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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:46 am 
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I have a question concerning the deadlift. Recently I had the problem in my training that my lower back (slightly) rounds when doing heavy deadlifts or doing more repetitions doing a set. I still do 5/3/1 and reached a point, where the chase for rep-records or AMRAP-sets got me to do one or two reps "too much".
I didn`t hurt myself, but in doing the programme I kind of forget my real goals to do strength training to keep my health and get stronger. (And of course I am really not doing the program in this case, because Wendler never recommends going to failure, so I don`t blame him or the program.)
The first thing I did was to go back with the weight, like Wendler recommends, but even now, I can still chase rep-records... I try to cut the reps to certain numbers to do only technical clean reps, but somehow I feel I have to fight my ambitions and I don`t have a coach or training-partner who could stop me, when the technical form starts to break. To be honest... the silly thing is I recognize my technical failure, but nevertheless try for the last rep.

I`m doing conventional deadlifts the way Rippetoe teaches them so one solution could be to change to sumo-deadlifts in the hope that the back won`t be the weakest link, when I go to the limit again.
Another solution could perhaps be to change the program and try to invent something like the autoregulation Mike Tuchscherer made popular and use the "rate of perceived exertion" system...

I hope you can share some of your training experience, how to deal with such an issue. Thank you very much for your help.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:31 am 
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Crow wrote:
I have a question concerning the deadlift. Recently I had the problem in my training that my lower back (slightly) rounds when doing heavy deadlifts or doing more repetitions doing a set. I still do 5/3/1 and reached a point, where the chase for rep-records or AMRAP-sets got me to do one or two reps "too much".


Back Rounding

Some upper back rounding is common with max load or when preforming the set to or near failure.

Down Side

The biggest problem performing a set to or near failure is technique usually falls apart.

The end result is you develop poor technique in a lift.

Insuring Good Technique

To insure you do Not develop poor technique, STOP the movement once your technique begin to deteriorate/fall apart.

Auxiliary Exercises

Movement that are similar in nature to an exercise can be pushed to failure as a means of increasing strength in a lift such as the Deadlift.

Exercises Recommendations: Good Mornings, 45 Degree Back Raise/Hip Extension, 90 Degree Back Raise/Hip Extension, Stiff Leg (slight break in knees) Deadlift, etc.

Trash It

Auxiliary exercises can be pushed to failure. That means finishing the movement, even if your technique falls apart.

Once you have "Trash it", preform another movement similar in nature to it in the next cycle.

Auxiliary exercises are "Recyclable". You can re-introduce them after a few cycles of movements similar in nature to them.

Cycle Example

Cycle 1: Good Mornings for a 3-6 week cycle.

Cycle 2: 45 Degree Back/Hip Extensions

...etc.


Quote:
I didn`t hurt myself, but in doing the programme I kind of forget my real goals to do strength training to keep my health and get stronger. (And of course I am really not doing the program in this case, because Wendler never recommends going to failure, so I don`t blame him or the program.)


Going To Failure

To maximize strength gains, at some point you need to push it to failure in your program.

That means if your training program is 3 weeks, make the third week all out.

Quote:
The first thing I did was to go back with the weight, like Wendler recommends, but even now, I can still chase rep-records... I try to cut the reps to certain numbers to do only technical clean reps, but somehow I feel I have to fight my ambitions and I don`t have a coach or training-partner who could stop me, when the technical form starts to break. To be honest... the silly thing is I recognize my technical failure, but nevertheless try for the last rep.


Use Your Brain

What you just stated was you know you are doing something stupid.

But you can help yourself.

You need someone at your training session to tell you when to stop.

You're smart enough to know when to stop. So, use your brain.


Quote:
I`m doing conventional deadlifts the way Rippetoe teaches them so one solution could be to change to sumo-deadlifts in the hope that the back won`t be the weakest link, when I go to the limit again.


Rippetoe

Mark is a bit clueless on some of the information he's provides on the deadlift.

One his article on using Olympic shoes with a higher heel was just stupid.

Also, the Conventional Deadlift is a "Pulling" movement.

The weight is broken off the ground with the lower back....NOT driving "Pushing the weight away from the platform.

Biomechanical Research by Dr. Tom McLaughlin has demonstrated that.


Quote:
Another solution could perhaps be to change the program and try to invent something like the autoregulation Mike Tuchscherer made popular and use the "rate of perceived exertion" system...


Auto Regulation

This amount to common sense, listen to your body.

Push it on days when you feel good.

Back off on days when things don't feel right.

Too many people write a training program down on paper and believe it's carved in stone and it has to be preformed that way.

Kenny Croxdale

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:55 am 
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Thank you very much for your input, Kenny. I feared its really just about me being more disciplined when doing deadlifts...

May I ask you about the idea to substitute deadlifts with sumo-deadlifts (at least for the heavy work). Could this be a good alternative for me?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:00 am 
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Powerlifting Ninja
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Crow wrote:
Thank you very much for your input, Kenny. I feared its really just about me being more disciplined when doing deadlifts...

May I ask you about the idea to substitute deadlifts with sumo-deadlifts (at least for the heavy work). Could this be a good alternative for me?


"Substitute Deadlifts"

By this do you mean performing Auxiliary Exercises?

If so, there are a variety of exercises. Sumo Deadlifts being one of them.

I noted other in the previous post.

Auxiliary Exercises

Dr. Tom McLaughlin has a PhD in Biomechanics and is a former Powerlifter.

When it comes to training for Powerlifting (anything), McLaughlin recommends using Auxiliary Exercises that are similar to the competition lifts.

This allows you to at some point in your training push the Auxiliary Exercise to failure.

Dr. Jake Wilson/University of Tampa Human Performance Lab

Research by Wilson demonstrated the one of the keys to increasing strength is pushing and exercise to failure.

However, going to failure need to be limited.

Wilson's finding demonstrated that going to failure even at the expense of getting the weight up, even with poor technique was a major factor in developing strength.

Again, the down side is poor technique is developed.

Thus, you only want to use Auxiliary Exercises, Not competition movements.

Training For Technique

McLaughlin recommends training the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift for technique be performed for heavy singles with 85% plus.

That due to the...

Muscle Firing Sequence

The muscle firing sequence in an exercise changes with the percentage of load.

That means preforming a Deadlift with 70% of your 1 Repetition Max is different than with 90%.

Training with near max load for a contest max insure that closely simulating the same muscle firing sequence, The Law of Specificity.

Westside Powerlifting

The foundation of Westside is based on the Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifting Program.

The same protocol of McLaughlin is used...

Use Auxiliary Exercise to increase strength.

Changes in exercises are more effective than in loading schemes to improve muscle strength.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24832974

This demonstrated two of the four method were most effective at increasing strength...

1) Varied Intensity-Varied Exercise

2) Constant Intensity-Varied Exercise

The common denominator being "Varied Exercise".

Take Home Message

A big key to increasing strength is to...

1) Use Auxiliary Exercises to increase strength.

2) Change the Auxiliary Exercises every training cycle, 3-6 weeks.

The Bulgarians found that simply changing the food or hand position changed the exercises.

Deadlift Example: Sumo Deadlift vs Conventional Deadift

3) Develop Technique via heavy singles with 85% plus of 1 Repetition Max.

When your technique falters or your tire, Stop.

Continuing develops poor technique.

Kenny Croxdale


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:47 am 
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Thanks again, Kenny.

What I really meant was, really doing sumo-deadlifts instead of conventional deadlifts (as a main lift).

I`ve always been the opinion that conventional deadlifts were the way to go for my goals (staying healthy, developing strength, fighting any muscular dysbalances I might have accumulated in playing volleyball for nearly thirty years). But recently I came across the recommendation to use sumo-deadlifts "as the standard deadlift variation".

The reasoning was that the weakest link doing conventional deadlifts will always be the lower back that starts to round under heavy load.
Compared to this, it was argued, the sumo-deadlift is even harder from the floor, so a weight thats too heavy rather doesn`t move at all whereas it could be grinded up with a rounded lower back with the conventional deadlift.
The back in the sumo-deadlift will be a bit more upright and thus be in a stronger position putting the legs/hips in the weaker position in the lift. So the risk of an injury shifts to the hips/legs instead of the back. And the lift could perhaps be trained more often and/or heavier.

So I wanted to know if these points are correct or if sumo-deadlifts aren`t the way to go for my goals? After all I`m not a powerlifter (even though I`d rather look there for my training than anywhere else) so pulling the highest possible weight, no matter which variation used shouldn`t be my aim.

I consider myself still a beginner:
Age: 43
Height: 183cm
Weight: 81kg
Latest performance in the 5/3/1 week:
Press 1x55kg
Bench Press 2x75kg
Squat 2x115kg
Deadlift 2x122,5kg

Until now I concentrated on the main compound lifts (Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Row, Press, Chin up/ Lat Pulldown) and for a few cycles I substituted the assistance for the mainlifts with things like Dips, 45° Back Extensions, Bulgarian Split Squats, Incline Bench Press or DB versions of the Presses (instead of repeating the mainlifts for 5x10).
I really don`t think I need some fancy assistance or accessory excercises at this stage of my development... I just need to work the mainlifts in a reasonable way to learn and reinforce proper technique.
I don`t know if it`s a stupid idea, but at the moment I do "paused squats", "paused deadlifts" and "paused bench press" in addition to the mainlifts, which I like, because I can concentrate on proper form on the weak positions in these lifts. So the plan after resetting the weights now looks like this:
Press 5/3/1
Paused Bench Press 6x4
Supine Grip Pulldown 3x10
Cable Row 3x10

Deadlifts 5/3/1
Paused Squats 6x4
Ab work

Bench Press 5/3/1
Seated DB Shoulder Press 5x5 ramp to topset
DB Row 3x10
Pulldown 3x10

Squats 5/3/1
Paused Deadlifts 3x4
Ab work

I train these alternating 3x/week and play volleyball 1x/week.

Any suggestions/recommendations concerning the program or other aspects are appreciated! And thanks again, Kenny, for posting these valuable informations!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:19 am 
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Powerlifting Ninja
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Posts: 1047
Crow wrote:
Thanks again, Kenny.

What I really meant was, really doing sumo-deadlifts instead of conventional deadlifts (as a main lift).


Sumo Deadlift

Pulling Sumo is fine.


Quote:
I`ve always been the opinion that conventional deadlifts were the way to go for my goals (staying healthy, developing strength, fighting any muscular dysbalances I might have accumulated in playing volleyball for nearly thirty years). But recently I came across the recommendation to use sumo-deadlifts "as the standard deadlift variation".

The reasoning was that the weakest link doing conventional deadlifts will always be the lower back that starts to round under heavy load.


Recommendation

Whoever believes that the Sumo be utilized "as the standard deadlift" is clueless. Oh what the hell, whoever recommended Sumo based on that analysis is a fv(k idiot.

Back Rounding

Rounding of the lower back does NOT necessarily make it a poor exercise.

Where the back round determines if it is good or bad.

Upper Back Rounding

This is natural Conventional Deadlifters. There is NO problem in doing this.

It actually decreases the torque by maintaining the bar closer to the Center of Gravity, COG

Lower Back Rounding

This places undue stress on the lower back. It's definitely not good.

A Strong Case For the Rounded Back Deadlift
http://www.t-nation.com/training/strong ... k-deadlift

This article spells it out.

Weakness

The rounding of the upper does NOT mean the back is weak.

The body's natural survival response will shift the load to the strongest muscle group, in a push or pull movement.

As I noted above and is stated in the article, rounding the back enables you to pull the weight in closer to the Center of Gravity.

The further bar is from your Center of Gravity, the greater the torque. In plain English, torque magnifies the force/weight on the bar.


Strong Back

Lifters with STRONG back will are going to round.

Volleyball Example

With the win on the line, do you set the ball the weakest or strongest spiker?


Quote:
Compared to this, it was argued, the sumo-deadlift is even harder from the floor, so a weight thats too heavy rather doesn`t move at all whereas it could be grinded up with a rounded lower back with the conventional deadlift.



Making The Lift

So, it's better NOT to even be able to break the weight off the floor than to grind it out.

Based on that case scenario, the Sumo is Wrong choice for this lifter...since they cannot break the weight off the floor with a Sumo and can make it with a Conventional.


Quote:
The back in the sumo-deadlift will be a bit more upright and thus be in a stronger position putting the legs/hips in the weaker position in the lift. So the risk of an injury shifts to the hips/legs instead of the back. And the lift could perhaps be trained more often and/or heavier.


Sumo Deadlift

It is a Quad Dominate movement.

The muscle firing sequence is "Legs-Back". Leg strength is Vital to breaking the weight off the floor.

Leg Injury

So, in your analysis it is better to injure the leg/legs rather than the back.

Here's an interesting concept, Don't injury the legs or the back.

Conventional Deadlift

The back is vital in this movement.

The muscle firing sequence is "Back-Legs-Back".

Lifter with a strong back will pull more with a Conventions.

Lifters with weak back will pull more the Sumo.

Building A Stronger Back

Avoiding exercise that work the lower back is definitely the best method of maintaining a weak back.

For those who want to increase back strength, then movements like the Conventional Deadlift or exercises similar in nature need to be part of there program.

Training The Sumo Deadlift More Often

Due to the nature of any deadlift, it is hard to train it often.

The key to increasing muscle mass and strength is recovery, not how often you train it.

A novice may be able to Sumo and perhaps Convetional Deadlift a couple of time a week.

However, you rarely see advance lifter deadlift more than once a week.


Quote:
So I wanted to know if these points are correct or if sumo-deadlifts aren`t the way to go for my goals? After all I`m not a powerlifter (even though I`d rather look there for my training than anywhere else) so pulling the highest possible weight, no matter which variation used shouldn`t be my aim.


Sumo Deadlift

This is a good exercise. It will help increase your overall strength.

The prime movement being the legs, minimizing the back involvement.


Conventional Deadlift

This is a good exercise, as well.

The emphasis being on the posterior chain (erectors, hamstrings and glutes)

Avoiding back exercises so you don't injure your back insure a lower back strength imbalance which makes your more prone to a low back injury.


Quote:
That makes no sense.

I consider myself still a beginner:
Age: 43
Height: 183cm
Weight: 81kg
Latest performance in the 5/3/1 week:
Press 1x55kg
Bench Press 2x75kg
Squat 2x115kg
Deadlift 2x122,5kg


Beginner

Anything and everything works for a beginner.

However, as noted in my previous post, varying exercises is one of the keys to making progress.


Quote:
Until now I concentrated on the main compound lifts (Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Row, Press, Chin up/ Lat Pulldown) and for a few cycles I substituted the assistance for the mainlifts with things like Dips, 45° Back Extensions, Bulgarian Split Squats, Incline Bench Press or DB versions of the Presses (instead of repeating the mainlifts for 5x10).
I really don`t think I need some fancy assistance or accessory excercises at this stage of my development... I just need to work the mainlifts in a reasonable way to learn and reinforce proper technique.
I don`t know if it`s a stupid idea, but at the moment I do "paused squats", "paused deadlifts" and "paused bench press" in addition to the mainlifts, which I like, because I can concentrate on proper form on the weak positions in these lifts. So the plan after resetting the weights now looks like this:
Press 5/3/1
Paused Bench Press 6x4
Supine Grip Pulldown 3x10
Cable Row 3x10

Deadlifts 5/3/1
Paused Squats 6x4
Ab work

Bench Press 5/3/1
Seated DB Shoulder Press 5x5 ramp to topset
DB Row 3x10
Pulldown 3x10

Squats 5/3/1
Paused Deadlifts 3x4
Ab work

I train these alternating 3x/week and play volleyball 1x/week.

Any suggestions/recommendations concerning the program or other aspects are appreciated! And thanks again, Kenny, for posting these valuable informations!


Your Program

This will work.

However, you need to change something with your exercise about every 6 weeks.

Kenny Croxdale

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Thanks TimD.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Thanks for explaining these things to me!

I won`t defend the theories other people put on the internet, though. :wink: In case you are interested: http://www.powerliftingtowin.com/powerlifting-technique-deadlift-form/ I think that was the article (but he wrote several on his homepage, concerning technique)...

I was searching for a solution to my problem and you provided me with a huge amount of good stuff to help me with it.

I will read it again several times to let it sink in, but for now, I know I can keep up with my program, keep pulling conventional and I will change my assistance-excercises every six weeks.

Thank you very much!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:22 pm 
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I wish there was a Kenny Croxdale, android app.

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A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
Albert Einstein

Ouch!
Digger


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:31 pm 
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I prefer Conventional Deadlifts for two reasons:

1) Sumo Deadlifts feel a lot like a wide, shallow squat. They work the same muscle groups in a similar way. Conventional Deadlifts have a different emphasis. Including them in my program along with squats and other lifts makes me a more versatile/ well rounded lifter.

2) I think Conventional Deadlifts have more carryover to real world tasks like moving a couch.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:01 pm 
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Posts: 1047
Crow wrote:

Deadlift Form: Sumo vs Conventional, Round Back vs Flat Back
http://www.powerliftingtowin.com/powerl ... lift-form/


Overall

The article is well written and he makes some good point.

Some of those points are one that I mentioned.

However, some of his point are incorrect.

"Rounded Pulling Analysis"

In this section, he mentions "Lower Back Rounding".

Rounding the lower back is a bad thing.

Rounding the upper back is acceptable.

Ironically, he provide a picture of Dave Hansen trying to finish a 705 lb deadlift.

Hansen's upper back is round, NOT his lower back.

Conventional Hamstring Strength

Let's examine this statement...

"With a conventional deadlift stance, most people don’t have the isometric lower back strength nor do they have the hamstring strength to break the weight from the floor while holding their back flat."

The hamstrings are instrumental alone with the back in breaking the weight off the floor.

Conventional Deadlifter have very strong hamstrings and backs.

1) Due to their genetics.

2) Due to that the Conventional Deadlift overload the hamstrings and back. This lead to an increase in hamstring/back strength and size.

As I stated in the previous post and he did in the article, Sumo is a Quad Dominate movement. It minimizes the hamstring and back involvement.

Deadlift 5 Plates Like a Champion
http://wannabebig.com/training/deadlift ... -champion/

This article provide a more in depth examination of the weakness of the deadlift and how to correct them.

"My Recommendation"

His talks about playing to your strength be it Conventional or Sumo.

Then goes into an...

Oxymoron Statement

"...My personal recommendation is to use the sumo deadlift."

Quote:
I was searching for a solution to my problem and you provided me with a huge amount of good stuff to help me with it.

I will read it again several times to let it sink in, but for now, I know I can keep up with my program, keep pulling conventional and I will change my assistance-excercises every six weeks.


Varying Exercises

Just vary your back exercises, all muscle group movement.

Quote:
Thank you very much!


You're welcome.

Kenny Croxdale

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:45 pm 
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Posts: 111
Kenny Croxdale wrote:
...
Deadlift 5 Plates Like a Champion
http://wannabebig.com/training/deadlift ... -champion/

This article provide a more in depth examination of the weakness of the deadlift and how to correct them.


As a disclaimer... I know my whole body is the weak point... but after reading the article I suspect that the glutes and hamstrings are my main problem? Or am I too unexperienced to care about anything like that? ("Majoring in the minors" like Wendler likes to say?)

Quote:
Varying Exercises

Just vary your back exercises, all muscle group movement.


Just to clarify this for me... I keep my main exercises (the ones I train in the 5/3/1 fashion) and I should or can also keep them as "assistance" where I train in a different rep range (say 3-5 x 5-10 or as paused variation). But I vary all the other excercises like rows, pulldowns, ab work, back raises and so on?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:38 am 
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Matt Z wrote:
I prefer Conventional Deadlifts for two reasons:

1) Sumo Deadlifts feel a lot like a wide, shallow squat. They work the same muscle groups in a similar way. Conventional Deadlifts have a different emphasis. Including them in my program along with squats and other lifts makes me a more versatile/ well rounded lifter.

2) I think Conventional Deadlifts have more carryover to real world tasks like moving a couch.


Thank you for your post. (I didn`t mean to overlook it.)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:34 pm 
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I just wanted to give a little feedback from my last sessions...

After resetting the weight, as I mentioned above, and all the input I got from this thread, I tried to control myself better and tried to use the "RPE-System" to help me, instead of chasing for rep-records.
The last squat-day (5/3/1-week) I did 5 reps with good technique (RPE 9). Then, I lowered the weight (5%) and did 3x5 with good technique before hitting RPE 9 again in the last set.
Next session I missed the last rep in the 5+ week for the Press (new cycle) and did 3x4 good sets with 5% less weight without missing a rep using the method above.
Today was deadlift-day (5+ week; still pulling conventional) and I limited the set to five good reps. Then I was able to do 3x5 with 5% less weight (like above); all of them with good technique (had someone watching).

At the moment I`m quite happy the way it works... Less pressure to get a rep record, more volume at a high(er) intensity with good technique. Lets see how the next sessions will be...


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:50 am 
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Tried Sumo-DL the second time ever... pulled 130kg which is 7.5kg more than my best conventional DL without training the lift at all... :eek:

I guess I have another excercise in my "toolbox"...

Edit: I also tried your suggestion to practise good technique with singles around 85% from my calculated 1RM... Felt good... Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Jumping in late here, all is not black and white.

There are varieties to sumo, anywhere from very wide to very narrow with just enough room to get your arms down.

One of the strongest lifters I know pulls with a modified sumo, feet just wide enough to get his arms through.

I tried that yesterday and really liked it. For some reason it always feels right to set up with my feet out near the knurling - just a bit more narrow than a squat stance. My trainer demonstrated to me how this added at least an inch to my range of motion, and kept trying to get me to narrow my stance. But when I did, I couldn't break it off the floor. Finally the light bulb went off and I put my arms inside, sumo style, and it felt perfectly natural.


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