T Nation

Using Snatch Grip DL to Improve Standard?


Whats up TNation, my deadlift has sort of been on a hiatus so to speak. I feel as if my floor drive is decreasing but my lockout is improving, which is useless when I cant hit that spot coming off the floor. My question regards doing SGDL in full replacement of the standard variation for 2-3 months and would it yeild gains in power off the ground from just doing SGDL?

My best deadlift is 470lbs sq. is 355 and I weigh 160Lbs. I've failed countless times at 495 and cant seem to get it off the ground. If this sounds like a good idea what is the weight I should use for the SGDL and what about reps. Performing the SGDL is fairly easy for me, I am pretty mobile in the t-spine and hip flexors. Thanks!


If you are having trouble off the floor, Id throw in some deficit deadlifts as a main movement and use Snatch Grip as an assistance exercise.


Tried doing those for 2 months never got anything out of them, I used 80%+ load with about 1-2 reps


I like front squats and anything that works the hips hard for working on breaking the weight cleanly off the floor.

I wouldn't totally replace your conventional DL. I'd at least do some speed pulls once a week. It won't take that much out of your recovery and you'll still be practicing your form with a lot of force.


I think the advice you've received is good, but I'd never take the competitive lift out of your training, nor shift away from it as the focus. Improving technique is always the thing that is going to move you forward the quickest, and that only happens with practice.

That said, snatch pulls have been good to me. I can strap up and work with heavy weights in the 4-6 range and build brute strength. Since it's not the contest lift, you can afford to really grind even if technique slips a little, but I'd be careful only to tolerate so much here.

You can do these after pulling, or on a separate day after squatting. Just depends on how you set up your training.


I usually train conventional deadlift for 1-2 reps off the floor with about 90+ load, would I continue to do the same and add SGDL after? I usually do Glute ham raise or stiff leg deadlift for about 6-8 reps after the heavy lifts on the same day


I do SGDL's for a few warm up sets, as i feel the extra ROM really helps properly stretch and warm up the same muscles you're using for your main DL movement in a similar manner. I was stuck at 425 for a while, and switched to the 5/3/1 scheme for DL. Starting too light (used 385 as my beginning training max), i was doing stuff like 315x11 on 3's week; now i'm up to 395x10 for this 3's week. i pulled 475 three weeks ago to gauge how my 1RM has increased, I feel like i maybe had 5lbs or more left in me.

My assistance is usually 5x10 squat (static weight), leg press (ramping weight up) or sumo DL (decreasing weight), or tire flips if one is available. I tried SGDL as assistance, but found that my lower back was too spent after an all out set for me to maintain proper form.


you said you usually train your convential in the 1-2 rep range? why not try upping it a little to 4-5? or drop your max down 10% and work your way back up?


This is your problem.

Go back to 75%, working up to 85% over 3 weeks (75 week 1, 80 week 2, 85% week 3). 5 reps is a magic number. Do that for multiple sets. When you hit 85%, add 5kg to your 1RM figure and re-calculate.

Also, if you are not already doing so, make deadlift a separate day, don't "tack it on" to the back end of a squat workout, as many do. Thats like nailing your fat ugly cousin an hour before you take Megan Fox home for a "study session".


Could always try going for 475 or 480 before attempting a 25 PR.


Ok ill give that a try, I do have deadlift as its own day as well as squat and bench on their own days as well.


Jumping from 470 to 495? Might be part of the problem..........

You should work on reps until you can pull 470 easy, then some more rep work till you can pull 480 easy, then voila you are at 495. 25lb PR jumps normally don't work out too good...


Hi, OP! In your avatar pics is it you locking out a conventional, off the floor DL? If so, a part of your problem may be you starting with the hips too high or letting them raise too fast. As a result, you may not be using your legs and pulling only with your back. Do you have a video of a training set? (not a maximal effort, they're obviously "ugly", so to speak).


Yes, here's a video of the single I did from my avatar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o34yOlKDRL4


As I thought, you don't use your leg drive, since your hips are almost at the same level of your shoulder when the bar starts leaving the floor.
Also, I'm ok with the lower back slightly rounding on heavy sets (it's "power"-lifting, not "aesthetic"-lifting), but it looks a bit too much for a submaximal training set.

My advice is to work A LOT on your set up, lowering a bit your hips and really trying to arch your lower back. Do all you can to raise hips and shoulder at the same rate until the bar clears the knees; you'll feel it in your hams more than ever.

As far as sets, reps and #, I personally like very much singles at about 85-90% and triples at 70-75%, 6 to 10 sets, a couple of times a week. Start on the lower range, adding lbs and/or sets only when technique gets more solid.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a very strong guy (465@167), so this are just my two cents.


You make some of the mistakes I've found myself making in the not so distant past. What's helped me is working the hips and legs and developing the hip hinge motion.


I feel like i lack mostly leg drive in the bottom which messes up my form through the whole lift since i have to compensate at the beginning but the end is always easy to finish. Any exercises you recommend to work the hip hinge?


Watch what happens to your chest when you start the pull (0:23). It jerks, which means you haven't pulled your chest all the way up as you were setting up. Do this at the same time as you are bringing the hips down. It will also help get the slack out of the bar.

To strengthen the hip hinge, try RDLs and variations, and suspended or pin good mornings. Anything where you can reliably get into the correct hip hinge position and rep out.