T Nation

Squat and Deadlift Video


This was from my lift this morning. I enjoy it when others share their work and struggles so I decided to throw this out there.

This wasn't my best performance, I've hit 500 for 5 on deads, and my squat didn't feel that strong but today was the day I decided to throw the camera in my gym bag- figures. I hit 475 for 5 on deads last week (felt like I had 3-4 more at least) and 390 for 5 on the squat (same, 3 or 4 more for sure). It may be in part because I'm a dumb kid and trained back real heavy just two days ago, oh well, such is life. I'm gonna rest up and take a video of my 3's next week (thinking 425-435 for squat, and 525 for dead) then I plan on recording my new PR attempts here in a few weeks.

Feel free to critique and advise me. For the record I don't plan on doing any PL meets in the near future, but I'd like to do a BB show next year. The goal (short term) is to get to be a bigger/stronger/leaner 230+ by then and just take it from there.

And yeah my training partner didn't know I had the camera there, hah, so sorry for the bad view on the first few deads. I love going heavy with him he's great motivation and with technique advice so that's another reason I went for it with little rest.


Tell him to stop trying to lift for you.


I don't argue that it's a bit unorthodox--I've never seen anyone do it until he has, twice now. However,

1.) There's something about getting that little help from your spotter so you get that last rep which is always killer. The mental aspect of getting the lift.

2.) More importantly though, He has squatted over 700 lbs. Also deadlifted over 700 lbs. Has benched over 500 lbs. Can still pull 500+ and squat 500+ for reps at 59 years old. Not a single nagging injury from decades of lifting either. Call me crazy but I'm going to continue to follow his lead in the iron game.


I've never seen anybody spot the deadlift, very strange. Personally, I'd have him cut that out. I'd also suggest you consider resetting after each rep as opposed to doing touch and goes and to stop hitching your pulls. If your goal is to build muscle, and it sounds like it is, I'd use stricter form with somewhat lighters loads.


I should also add that I thought your technique on the squat looked quite good. More forward knee travel than a powerlifting squat, but as you say -- you're not powerlifting.


Excellent strength, however, your back looks quite rounded on those deadlifts.


Thanks for the advice guys, I'll definitely give it some consideration.

Burt- I play around with both touch and goes and reset after each rep. My failure point always comes at the end of my lift though so more often than not I'll do touch and goes since off the floor I've never struggled too much. Also I really don't think I'm hitching too bad- those last few inches I'm still continually pulling up and back just trying to get it up to lockout--I can see how you think that though, it's not super clear. I'll record reps more at various weights and double check though, again thanks.

WP- Yes it's not textbook but it is a very near maximal load. Also, I've never had any discomfort or pain in my back at all (Doing this weight for reps, or higher weight for singles/doubles). I really brace my core and it feels very strong throughout the lift, but as I mentioned I'll be dropping the intensity and upping the volume a bit here soon so I'll check it and work on it. Thanks.


ha, wow. i saw the "tell him to stop trying to lift for you" comment as i was going for the link. watching with the sound off, i just assumed the spotter was getting pretty intense with comments and such. i was not prepared for him to actually grab the bar during the deads.

i have to ask, how does it feel when youre grinding out your last hard rep, and the back of his hand is grinding past your junk?

before all the internet heros say everyones just jealous, you probably have me beat in the squat and dead by 30lbs or so max weights, so i admit youre stronger.

and im not trying to say that guy is gay or anything, but damn that looks funny/weird.


I thought your dead looked just fine. I am not sure about the guy tryig to fluff your nuts, but whatever works I guess.

On the squat, I think you have the same opportunity most people have which is you start the movement by sitting down instead of pushing back. One thing that has helped me with that is that my first movement is to open up my thighs and then sit back. I still get some forward motion (which is going to happen), but I am pushing backwards.


You're not hitching much -- really just on the last rep you complete. No reason to start developing a bad habit though and better to nip it in the bud now.

If you're weak at the top (typical for conventional pullers) you may want to work on it as a weak point. Rack pulls, pulls against bands, reverse band pulls, etc. I know bodybuilders don't typically work on weak points from a strength perspective, but bumping up the weight you can use on the pull with good form has certainly got to help build muscle.


Dez- I admit for sure it looks pretty strange. And my #'s vs yours don't matter. I'm open to advice from all, I didn't post this and expect to not hear something about that, but my battle is against myself.

gsherman- Yeah my squat form has come a long way. I know I still have a lot to work on. I used to squat very narrow stance so I'm working on opening up and sitting back more. Again I'm not trying to power lift, but I don't think it'd hurt me to sit back even more. Thanks.

burt- Agreed 100%. And yeah, I wouldn't consider myself a BB'er just yet, but I'll always want to work on getting bigger and stronger. I haven't done rack pulls too much in the past so I may look to start working them in-- I'll also look to see if I can work with some bands like you mentioned too. Thanks for the advice bro.


douglas, your spotter is not the only one who has ever done this, one of my old lifting partners who like yours has been in the game for a while did that to somone who was pulling sumo and was having trouble at the starting point of the dead, but he didnt hold on all the way lol


There's and article somewhere on the net I read a while ago that was a re-print of a Bill West article describing his system of touch training. The way he describes it is pretty similar to what that guy seemed to be doing. However, the article just mentioned squat and bench, no deadlift.

Either way nice job.


I'm sorry if these are stupid questions, but I'm just curious. I'm a beginner.

First, is it cheating (in a technical sense) to hitch or is it just a bad way to train?

Also, I can't for the life of me figure out how to pull sumo. The bars at my gym have three patches of knurling, and it's smooth in between. Normally I grip the bar on the outer two patches and pull conventional.

But if I were to have my hands between my legs, I'd either have to grab the center patch (meaning my hands would have to be close enough to touch, which makes it pretty much impossible to get the bar off the ground) or I'd have to hold on to the smooth parts (meaning I wouldn't be able to grip.)


brauny- Hah, glad to hear it. Maybe it's an old school thing, I really don't know I'm just gonna keep trying to lift more and more.

Tags- Thanks man, I may give it a search if I've got the time.

Alisa- It's not good to hitch at all really. I'm no expert but I believe it doesn't pass for a good lift if you're competing at a PL meet. I'd say it's also potentially dangerous if you're using a decent amount of weight. And as far as the sumo pull goes, I've never done it but it appears most people really widen that stance out and grab on the inner part of the knurling (not the patch in the middle of the bar)

This video gives you a decent look, plus the dude is a beast:


Douglas -- Good luck with your training.

Alisa, I pull sumo competitively and what Douglas has said about it is accurate. Your stance is going to need to be wide enough to put your hands on the inside part of the outside knurling (if that makes any sense). Pulling sumo correctly is much more technically difficult than pulling conventional. If you squat fairly wide to begin with, I'd consider it. Good sumo pullers tend to have stronger hips and legs relative to their lower backs and, at least in my case, some short stubby arms. Good conventional pullers tend to have longer limbs and good back strength. Depending on which category you fit into, sumo deadlifts may or may not be for you.

As far as the hitching goes, it will disqualify a lift in powerlifting, but not in strongman. I don't know if it is dangerous or not but unless you're competing in strongman (or strongwoman) I see little reason to hitch your pulls.


Yeah, I hadn't heard about hitching and I just realized I'd been doing it all along and it was probably bad.
So either I have to relearn to some degree and get stronger at the top, or I have to try sumo.