Deadlifting School

If you hadn’t already noticed, I moved to Essex and started a new job. I’m now a Personal Trainer and Fit Coach at a Virgin Active gym and I love it!

I go to work in activewear and get paid to pick up weights and show people exercises – perfect!

One of the perks of my job is I get to work with Head Personal Trainer, Justin Lee Sato. Having been in the fitness industry for 20 years, he is at the top of his game with clients coming out of his ears.
When I found out his passions are powerlifting, bodyweight and functional movement I knew we would hit if off.

Last week Justin introduced me to his ‘Deadlifitng School’, pulling apart my technique and rebuilding it to make me stronger.

Strength training (5 reps or less) with deadlifts are one of the fundamental movements for becoming a stronger and faster endurance athlete.
Strength training stimulates the nervous system, thickening muscle fibres, building a strong core and strengthening joints, tendons and ligaments, which can injury-proof the body.

I’ve been working on deadlifts for a year with the StrongLifts 5 x 5 programme and I thought I had my technique down.  Apparently not.

Justin guided me through the conventional deadlift, sumo deadlift and rack pulls.

The conventional deadlift is the most functional of the 3 in terms of my rowing challenges, with the feet and body position being very similar. But Justin encouraged me to mix it up with some sumo deadlifts in order to add variety and ‘shock’ my body in order for it to adapt and grow.

The rack pulls (see 3:03 of the video below for demo) were great in terms of increasing grip strength, building confidence, fine tuning the top part of my technique and just the awesome feeling of lifting something heavy.

We kept practising and lifting, practising and lifting, and again, again, hips up higher, core tighter, lats down, tuck pelvis under, squeeze abs…….. again, again, again.

With each rep, my muscles are increasing in density, becoming more powerful and therefore allowing each of my rowing stokes to become stronger and more efficient.

I got to 90kg on a 1RM (1 rep max).  My best ever was 100kg this time last year when I was practising twice a week. I look forward to getting here again.

I’d like to get to 120kg on my 1RM which is 2 times my bodyweight,  but right now I need to work on a strong and safe technique.

Here a video of some stuff we worked on: