And as you can see in THIS VIDEO, it wasn't a grinder, it was smooth as FUCK.
This has been a goal of mine for some time now, and although I've been on track with my programming to hit this weight for some time. Randomly I decided to say FUCK IT and pull 500lbs off of the ground.
My technique has remained relatively the same. I haven't done anything miraculous to how I actually pick the weight off of the ground. My stance has always been close footed, I set my lats in my "back pocket", My upper back rounds as I allow my shoulders to rest in front in a locked position, and I pull the weight back into me with my glutes, hams, and hips. No lower back rounding or lower lumbar pain.
Less Frequent Deadlifting
For a long time I was deadlifting 4 times a week. Every training session had a Push, Pull, a Squat and a Hip Hinge (A Deadlift Variation.) This worked very well for a while. I was building strength and size, but I decided to try and acquire a more symmetrical, full muscled model type physique and needed to switch over to an Upper/Lower Split to accommodate for the "Priority Principle." This allowed for more bodybuilding type hypertrophy training.
This has had Two benefits. One, it's allowed more time for recovery in between Deadlift sessions. My lower back was starting to ache from the frequent Deads and trying to improve my squat form. A sore muscle is difficult to engage fully, so although I wouldn't fail lifts, I wouldn't be in the mindset to push myself ever. And two, it's bulked up my quads, hams, glutes, and all sorts of other musculature. The saying goes that a bigger muscle has the capacity to be a stronger muscle, so more meat on the frame has had a DIRECT correlation to strength progression.
Introduction of Sumo Deadlifts
For those of you who don't know, you're allowed two variations of the Deadlift for Powerlifting competitions. One is conventional (the way I pull) and the other is sumo where your arms are in between your legs and your stance is a lot wider. And although they utilize VERY similar musculature, the opening of your hips utilizes a lot more of your quads, glutes, and hips and uses a LOT less of your lower back/spinal erectors. More or less you can get a bit more work load/volume in without wrecking your lower back. And since my technique is not nearly as refined with sumo, I'm not pulling loads that can derail my central nervous system recovery.
Improving/Strengthening My Squat
Although the Deadlift is Mostly a posterior chain exercise, it does involve the quads. And the squat is a perfect blend of posterior work with anterior quad involvement. Doing frequent deep squatting has built up my leg size, strength, and because of how funky my body is put together (very long legs) I have a very back driven squat (high bar and low bar.) It's taught me how to get the bar over my center of gravity and to fight against the weight.
Tap and Go Deadlifts and AMRAPS
I used to be a BIG proponent of resetting all of your deadlifts and avoiding the lowering part of the motion because of how taxing it can be. However, I've noticed that your back gets a LOT more time under tension with the tap and go and it keeps you in a better position throughout the pull. You can do more reps with Tap and Go, but it doesn't do a lot for your starting Pull. It's a trade off for sure.
AMRAPS = As Many Reps as Possible. In my current program I have "Top Sets" where I try to do a certain amount of reps or more. This allows me to really push myself when I'm feeling good, to test my borders, or to try and break a PR. It requires a lot of mental and physical build up. It teaches you how to rise to the occasion. Good shit.
Introduction of Olympic Lifts
Now, this may not seem like a big deal since the loads are considerably less, but the speed required to pull a weight off the ground and over your head is IDEAL for getting a deadlift past the sticking point (generally around the knees.) Speed, power, and aggression are the keys to lifting big weight, and Olympic weight lifters prove this time and time again. They casually pull 500lbs all the time, even if they only clean and jerk 250lbs plus.
That's it for now. Even though I've literally JUST lifted 500lbs, I'm already thinking about how I'm going to get to the next big milestone. 550, 600, 700??? This journey is a blast. I'm loving it.
Until Next Time,
Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.
The Opera Bro