I just saw your post of 5 days ago. I agree with you that olympic-style pulling is great assistance work for the deadlift, both for speed work and, if done heavy enough, for ME work.
To answer your question about how to set-up for the DL with your delts behind the bar: I don’t. I read the same Dave Tate articles that everyone else reads, but I seriously question that a conventional-style deadlifter should start the pull with his delts behind the bar. (It’s not “intuitively obvious” that a sumo-style deadlifter should either. However, I pull conventional-style, and the Westside guys all pull sumo-style.)
If you watch from the side while someone is pulling from that position, you frequently see one of two things happen:
- The lifter sits back, gets a little stretch reflex from his legs & butt, then rocks forward during the initial pull, so that his delts are slightly ahead of the bar. If he has practised this technique for about a million reps, the bar does not necessarily get too far ahead of him, and it may be a well-executed lift.
- The lifter sits back, pulls into his shins as he lifts, and makes the lift harder than it has to be, because of the extra friction between the bar and his legs, sox or shin guards. (Baby powder and/or shin guards only REDUCE friction; they can’t eliminate it.) Even if someone is strong enough to pull 400 kg that way, I’m saying that he’d pull at least 402.5 without that extra drag. (Also, he wouldn’t have to use some of his digested protein to continually regrow new shin skin and replace the blood that he has been leaving on the bar.)
This is not intended to badmouth the Westside guys. They have given us a LOT of good information, and I use much of it in my training. However, nobody and no training routine is perfect. Most of the Westside guys, in spite of their SUPER genetic potential, deadlift about 150# less than they squat.
Strength & courage,