are only good for stuff like curls where grip isn’t a limiting factor anyway. Even chin ups with fat grips seem pointless. If you could get fat grips that were half as thick then maybe it would allow you to handle enough weight to actually accomplish something, but in most cases you will be lifting ridiculously light weight that won’t have a training effect on the rest of your body and grip will still be a limiting factor.

Look up “upper back good mornings” on EliteFTS, I can’t find a video on youtube.

You talking about this? Or actual round back good mornings?

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That’s it. They have several videos on EliteFTS, if I’m not mistaken. Seems like the most direct way to train upper spinal erectors if they are a weakness.

My only problem with this specific movement is that too many people focus
on the way instead of the muscular contractions.

So instead grab a band stand on it put it around your neck and do this
round back movement. Do it for 3 sets of 20 really focusing on the
contraction or three sets of two minutes.

Ultimately it may not be a weakness, but maybe a endurance issue, where one
cannot maintain the proper positioning after a certain amount of fatigue.

You mean weight, right?

That sounds about right. From reading Stuart McGill’s stuff, one of the main things that I got is that the spinal erectors’ main function is static contraction, which is definitely limited by endurance. The exception is if you intentionally pull with a round back, but that isn’t the case here. So yeah, high reps for sure. I probably should have mentioned that.

Yep, weight. Sorry. Emailed my reply while driving.

I’m going to get flamed here but failure to lock out a sumo is due to two issues only:

  1. Weight is out in front. If the weight isn’t fucking up your shins, its too far out. The weight passes your knees and you get the shakes.

  2. Slow off the floor. The sumo sucks off the floor so your assistance needs to focus on this stage.

Train from a small deficit (1-2" or use iron 35lb plates). Ditch the belt until 4 weeks out. Do high volume with 50%-65% weights. By high volume I mean 8 sets of 5, 5 sets of 10, high (30-40) rep sets. The last three weeks go to full 45 plates, put the belt on and do 80%, 85%, then 90% and deload the last week. Go to the meet and watch results.

This approach was taught to me by Steve Scialpi (look him up) while I trained at his gym in the mid 90’s. Brutal but effective. The only assistance was pulldowns. My deadlift went from 485 at 205 to 545 at 211 in six months.

Good luck

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