T Nation

Switching Between Deadlift Styles Throughout Training Cycle

Are conventional and sumo (modified sumo, closer stance) similar enough that it’s ok to switch back and forth throughout a cycle?

My last 12 week cycle I was pulling conventional for the first 8 weeks. Then on week 9 the first set felt weak and shitty, so I switched to a modified sumo and it felt great, so I finished the cycle pulling sumo. Now 4 weeks into my new cycle the opposite happened. Stayed sumo first few weeks and felt good, then all of a sudden today it felt like shit, so I went back to conventional and it felt strong.
Any idea why this is happening? And is it a big deal to switch back and forth in terms of loading which I have planned out for the whole 12 weeks?

U can use both at the same time or at certain points during your training. Subbing semi sumo and conventional wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world because they aren’t that far apart. The more degrees of separation you go towards a proficient sumo the more different it’ll be.

Randomly switching all over the place isn’t the best approach because it’ll be difficult to develop technical proficiency in any one style. It would make u big and strong all over your posterior chain just from the work though so that’s gains but maybe not the most efficient way.

For me my deadlift is one of the first lifts that i hit a wall on. Best way i have found to avoid this is to work in 5 week blocks. Start with submax weights week 1 and increase to PRs in week 4 and 5, then deload and rinse and repeat. I only do conventional.

If you want to mix it up, stick to only conventional or sumo for a few training blocks then switch it over. Some warm up sets with the opposite of what you will be doing for your working sets will help with improving technique of both lifts.

You could alternate week to week if you want. If you don’t train one stance for a while then you can’t expect it to be at 100% but you can get better on both simultaneously. Of course there are some guys like Ed Coan an Dan Austin who pulled conventional most of the time but switched to sumo when peaking for a meet but they are the exception. Josh Bryant coaches a guy named Ogden Myklebust who pulls over 900 sumo, last I heard he was rotating between sumo, deficit conventional, and trap bar.

Thanks for the responses guys, that’s kind of what I figured, just good to hear it from those with more experience.