T Nation

Pulling Conventional or Sumo

This might be a dumb question. I searched but couldn’t find the answer.
I know body type has a big effect on whether one is stronger pulling sumo or conventional. But what are those body types.

I have long legs, semi long arms, and a short torso. I am just over 6ft tall.

I know you probably want to say, “just do what works best for you, experiment.”
But I keep going back and forth between which style is stronger. The first time i maxed out, I had been doing a lot of wide stance squats and could pull more sumo. I made it up to 315 conventional, then switched to sumo and got to 335. But when I switched to front squats I must have lost some hip strength. When i maxed out again i could barely pull 315 sumo, but got up to 350 conventional.

So I’m wondering which stance I should focus on based on my body type.

Thanks in advance for any help.

EDIT:
I should add that I only care about getting my deadlift as high as possible. Which is why I want to know which style I might be more inclined to succeed with.

[quote]evansmi wrote:
I know you probably want to say, “just do what works best for you, experiment.”
[/quote]
I know that this is annoying but that statement is about right.

From what I know (which ain’t much) sumo works better for long torso, short armed individuals because they are at a leverage disadvantage when pulling conventional.

Since you say you are a long armed/short torso person you may find that conventional is the go. However if you have strong hips and a weak lower back then sumo will be easier.

Hopefully someone who knows more than I about powerlifting will help you out.
Good luck.

Since the Sumo Deadlift shifts work from your back to your legs, you might consider doing the conventional deadlift if you view it as a back exercise in your program.

Or you could use the Sumo Deadlift as a squat-variant leg exercise. I guess it really depends on your goals.

I would choose whichever exercise you like more. I don’t think picking one over the other will cause you any serious muscle imbalances as long as you have a sound program. Congrats on making the quick jump from 315 to 350.

In the overall grand scheme of things, there’s no reason to not do both types of pulls. The type that gives you more satisfaction will become evident rather quickly. And that’s the one to give the majority of your time.

[quote]gotaknife wrote:
evansmi wrote:
I know you probably want to say, “just do what works best for you, experiment.”

I know that this is annoying but that statement is about right.

From what I know (which ain’t much) sumo works better for long torso, short armed individuals because they are at a leverage disadvantage when pulling conventional.

Since you say you are a long armed/short torso person you may find that conventional is the go. However if you have strong hips and a weak lower back then sumo will be easier.

Hopefully someone who knows more than I about powerlifting will help you out.
Good luck.
[/quote]

Well, being that I’m pulling just over 350, I probably have weak everything.
So am I correct in assuming the leg length doesn’t have much effect when pulling conventional?

[quote]evansmi wrote:
gotaknife wrote:
evansmi wrote:
I know you probably want to say, “just do what works best for you, experiment.”

I know that this is annoying but that statement is about right.

From what I know (which ain’t much) sumo works better for long torso, short armed individuals because they are at a leverage disadvantage when pulling conventional.

Since you say you are a long armed/short torso person you may find that conventional is the go. However if you have strong hips and a weak lower back then sumo will be easier.

Hopefully someone who knows more than I about powerlifting will help you out.
Good luck.

Well, being that I’m pulling just over 350, I probably have weak everything.
So am I correct in assuming the leg length doesn’t have much effect when pulling conventional?
[/quote]

Not that much, because it is offset by the long arms that tend to go with long legs. Also, pulling conventional the limiting factor is unlikely to be leg strength.