Tag Archives: how to deadlift more

Deadlift Lockout Accessory Exercises

I will have a Video up soon about this article at

My view point on program design starts at the individual level.

What is this person missing?
Why do they move so bad?
What’s wrong with their form?
What’s weak in their body?

Why are they getting stuck here?
I seldom work with athletes.  Just regular everyday people that are trying to get in shape for themselves.  No “serious” strength goals like powerlifters.  I want to deadlift 600lbs, squat 500lbs and Bench 315lbs.  Most people I train usually have an injury or problem that prevents them from feeling healthy  and strong.  People want to be young and feel young.  When you’re in pain, it’s hard to feel that way.  So what I do is teach people how to move better a big part of moving better is being strong.  Building strength is the foundation for everything.
I’m of the opinion that most people can’t follow a long format program because they aren’t dedicated enough.

If you’re an exception to this rule, and are serious about following a plan, here is my hypothetical approach:
I’ll use one lift as an example: the deadlift

A goal to Deadlift 600lbs by December 2014
My current best is 545lbs
I best rep PR is 515×2, 445×6, 500×3

I’m having trouble during lockout.  I slow down and start grinding right at or just above the knee.
The next question I would ask is, what muscles are weak that’s preventing me from get a faster lockout.

Is there something in my form and technique I can improve an change?  I can always make improvement in form and technique to get better leverage and position, however this is something that has to be addressed during each training session.
From a programming perspective: what muscle do I need to strengthen to improve my lockout?

Rack Pulls
Block Pulls
Hip Thrust
Deadlift Stance Box squats

Holy crap! I forgot about Deadlift Stance box squats!  I haven’t done these for a while. This is probably why I’m not as strong as I was.
This is why I have trouble programming.  I think about what needs to be fixed and then I fix it.  Do that for several weeks and reap the benefits.  Obviously there is a better way, but I’m out of time so I’m ending this blog post. Thanks for reading.

Deadlift Lockout Strength, Squat weakness leaning to far forward | ideas for working on powerlifting

Your weakness could be all in your head.  The weakest link in your squat, bench, deadlift, snatch, clean and jerk is all in your head.

What’s weak in your bench press?  Maybe, probably triceps

What’s weak in your your squats? Maybe, probably your glutes, or your core.

What’s weak in your deadlift? Your low back or hamstrings.

What about your snatch or clean and jerk? Okay, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the olympic lifts, but much of what I talk about in this blurb will be about getting a global understanding of what you’re body is suppose to do optimally.  Much of what I’ve learned  about human movement comes from Kelly Starrett and the mobility wod as well as a combination of various high level strength athletes.  Combine youtube / podcast university with 10+ years coaching regular people as well being a “broken leopard” you’ve got unique perspective from an ungifted athlete coach.

One of the major “gems” of information that set me to write about this comes from what I heard on the Mark Bell’s Powercast with Max Aita.  About their discussion about Dmitry Klokov and how the russians train.  Here’s a link to the podcast, and it starts at the 44:50 mark.

Dan Green was mentioned about his coaching.  About how he doesn’t say much, but when he does, it makes so much sense. Simple stuff that hits you like a ton of bricks (paraphrasing what Max Aita said).

I went to Boss Barbell in Mountain View and had the opportunity to listen to his seminar (here are my notes).  But recalling back to his manner of speaking and coaching style its interesting how all the dots started to connect in my mind.  In a way, much of what he said in his seminar was about his overall view on program design for getting stronger and when he brought up the idea of your “technical max,” the idea connected with what Max Aita said in Mark bell’s Powercast.

So lets talk about technical max.  When does your technique begin to break down?  When do your squats, bench, deadlifts, power cleans, clean/jerk and snatches begin to falter?  Like when your squats start to look like good mornings or when your back begins to round  too much in the deadlift.

When your technique beings to break down, there is a weakness that expresses itself in your movement.

What is wrong with the way you’re moving?  When you make a movement error you are expressing a weakness.  Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you don’t make the lift or you’re incapable getting stronger without giving it direct attention, it just means you’re leaving some power/strength/leverage on the table by not clearing up the movement fault.

The movement fault is a bottleneck.  I learned this term from Gray Cook, it was such a big “ah-ha” moment for me when Kstar’s mobility wod and Cook talked about the idea on this video.

A movement is a pattern.  Performing a pattern like a bench press or squat has a specific loading pattern that will provide optimal positioning and leverage (this varies by individual).  This is technique.  Sorry if this sounds vague, but bare with me.

One of the things I’m trying to work on in myself is an asymmetrical weight shift.  I know this is one of major reasons in why I have knee pain in my left knee from time to time.  Although I’m right handed, left leg and glute/hip complex is significantly stronger than my right.  One way I know this is the case is that when I’m in the bottom of my squat for a pause with 80% or more of my 1RM, I can feel my left leg initiate the drive out of the hole.

What causes this?  I’m missing range of motion in my RIGHT SIDE: hip and ankle.  This is one of my bottlenecks that’s preventing me from getting stronger  in my squat safely.

So what’s weak?  Most likely and definitely my right glute.  But the real question is what do I work on?  Squatting without shifting is what really comes to mind.

What you lack in technique you can make up in strength (to a certain degree).

End of post. thanks for reading.

Deadlift Tips Reviewing my seminar notes with Dan Green at Boss Barbell

dan green 800 pounds photo

My question: How do you deal with the bar whipping against you? How do you suggest I practice dealing with this. When I pull near  or around 500 pounds on the deadlift the bar will whip against me pulling me out of position.

This is the question I asked Dan green.  It was a really important question to me.

Much of this question came from an error I made in my deadlift when I was reviewing some video of myself. I made an analysis video of my hips shooting up too quickly during the a PR deadlift of 515lbs.

Dan Green said to test the bar by pulling the hips back a little before pulling.

When he said that, it reminded me of a video of him deadlifting 815lbs at supertraining gym in sac.

It turns out that first pull had a functional purpose.  After Dan Green shared this deadlifting tip with me I never watched a heavy deadlift the same again.

I saw doing this “test pull” of the deadlift.  In a recent video posted on Eric Lilliebridge’s youtube channel you can see him test the flex of the bar a lot before the deadlift.

And as I write this blog post, I’m watching it, and what I’m noticing is he not only tests it, he also times in such a way so he can explode with just the right timing.  The video below is of Ernie and Eric Deadlifting.

In practice it’s really hard to do.  My first powerlifting meet is less than 3 weeks away and I can’t get this down in such a short period of time.  I did try practicing it. However, to pull the slack out of the bar without lifting it not only feels completely different, it’s more exhausting than you would think.  I would have to spend a lot of time rebuilding my deadlift to get this down.

This video show me trying to test the flex in the bar and as you can see my timing is really bad and I just feel too uncomfortable. One thing you might appreciate is the quality is fairly good and I have some good slow motion video at 120fps using my iphone 5S.

Most of what I learned at Boss Barbell with Dan green has more to do with the Sumo Deadlift.  I haven’t pulled sumo very much, but there are some distinct advantages for some of my leverages.

What makes the Sumo Stance Deadlift is that it’s complete opposite to what you would do in a Conventional Deadlift.

With pulling sumo,he said you want to lock out as soon as possible after breaking the ground.  Then use your hips to finish the lock out.

Locking out too quickly on a conventional deadlift will result in the hips shooting up too fast, and you don’t want that.  I have more stuff I want to share on the deadlift, but I’m out of time.  Thanks for reading.