I’m a tinkerer. I like to tweak, modify, and change things. This includes recipes that can be improved, drum sounds that aren’t quite right, and exercises that aren’t totally awesome. This is definitely not one of those exercises:
The deadlift is one of my favorite exercises, but I’m not very good at it. I’ve struggled breaking off of the floor in the past, and found that band resisted deficit deadlifts helped me hit a 440lb PR at my first powerlifting meet with a better hip position and increased bar speed off of the floor.
I’m now working on matching that with a killer lockout, but not with my own tinkering. I’m stealing a variation of the reverse band deadlift from Julia Ladewski, the strength coach and powerlifter who has been kicking ass as one of the Girls Gone Strong. Here’s a video of Julia using the set-up for her conventional pulling.
One of the big reasons that I like this set-up is because the bands are completely slack at the top of the lift. There’s band tension off of the floor, but as the bands slacken, there’s absolutely no assistance; it’s all you, bro.
Technically, it becomes a reverse band pull until the bands are ‘off’, and then it’s straight weight at the lockout. I used my Blast Straps and short bands to create a similar set-up, and did my first “heavy” deadlifts in my training block on Friday. You can find the whole workout on my Fitocracy account, and here’s a vide of my last set, which was 455lbs for a triple:
I reset for each rep because I’ll only ever pull one rep at a time in a meet, and because those angular plates are awful for deadlifting. As you can see in the video, the Average bands go completely slack as the bar crosses my knee, and the lockout is a doozie. As I walked through New York City last night, my hips were not happy about doing these earlier in the day. 24 hours later, the DOMS isn’t any better.
We won’t know exactly how much this variation helps my deadlift until the Spring Iron Frenzy on April 13th, but I’m genuinely excited in my training for the first time in a too long, and I’m confident in where I’m going.
If you’re building your deadlift or want a variation that really hammers hip extension, this variation of the reverse band deadlift can be exactly what you need. Check out some of Julia’s training log on EliteFTS and other Girls Gone Strong information right here. Copy this set-up and enjoy pulling heavy and hard.