Gerrit Badenhorst Deadlift tips

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    Gerrit Badenhorst Deadlift tips

    "The Dead Lift can be divided into three distinct parts;
    1. The start off the floor
    2. The knee
    3. The lockout.

    In this article I'll deal with the start off the floor because its most important part of the Deadlift. First of all, most sumo pullers will find that the initial pull off the floor will be the most difficult part of the lift and for many conventional pullers, the start is usually the strongest part.

    If you find the initial pull is the part of the lift that needs the least work, I say read on and listen to a former world record holder at this :-). If the pull off the floor can be further improved the extra power and speed from the bottom, may be enough to get the bar past the sticking point later in the lift.

    Let's examine some exercises and techniques that can help us snap that bar off the floor. The best exercise for power off the floor and perhaps the best assistance move for the dead lift is the deadlift stood on a block. Stand on a sturdy platform about 2-4 inches high (a 50 kg plate is ideal), that allows you to lower the bar without crushing your feet. Dead lifting from this position will develop your range of motion over a greater distance, especially the start. I recommend this one be used as your main deadlift assistance exercise up to 6-8 weeks prior to a contest. Break into this slowly as the increased stretch maybe taxing, weights around 70% of your normal dead lift for 3 sets of 6 are ideal. Even Sumo lifters should use this one, as it will build a high degree of back strength, which is important, no matter what style you use.

    The lats, teres major and minor etc. are valuable to the pull too. Exercises for those muscles consist of pulling the arms back as in rowing and pulling the arms down as in chins and lat pulldowns. The main contribution of the lats in the dead lift is to keep the arms in and back during the pull. So it would stand to reason that an execs that pulls the arms back, like various rowing moves would be preferable over pulldown exercises like chins. To save your back from extra stress, try one arm dumbell rows or another exercise where the back is supported.

    Positioning for the dead lift is critical. Many lifters both old and new start the lift with their shins too far away from the bar. Their initial pull must first bring the bar into the body, then up, limiting the poundage that can be lifted, not to mention the chance of injury. I suggest getting your shins no more than 1-*2 inches away from the bar, you are ideally looking for your shins to be touching the bar when you bend down to the start position.

    Another technique to use in training would be to not bounce any of the reps no matter how light the bar is loaded. The dead lift is the only one of the three lifts where you can't generate any momentum to start the upward pull, so why train using momentum. Also bouncing the bar off the floor may leave you in a straight leg position, which will result in a poor leverage position or again, open you to the chance of injury. Pause and reset your position between every rep of every set, keeping wherever possible your grip on the bar. Your technique will improve as you are starting every rep from the start position, this is an extremely important part of getting the bar off the floor, regardless of the style used.

    While we are on positioning, try to use as upright a back posture as possible. This will decrease the distance the bar has to travel and allocate more of the load to the powerful leg muscles. You may need to devote a little extra time to develop the flexibility to reach that more erect position, but it is worth it.

    Another point worth looking at is the width of your grip, the wider your grip the higher you have to pull the bar. Just try it with an unloaded bar, grip the bar at shoulder width and stand up, note where the bar finishes on your legs, now take a wider grip and stand up, I'll guarantee the difference will be around 2-3 inches, this translates to a lot of poundage lost.

    One last positioning tip. Don't begin to pull with bent arms. It seems some lifters think they are going to curl the bar. If you begin the lift with bent arms, the first moment of the pull goes to straightening out your arms, wasting valuable drive where you need it most.

    Now a bit on lifting gear, Conventional deadifters should try to use slipper type shoes or wrestling shoes with very thin soles. They fulfill the rules for footwear and must travel. Some dead lift with work boots or squat shoes. These are a no *no for dead lifting as they increase the distance the bar must travel and position you more forward over the bar, causing you to have to pull back as well as up as I discussed earlier. Sumo lifters might try a flat-soled tennis shoe, as they may need more foot support because of the wide stance used.

    I hope that I have given you some useful tips on how to improve your pull of the floor. Even if the start of your dead is the strong point of the lift, an increase there might get the bar up and past your sticking point later. Lifting shrug moves help with lockout like power cleans and high pulls because the bar is starting on the floor you can use more weight pulling at the knee and waist points and this will make you a bit stronger at the top of the dead lift. You can use rack to pull from the knee and this will help you a lot because you will be using a lot more weight than what you can handle from the bottom position, this will strengthen you up a lot and make the load of dead lift from the bottom not feel so heavy.

    A basic dead lift routine could be worked into a routine so: -

    Monday: Squats and Heavy Bench
    Friday: Dead lift and Light Bench.

    You should only train the dead lift at most once a week, many good dead lifters only dead lift heavy every two weeks, i.e. one week heavy, the next week light. As a guide to weights and reps, a lifter with a best dead lift of 190 Kg aiming for 200 Kg at his next competition with a 10 week training program is detailed below:-
    200 Kg x 65 divided by 100 gives 130.0 for Wk 1 training poundage.

    Wk01 65.0% 130.0 4x4
    Wk02 70.0% 140.0 4x4
    Wk03 75.0% 150.0 4x4
    Wk04 80.0% 160.0 4x4
    Wk05 82.5% 165.0 4x3
    Wk06 85.0% 170.0 4x3
    Wk07 87.5% 175.0 3x3
    Wk08 90.0% 180.0 3x3
    Wk09 92.5% 185.0 2x2
    Wk10 95.0% 190.0 2x2

    A 250 Kg target would be:-
    250 Kg x 65 divided by 100 gives 162.5 for Wk 1 training poundage.

    Keep pulling and good luck.

    Technique and Training
    by Gerrit Badenhorst

    Lots of guys think about a deadlift as a raw power, brute force event, with one aim and that's to pull the heaviest weight from the floor. Yes!...but they forget to train their technique. Being a weightlifter before helped me a lot with my deadlifting technique. In powerlifting, a deadlift puts lots of pressure on opponents, because that is the last lift of the three lifts (squat, bench, and deadlift). In strongman competitions this exercise illustrates real power. You may be able to pull a truck three seconds faster, but if I deadlift huge weight, you know there's a difference.

    Lots of guys don't like to train their deads because it's 'hard work' and takes a lot of energy.

    You need discipline.

    Deadlift Technique
    Be aggressive—under control.
    Before you take the bar, go through the whole motion in your mind.
    Feet are ±15-20 cm apart.
    Let your shins touch the bar before you bend down to take the bar.
    The bar must touch your legs at all times during the pull.
    Grip the bar with your whole hand, not only with your fingers. Use a reverse grip.
    Take a squat position before the lift, then try to squat the bar from the ground. Push with your legs before trying to lift with your back.
    Tense your whole body and fill your lungs.
    Keep your trapesius (“traps”) stiff and try to pull up your shoulders before you start pulling. (Depending how high you are off the floor.)
    Look 5-6 meters in front of you on the floor before pulling.
    After you squat the first part of the deadlift, pull right through—bar against your legs all the time till you finish with the shoulders back and legs straight.

    Deadlift Training Routine for Powerlifting

    During my powerlifting days and even now training for strongman, I train deadlift only once a week. The reason is that your body needs more rest after a good workout. I try to bring in “rack work” and stiff leg deads. Sometime cleans also help me to be more explosive.

    I plan my peak the last eight weeks before a competition. I plan my program back from the minimum weights that I want to do at the competition. My peak week is the 3rd to last week. You must work hard during the year so that when you start your peak, you've got a good foundation.

    week 1. 320 kg x 3 reps x 4 sets
    week 2. 330 kg x 3 reps x 4 sets
    week 3. 340 kg x 3 reps x 4 sets
    week 4. 350 kg x 2 reps x 3 sets
    week 5. 360 kg x 1
    week 6. Peak week. 380 kg x 1 rep
    week 7. <— Rest week.
    week 8. Light week. 200 kg x 3 reps + stretching
    This weekend—competition.

    Since I am doing the strongman stuff, I can't really peak like I did in powerlifting because you use different equipment in strongman—like lifting cars and things like that. "

  2. good read
    Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. -Rippetoe

  3. good article indeed

  4. not to sound ****y but i do alot of this already i started training deads exactly a year ago and i went from a 330-435 if only i keep gaining a 100 a year

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