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  • Big 3 tips and hints

    Deadlift:
    http://articles.elitefts.com/trainin...ps-and-tricks/

    1. Starting with the Hips Too Low
    This is the king of all mistakes I see. Too many times lifters try to squat the weight up rather than pull the weight. Think back to the number of times that you’ve seen a big deadlift and thought to yourself how much more the lifter could’ve pulled if he didn’t damn near stiff-leg it? I see it all the time. Someone will say, “Did you see his deadlift?” Then the other guy will comment, “Yeah, and he stiff-legged the thing.” Am I telling you to stiff-leg your deadlifts? No, not at all.

    All I want you to do is look at your hip position at the start of the lift when you pull, and watch how much your hips move up before the weight begins to break the floor. This is wasted movement and does nothing except wear you out before the pull. The closer you can keep your hips to the bar when you pull, the better the leverages are going to be. Once again, next time you see a great deadlifter, stand off to the side and watch how close his or her hips stay to the bar throughout the pull. If you’re putting your ass to the floor before you pull, your hips are about a mile from the bar. You’re setting yourself up for disaster when the lever arm is this long. Consequently, this is the second most common reason why lifters can’t get the bar off the floor. (The first reason is very simple: the bar is too heavy!)

    You need to find that perfect spot—where your hips are close to the bar, your shoulders are behind the bar, your lower back is arched, your upper back is rounded, your belly is full of air, and you can pull toward your body. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but then again, what is? Definitely not training in a commercial health club…


    2. Where to Look When You Pull
    Your body will always follow your head. If you’re looking down, then the bar is going to want to travel forward. At the same time, you don’t want to look at the ceiling. Focus on an area that keeps your head in a straight, up and back position with the eyes focusing on an upper area of the wall.

    3. Dimel Deadlifts
    This exercise helped Matt Dimel increase his squat from the mid-800s to over 1000 pounds in a two-year period. To perform this exercise, grab a barbell with an overhand grip, hands about shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar up to a standing position.

    At this point, arch your back and get your abs tight. Keep your back as arched as possible, push the glutes out, and keep the knees slightly bent. Lower the bar by pushing your body weight back onto your heals while pushing your glutes out. Try to lower the barbell to a position just past the knees. At this point, you should feel a tremendous stretch in the glutes and hamstrings.

    Raise the bar back up by contracting your glutes first. At the top of the movement, contract the glutes as hard as possible. Perform the exercise in a ballistic fashion. You want to drop to the mid- point position and explode back to the starting position. This is best trained with moderate weight for sets of 15-20 reps.

    Training Mistakes
    *Going too low. Make sure to keep the tension on the hamstrings.
    Not pushing the hips and glutes back. This is also to keep the stress on the hamstrings.
    *Rounding the back. Keep your back arched to help keep the stress on the hamstrings.
    *Using a slow tempo. This movement is designed to be trained fast. You’ll begin 
with a slow tempo and build the speed up with each additional repetition.

    Applications

    One of the best ways I’ve seen this implemented is when it is used as a finisher movement (using two sets of 15-20 reps). Do this at the end of three to four workouts during the week for three to four weeks.
    The most popular way to implement this is to just toss them in once a week on your squat or dead.

    4. Dumbbell Holds
    There are very few things that I’ve found to work when it comes to helping with dropped deadlifts due to grip. Dumbbell holds, however, are one movement that’s shown great results.

    Grab the top of a hex dumbbell, making sure that you don’t touch the numbers. Grab, stand, and hold for as long as you can. If you can go over 20 seconds, then up the weight.

    5. Binder Clips
    One easy thing that will help your grip for pulling is to use binder clips. These are the big paper clips that have a black end on them (and other colors). Use these like you would use grippers, but only use your thumb and little finger. You can work all fingers, but the little guy is the first to go.

    Ed Coan told me this one a few years ago at the SWIS conference.

    6. Get Strong(er)
    If you drop your pulls, one solution is very simple—get stronger! Let’s say you always drop 700 pounds, but you can pull 650 pounds easy and pulling 700 pounds with straps is no problem. Well, get strong enough to pull 750 pounds with straps. Then, 700 pounds will feel like 650 pounds.


    7. Get Your Head Right
    Get your head right. Training isn’t easy and won’t always be a walk-in-the-park. There’s more to getting strong than just lifting the weights. You have to get an attitude with the weights and bust your ass. Louie once told me that he would NEVER train with anyone who didn’t scare him in one way or another. This is some of the best advice I’ve ever heard. I’m not saying that you should be a dick, but there’s a HUGE difference between “training” and “working out.”


    8. Multiple-Rep Deadlifts

    Next time you see someone doing multiple reps on the deadlift, take note of the form of each rep. You’ll notice that the later reps look nothing like the first. In competition, you only have to pull once, so you need to learn how to develop what’s known as starting strength for the deadlift. This is the strength that is needed to get the bar off the floor without an eccentric (negative) action before the start.

    In other words, you don’t lower the bar first and then lift the weight as you do with the squat and bench press. When you train with multiple reps, you’re beginning to develop reversal strength, which isn’t needed with the deadlift. These two reasons are enough to keep the deadlift training to singles. If you’re using multiple reps with the deadlift, then stand up in between each rep and restart the lift. This way you’ll be teaching yourself the proper form and developing the right kind of strength.


    9. Not Pulling the Bar Back
    The deadlift is all about leverage and positioning. Visualize a teeter-totter. What happens when the weight on one end is coming down? The other end goes up. So if your body is falling backward, what happens to the bar? It goes up! If your weight is falling forward, the bar will want to stay down. So if you weigh 250 pounds and you can get your body weight to work for you, it would be much like taking 250 pounds off the bar. For many natural deadlifters, this is a very instinctive action. For others, it has to be trained.

    Proper positioning is important here. If you’re standing too close to the bar, it’ll have to come over the knee before you can pull back—thus, going forward before it goes backward. If your shoulders are in front of the bar at the start of the pull, then the bar will want to go forward, not backward. If your back isn’t arched, the bar will also want to drift forward. For some lifters, not being able to pull back can be a muscular thing. If you’re like myself, I tend to end up with the weight on the front of my feet instead of my heels. This is a function of my quads trying to overpower the glutes and hamstrings, or the glutes and hamstrings not being able to finish the weight and shifting to the quads to complete the lift. What will happen many times is that you’ll begin shaking or miss the weight. To fix this problem, you need to add in more glute ham raises, pull-throughs, and reverse hypers.

    10. Shin Placement
    I’m not too sure where this started, but I have a pretty good idea. Many times the taller, thinner lifters are the best pullers, and they do start with the bar very close to their shins. But if you look at them from the side, they still have their shoulders behind the bar when they pull. This is just not possible to achieve with a thicker lifter.

    If a thicker lifter with a large amount of body mass—be it muscle or fat—were to line the bar up with his shins, you’d see he would have an impossible time getting the shoulders behind the bar. Remember, you need to pull the bar back toward you, not out and away from you. So what I believe happens is that many lifters look to those who have great deadlifts to see how they pull, then try to do the same themselves. However, what they really need to do is look to those who have great deadlifts and who have similar builds as them and follow their lead.

    11. Pulling with Big Air
    As with most exercises, you must learn how to breathe. Stand in front of a mirror and take a deep breath. Do your shoulders rise? If so, then you need to learn how to breathe. Learn to pull your air into your diaphragm. In other words, use your belly! Pull as much air into your belly as possible, then when you think you have all you can get, pull more. The deadlift isn’t started by driving your feet into the floor; it’s started by driving your belly into your belt and hips flexors.

    One note on holding air while you pull: You do need to try and hold your air as long as possible, but this can only last for a few seconds while under strain because you will pass out. So for a long pull, you’re going to have to breathe or you’ll hit the floor… and people will stare. While there are several people out there who may think this is a cool thing, I disagree. It’s much cooler to make the lift!

    So when you reach the point where you begin to really have to fight with the weight, let out small bursts of air. Don’t let all of it out at one time or you’ll lose torso tightness and that will cause the bar to drop down. By letting out small bursts, you can keep your tightness, continue to pull, and lock out the weight.

    12. Rounding the Lower Back when Deadlifting

    This is another mistake I see all the time, and most lifters know better. It happens most of the time because of a weak lower back or a bad starting position. Even though your shoulders should be rounded, you must keep your lower back arched. This will keep the shin straight and the shoulders behind the bar, allowing your body to be in the proper position to pull big while keeping the back under minimal stress.

    If you pull with a rounded back, the bar is going to drift forward away from the legs—putting your back in a very difficult position from which to recover. When the bar drifts forward, the weight of it will begin to work against your leverages and cause you to have a sticking point just below the knees or mid-shin level. When you pull, you can either arch your back in the beginning standing position before you crouch down to pull or once you grab the bar. Either way, it’s important to keep the lower back arched and tight.

    There are many ways to strengthen the lower back for this. Good mornings, reverse hypers, and arched back good mornings are a few. You can also use a band around your traps and feet for simulated good mornings. With this technique, you only use the bands and train for higher reps (in the 20 to 30 rep range) for local muscular endurance.

    13. Pulling Your Shoulder Blades Together when You Deadlift
    This is a mistake I made for years. Stand in a deadlift stance and pull your shoulder blades together. Take a look at where your fingertips are. Now if you let your shoulders relax and even round forward a little, you’ll see your fingertips are much lower. This is why we teach a rounding of the upper back. First, the bar has to travel a shorter distance. Second, there’s less stress on the shoulder region. It’ll also help keep your shoulder blades behind the bar.

    14. Pull the slack out of the bar
    Even if you are not using a texas deadlift bar, you still want to make an effort to pull the slack out of the bar before accelerating the bar to lockout. What this basically means is to begin pulling until you feel the bar get tight against the plates and begin to bend. Once you reach that point—where you feel the bar bending—THEN begin the pull off the floor, thinking of accelerating the speed more and more with every inch the bar moves.
    Sammich
    Moderator/Intense Muscle Competitive Powerlifter 275lb Raw Club Total 1625
    Last edited by Sammich; 01-23-2013, 11:50 PM.
    Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
    kind of a douche

  • #2
    Falling Forward in the Squat
    http://articles.elitefts.com/trainin...-in-the-squat/

    One of the most common mistakes when squatting is falling forward. You see it at the gym and at meets. It happens with novice lifters and advanced lifters.

    The first thing that you have to do is recognize that you have a problem. You have to understand the problem and how the problem is affecting your squat. When you are dealing with sticking points, you have to remember they can be:

    Technical
    Mental
    Physical

    In many cases, there’s a little bit of all three.

    For example, by having bad technique, you incorporate more use out of one muscle group or firing pattern than what is needed. This causes over-development in one area and under-development in others. By having weak abs, you may tend to fall into the squat too much as you sit back. If this happens every time you squat, you’ll begin to develop a mental process of falling into the squat when you sit back. Regardless of what strength training changes you make, this process will still be established. Finally you may have perfect technique until 90 percent of your max gets on the bar and then all hell breaks loose.

    What I’m trying to say is that you need to go after this from more than one angle.

    Mental
    Get your head out of the toilet. If you’re constantly worrying about your sticking point and expecting it to be there, it always will. This happens to most lifters at one time or another. You get the heavy weight on your back and begin to sit down and say to yourself “Here I go again, I am about to drop forward.” How do I know this? Because many people will say, “Once I get to about 90 percent of my max, I begin to fall forward.” At this point, you already established this is going to happen. So, get this out of your head and find a way to have success with weights over 90 percent where this won’t happen. These things I am now recommending, have nothing to do with the physical aspect of training, but getting your head right. You can try visualization, self-talk and other modes of building your confidence. I always hear the term, “It’s all mental.” I find this statement to be nauseating and over-done, but there’s some truth to it. If you believe it, bad or good, it will usually happen. The problem is that you have to really believe it.

    If you’re like any other lifter I know, getting into a peak state is not an issue. It’s keeping the state when problems happen under the bar. Please remember that a peak state doesn’t always mean that you are a mad man. You have to be focused.

    Try heavy high box squats with weight above 90 percent of your max. Take the box up a few inches. Use gear if you need, but find a way to squat over 90 percent and not fall forward. You can also try high pin squats and reverse band squats. You’re going to have to find tricks to get your confidence up. For example, some people have problems benching 405 pounds. Usually because it’s four 45-pound plates per side. It can be intimidating, but if they use three 45-pound plates and make up the difference with 25′s and 10’s, this can be overcome.

    Physical
    For this portion, I’m going to ask you to think. Think about your training. Think about what you do and what you don’t do. If you think hard enough, you’ll see that you know exactly what to do.

    You may not be able to hold the static arch long enough to get down. In this case, take a safety squat bar and bend over as you would a good morning. At the half-way point, hold the position and arch your back as hard as you can. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then relax and arch again. This should be done at the end of your workout.
    Your abs aren’t strong enough to support your torso when your hips break parallel. If this is your weak point, add in heavy ab work – namely, heavy leg raises and side bends. I highly advise you to train your abs in this manner at least twice per week.
    Your upper back is rounding. This has a flow effect because your upper back will round and then your lower back will follow. Once again, the safety squat bar movement above will help with this, as well as face pulls and anything else that tending to pull your upper back tight in a contracted position.
    You lower back is just…weak! Add more weight to all of your accessory work.
    Your elbows are not under the bar. If your elbows are pointed backwards (towards your butt), then you are sure to fall forward. Simply attempt to bring your elbows forward and under the bar. There’s no exercise that can help correct this; just make sure you have verbal cues.

    Technical
    This section is taken from the article “Squatting from Head to Toe.” Here are some guidelines to help make sure that your squat form is correct.

    Phase I: The first thing to check for is proper body position at the beginning of the lift. Keep in mind you’ll have to keep the entire body tight. If any body part is held loose, it will become your weak link and you’ll break down.

    Before setting up under the bar, you’ll need to grasp the barbell and duck under it with your feet about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. While under the bar, you’ll have to start to really tighten up. Grasp the bar with your hands and start to squeeze it as if you were trying to bend the bar across your back. Next, pull your shoulder blades together as tight as possible while pulling your elbows forward. This is to keep the upper back locked in this position during the lift. If your elbows are flaring out, it’ll cause the barbell to travel forward at some point during the lift. The key to squatting big weights is to keep the barbell path traveling in the shortest line as possible. Any deviation from this line will cause a missed lift.

    Now that your upper back is tight, you’ll need to tighten your midsection. First, expand your abdomen as much as possible. When you pull air into your body, it should be into the diaphragm, not the chest. Expand your belly and push it out against your belt. This will stabilize and support the lower back and not elongate the spine. If you’re having a hard time trying to figure this out, then wear your weight belt one notch loose and push into it with your belly so it becomes tight.

    Pushing your belly out goes against what many believe because they feel training this way will cause injuries to the lower back. After 30 years of box squatting, Westside had 23 lifters squat over 800 pounds, six over 900 pounds and one over a grand. Not one of these lifters, or any of the others, had lower back problems.

    All the power of the lower body is transferred through your core to the barbell. If this core isn’t tight, the power will “get lost” (so to speak), and never travel to the bar. While I don’t agree with the use of a belt for the majority of training, I do believe in the use of belts to teach a person how to use the abdomen while squatting. The belt is a training aid in competition, so you must learn how to use it to its fullest advantage.

    Phase II: Now that you have your upper back and belly tight, you need to arch the bar out of the rack. When you take a barbell out of the rack, it should never hit the front supports. This shifts the weight to the toes and will cause you to lose your tightness (as well as set the bar in a position to use your quads instead of your hips and hamstrings.)

    Arch the bar out, then push with your legs to get the bar off the racks. Keep the arch. Step back with one leg, then the other. You want to maintain your tightness and set your stance as wide as possible. I believe in using a wide stance when squatting because it shortens the distance the bar has to travel and places the stress more on the glutes, hips, hamstrings and back. I’ve figured out over time that the quads aren’t that important for squatting maximal weights. Instead, it’s the hips, back and hamstrings. If your quads were really doing all the work, then why wouldn’t you be able to squat as much as you could leg press? So, set up in a wide stance.

    From this position, pull all the air back into your belly and try to make your back and abs tighter than before. You should also be forcing your knees out to the sides. You’ll know you’re doing this right if your hips feel tight. This places the stress on the hips and also increases the leverage at the bottom of the squat. The closer you can keep your knee, ankle, shoulder and hip joints in a straight line, the greater the mechanical advantage. This is why you can quarter squat much more than you can full squat.

    You also want to be pushing out on the sides of your shoes – never push downward. Act as if you’re tying to spread the floor apart. This is to further activate the hips.

    Your butt should also be sticking out with your back arched as hard as possible. Head position is vital to keeping the barbell in the proper path for squatting. You must drive your head into the bar. This doesn’t mean look up; you should actually be looking forward. You want to be looking forward for a couple of reasons. First, if you’re in a competition, you’ll need to see the head judge give you the squat signal. Second, you’ll want to see everyone’s reaction after you smoke your lift! I don’t know about you, but I want to see the look of awe in their eyes after I get the lift.

    Besides, if you’re looking down you’ll more than likely start to fall forward about half way up and miss the lift. The act of pushing your head back into the neck should be the same action as if you were to lay on the floor and push your head against the ground. As for toe position, lighter guys should usually point their toes straight ahead. Heavier guys, often because of a lack of flexibility, may want to point their toes out slightly. Now, you’re ready to begin the squat.

    Phase III: To start the squat, I want your hips to begin the motion, not the knees. When your knees bend first, the load is shifted downward and you need the load going backward. Remember, you want the bar to travel in a straight line. Keep pushing the hips back as you squat down. The key is to “sit back.” Most people sit down on a toilet with better form than they squat because they have to sit back. As you sit back, you want to feel tension in the hamstrings. Act like they’re springs you’re trying to compact before they rebound back. This will cause a great stretch reflex out of the bottom of the squat…and an explosive start is another key to squatting maximal weights.

    Keep sitting back until you sit on the box. The box should be one inch lower than parallel for most people, although I sometimes recommend that less experienced lifters find a box that puts them at one inch above parallel. (Note: I can’t recommend a pre-manufactured box at this time because I simply haven’t found any good ones. All of our boxes at Westside are homemade. When selecting a box, most people need one between 12 and 14 inches high. Also, pick one that’s big enough to fit your butt. Note that some people use a flat bench for box squats. I’ve found that these are seldom set at the proper height, however, and may be too narrow for some.)

    When you reach the box, you want to sit down and relax the hips flexors, while keeping every other muscle tight. You also don’t want to fall down on the box and try to bounce off of it. You need to sit back with the same speed you squat. Then, pause on the box for a split second and explode off of it. No bouncing! Your knees must still be pushed out and your abs, upper back and arms should remain tight while your back stays arched. When you’re on the box it’s important to have the shins perpendicular to the floor, or better yet, past perpendicular. This places all the tension on the squatting muscles.

    Phase IV: After you pause on the box, you need to explode off by driving the head and upper back into the bar, then by driving with the hips. When you begin the squat (during the eccentric phase), the hips move first then the head. The opposite of that (the concentric phase) should involve the head moving first, then the glutes. It only makes sense to try to lift the bar first. If you don’t drive with the upper back first because then the bar will begin to move forward. If the bar is moving forward before you drive with the hips, you’ll miss the weight and fall forward.

    Remember that falling forward in the squat is not a unique happening. A lot of lifters do it and it has been overcome. I gave you many ways to approach your problem and solve. Now, you have to do the work.
    Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
    kind of a douche

    Comment


    • #3
      Chad Wesley smith had a great article about explosiveness on squats a few weeks ago. I think the pauses are awesome.

      Comment


      • #4
        #9 I don't understand how keeping the bar further from your shins helps increase your pull. It's only gonna come mid foot again before it comes up. What are your thoughts on this Sammich?
        How long can you go without believing in YOURSELF, before you are officially dead!

        This isn't "Tea-Time Relaxy-Muscle", this is INTENSE Muscle. Bring something to the table or don't fucking show up. - Sammich

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by p2geo View Post
          #9 I don't understand how keeping the bar further from your shins helps increase your pull. It's only gonna come mid foot again before it comes up. What are your thoughts on this Sammich?
          It lets your knees bend more when you set up and gets your back more upright so you can get more leg drive. The closer your bar is to your shins when you set up, the less leg drive you can get. Of course too far away pulls you forward, so there's a magic middle ground.
          Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
          kind of a douche

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sammich View Post
            It lets your knees bend more when you set up and gets your back more upright so you can get more leg drive. The closer your bar is to your shins when you set up, the less leg drive you can get. Of course too far away pulls you forward, so there's a magic middle ground.
            Exactly, and that magic middle ground will be different for everyone depending upon their height and limb length. I believe Rippetoe has a pretty good video somewhere on this. And this will usually only apply to conventional, as just about every sumo puller I have coached needs to be right up on the bar.
            "You need never feel broken again"

            Comment


            • #7
              rename thread to big 2 tips

              for deadlift, do you guys care about upper back round? its damn near impossible for me to keep it rigid unless im going @ pussweight
              greensoup
              Middleweight Member
              Last edited by greensoup; 01-24-2013, 11:00 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Upper back should round; it lets you set up higher.
                Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
                kind of a douche

                Comment


                • #9
                  i meant even as you begin the pull, then push the chest out at the top

                  damn that avatar and that sig.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Upper back round is ok to a certain extent but low back needs to be arched or neutral.
                    "You need never feel broken again"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Regarding the first one, I honestly see most people start high. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anyone with the problem of squatting a deadlift up (doesn't mean it doesn't happen, of course; I'm no Dave Tate).

                      Marty Gallagher says that most people don't pull low enough and that the deadlift should be thought of as two phases: the break-off using quad drive and the hip hinge once the bar reaches the knees.

                      To the point that the bar should stay close to the hips, shouldn't that mean you need to maintain that low a position and not let the hips stray up before the bar, rather than starting higher altogether? I'm not saying you have to squat the weight up, but my deadlift skyrocketed when I trained myself to stay low and use more leg drive.

                      Check out the difference in my friend's performance back when he was too high (probably exaggeratively so and Tate is in no way talking about this) and now.

                      Thoughts? How low do you guys pull?
                      Cyborg Slayer
                      New Member
                      Last edited by Cyborg Slayer; 01-28-2013, 05:24 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cyborg Slayer View Post
                        Regarding the first one, I honestly see most people start high. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anyone with the problem of squatting a deadlift up (doesn't mean it doesn't happen, of course; I'm no Dave Tate).

                        Marty Gallagher says that most people don't pull low enough and that the deadlift should be thought of as two phases: the break-off using quad drive and the hip hinge once the bar reaches the knees.

                        To the point that the bar should stay close to the hips, shouldn't that mean you need to maintain that low a position and not let the hips stray up before the bar, rather than starting higher altogether? I'm not saying you have to squat the weight up, but my deadlift skyrocketed when I trained myself to stay low and use more leg drive.

                        Check out the difference in my friend's performance back when he was too high (probably exaggeratively so and Tate is in no way talking about this) and now.

                        Thoughts? How low do you guys pull?

                        That had almost nothing to do with how high his hips were. It had to do with a lot better form. Also he looks like he gained some good muscle over the past 4 years or so.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, there were other differences as a result of him cleaning up his form, but I'm not sure how you can say he didn't start lower in the latter video.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cyborg Slayer View Post
                            Yeah, there were other differences as a result of him cleaning up his form, but I'm not sure how you can say he didn't start lower in the latter video.
                            I don't think he's debating the starting position, but more equating the success to overall form improvement, rather than pointing to just hip position.

                            I'd agree that while the hips were lower, I'd attribute most of the success to an entire form overhaul, part of which is starting position.
                            You're perfect, yes it's true. But without me...you're only you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RageBlanket View Post
                              I don't think he's debating the starting position, but more equating the success to overall form improvement, rather than pointing to just hip position.

                              I'd agree that while the hips were lower, I'd attribute most of the success to an entire form overhaul, part of which is starting position.
                              Yes, that what I was trying to say, Thanks rage.

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