Conventional Deadlifter but Sumo Curious

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    Conventional Deadlifter but Sumo Curious


    I guess the decision to go conventional or sumo is a personal preference, likely based on the individual lifters strengths (or weaknesses). If you have better leg strength than back strength, then sumo is probably the best option for pulling the most weight. If the back is stronger, or at least on par relative to leg strength, then conventional is probably your preferred style. I am fortunate to go to a gym with bodybuilders, powerlifters and a couple strongmen (one even a professional strongman on the international level). From what see, the bodybuilders either don’t do deads, or if they do they tend to do lighter weight and usually conventional. The powerlifters tend to do sumo and the strongmen do conventional. What I have been trying to figure out is why each does that style. I realize I am stereotyping each group based on a small sample size but I am just going from my observations and conversations with them. It seems the bodybuilders use conventional because it works their target areas better. The powerlifters may prefer sumo because they can pull more weight. However, strongmen want to pull the most weight and I never see them using sumo. Also at powerlifting competitions, it seems everybody pulls sumo, yet when you look at the world’s top pullers, they use conventional.

    Ok, enough rambling. My questions are, does conventional promote more back strength/muscle growth than sumo? Which method allows the average lifter to pull more weight if they have a relatively balanced body? If you are a conventional lifter, will doing sumo style at times help to increase your conventional lift or should you stick with the same style to maintain your “groove” and keep your form strict? The reason I am asking is because I am one of those freaks that love to pull. If my body would allow it I would pull every day, but of course it won’t it and only pull heavy about 1 time a week. I am hitting a little sticking point on my lift and would like to know if alternating with a sumo style would help me move past my conventional sticking point. I would eventually like to compete in a local meet. I know I am too old, too small and too weak to win, but it is just one of those things I want to do at least once while I still can.

    Personal stats: 38 years old, 5’11”, 195lbs. Current DL max is 525.

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    I'm another member of the church of deadlift. Love to find out more if sumo-stance has any benefits, as I've never done it either.
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    I switched from conventional to sumo for a while. When I switched back to conventional I was pulling more, so I think it may help. Only way to find out is to try it.
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    I'm a conventional deadlifter myself. I do believe that that summo will strengthen your lower back A LOT comparatively to conventional. I'm thinking of getting a platform to start deadlifting on. I have heard that its a great way to add lbs to your lift.
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    I used to do the conventional. Now Im sumo style all the way. I find it to be alot more natural movement myself... plus my numbers sky rocketed when I switched.

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    Thanks for the responses. I did sumo style yesterday and I must say that I hated it. It felt very awkward to me and my weights were well below what they are with conventional deads. I guess it just takes some getting used to. After several relatively light sets of sumo I finished with a few heavy sets of conventional. I could not do deadlifts without doing at least a couple heavy sets. For me, there is just something therapeutic about pulling heavy weight. The whole process of getting psyched up, then marching to bar, bending down and grabbing it with chalk dust flying then grunting a little while the weight raises off the floor, then finally standing there with the bar in your hands. Ok…a little dramatic I know but I do love to pull. I will continue to work a few sumo sets into my routine and hopefully they will become a little more natural to me and ultimately help get my 1RM up. For comparison, the heaviest I went with sumo was 315 for 5 reps and it felt heavy! On conventional I was able to do single reps up to 495, and then finish with 5 reps of 425. So clearly I am much stronger using conventional style. I just do not know if it is do to my body type or the fact that I am new to sumo style. Again, thanks for your responses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whaler View Post
    Thanks for the responses. I did sumo style yesterday and I must say that I hated it. It felt very awkward to me and my weights were well below what they are with conventional deads. I guess it just takes some getting used to. After several relatively light sets of sumo I finished with a few heavy sets of conventional. I could not do deadlifts without doing at least a couple heavy sets. For me, there is just something therapeutic about pulling heavy weight. The whole process of getting psyched up, then marching to bar, bending down and grabbing it with chalk dust flying then grunting a little while the weight raises off the floor, then finally standing there with the bar in your hands. Ok…a little dramatic I know but I do love to pull. I will continue to work a few sumo sets into my routine and hopefully they will become a little more natural to me and ultimately help get my 1RM up. For comparison, the heaviest I went with sumo was 315 for 5 reps and it felt heavy! On conventional I was able to do single reps up to 495, and then finish with 5 reps of 425. So clearly I am much stronger using conventional style. I just do not know if it is do to my body type or the fact that I am new to sumo style. Again, thanks for your responses.
    Its REALLY all about positioning. First just let your arms hang out in front of you and grab the bar in that natural position... next just put your feet just outside your hands... just a hair farther... ass out, chin up... and pull.

    Very natural when you find your groove.

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    Strongmen do conventional because sumo is not allowed in there competition plus if you look at the designed of say the car deadlift the bars at the sides would prevent sumo.

    Now for powerlifting do whichever you are stronger at to increase your total.

    Sumo uses a lot more leg and hip drive while conventional uses much more back. All the guys at my gym basically pick one over the other by comfort based on there body structure.

    I like alternating both for variety but prefer sumo since i am a wide stance squater. By alternating i have kept my conventional only 40lbs behind my sumo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by donk View Post
    Strongmen do conventional because sumo is not allowed in there competition plus if you look at the designed of say the car deadlift the bars at the sides would prevent sumo.

    Now for powerlifting do whichever you are stronger at to increase your total.

    Sumo uses a lot more leg and hip drive while conventional uses much more back. All the guys at my gym basically pick one over the other by comfort based on there body structure.

    I like alternating both for variety but prefer sumo since i am a wide stance squater. By alternating i have kept my conventional only 40lbs behind my sumo.
    How do you alternate between them? Sumo one week, Conventional the next, repeat? I only do sumo now but am interested in maybe doing a strongman contest so want to keep my conventional up too.
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    I pull heavy every other week.

    Week 1 Heavy Sumo DL
    Week 2 Heavy Squat
    Week 3 Heavy Conventional
    Week 4 Heay Squat

    I will change up my heavy lift depending on how my lower back and hips feel. If I feel either is not recovery well I will back off and do rep work or sets of 5 reps for the week.
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    my legs are my weak point, i pull sumo... i'm 6'4'' at 185 so i think all that bending over made me go with sumo ... actually the guy that taught me to dead lift did it sumo so i just did it the way he did... i should give conv. a try
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    Sumo is a lot more about technique, its not just going up to a bar and standing up with it. Get your feet as wide as your hips will allow and position your feet as close to parallel with the bar as possible, when you dip your butt down, open your hips, get your head up and pull.
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    Think sumo was tryed a few times , with my ex-training partner,he used to do them but Conventional is my strong point. I think its a good idea to include sumo in my routine. They feel like they work the hips more and improve the squat.Ive already made my rotuine up for the next eight weeks. After this training protocol is done, perhaps sumos will be incorperated.
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    I think flexibility plays a part as well. I have tried sumo once or twice and it seemed that my knees were twisting a lot more than conventional. Partly due to the fact that it was harder for me to keep my thighs out and wide.

    Like most things, though, I would guess that the more a given method is practiced the better you will become.
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    Man I did Sumo_stance today doing 70% of my weight. I did 18 reps. 4 sets I beleive. I did 17, took my belt off, then I saw on my training rotuine that 18 gave the best results the procen weightlifting thing. so I did the last one without a belt and strained my back. Its not real strained but strained enough that I couldnt finish my training. I plan to do these every week for four weeks then max out of conventional. I have a lot of technique to work on doing these.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DL king View Post
    Sumo is a lot more about technique, its not just going up to a bar and standing up with it. Get your feet as wide as your hips will allow and position your feet as close to parallel with the bar as possible, when you dip your butt down, open your hips, get your head up and pull.

    What do you mean by open your hips?do you mean push your hips outaway from you, instead of kind of keeoping them together?
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    i think he ment open ur groin, which would push the hips closer together
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    IMO it's good to use both DL's in training programmes for at least couple of months

    personally I've found out that despite a fact that I'm stronger in classic deaddlift, sumo squat is something I need, but it takes a lot to adjust after nearly 19 years

    at the moment all I do "sumo" is "dead" partial sumo front sqat (in racks)

    I prefer knee-high Deadlifts, I can lift more than 700Lbs this way and it's not bending my back

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