Tag Archives: deadlift

Calgary Barbell on YouTube does the best form checks!

Aside from being a strong-as-hell powerlifter from Canada, Bryce Krawczyk of Calgary Barbell also provides the best form checks on YouTube for powerlifting-focused lifters looking to improve their squat, bench and deadlift. Below is an example of what I mean.

Watch more of his videos at his YouTube channel.

242.5kg/535lbs Deadlift PR + Cue That Helped Me

Yesterday, I pulled a 242.5kg/535lbs deadlift PR shown below. My body weight is around 85kg/187lbs right now.

The deadlift session before this one, I failed at that same weight right under my knees twice. Then I happened to watch the following video on Omar Isuf’s YouTube channel.

While I’m not a fan of changing technique when I’m going for maximal weights, I decided to try out what he’s talking about and it seems to have benefited me almost immediately. I certainly didn’t miraculously get stronger over the weekend and I felt pretty good during both training sessions. Needless to say, I’ll continue to pull with my lats engaged in the way Jeremy Hamilton explains in the video and hopefully continue to set new PRs in the future.

Eric Cressey is a Bad Motherfucker!

Probably the most knowledgeable guy that posts shit on the Internet about shoulder issues is Eric Cressey. Dealing with some shoulder issues myself from time to time, I have gotten a ton of valuable information from the things he’s written and can only recommend it for anyone with a shoulder problem.

He’s also strong! At around 165lbs (give or take, no idea what he weighs exactly right now, but he competed at 165), here he is pulling 600lbs for 3 repetitions on the conventional deadlift.

A couple days prior to the video above, he posted this video of him pulling 550lbs for 5!

Seeing him pull those numbers at such a low body weight probably makes you want some deadlift tips from the man. Here are those.

But most of his value for you will come from the tips he gives on his web site and other places, i.e. his epic shoulder savers series of articles on T-Nation.

Jonnie Candito Placed 3rd at IPF World’s

At the IPF Raw World Championship, United States powerlifter Jonnie Candito placed 3rd to get a bronze medal in the 83kg category. His lifts were: 255kg/562lbs squat, 145kg/319.5lbs bench press, and 282.5kg/622.8lbs deadlift. This got him a  682.5kg/1504.7lbs total! He got a bronze medal for his deadlift and his total.

Check out Jonnie’s YouTube channel here. He provides some very valuable information about lifting there and also showcases his strength in many of his videos. He is definitely one of my favorite fitness YouTubers.

Congrats Jonnie! You’re a beast!

240kg/529lbs Deadlift (New 1RM)

I hit a new conventional barbell deadlift personal record this past week. Here is the video.

New Squat and Deadlift PRs

In the last week or so, I hit two PRs. A 192.5kg/424lbs back squat and a 235kg/518lbs at a body weight of 85kg/187lbs. The videos are below.

Lifting Heavy as a Woman

Many women (and girls) believe they will get bulky from lifting heavy weights. In the video below, female figure competitor Kelsea Koenreich discusses whether or not this is true (and why).


No, women will not get bulky from lifting heavy weights. Diet and hormones play a much larger role in muscular development.

Sumo Deadlift Mobility

The sumo deadlift is a little more intricate and technical than the conventional deadlift, which I have covered more in depth in this article. I recently started using the sumo deadlift in my own training and came to find that my hip mobility wasn’t quite as good as it should be for an optimal pulling position with the sumo setup. I will outline below what I did to begin solving the problem! I still have to improve further, but I’m on the right track and seeing great improvements already.

How to Pull Sumo

I’m not going to write out a full tutorial here, but if you’re interested in how a sumo deadlift should be pulled, read this.

You can also look up Dan Green deadlift videos on YouTube, if you’re a visual learner.

Sumo Deadlift Mobility Demands

The sumo deadlift places a great demand on hip mobility and also ankle mobility. I’ve covered both topics in the linked articles, but I’m going to just give you a few mobility drills and stretches I have personally found helpful in getting into a better sumo deadlift position.

These stretches are what I specifically use for the sumo deadlift position as part of my daily stretching and warmup routines. You should still be stretching your other problem areas as well.

Super Frog Stretch

This is a great way to stretch your hips from Kelly Starrett (Supple Leopard). I’d recommend doing this after lifting and on your off days. Ideally you should stretch your problem areas at least once per day.

Wide Stance Pause Squats

These will stretch your hips a lot in what I guess you can call a weighted dynamic stretch. Take a stance that’s as wide as you can go, while still reaching parallel. Pause at the bottom for the stretch to happen.

I usually do these toward the end of my workouts with very light weight.

Compress Your Hips

Using a Voodoo floss band, wrap your hip(s) up. Then do some hip stretches (i.e. the couch stretch or a half kneeling hip flexor stretch), light sumo deadlift (this will give you a great chance to open up the hips in the exact position you’re trying to improve) and/or light wide stance pause squats. Below is a video showing WTF I’m talking about.

Floss Your Hips

This is basically a hip flexor stretch using a resistance band. I do this as part of my warmup routine.

Mobilize Your Ankles

This is my favorite drill to improve ankle mobility, which – along with better hip mobility – will put you in a better position for sumo pulling.

I usually do this briefly as part of my warmup and then spend another 4-5mins on it after the workout as part of my stretching at the end of the workout. How much time you should spend on it depends on how tight your ankles are.

And that’s about it! I have to add that I’m not a doctor or a personal trainer, so take what advice you find helpful with that in mind. As always, I’m just sharing my personal experience and hope it benefits you in some way.

Guinness Deadlift Record

In the above video, powerlifter Chris Duffin (check out his YouTube channel here) sets the Guinness World Record for most repetitions with 405lbs in 60 seconds. He hit 40 reps. Holy shit this guy is strong!

The Beginning of My Garage Gym

I decided to cancel my commercial gym membership and begin building a home gym in the garage. Below is what I have so far.

A power rack.

It’s a PowerMark 475R, which is basically a rebrand of one of the Body Solid racks. I also got a plate loaded lat pulldown & low row combo to attach to the rack.


The type of rack you want/need will depend on a lot of factors. Personally, I wanted a relatively cheap full rack with good reviews and the ability to attach a lat pulldown for some assistance movements I enjoy doing. I also wanted a pull up bar, which is actually attached to most power racks at this point. This particular rack fulfilled all those requirements and is also rated up to 360kg/794lbs, which I won’t be squatting any time soon (if ever haha).

A barbell and mats for deadlift.

I got the regular barbell from strengthshop.de to get me started. It’s a nice barbell with a price I can easily live with. If I lived in the US, I’d probably start off with this barbell. (Not if I was into Oly lifting.) Rogue has a variety of nice barbells too.

In the future, I will also be getting a power bar most likely and some specialty bars (i.e. hex bar, football bar, swiss bar, log, safety squat bar, etc.) … SOON.

I went with cheap spring collars too, but I think I’ll also pick up some lock jaw collars for convenience.


The 12mm mats I got aren’t going to hold up very long, so I’ll be buying some plywood for deadlift. Depending on what kind of lifting you do, you’ll need anything from plywood to thick mats (horse stall mats are supposedly a great option), or even an Olympic lifting platform. That is if you want to protect your floor. I’ll be buying some plywood most likely.

Pictured below is the deadlift jack I made myself out of pipe. I’ll do a separate article on how to make it in the future.


Other misc items.

What I already owned: Oly lifting shoes, some bands, a lifting belt, lacrosse balls, PVC pipe and an ab wheel.

What I bought: Plate tree, weights (obviously), some extra attachments for the lat pulldown and an adjustable bench. Also a small space heater.

Future plans.

Hopefully sometime this year an actual room will be built within the garage for the equipment. I will continue to invest in the home gym with other ‘toys’ (i.e. dumbbells, chains, more bands, etc.) until I have everything I want or run out of space.

Overall costs so far.

Everything combined cost around 1500€ (slightly over $2k). With my gym membership costing 40€ / $55 per month, plus another 40€ / $55 for gas per month, I’m at 80€ / $110 spent each month to attend a commercial gym (where I have to share, and sometimes wait for, equipment). That means in less than two years my gym will have been a good investment. I intend to train much longer than that.

The costs will continue to go up I’m sure as I buy more equipment (a lot of which was not available to me at the commercial gym), so I will be obligated to train until I die!

Where to buy equipment…

There are quite a few decent racks available on Amazon.com, if you live in the United States. If you want excellent quality, go with Rogue (available in the US, Canada and Europe) or EliteFTS (US only as far as I know).

Strengthshop.co.uk is excellent if you live in the UK. Strengthshop.de is excellent if you live in Germany (I bought my barbell, bench and weight plate tree there). They also just opened a US store at StrengthshopUSA.com, which looks pretty good.

HeliSports.com (I believe they cover most of Europe) is where I got most of my stuff. They have good quality items for low prices.

Obviously there are many other stores with great reputations you could buy from.

ChelseaLifts First Powerlifting Meet Video

Chelsea Lifts is a fairly popular YouTube fitness channel with close to 9,000 subscribers. Here is her first powerlifting meet. She bench pressed 135lbs and deadlifted 270lbs. Congrats to her!

She’s sponsored by Citadel Nutrition now. Some of their supplements, if you’re interested: Tier 1 Pre-Workout | Fish Oil

Monsterettes – Powerlifting Women Video

These powerlifting ladies are strong! They’re the Monsterettes from Monster Garage Gym.

Omar Isuf 500 Pound Deadlift Challenge WINNER

Below is the video featuring the top 5 contestants of the Omar Isuf 500lbs (227kg) deadlift challenge for max reps @ a body weight under 200lbs (91kg). The winner banged out 17 reps!

Tom Martin won the challenge. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Suitcase Deadlift Exercise Tutorial

This is an awesome exercise I recently started to include with my deadlift training. Here is a video of how to do it.

Special notes:

I would do it without straps in order to get some grip work in.

Keep your core stable. If you can’t stop from leaning to one side, lighten the load and work your way back up.

You can do the same movement with a dumbbell, kettlebell or any other object you can grab with one hand. With that being said, the barbell wobbles more and forces your core to engage more, which is why I recommend using the barbell variation of the one arm suitcase deadlift when possible.

I personally use this as a supplemental lift during a lower body workout (toward the end of the workout or even the very end). I like it a lot. Give it a try, if you haven’t!

Mike Tuchscherer – 800lbs x 3 Deadlift

Watch powerlifter Mike Tuchscherer deadlift 800lbs for three reps in the following video.

I’m currently using his Reactive Training Manual to structure my own workouts and can only recommend it for other intermediate and advanced lifters.

Jonnie Candito 606lbs Deadlift @ 180lbs

Below is a video of powerlifter Jonnie Candito (check out his YouTube channel here) deadlifting 275kg/606lbs at a body weight of 82kg/180lbs in competition. That’s almost 3.4 x body weight, which is massive to say the least, and he made it look easy. Did I mention he’s only 21 years old?

Man in Wheelchair Attempts 500lbs Deadlift

This one’s from Omar Isuf’s YouTube channel. Pretty cool.

The 500lbs deadlift challenge video is below.

So You Think You Can Deadlift? – Video Series

This is an awesome video series that just came out from EliteFTS about the barbell deadlift. Both the conventional and sumo deadlift are covered. Powerlifter Matt Wenning teaches an amateur strongman how to deadlift with proper technique and also offers him some assistance work options to target his weaknesses.

Tools you need to deadlift: A barbell (a Texas Power Bar is nice) with collars, a floor (possibly with mats or a deadlift platform) and weights (possibly plates covered in rubber or bumper plates). Lifting chalk and straps can help as well.  You may also choose to wear a powerlifting belt. Other optional items: Deadlift jack (Rogue has a couple), bands and chains. A safety squat bar can be nice for Good Mornings.

The videos are below. I’m not sure why the first video is 18 minutes long and the others are only 2-5 minutes long, but maybe Dave Tate has some bizarre reason for it? Either way, the information is terrific.

Video of the Week & Reverse Grip Bench Article

Video of the Week

This one’s from Jonnie Candito (US national level powerlifter) about hips shooting up in the deadlift. It’s quality information and he’s also trolling CT Fletcher a little bit, because the footage he uses for the bad example is taken from a CT Fletcher training video.


Reverse Grip Bench Article

This one is a pretty good read about the reverse grip bench press. A movement I’ve considered doing myself and will try in the future for sure.

Master the Reverse-Grip Bench by John Phung


Deadlift Assistance Work

Elliott Hulse from strengthcamp posted a video today about two powerful deadlift isolation movements that will improve your posture, set a great foundation that will allow for a mechanically sound deadlift movement pattern, and one of them (the underhand static barbell hold) will also improve your grip strength. Below is the video.

The movement he demonstrates in the video is basically a Prone Cobra, which you can do daily. The underhand static hold with a barbell he also describes (but doesn’t show in this particular video) will be a little more taxing on your grip, so I tend to do those once a week on a day when I don’t deadlift. For me, this is squat day.

To go along with all of that, I’ve put together a very quick list of some deadlift assistance movements that have been helpful to myself and might also benefit you. Read my Deadlift 101 article for a basic rundown of the barbell deadlift basics first, then add these movements into your assistance work at your own discretion.


The Front Squat

The front squat is my favorite compound assistance movement for both the deadlift and back squat, because it forces you into a position that requires good hip mobility, good thoracic flexiblity and generally good posture overall. It’s an up-and-down movement, whereas you sit back somewhat with the back squat (moreso with a low bar squat, but also with an Olympic style high bar squat), and with the bar loaded on the front it really puts a lot of stress on your anterior core (your abs) to keep an upright torso. Hip mobility – and also ankle mobility – are tested by this movement too, because the legs have to go somewhere, when you’re squatting straight down.

The result is that people with poor posture are generally unable to front squat properly. It quickly teaches you where you’re f#cked up. There are a couple paragraphs and videos about the front squat in my Squat 101 article, which I would suggest you read. For this particular article today, I’ll leave you with a basic tutorial video for the front squat.


The Cable Pull Through

It makes your glutes and hamstrings stronger.


Glute Ham Raise

It (also) makes your glutes and hamstrings stronger.


Good Morning

Jordan Syatt actually did a great article about this exercise here. I also like the band good morning shown below.


Hip Thrust

The barbell hip thrust is another great way to target your glutes (and the rest of your posterior chain). I’ll let Kellie Davis teach you about them.

The short bridge is like a body weight hip thrust, which you can pretty much do every day. The barbell hip thrust will be more taxing. Get your hump on!


Ab Wheel Rollout

A stronger anterior core can help build a stronger deadlift.

Bro science ‘proof’ that ab wheel rollouts work: Here we have Konstantin Konstantinov doing ab wheel rollouts with weight on his back. And here we have Konstantin Konstantinov deadlifting 413kg/910lbs without a belt.


Standing Cable Crunch

Another great ab exercise. They’re Jonnie Candito‘s favorite ab exercise for a reason!


Obviously, all sorts of rows will have tons of carryover to your deadlift as well, but the exercises above are some you may not have thought about yet. As always, this is all just my opinion. Do what you think is best for you!

Natalya Kuzmina is a Strong Woman – Videos

Female powerlifter Natalya Kuzmina from Kazakhstan recently hit IPF world records in the squat, bench, deadlift, and total for women at 84kg/185lbs at IPF Worlds in Russia. Her 560kg/1232lbs world record total consisted of a 210kg/462lbs squat, a 125kg/275lbs bench press, and a 225kg/495lbs deadlift.

The most impressive part about all of that? Those aren’t even her personal records! She actually beat all of those lifts at the Kazakhstan Classic Championships back in March 2013. Below are the videos of the lifts that got her an incredible total of 597.5kg/1317lbs.


225kg/496lbs Squat


132.5kg/292lbs Bench


240kg/529lbs Deadlift


Do I even lift?

Deadlift Basics

Other basics write-ups: Squat | Bench Press | OHP | Barbell Row


Today was deadlift day for my training program, which is now a hybrid of 5/3/1 and The Cube Method (simply for reference), so I decided to do a write up on the movement. Whether you’re new or have deadlifted before, you might learn some things. This is knowledge I’ve acquired over the last three years that I have been deadlifting regularly. The combination of this knowledge and my efforts in the gym has helped me pull 215kg/474lbs (as of 6/11/13) at a body weight of 85kg/187lbs. My goal for 2013 is to deadlift 230kg/507lbs by the end of the year. We’ll see if I get there. 🙂

(Tip: Read Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe for an in depth description of the deadlift.)

In this article, I’m just going to give you some videos to watch for the barbell deadlift movement. Typing up everything would be far too tedious for my aching hands.


The Deadlift Setup

From Mark Rippetoe himself: The Deadlift Setup

An interesting tweak  to engage your lats more and keep your arms straight, courtesy of Jonnie Candito: How to Engage Your Lats When You Grab the Bar


The Pull

Candito goes through the entire deadlift process in the following video:

Deadlift 101 by Brandon Lilly is another awesome one.

From Mark Rippetoe: Deadlift Back Angles (especially valuable information to keep in mind for sets with multiple reps)

Also a great playlist about the deadlift: Deadlift Playlist on YouTube

Elliott Hulse teaching Omar Isuf how to deadlift: How to Rebuild Your Deadlift

How to Deadlift (another good video)


How to Grip the Bar

Your best bet is the double overhand grip. Use this until weights get too heavy for you to handle with the overhand grip. Make sure you’re gripping the bar properly during the deadlift. This also applies to other pulling movements. Video on that: Rip on Grip (Bonus: Gripping the bar in this manner will reduce callus formation during pull movements like the deadlift.)

Once your overhand grip gives out, improve your grip by using lifting chalk. If your gym does not allow the use of lifting chalk, try an alternative like Liquid Grip or an eco ball.

When your chalked overhand grip no longer does the trick, you have three valid options: Use a mixed grip, use straps and/or use a hook grip. I’ll give you a quick breakdown of the positives/negatives of each option.

Mixed Grip: This is where one hand is in an overhand/pronated grip and the other hand is in an underhand/supinated grip. The positive is that you can pull more weight like this than with a double overhand grip. The negative is that it increases your chance of tearing a bicep.

Using Straps: This is where you’d use lifting straps to help you hang onto the barbell when weight gets too heavy for a double overhand grip (with chalk or a chalk alternative). The positive is that you can use more weight without grip being a limiting factor. You’re also much less likely to tear a bicep than you are with a mixed grip. The negative is that you’ll have to do extra grip training and that you can’t use straps in a powerlifting competition obviously.

Hook Grip: The hook grip is a very good option. The only negative aspect is that it will be painful to get used to the hook grip and it’s not too feasible for most people to use this grip on high repetition deadlift sets. I would say that it’s a valid option for pulling lower rep sets and possibly can be used in competition as well.

Below is a video from Jonnie Candito on why he thinks you should avoid the mixed grip. I say make your own decision, but make it an educated one!


Sumo Deadlift

I don’t pull this way, but many people do. Here are some videos relating to the sumo deadlift.

Sumo vs Conventional Deadlift from strengthcamp

How to Sumo Deadlift with Mark Bell

How to Perform Sumo Deadlifts by Bret Contreras


Trap Bar Deadlift

Again, not something I do… but it’s an option. Video: Trap Bar Deadlift from Testosterone Nation


Stiff Legged Deadlift (SLDL)

This one’s from Candito!


Other variations you might want to look into would be block pulls, rack pulls, deficit deadlift, and Romanian Deadlift.


As always, this is just my take on things. Now go rip heavy shit off the ground!