T Nation

Sumo = Conventional


I was a conventional deadlifter until about a year ago. I was very weak off the floor but strong at lockout. I switched to sumo and was strong off the floor, and weaker at lockout, but my max sumo was about 50 pounds higher than conventional and has steadily improved since.

I recently started using conventional deadlift as an assistance exercise and it felt pretty strong, so after about two weeks, I decided to find my max conventional pull. It's the same as my sumo max. I haven't gone over about 75% on conventional deadlift in nearly a year, so I'm going to stick with it. It feels much more natural than sumo even though I think I look more like a sumo deadlifter (shorts limbs, etc).

The thing is, I'm not sure what caused such a dramatic increase in my conventional pull without training it. I definitely think good-mornings played a big part. Could sumo deadlift have increased my strength off the floor in conventional? My squat has also improved alot since then. Maybe the increased leg strength from that carries over?

In any case, I'm going to continue using both sumo and conventional in trianing.


And if it matters,

Height: 5'9
Weight: 196

Squat : 365
Bench : 305
Conv. Pull: 435
Sumo Pull : 435

Age 18

Training for about 4 years, less than 1 year powerlifting.


With conventional deadlifts I feel it a lot more in my legs. Sumo hits your lower back more. I guess it depends on where you are stronger. The sumo deadlifts also decrease the distance the bar travels, which makes it easier for a lot of people


Ive always thought the opposite


It's because you didn't train your conventional DL. I didn't DL over 300 lbs for 7 months but managed to hit 335x4 the first time back. I didn't DL, I just trained all the muscles involved. If you want to deadlift more, don't deadlift.




You can keep your torso more upright in sumo and set your hips lower getting your legs into it more.


I did 10+ sets of DLs every week for 10 weeks. Then I pulled 600.

If you want to Deadlift more, deadlift more.


I found that pulling sumo for awhile really helped my conventional pull. I switched to sumo for a couple months and did conventional as assistance...when I switched back to conventional everything felt a LOT stronger.


That's strange... With Sumo, I always feel it more on my legs and with DLs, lower back.


I'm sure we'd all love to see a vid of your deadlift.

You know, to see your form and stuff...






I really don't think you're in any position to be telling someone how to improve their deadlift if you're pulling 335x4...no offence


I tried the whole don't deadlift but train the muscles involved to increase your deadlift thing. Didn't go much of anywhere. Pulling more frequently has always done the trick for me.



I really want to know who started this trend.


What does your program look like?


My deadlift goes up just as fast between doing pulls every week and doing them once a month for ME lifting. I always do speed pulls to work on speed off the floor and technique every week all the time. I'm a firm believer of GMs for increasing deadlift. Low box squats seem to carry over to my pull as much as my squat.

Best I've pulled so far is 455 sumo. I don't ever do conventional b/c it feels so awkward which is strange b/c I have a short torso and long limbs. It's also more likely to give me hip or back pain afterwards. When I have done it, it's usually 25-40lbs behind my sumo.


If you want to know what put 200 pounds on my deadlift...working up to a one all out set. I'm sure my assistant work helped out, but nothing will get you strong like working a lift once a week, and doing crazy ass sessions where you do your last set all out, then don't touch it for a 7-10 days.


I've been on 531 for about five months (four cycles).


I think it works for the people who are predisposed to be good deadlifters, but not most others.

I say this because a fella on my collegiate powerlifting team has a 700lb raw deadlift in the 275 class. I think he's 21 years old. He rarely trains at all, let alone deadlift.