View Full Version : Master Deadlifters, Please Advise!

05-12-2006, 10:29 AM
My back and legs are proportionally weaker than my shoulders.arms, chest. Yes, i'm a victim of beach body workouts.

From reading this sight, i've gained massive amounts of knowledge on proper training. Built has lead me the the right direction on cutting, and pretty soon the time to bulk will come (1-2 months away I hope)

Either way, i've made some massive gains on bench (40lbs in the same rep range) and i figured it's time I stop neglecting my back and legs. Squatting i've got to a science and I love it now.

I did deadlifts for the first time in years last night, and although I think i had decent form, i'm not sure if i'm going to hurt myself or not.

I was able to do 5 reps at 225. I was doing RLDL. I did my absolute best to keep my spine straight, but i ended up sloucing on the heavier lifts. Is this ok, or am i going to hurt myself? I started with 2 sets of 10 at 135.

Somebody please tell me if this is normal, to be unable to keep your back straight. Since this is my first time doing them in a long time, i figured i'd be sore. I have some slight lower back pain (not soreness) but that is from a chronic minor injury that still nags if i don't strech or if i slouch often. My back is barely sore. Mostly in the mid back and between the should blades. Not as much as i expected. I'll hit back again sunday to try and get this down, but any advice from you advanced deadlifters (anything from form techniques, links to advice, issue regarding soreness, what you've exprienced, how much is a good weight, if you can keep your back arched, etc).

Please advise!

I did a search for "Deadlift technique" and waded through about 5 posts before i broke down and posted.

edit: In addition to some tightness i usually have in my low back, i have some semi serious pain in my low low back. It's where there is all bone and no muscle, right above the buttox. ANy ideas? is this expected because my nervous system probably sucks? It's some quick slight tingeling pains. Isn't constant, just random.

05-12-2006, 12:43 PM
if this is your first time in a long time doing them, why didnt you keep it light for a week or two and work ONLY on form?

225 really isnt what you want to start your deadlift form on if yo havent done them for years...that could be the reason your form sucks.

05-12-2006, 01:10 PM
Yeah, going to failure or near failure your first time back is extremely foolish.

You might even want to train up some individual body parts a little bit more first.

Such as doing stiff legged deads, or good mornings to give your lower back some work, so that if your form is sloppy for a while on real deads, your spinal erectors can take some of that extra load.

Also, heavy BB shrugs and static holds will assist you in being able to properly grip the weight etc.

When starting, I can't go ultra light, because it's difficult to use good form with almost no weight on the bar, so I'll just work myself up to a weight that I can at least maintain good form on, and do a bunch of sets of maybe 3-8 reps.

If I decide to go much further than that early on, it will be a series of singles so I can easily focus on form for each rep. I find form degrades with multiple rep deadlifts, so doing singles with a short break in between allows you to get mentally set for the next rep.

05-12-2006, 01:58 PM
well i'm already doing shoulder shrugs with 110 lbs dumbells.

And i think I could have gone up to 275-300 with the dead's and gotten 3 good in.

So technically i was going light :D

But i guess you guys are right, i might have jumped into this too fast.

Thank you all for keeping me in line

05-12-2006, 02:07 PM
Shrug with a bb, db shrugs do not mimic anything for the deadlift.

05-12-2006, 02:12 PM
Shrug with a bb, db shrugs do not mimic anything for the deadlift.


Thanks again.

Do you dumbell shrug at all?

05-12-2006, 02:27 PM
Also, were you keeping your head up when you were deadlifting? I try to look up at the ceiling as I'm pulling since it will help keep your shoulders back and back from rounding.

05-12-2006, 02:33 PM
Also, were you keeping your head up when you were deadlifting? I try to look up at the ceiling as I'm pulling since it will help keep your shoulders back and back from rounding.

I wasn't, i was actually looking to my side at a mirror trying to watch form.

Probably a bad idea.

Head up next time.

05-12-2006, 05:51 PM
Instead of performing reps try doing singles.

05-12-2006, 06:45 PM
singles is a horrible idea for someone trying to learn form

just drop the weight

go to 165 or 185, should provide more then enough resistance to show you what good form should be

and you werent technically going light, because if your form is that far off, if you went to 275 for 3 youd probably croak or something

05-12-2006, 07:17 PM
Singles are a bad idea for learning form? Are you serious? Okay dude, whatever...

And by the way Eszekial, looking to the side is not good.

05-12-2006, 07:38 PM
Singles are probably the BEST thing you can do to learn form. When I used to do high rep deads id be so focused on pulling that weight for the number of reps I wanted to do my form would go to ****.

05-13-2006, 12:01 AM
Singles are the only way to learn proper form on deadz. I don't know where you got that from.

If you want to be a deader, lift singles. Get em heavy. Get your shoulders behind the bar. Get a stance you're comfortable with. Get tight as hell. Don't drop your hips too low, and rip that weight off the floor. RIP IT!!!!

05-13-2006, 05:57 AM
Singles and low reps for many sets IS the best way to learn proper form. Make every rep the best rep possible. Do not rush your sets or the rest inbetween them. If you want good form with heavy weight, then you need to practice nailing form with (at least) moderately heavy weights.

Get away from mirrors entirely - they really screw up your form. Turn away from them, or, if necessary, hang a big post-it poster paper on the mirror. Others with disagree with this piece of advice, but I can't stress it enough.

When you are setting up for the deadlift, practice getting your ENTIRE body TIGHT! Back straight as a board, abs tight, triceps flexed, legs bent and flexed. Stay tight as you grip the bar and go - don't dilly-dally at the bottom.

05-13-2006, 07:48 AM
To continue what Sensei said about tightness; a lot of people at meets ask me what it is I'm saying to the bar when I set up for my dead. All I say when I get set up is "get tight get tight get tight get tight". I can't stress it enough. It's probably the biggest difference between making a weight and missing it. You can go completely out of your groove, but if your body is tight as hell, you still have a chance to pull back and make your lift.

Clifford Gillmore
05-13-2006, 08:29 AM
I pray to Allah, and WHIP bar goes up.

I really need to work on getting everything tight for squat and deadlifts, I'm normally focusing all of my mental energy into getting my core as tight as I can - it seems I may have misguided.

05-13-2006, 09:04 PM
ehhhh i never learned form using singles, id watch my training partner do it and id do 5-6 and adjust each one using just a plate on each side

05-13-2006, 10:05 PM
You learn form by doing singles because you can concentrate fully on your form, going through each step before you pick up the bar.

Also, I find it nearly impossible to work on form with extremly light weight, so for me at least, it would have to be at least 50% 1rm weight to work on form properly.

It's not like you do one rep and need to rest 5 minutes or anything, but if you do a rep, and then take 5-10 seconds to figure out the mechanics of your last rep and then refocus on the next rep, that's pretty much it.

05-13-2006, 10:25 PM
Even 50% doesn't do it for me. I find I really need to be in the 75%+ range to really be able to work on my DL form.

05-14-2006, 10:42 AM
Go to DieselCrew.com and read the "Deadlift 101" article.