the joy of strength training

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How-to: Sumo deadlift

» by June 17th, 2009 at 12:00 am » Comments (20)

The sumo deadlift can be a revelation for anyone who has trouble deadlifting in the conventional stance. Sumo stance is particularly popular with female lifters. What is the sumo deadlift? The sumo deadlift is the same exercise as a normal deadlift in that it involves picking a dead weight off the floor and standing up […]



My deadlift: then and now

» by January 26th, 2008 at 1:15 am » Comments (7)

Anyone who has been following my personal deadlift saga might remember that I was on a mission to fix some errors in my form by dropping the weight right down and concentrating on technique. Finally, I am back to the weight I was at before I began this journey: 90kg (which is 150% bodyweight). It […]



How-to: Deadlift

» by January 16th, 2008 at 2:32 am » Comments (34)

The daddy of the powerlifts, the deadlift is arguably the most functional lift there is: picking a heavy object off the floor. Most people don’t do this because it is damn hard work. Are you one of them? No? Good. What is the deadlift? The deadlift is picking a dead weight off the floor and […]



What do you do when you see someone lifting with bad form?

» by January 13th, 2008 at 4:06 am » Comments (17)

Commenting on a fellow trainee’s form seems to be the ultimate no-no in today’s fitness clubs. Recently I’ve seen some poor deadlifting form in my gym. Basic stuff: rounding of the lower back, hyper-extending at the top of the lift, that kind of thing. But gym etiquette dictates that you can’t say anything to people […]



My deadlift: the quest for form continues

» by November 28th, 2007 at 12:58 am » Comments (7)

I’ve had some useful comments on my deadlift form, on this blog and elsewhere. Today was another deadlift day and I tried to put this advice into practice. Here’s a clip of my first set today, lifting 60kg. The issues I am addressing are: Back angle – i.e. the angle my back makes with the […]



Leave your ego at home: lifting safely

» by November 14th, 2007 at 12:51 am » Comments (9)

I admit I am sometimes guilty of ‘ego lifting’, i.e. lifting more than I can manage with perfect form just to be lifting heavier. You see it in every gym in the land but it’s a bad thing to do in the long run. After all, how cool is it to pop a disc in […]



Deadlift – the complete exercise

» by November 2nd, 2007 at 1:14 am » Comments (11)

Deadlift is my favourite lift at the moment and I am aiming really to increase it over the next few months. Here’s a clip of me doing some light deadlifts, trying to maintain good form throughout. The deadlift is probably the simplest concept there is: pick a big weight up off the floor. I don’t […]



Tactical Strength Challenge

» by October 31st, 2007 at 10:34 pm » Comments (1)

I saw a snippet about the Tactical Strength Challenge competition in Ultra Fit magazine. There are three events: deadlift, pull-up and kettlebell snatch. According to the website, the purpose of the Tactical Strength Challenge is to test absolute strength (deadlift), bodyweight-relative strength (pull-ups), and cardiovascular endurance (kettlebell snatches). The three events test a trade-off between […]