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Old 11-13-2005, 12:48 PM   #11
Matt O'Donnell
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Why not just wear some sweat pants or something?
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Old 11-13-2005, 12:59 PM   #12
Aaron Markovich
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I like the duct tape and athletic tape ideas. I definitely think it's worth a try.

I do feel that the gym did overreact. They must have asked me about ten times if I was "okay" or if I needed medical attention. I'm not a "screamer" (the guy who lets out a blood curdling scream for every curl or squat or press he ever does) but anybody is gonna sweat and breath heavily after 27 SCs @3/4 BW. Most people in the gym either run for hours on end or sit in weight room performing very static movements, but from their point of view I look like some crazy sweaty guy bleeding on equipment.

This is a gym where people dress up and try look good... without breaking a sweat. Also, it's at a university so disease and STDs would be two legitimate concerns of the school (even though I lead a fairly healthy lifestyle, they wouldn't know that.)

I'm not a big fan of sumo lifts (unless called for in the WOD) or straight legged DLs. I'd like to focus on form and consistentency of the movement so I can incorporate it into my Oly-lifts.

Sorry for the ranting, I said I didn't want to bash... I'm just interested to know if fellow CF'ers follow their own gym "etiquette." To me workingout/lifting has always been that, "work." It's hard and you get dirty, sweaty, thirsty, tired, a little bloody, etc. Thanks for all the constructive responses thus far.
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Old 11-13-2005, 01:04 PM   #13
Aaron Markovich
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Matt-

I've found that I have bled through sweatpants in the past or better yet torn the pants. Although, I might try the duct tape trick and then wear pants over that. If they see me duct taping my legs I'm gonna seem like an even bigger freak...
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Old 11-13-2005, 02:41 PM   #14
Ross Hunt
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Is pulling back into the shins good deadlifting technique?
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Old 11-13-2005, 03:50 PM   #15
Matt Gagliardi
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It's not that it's good technique to hit yourself...but with good technique the bar should only be moving straight up and down (no horizontal component). This means that you're moving your legs in/out a bit to get the bar to clear. Depending on how you're built physically and where you address the bar it's likely that the bar will be very close to your shins. And when you start moving quickly (as you'd do in a timed WOD like Linda) it's only a matter of time before you hit yourself in the shins.
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Old 11-13-2005, 05:09 PM   #16
Aaron Markovich
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-Matt

I completely agree with you. All it takes is one good hit for the blood to start flowing. It's not as if the bar is riding on my shins every rep.

With DLing, I really been focusing on increasing ROM. I had a friend (an experienced lifter) critque my form this summer. I'm focusing on getting a deeper knee bend and lifting through my heels (the pushing through the floor concept). I used to rely on my back too much in the past.

I'm going try a combo of athletic tape, duct tape on the shins, pants and athletic tape on the bar. I just don't want to freak anybody out anymore. I get enough stares with my lifting chaulk and kipping pull-ups.
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Old 11-13-2005, 06:26 PM   #17
Ross Hunt
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Matt,

it's my understanding that a good deadlift IS pulled back rather than simply straight up. But the question is whether scraping the shins is necessary.

update - I just dug up a good article on this. Excerpted from Dave Tate's T-nation article "The Dead Zone:"

- -- - - - - - -

The Top 10 Deadlift Mistakes

Mistake #1: Training the deadlift heavy all the time

Very few people can train the deadlift week after week and still make progress. I feel the only ones who can get away with this are the ones who're built to deadlift. If you're built to pull, then the stress on your system is going to be less than those who aren't built to deadlift.

The deadlift is a very demanding movement and it takes a lot to recover from. This is compounded if you're also squatting every week. The squat and deadlift train many of the same muscles and this is another reason why you don't need to train the deadlift heavy all the time. Years ago the only deadlifts I did off the floor were in meets. The rest of the time was spent training the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. While my deadlift increased 40 pounds over the first few years, I did run into some problems with this approach.

The major problem I had was when I'd go to a meet I didn't know where to place my feet and if I got stuck I didn't know how to adjust. Since I'm not built to deadlift, these things aren't natural to me. I had to find a way to put some pulling back in the program without taxing the system. What we came up with was a session of speed deadlifts with a moderate weight pulled for five or six singles. This way the weight was heavy enough to teach good form and not too heavy to tax the system. This worked out to 45 to 50% of max to be trained after the dynamic or speed squat workout. These don't need to be done every week but should be used as the meet or test day get closer.

I still suggest letting the box squat train the deadlift muscles with dynamic squat training of eight sets of two reps in a wave-like sequence. (For squat training details, see the following articles: Periodization Bible Part II, Squatting from Head to Toe, and TNT Part II for cycles and percentages.)

Let the max-effort day be for training the heavy deadlift. Try to pull off pins, off mats, or with bands one out of every four to six max effort days. Let the other day be some type of medium or close-stance good morning or low-box squat.


Mistake #2: Pulling the shoulder blades together

This is a mistake I made for years. Stand in a deadlift stance and pull your shoulder blades together. Take a look at where your fingertips are. Now if you let your shoulders relax and even round forward a little you'll see your fingertips are much lower. This is why we teach a rounding of the upper back. First, the bar has to travel a shorter distance. Second, there's less stress on the shoulder region. It'll also help to keep your shoulder blades behind the bar. You'll read more on this later.


Mistake #3: Rounding the lower back

This is another mistake I see all the time and most lifters know better. It happens most of the time because of a weak lower back or a bad start position. While keeping your shoulders rounded you must keep your lower back arched. This will keep the shin straight and the shoulders behind the bar and keep your body in the proper position to pull big while keeping the back under minimal stress.

If you pull with a rounded back, the bar is going to drift forward away from the legs, thus putting you back into a very difficult position from which to recover. When the bar drifts forward, the weight of it will begin to work against your leverages and cause you to have a sticking point just below the knees or mid-shin level. When you pull you can either arch your back in the beginning standing position before you crouch down to pull or once you grab the bar. Either way it's important to keep the lower back arched and tight.

There are many ways to strengthen the lower back for this. Good mornings, reverse hypers, and arched back good mornings are a few. You can also use a band around your traps and feet for simulated good mornings. With this technique you only use the bands and train for higher reps (in the 20 to 30 rep range) for local muscular endurance.


Mistake #4: Not having enough air in your belly

As with most exercise you must learn how to breathe. Stand in front of a mirror and take a deep breath. Do your shoulders rise? If so, then you need to learn how to breathe. Learn to pull your air into your diaphragm. In other words, use your belly! Pull as much air into your belly as possible, then when you think you have all you can get, pull more. The deadlift isn't started by driving your feet into the floor; it's started by driving your belly into your belt and hips flexors.

One note on holding air while you pull. You do need to try and hold your air as long as possible, but this can only last for a few seconds while under strain because you'll pass out. So for a long pull, you're going to have to breathe or you'll hit the floor and people will stare. While there are several people out there who may think this is a cool thing, I disagree. It's much cooler to make the lift!

So when you reach the point where you begin to really have to fight with the weight, let out small bursts of air. Don't let it all out at one time or you'll lose torso tightness and cause the bar to drop down. By letting out small bursts you can keep your tightness, continue to pull, and lock out the weight.


Mistake #5: Not pulling the bar back

The deadlift is all about leverage and positioning. Visualize a teeter totter. What happens when the weight on one end is coming down? The other end goes up. So if your body is falling backward, what happens to the bar? It goes up! If your weight is falling forward the bar will want to stay down. So if you weigh 250 pounds and you can get your bodyweight to work for you, it would be much like taking 250 pounds off the bar. For many natural deadlifters this is a very instinctive action. For others it has to be trained.

Proper positioning is important here. If you're standing too close to the bar it'll have to come over the knee before you can pull back, thus going forward before it goes backward. If your shoulders are in front of the bar at the start of the pull, then the bar will want to go forward, not backward. If your back isn't arched the bar will also want to drift forward.

For some lifters, not being able to pull back can be a muscular thing. If you're like myself, I tend to end up with the weight on the front of my feet instead of my heels. This is a function of my quads trying to overpower the glutes and hamstrings, or the glutes and hamstrings not being able to finish the weight and shifting to the quads to complete the lift. What will happen many times is you'll begin shaking or miss the weight. To fix this problem you need to add in more glute ham raises, pull-throughs and reverse hypers.


Mistake #6: Keeping the shins too close to the bar

I'm not too sure where this started but I have a pretty good idea. Many times the taller, thinner lifters are the best pullers and they do start with the bar very close to their shins. But if you look at them from the sides they still have their shoulders behind the bar when they pull. This is just not possible to achieve with a thicker lifter.

If a thicker lifter with a large amount of body mass — be it muscle or fat — were to line the bar up with his shins, you'd see he would have an impossible time getting the shoulders behind the bar. Remember you need to pull the bar back toward you, not out and away from you. So what I believe happens is many lifters look to those who have great deadlifts to see how they pull, then try to do the same themselves. What they need to do is look to those who are built the same way they are and have great deadlifts and follow their lead.


Mistake #7: Training with multiple reps

Next time you see someone doing multiple reps on the deadlift, take note of the form of each rep. You'll see the later reps look nothing like the first. In competition you only have to pull once, so you need to learn how to develop what's known as starting strength for the deadlift. This is the strength needed to get the bar off the floor without an eccentric (negative) action before the start.

In other words, you don't lower the bar first and then lift the weight as you do with the squat and bench press. When you train with multiple reps you're beginning to develop reversal strength, which isn't needed with the deadlift.

These two reasons are enough to keep the deadlift training to singles. If you're using multiple reps with the deadlift, then stand up in between each rep and restart the lift. This way you'll be teaching the proper form and be developing the right kind of strength.


Mistake #8: Not keeping your shoulders behind the bar

You've already read this a few times in this article and it's perhaps the most important thing next to hip position in the execution of the deadlift. Your shoulders must start and stay behind the barbell when you pull deadlifts! This will keep the barbell traveling in the right direction and keep your weight going backward. The deadlift isn't an Olympic lift and shouldn't be started like one.

I did a seminar with Dr. Mel Siff at one of his Supertraining camps (one of the best investments you can ever make!) and we showed the difference between the two positions. For the Olympic lifts you want the shoulders in front of the bar; for the deadlift you want them behind the bar. Period. The amount of misinformation out there about this is incredible.



Mistake #9: Looking down

Your body will always follow your head. If you're looking down then the bar is going to want to travel forward. At the same time you don't want to look at the ceiling. Focus on an area that keeps your head in a straight up and back position with the eyes focusing on an upper area of the wall.


Mistake #10: Starting with the hips too low

This is the king of all mistakes I see. Too many times lifters try to squat the weight up rather than pull the weight. Think back to the number of times you've seen a big deadlift and thought to yourself how much more the lifter could've pulled if he didn't damn near stiff-leg it. I see it all the time. Someone will say, "Did you see his deadlift?" Then the other guy will comment, "Yeah, and he stiff-legged the thing." Am I telling you to stiff leg all your deadlifts? No, not at all.

All I want you to do is look at your hip position at the start of the lift when you pull and watch how much your hips move up before the weight begins to break the floor. This is wasted movement and does nothing except wear you out before the pull. The closer you can keep your hips to the bar when you pull, the better the leverages are going to be.

Once again, next time you see a great deadlifter, stand off to the side and watch how close his or her hips stay to the bar throughout the pull. If you're putting your *** to the floor before you pull, your hips are about a mile from the bar. You're setting yourself up for disaster when the lever arm is this long. This is also the second reason why lifters can't get the bar off the floor. (The first reason is very simple: The bar is too heavy!)

You need to find the perfect spot where your hips are close to the bar, your shoulders are behind the bar, your lower back is arched, your upper back rounded, your belly full of air, and you can pull toward your body. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but then again, what is? (Definitely not training in a commercial health club….)

- - - - - - - - - - -

The distinction between the dead and the oly pull seems to be very nicely drawn here.
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:09 PM   #18
Ian Holmes
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Thanks for that Ross. I personally love deadlift and train it regularly, but I certainly do not go for a 1RM every time. My question for you is this. I prefer straight leg style deadlifting as opposed to the classic style... but you imply that deadlifting should be done with straighter legs most of the time. Is this the classic dead lift stance? Also is there any problems with training deads with straight legs (almost straight?), I find it is a much better back workout.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:53 PM   #19
Ross Hunt
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Ian,

The way I read what Dave Tate wrote regarding mistake #10 is that your hip height at the beginning of your pull depends on your build. Tall guys with short torsos and long limbs, like me, either start hips high or shoot the hips and end up grinding it out with the back anyway. Short guys with long torsos, 'built to squat,' often pull sumo to reduce the distance between hip and bar.

This is just my understanding of the article, though. And I haven't deadlifted big and haven't even deadlifted at all for a while, since I have been pursuing oly lifting exclusively.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:07 AM   #20
Matt Gagliardi
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Ross, I suspect that article (specifically point #5) is speaking to the feeling of pulling the bar back...not the actual act of pulling the bar back horizontally. Of course, at the end of the lift (the very top of the ROM) when hips move forward slightly the bar moves back slightly. But it's my understanding that through the majority of the lift the bar should be moving straight up-and-down, with no horizonal motion. The body/knees are meant to move around (so to speak) the bar as necessary for clearance.

This is the way I've been taught, and the way I've always done it. I could be wrong. But at 165lbs. I'm just about to crack a 400lb. DL (not bad for a little non-weightlifter guy) without training them regularly and I've never been injured doing DLs (except for when a platform shifted under me...hardly a form question).

You might also refer to point #6 in what you posted. I'm definitely a "taller, thinner" lifter. Based on where I comfortably address the bar, the thing is hugging my shins. End of story. When I start moving quickly for a timed WOD with DLs, that bar is going into my shins at some point, and that's all there is to it.

Different strokes for different folks man. Do it however you'd like.

(Message edited by h2o_goalie on November 14, 2005)
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