T Nation

Switching Out Deadlift with Olympic Pulls


Hey coach,

After I read Perform like an Athlete, look like a Bodybuilder, I again noticed your fondness of Olympic pulls. I even recall you at one point mentioning 50% of your volume consists of pulls, and that it’s a killer exercise for hammies, lower back, mid-back and glutes, next to the obvious upper back stimulation…It kinda sounds like a deadlift without the risk of fatiguing your CNS so much and even helping getting explosive!

So my question is, how do you stand on dropping deadlifts and switching them out for Chinese pulls? (I feel far more explosive and stronger with Chinese pulls).


I’m not a huge fan of Chinese-style or ‘‘Panda’’ pulls. It is a good exercise for an olympic lifter because it practices the switching from pulling to moving down. But it will build less muscle than the traditional olympic pull where the goal is either to pull the bar to the mid-chest or clavicle (high pull) or above the navel (low pull).

I personally do both though, deadlifts and pulls. I personally do 3 types of deadlift of pulls:

  1. Snatch-grip deadlift
  2. Snatch RDL + explosive shrugs… I basically do a snatch-grip RDL but do the concentric explosively which ends in a powerfull shrug
  3. Snatch-grip high pull from the hang

I like the SGDL since you are limited in the amount of weight to use versus a regular deadlift and it involves the quads more than explosive pulls so I feel that these 3 pulls are complimentary.


Thanks coach! Always appreciate your input greatly


Any chance these will be featured in that article you recently said are thinking of writing (SGDL), in a form of a video?

A bit off topic, any news regarding your new book?


Elbows turned out when doing Snatch-grip pulls/Deadlifts/Snatch RDLs/Muscle-Snatch?

Thank you!


do you wear or recommend olyshoes on SGDL?


Personally I wear Olympic shoes all the time when I train (mostly because I don’t carry 10 pairs of shoes in my bag). On SGDL they help recruit the quads a bit more.


No completely pointing out. Pointing maybe a few degrees back