Apr 1, 2013

Lifting with the Editor: Deadlift PR

skip to 1:45 for the final set

The Lift: Nothing increases posterior chain strength, recruits maximal motor units, and packs on slabs of lean muscle like the deadlift.  That said, it is an oft-butchered exercise that can lead to big problems in the lumbar spine when form suffers or is poorly coached.  You want to pull the bar into your legs as you keep a proud chest and put tension into the bar.  Drive the heels into the floor as your glutes pull the weight up to your waist.

The Good: I have been deadlifting 3 times/week using low percentages of my previous 1RM so this was my first attempt at anything over 80% of my previous max.  The form felt great on each set and when I hit 315 it felt relatively easy.  After bumping it up to 335, it was hard, but I thought I could get 10 or 15 pounds more.  After thinking it over, I decided to save that for another day and be happy with my new record.  No sense in over-extending yourself for a few pounds more.

The Bad: I felt the slightest bit of movement in my low back on the last rep, which is fine since I was going for a max, except that it's not something you want to do more than a few times in a year.  And even then it's best to back off early.  That is what kept me from going for another heavier PR.

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