T Nation

Help Me Fix My Fishing Rod Deadlift

Hello everyone, after a long diet (213 to 181lbs in 6 months) and a 2 months hiatus from deadlift, I wanted to test my max. Good news is that it was as high as before. Bad news is that my back was rounded… Do you have any strategies, exercises that could help me stop this rounded back?

You need to learn how to hip hinge. Leave your belt home - it will make you pay closer attention to form. Do Romanian deadlifts until you can get the bar down to where it would be at the start of the deadlift. Keep the back in its correct position. Do this for high reps. Next do high bar squats from a box that is a little lower than the start of your deadlift. When you can do RDL strict with your bodyweight for about 8-10 reps, and do the hibar box squat with 375 for a triple you shouldbe good to go providing you have progressed properly and not been doing shit reps.

Then start deadlifting again and eat. WTF is this obsession with abs? I sound like Rip now but when you’re young you can get fucking huge and strong as shit, then cut the fat off.

This is just one approach. Others will chime in.

Sounds like a suicide attempt.

Don’t max out any time soon, lift light weights that allow you to keep a neutral spine. Learn how to brace properly, lats and abs. Just do a good amount of moderate weight, low rep sets and work on your technique. Some people can handle back rounding but most can’t, the only way to figure out is to keep doing it until you mess up your back. You set up slightly rounded and round more during the lift, which is an extra high risk for injury.

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Front squats and kroc rows

Also when going for a deadlift PR can get a bit ugly, as long as not lifting like that during regular training its not that big a deal IMO

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Yeah …drop the weight to a level where your back isn’t rounding and work your way back up.


Think everyone has covered this thoroughly enough. Will add to what chris_ottawa was saying about lifting lighter weights that allow you to keep a neutral spine.

At higher percentages form breakdown to some extent is unavoidable. Doing a lot of high percentage work will get you stronger at lifting with poor form.

Sub maximal work including anything from 70-85%ish allows you to go heavy and get in the work without having your form breakdown. You get stronger and reinforce good technique with every lift.

If you add weight to a set of 5 reps then you’ve gotten stronger and increased your 1RM (don’t test to find out tho) while maintaining good form. Just keep building up with good form at lower percentages of 1rm.

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Yes, I’ve been training beltless the past two months and it improved core strength by a lot. When I tested I pulled double bodyweight without belt easily which is a big improvement for me.

That would be very easy…

…but that would be very hard. It might be a part of the problem: my legs especially my quads are lagging hard (ACL surgery on both knees 2 years ago) and my 1RM high bar should be around 300 which sucks.
Thanks for the input :slight_smile:

Yes I guess I was too greedy. At 180 and 190 it felt really fine though. It feels like I setted up too fast which didn’t help. Damn I was indeed already rounded before starting :confused:

Yes I really have to bring up my quads. Don’t have dumbbells heavy enough for Krocs though

Yeah I’ve doing sub maximal for quite some time and I should continue like that. Feels goods and is easy to recover. I’ll keep the 1RM for another time!

Your problem is that you don’t brace properly, you need to generate full body tension. That weight was too much for you to lift with decent technique, rounding your back gives you better leverages off the floor but will make the lockout harder (the main reason you see people failing at lockout) and is a good way to fuck up your back. There are people who can get away with round back deadlifts, but the key to that is setting up rounded and not allowing any further rounding throughout the lift. Spinal flexion under load is the best way to herniate a disc. Even if you set up rounded and don’t round any more it’s still a high risk and most people won’t be able to get far like that, but what you are doing is not good.


I get that. But I wasn’t aware that I was doing it. I never record myself, and nobody ever told me, most likely because nobody deadlifts in my gym :confused:

I’ll record a couple lighter deadlifts tonight and see how it goes

Obviously I was fatigued from yesterday but still at 160kgs I had a slight rounding. Damn, I’ll have to go back very light

Actually front squats main benefit in this case is they get a hard-to-hit part of the mid back that stops you curling forward. Good for posture also.
re Kroc rows just rep out the heaviest set you have for a couple of sets

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Another guy that doesn’t listen.

I’ll spell it out - START OVER. Learn proper technique and then do thousands of damn good fucking reps with submaximal weight (50% - 70%) before even THINKING about maxing.

Fred Hatfield recommended 2 years of preparatory training before powerlifting to build a foundation.

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I don think you are doing so bad. I take 405 was a near max attempt. Many round at near max weight. I am not a fan of high rep DL, unless it’s multiple singles resetting after each attempt.
I like low rep, higher intensity DL, following by lower weight ,higher rep work like SLDL or Romanian DL , but my favorite is strict good morning. I think you get the most bang for the buck, as it will help your upper back. That keeps the shoulders back more and helps keep the neutral spine. Done strictly with pushing your hips back really helped my DL

No one said high rep sets He could do singles, doubles or triples for multiple sets. The catch is ALL the reps need to be CORRECT and look THE SAME. Someone needs to observe him day to day before bad habits set in AGAIN.

Yes I agree with you. I wanted to see if the rounding was because of the maximum effort or bad pattern. I’ll go back to light weight

Is this the deadlift every day program?

Or at least he should record his sets to check technique if nobody qualified is available.

Wearing A Belt Is Fine

Not wearing a belt doesn’t necessarily mean an individual is going to pay closer attention in the Deadlift, any lift.

Dr Mel Siff stated that one of the advantage of wearing a Belt that it can provide feed back cues to ensure proper form.

Back Stabilization

Another benefit of wearing a Belt is that it increases back support. As per Dr Mel Siff (Source: Facts and Fallacies of Fitness) flexing the abs into the Belt increase back stability.

Back before Powerlifting Belt were around, lifting Belts were wide in the back and narrow in the front (Olmpic Lifting Belts, perse).

Powerlifter would turn the Olympic Lifting Belts around in front. This allowed a larger surface for the abdominal muscles to brace into, which increased greater back stability and support.

Low Rep Sets

High Repetition are contra-indicated for the Deadlift. That due to the fact that the lower back is quickly and easily overtrained, as per Dr Tom McLaughlin’s research.

You corrected your HIgh Recommendation down below but this post appeared to promote them.

High Bar Squat for Deadlifts

This is a good point. High Bar Quarter Squat, Front Squats, Leg Press, etc are great Deadlift Assistance Exercises; that since Leg Drive assist in breaking the weight off the floor.

To expand on that, in max or near max effort Powerliting Conventional Deadlift attempts, the back initiates the drive off the floor with some assistance from the legs (Research McLaughlin).

And how did you come up with these numbers?

Kenny Croxdale


Well said.