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Training Alternate Deadlift Only? Conventional Carryover from Sumo?

Would it hurt my conventional pulls to only train sumo for a few months? I am possibly wanting to switch but my sumo is a good 100lbs weaker right now… would my conventional still go up?


There is no guarantee

Why do you want to take a break from pulling conventional? Mostly you hear of people pulling conventional in the offseason and then switching to sumo when you get close to a meet, the opposite is uncommon. If anything, trap bar deadlifts would probably be a better choice but you still need a good reason to stop pulling conventional.

I kinda of want to switch, but don’t wanna ruin the progress I have made pulling conventional only

But why? If you aren’t automatically stronger with sumo then it’s unlikely that you have more potential with it. Unless you can’t set up for conventional without rounding your back then there is no good reason to switch. You might get something out of some sumo pulls but that doesn’t mean that you should take a break from conventional either. If you want to take a break from one of the competition lifts then you need a good reason.

Trap deadlifts are good and combined with farmers carry gives some variety.

well Sumo is much easier on my back, after heavy pulls I am very slow to recover… I could try to post a video of my form

Conventional 2nd attempt 501 upper back always has a slight round on my conventional

Here is first time pulling Sumo 2 weeks after meet felt like 1000lbs compared to same weight as conventional but no back pain 425x2 this was second set.

Maybe think about this as getting stronger in the long term not maintaining peak conventional deadlift strength 24/7/365. Even if your conventional DL 1RM ability takes a hit in the short term if it’s in the process of getting stronger months down the track then its fine. This is almost always necessary anyways for most lifters anyways

Usually works better the other way around but a cycle of sumo can improve your conventional deadlift. A lot overlaps between the two lifts e.g. muscles used so the transference is pretty good. If you improve one then the extra muscle/strength should carry over long term to the other lift.

I can’t see your back from that angle in the conventional video but if your upper back is always rounded then it wouldn’t surprise me if your lower back is too. You also look kind of wobbly and not tight, despite the weight moving fairly easily. That combined with some rounding would be likely to cause back pain. If you improve your technique you would probably pull a lot more.

Honestly my form is better in the gym, I was extremely amped up and rushed it at the meet.

So why do you think it is that conventional hurts your back? I would assume rounding or poor bracing (or both), or maybe you are just doing more volume than you can handle.

lower back usually hurts for multiple days afterwards, sometimes doesn’t recover for a week… I never do volume on deadlifts because of the pain… usually doubles or triples and most the time off blocks.

if this works here is better video of conventional

Your back is rounded, from top to bottom. Not terribly rounded but not neutral, and likely enough to cause back pain. You aren’t setting up and bracing properly. Fix that and fix your back pain. If on the other hand you can’t actually set up for conventional from the floor with a neutral spine then maybe sumo would be a better option, but that will come at the expense of a lot of weight on the bar. I think that your best bet is to fix your conventional technique.

Any tips on fixing my form? I think I naturally just can’t get it neutral like the sumo video but I will try

The sumo video looks like it might be slightly rounded as well, you definitely have your upper back a bit rounded which makes it harder to keep everything else tight. Intentionally rounding your upper back is an advanced technique, it isn’t easy to do properly and if you have issues with your lower back rounding then you should just work on keeping everything neutral for now.

I don’t really have any tips to fix your form, all you have to do is figure out what neutral is and stay neutral. If you can’t physically get into position to pull conventional with a neutral spine then switch to sumo.

thanks for the tips!