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Make the Switch to Sumo DL?

I have always done deadlifts conventional and I have seen good progress in my training, but I am constantly being harped on by the stronger deadlifters that I need to switch to sumo to pull my full potential numbers.

Now I do pull Sumo on some of my warm up set to get my hips loose, but when ever I hit about 465ish I have to switch to conventional if I want to actually hit higher numbers. I have tried 1rpm on both conventional and sumo with only a 50-60 lbs difference in the 1rpm.

I guess what I am asking is, are there major differences other than ROM? because I struggle on the sumo and I am not currently competing. Is the switch worth it, or is it all going to be personal preference?

why do you need to change ?

Use which ever you feel the most comfortable and are able to pull the most weigth in. You do not have to pull sumo to pull at your top potential unless your body is built perfectly for it of course. Just ask Andy Bolton over a grand pulled conventionally and I am sure if he thought he could pull more with a sumo stance he would. To each his own do what is going to advance you the farthest and fastest.

There is usually a difference in ROM. I have had people tell me I should pull Sumo, but I pull more weight conventional, and I have less hip pain when I pull conventional. I have a fairly narrow squat stance as well. I tried going wide and pulling sumo at one time. It went all right for a while but eventually the weak link gave in. I ended up with a minor hip strain.

Some people are made to pull sumo and some aren’t. Give sumo a try and see if it works for you.

If you’ve got short arms and a long torso, you’d be better off from a leverage standpoint by pulling sumo. That says nothing about any weak points you may have that would cause your sumo deadlift to suck, just that mechanically you’d be at an advantage pulling that way. The technique also takes some time to get profficient with, so you may end up stronger with sumo, despite feeling like you’re really terrible at it right now.

My sumo and conventional deadlift are worlds apart…

i was pulling conventional first… finding a huge weakness in my lower back when things were getting heavy…

when i pulled sumo for the first time i smoked my conventional 1rm by a easy 10kg…

Im pretty sure my sumo is now 40+kg stronger than my conventional in only 1-2 months of changing

I think the conventional pull has a greater strength potential because all of the deadlift world records that I have seen have been conventional.
That being said I still think anyone who is a geared lifter, and not specializing in the deadlift, will benefit from using sumo pulls more because of how the suit works.
Just pull with what you feel comfortable with, and if you want to keep trying Sumo use it as an assistance exercise.

If you really want to know if you can pull better sumo you’ll have to spend a little more time than just a few warm-ups trying it out.

There are many things that inexperienced sumo deadlifters can do wrong very quickly that are going to completely fuck up their form, which can EASILY be a matter of 50+ lbs.

Id have thought sumo vs conventional is preferenced to leverages.

It will really blow your mind when you figure out that the sumo deadlift builds the conventional pull. If you’re far out from a competition, maybe try to build upon your current sumo numbers. The extra work that your lower back, hamstring and hips are going to get will help your squat and your conventional pull. As you get closer to the meet, just figure out which variation (sumo or conventional) is stronger and use that. Who knows, your sumo may surpass your conventional if you train it hard.

[quote]Jayk wrote:
I think the conventional pull has a greater strength potential because all of the deadlift world records that I have seen have been conventional.[/quote]

And now you’ve seen some currently standing raw world record deadlifts that were set pulling sumo (these are linked from powerliftingwatch:

[quote]grappling_hook wrote:

[quote]Jayk wrote:
I think the conventional pull has a greater strength potential because all of the deadlift world records that I have seen have been conventional.[/quote][/quote]

I think he means world records, not per weight class. Seems to be something with overall potential, as far as what has been recorded anyway.

With that said, unless you are trying to break a world record, do what makes you strong. In general, conventional is harder on the back, and sumo is harder on the hips. If you have no limitations with either, pull both.

Squatting sumo will build up the hips, a lot, but pulling sumo seems to help drive the knees out harder. If your adductors arent awesome, pull sumo, it can only help IMO.

The stimulus is different anyway, and you have different ways to hit the hips (just like using specialty bars to squat for different emphasis on the back). Pull sumo, semi-sumo, 1" or 2" deficit in each of those different stances (full sumo with the biggest deficit you can reach is crazy on the rotators of the hips).

It’s just another training tool.

Just do sumo for a training cycle or two and see how it feels. Even if you don’t switch to it full-time, it may help your conventional pull simply because it is a different stimulus for your muscles. Your sumo pull is probably (relatively) very weak right now simply because you don’t know how to do the movement yet. After 6 weeks of doing it, you will be a much improved sumo puller.

Just something to keep in mind: Ed Coan was a conventional deadlifter for the majority of his career (pulling 887 conventional), but his best pull (901) was sumo. Even advanced lifters can switch and achieve great success if they change.

It mostly has to do with leverages. But I agree. Train both because your sumo can assist your conventional and you’re far out from a meet. The switch will be worse at first. If your leverages actually favour sumo, then your sumo will surpass your conventional eventually. If not, then you’ll find that out too.

sumo better for heavier lifters?

I have been working my Sumo more, and I do not mind it. But I feel it is having a feel on my conventional form. I am noticed when I struggle conventional that My right knee will start to buckle in. I do not feel it, and there is no pain involved. I may just stick to conventional only or after my conventional training throw some sumo work in.