The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Converting to Sumo Deads

    I was wondering if anyone has gone through this transition and if they had any tips. I have been pulling conventional for 2 years and just recently decided to try sumo deadlifts. My conventional PR was 530, but I felt considering my build sumos may be better for me. I have only done them twice now, but already they seem to be heavily hit or miss for me while conventional usually felt great. I also know more practice is needed.
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

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  3. #2
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    I made a successful transition from conventional to sumo and it didn't take too much. As long as you keep your box squats pretty much the same width as your sumo stance, you should notice a massive improvement in your sumo pull. The thing is, you can't halt your conventional pulling all together, cuz it'll help your sumo pull as well. Just use a parallel box on box squats, with a super wide stance, basically the same stance as your sumo pulls. When I did speed pulls on DE SQ day I usually did 6-8 singles with 60-80% of my max, and sometimes used doubled mini bands. When prepping for a competition, I did speed pulls every other day on DE SQ day. For my ME work, I did very little sumo pulling. I usually did cambered bar low box squats, zercher squats, and conventional rack pulls at various heights. The only true full-range sumo pulling that you should be doing should be speed pulls on DE SQ day.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    thanks tommyboy, I will keep that in mind.

    Bump, anyone else got some ideas?
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

  5. #4
    Senior Member HeavyBomber's Avatar
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    Several years ago I had built my std dead up to about 525 and was talked into trying sumo by a freind. I was considerably weaker pulling sumo and it was hard as hell. I stuck with it and now I consistently pull at least 100 lbs. more with sumo.
    I find sumos much easier on my lower back and my shins don't get nearly as banged up.
    I LOVE SUMO!

  6. #5
    Senior Member Sleepy Guy's Avatar
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    Stick with it. Keep good form and practicing. I know of others that have taken 6 months to build up a decent sumo dead lift. It took me about 3 months to get comfortible in them.

    Shoes can also make a big difference. I prefer to train in shoes with just a thin layer of rubber and no heal.

  7. #6
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    For me, I pull about 60 lbs more with sumo over conventional. Right now my best is 405 lbs sumo, so I am a bit light from what you are doing. The hips seem to come into play more in sumo, as well as spreading you push outwards on your feet instead of downwards in a conventional. It also seems very hit or miss both off the floor and on the lockout.
    I'm currently tweaking how I do Sumo DLs, but it seems that what Tommyboy says is correct. Do your deadlifts and wide box squats at the same width. This will improve your hip leverage and should translate both into a higher squat as well as DL. My development has seemed to follow this pattern.]

    If you are a tall guy with long legs (I am rather short and squat) then you should try to do sumos. I've shown some tall guys the sumo and their DL has shot right up. Prior to that, they had to do two-part DLs to get around their knees and then do a straight legged lockout.

  8. #7
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    Another thing I forgot to mention was the rep scheme. Only do singles when pulling. The deadlift is the only lift that doesn't incorporate a negative, so there's no need to train with more than one rep. If you take a look at people when they deadlift, a large amount of people, let's just guess and say 90%, have a better 2nd rep than their 1st rep. That's because they fumble around on the first one getting themselves set etc. and use the momentum on the 2nd rep. So, this means that it's tougher to pull without a bounce. By doing strictly singles, this will teach you to perfect your form on every single pull. When Louie Simmons says 'speed pulls' he not only means take a short rest between pulls, but he means pull each set as fast and as explosive as possible. Here comes in to play the old term "grip and rip." What worked best for me was set your feet up however you like--and take your time with this, then once you feel set with your feet, bring your arms around the front of yourself so your hands are in line with the bar. Imagine, if you will, that you've already got the bar in your hand so you'll go straight down very quickly, and the second your hands touch the bar, you're pulling that b**ch right back up with as much power as possible.

    Also, instead of a pull, think of it as a squat with a lockout at the end.
    Last edited by TommyBoy; 09-23-2006 at 12:56 AM.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys, tommyboy especially. I really like the bit about thinking of it like a squat with a lockout, I will keep it all in mind. Hopefully in 2 months I can reupdate this thread saying I no longer suck at sumos
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

  10. #9
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    No prob Sid, glad I could help.

    One more thing, I'm not sure if you use gear or not, but the sumo deadlift can be significantly helped if you have the right suit, and know how to use it....where as a suit doesn't help that much with a conventional deadlift. I'd personally recommend a good pair of briefs and you'll take care of the hip pain, and you'll get some pop off the floor.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyBoy
    No prob Sid, glad I could help.

    One more thing, I'm not sure if you use gear or not, but the sumo deadlift can be significantly helped if you have the right suit, and know how to use it....where as a suit doesn't help that much with a conventional deadlift. I'd personally recommend a good pair of briefs and you'll take care of the hip pain, and you'll get some pop off the floor.
    I have only ever lifted raw as of this point, and actually only got into powerlifting and wide stance squatting about 4 months ago. I have no intentions to lift equipped right now, but if I do and sumo works out I will consider it a bonus.
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

  12. #11
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    Once you go gear...................you never go back!!!!

  13. #12
    Senior Member Sleepy Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyBoy
    Once you go gear...................you never go back!!!!
    I disagree but then it all depends on your goals. Yes you can lift more but it is not the same to your body. I would train both ways sumo, and standard. Suite and no suite.

    As a note most of my friends have been injured by sumo over the past few years. Problems with hips seem to be common.

  14. #13
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    I disagree but then it all depends on your goals. Yes you can lift more but it is not the same to your body. I would train both ways sumo, and standard. Suite and no suite.

    As a note most of my friends have been injured by sumo over the past few years. Problems with hips seem to be common.
    I know man, I was just playin'. I have a ton of respect for people who compete raw. It's a true test of strength. As a matter of fact, I'm training with no gear right now myself.

    I agree with sumo and injuries. It puts a lot of stress on the hips, especially if you use a lot of speed. The muscles are compressed so quickly and have so much weight being stressed on them, the hips truly take a beating. This is actually one of the reasons I like briefs on sumo pulls.

  15. #14
    Senior Member KevinStarke's Avatar
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    I made a successfull transition, putting 80 lbs on my deadlift from conv in literally a month. Its all about form with sumo deads, get the form down and its all good.

  16. #15
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    Out of curiosity what are the form differences between conventional and sumo? Would it not be the same except for foot placement?

    Seems like a good time to get this question out of the way.
    Complication breeds desperation.

  17. #16
    Senior Member Sleepy Guy's Avatar
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    Sumo is shorter range of motion. With the legs wide your body is lower to the ground and you lift the weight to a much lower position. Almost like a partial deadlift.

    Sumo focus' more on the inner leg.

    For some people they are stronger on the conventional and others sumo. I myself am stronger on conventional.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepy Guy
    For some people they are stronger on the conventional and others sumo. I myself am stronger on conventional.
    I believe sumo is better for people who have stronger legs than back and convential is better for those with a stronger back than legs.


    EDIT: now it makes sense.
    Last edited by RedSpikeyThing; 09-24-2006 at 10:02 AM.

  19. #18
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    I believe sumo is better for people who have stronger legs than back and convential is better for those with a stronger legs than back.
    I think you meant to say conventional is better for people with a strong back; I agree with this. There's a lot of back involved in conventional.

    Sumo focus' more on the inner leg.
    I disagree with this. If properly executed, the sumo deadlift focuses the posterior chain. You'll notice that most wide stance squatters pull sumo because of the strength in their posterior chain.

  20. #19
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpikeyThing
    I believe sumo is better for people who have stronger legs than back and convential is better for those with a stronger legs than back.
    so which one would be better for those who have stronger legs than back?
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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyBoy
    I think you meant to say conventional is better for people with a strong back; I agree with this.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd
    so which one would be better for those who have stronger legs than back?
    Edited to make sense.

  22. #21
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinStarke
    I made a successfull transition, putting 80 lbs on my deadlift from conv in literally a month. Its all about form with sumo deads, get the form down and its all good.
    kstarke Im not a freak like you lol, putting another 80lbs would give me a 610 pull ahahah I wish. Anyways I will keep working on it until I nail form.
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

  23. #22
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    My coach insists that I should do conventional deadlifts, he said that sumo style is for people with longer legs and shorter torsos...but I feel like even though I'm a short guy (5'7'') my legs are relatively long and my torso short, with wide shoulders and short arms...but whatever, I'll do what the coach says. Short arms suck for deadlifts, but are great for benching!...

  24. #23
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Honestly, I'd probably stick with conventional unless you have serious plans to compete in powerlifting only. A conventional stance has more carry over into other sports/activities because your feet are in a more natural "power" stance. Throw some sumos in once in awhile for fun, though.

    And I'm saying this as a sumo guy slowly making the transition into conventional.
    Facebook - BW166 SQ585 BP405 DL660 CL310

  25. #24
    eater of food dw06wu's Avatar
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    it's definitely easier on the lower back but i think that as long as you are doin it right, the conventional is more beneficial for total muscular development...that said, training your box squat will help strengthen your hips for the movement. at first it will be harder to move the same weight, but with practice will probably explode over what your conventional pull was.
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  26. #25
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dw06wu
    it's definitely easier on the lower back but i think that as long as you are doin it right, the conventional is more beneficial for total muscular development...that said, training your box squat will help strengthen your hips for the movement. at first it will be harder to move the same weight, but with practice will probably explode over what your conventional pull was.
    That is what Im hoping for
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

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