Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Handling Heavy

Let's get a few things straight:

1) Deadlifting is vital for the development of the complete athlete. Period.
Typically the more you can deadlift, the better you move through the athletic world.

2) Deadlifting is as elemental a movement as exists. We pick things up off the ground all the time. Some of these things are heavy. You have to plan and train for this contingency.

3) Deadlifting packs an enormous neuroendocrine wallop. You brain and pituitary recognize this movement as important and flood your body with hormones and pre-hormones that reinforce this hip extension. And this chemical response makes you a younger, more healthy animal.

4) If you want a sexy, small, rock-hard butt that works you should be deadlifting.
(Who doesn't right?)

5) Deadlifting trains the athlete to maintain a neutral spine under load while extending the hip. This potentially prevents blown out discs and flexion related back injuries.

Handling maximal loads in the Deadlift should approximate sub-maximal loads in terms of body position and movement. Specifically, even if the athlete is approaching their peak lift weight, we shouldn't see deformation of spine or deviation away from intial set up.

For example, both athletes above are about to complete lifts that are withing 5% of their best efforts. Both athletes have a "neutral low back" and are therefore safe.
However, note the upper back rounding that is occurring in Adam. He has left his good/strong/stable set up for a less than ideal pulling finish. Is he safe? Sure. But in deviating from best form, he will ultimately limit his potential to handle an even larger weight safely.

Failing to lift heavy loads happens all the time. We expect our athletes to fail at high weights and to understand that this failure looks the same as deadlifting a very light weight.

How does your deadlifting failure look? Like Coach Diane, or Adam?

Lift on!

Coach kstar


Aaron said...

Great job to everyone last night. A lot of PR were set. I heard Lucas was going to lift 1000 as I was leaving. What a beast.

Also, did anyone pick up a pair of dark brown D&G sunglasses on the table last night?

Adam said...

Failure?! That was no failure, it only looks... less than optimal. :-)

Lets divert our eyes for a second to Ananda, who pulled a PR 335lbs last night.

Dial hit 325, too.

Great class, Kelly.

Anonymous said...

Good Job 7pm. Alot of PR's and good form. Congrats to JD's Sister. Go USA!!!!!! I liked the short and dirty met-con at the end with the double unders, situps and slap pushups. Kelly is right. We always have a few minutes to give our met-con engine a little hows your father. Nothing fancy, just something quick and dirty.......I know thats how I like it ;-)


Rene' Renteria said...

I was wondering what your (Kelly, Adrian, anyone else there) opinion is on high-rep deadlifting. Is it much more likely to lose form in that situation?

In "Diane" a couple of years ago now, I had to break it down to sets of 7-10 to do "as prescribed" (225 lbs.). On the 20th and 21st reps, after getting the weight up, my back sort of "melted out", and I couldn't keep a neutral spine, but I still had to get the weight down. I'm not sure if I did anything, but I can still tell where in my back that happened (hard to explain). It was a scary moment for me.

I got the thing up with good enough form but didn't recognize that I needed to drop it instead of lowering it. Maybe I should have scaled down to a weight with which I could complete 15-20 reps? But wouldn't I reach that state of fatigue anyway in that case?

Thanks for any comments on what you guys do about high-rep deadlifts.