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7 simple ways to gain on the deadlift [Article, Video]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 30, 2017 10:00:00 AM

7 simple ways to gain on the deadlift

This is a summary of my biggest mistakes with the deadlift so that you can avoid them and move yourself to new heights. If you made other experiences you want to share please leave a comment and I will incorporate your thoughts.

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Not Rounding your back

You probably have read about this in some other post, on social media or the new depending on where your information from. Rounding your back during the back lift is not necessarily good for your lower back. Unfortunately, I did because I did not paz enough attention to the right setup in the beginning. So, get some proper advice on form and move on from there

Resetting after every rep

A good way to maintain better form during a set of deadlifts is to pause on the ground and get the momentum out of the bar. This way you can reset for new repetition and straighten your back. Jonny Candito and Layne Norton, both very successful powerlifters, advice using this form of deadlifting rather than touch and go reps.

Less Greed

I build my deadlift too much too quick. Whenever I had the chance I packed in some extra Deadlift repetitions. There is a reason why most programs do not have a high volume of deadlifts planned in and that is that is one of the most taxing movements you can do. Keep it to a few, very heavy, clean reps and don’t go overboard.

Incorporate sumo deadlifts

This theme keeps repeating itself through all my training that I did too little volume of the variations of each lift. Same goes for the Sumo Deadlift. The Sumo deadlift is a variation on the conventional deadlift in which you keep your feet wider apart (like a sumo wrestler hence the name). I would be a better athlete now if I had switched this up more in the past. Do not make the same mistake.

 Work from blocks

Same here as for the sumo deadlifts. If you want to bring up the volume for your deadlifts do it in a smart way. Let your strength coach assess what the weakest part of the lift is (as it is hard to observe and analyse yourself when you are pulling) and then start from a block just an inch or so below that point. This maximises the number of repetitions you can do without injuring yourself while still addressing your weaknesses.

Avoid getting injured

These little oversights culminated in a lower back injury in 2016. Just shortly before that (a month or so) I pulled my personal best of 190kg. After the injury, I could not even pull 120kg of the ground anymore which was super frustrating. I am now back up to 180kg after roughly a year.


Deadlifts are exciting and are my favourite of the big three. Because you are moving a lot of weight the risk is also high. It is a high risk, high reward movement to perform, so prepare yourself properly and now how it is done correctly. You also do not jump out of a plane without setting up the parachute beforehand and you reset the chute for the next jump.

Further reading


Topics: Lift stronger, Deadlift, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding