The Deadlift

Probably the most functional of them all.
Yes the bench press and squat builds strengths to do great functional things, but with deadlift we are actually practicing an everyday task. Picking stuff up. And this program is going to go over many different ways to do so. Targeting and strengthening all different ranges of motion throughout your journey from the ground to full hip extension.
With this program or guideline even, we focus on many different sticking points or weak spots. If one resonates with you a little more than others then by all means focus there more. It makes no sense to continue to work on your strengths and weakness at the same rate. You will continue to build an imbalance and at some point plateau or get injured. Know your body and what needs work.
This program is very diverse. We actually don't even do a normal deadlift that much. Try to remember that when changing things up, it’s like seeing everyone's perspective in an argument. Have a growth mindset and be open to getting better, The hip hinge can be loaded and strengthened in many different ways, and sometimes that might not be the way you thought.
We will tackle speed and power days, grip strength, core stability, and loads of posterior chain work.

But there is one problem

Far too many lifters pull from the ground when they shouldn't be. Yes this is a build your deadlift program (and it’s a badass one) but it does nobody any good to shoot for a new PR off the ground, if your can’t get in a good position to do so.
IN FACT we wont even be pulling front the ground until 3 weeks in (It’s only because we care). If you have to round your back, shift your weight, and cause yourself pain just to move some iron off the floor, chances are you’re not quite ready to pull from the floor. And no, I’m not calling you weak. There are many different body types and a lot of them do not play well with the 8.75 inch distance from the floor to the bar.
To fix the problem and prolong your low back health, elevate the bar to maintain a neutral spine or try a semi sumo stance. (not quite full sumo in a squat pattern, but feet just slightly wider than shoulder and hand just inside legs.
One of the most effective deadlift modifications you can make is pulling from a higher position. What is ideal? It depends on your body, your skill, mobility (strength through range of motion, not flexibility!) and of course your goals. Not everyone is built the same, has the same goals, or experience, so why would everyone deadlift with bar the same height? They shouldn't.

Simple test:

  • Place your feet in your deadlift stance.

  • Brace your spine into a neutral position, tense your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Slowly drive your hips back, maintaining neutral spine.
  • Keep your hands vertical to the floor at your side.

  • Hinge as far back as possible until you can no longer maintain a braced core or spinal position. At terminal non-compensated end range of motion, bring your hands down you your legs.
  • Note the height of your knuckle of the second finger relative to your legs. Thats your starting point.

But the real test in all of this is getting the load on the bar at that height moving without compromising spinal position. A vast majority of people do very well pulling from 3-8 inches below knee cap. Take the test, then try it out in training, and modify it based on spinal position and your ability to maintaining proper bracing.
  • Bench press displacement is based on the length of your arms and size of your chest

  • Squat depth is the distance from your sanding position to as low of a squat your body allows under tension

  • Deadlift depth is from 8.75 inches off of the floor.

So should you deadlift form the floor?

If you can do it with great form, bracing mechanics, and without pain, then yes. And of course if you are a competitive powerlifter, then you don't really have a choice. But pease work your way to the floor, do the proper steps it takes to achieve that earned position. If you’re not able to do it with great form, or you’re not able to do it with out low back pain then raise the bar, IT ISN'T A SIGN OF WEAKNESS, ITS A SIGN OF GEOMETRY!
Don't spend your whole workout on the main lift! Build your weaknesses and give full intensity every day. Each day should be a new P.R. It doest matter what the rep or lift it is, make it your best.

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