I Need Your Help

So one of my clients is getting pretty strong, and I wanted to test his max weight deadlift to see what the hell!! Let’s jump it up to 225!! Awesome!!

Here’s he dilemma: He managed the first two great, but messed up on the third, as shown on this here movin picture.

He has a tendency to go kyphotic with his lifts, which is why I didn’t want to jump up the weight too soon, but it’s fun once in a while to test it out.

Here’s what I think happened: he shifted his weight backwards, and decided it was a good time to take a step or two to try to balance himself out, effectively ending any chance whatsoever of lifting the bar vertically. While you’re supposed to sit back into a good deadlift, which he managed to do on the first two, he sat back a little too far, and wound up having to lap the bar to keep it from falling to the floor, embarrassing himself and making everyone around whisper “Hey, who’s the D-bag dropping weights??” I mean, COME ON!!! He got 90% of the way up, for crying out loud!! He was  RIGHT THERE!!!! I think I’m more upset about this than he is, but I don’t care, dammit!! I have nothing else going on for me, so I need to live vicariously through my clients!!!!!

What I need from everyone is to leave a comment on whether you think he owned this third rep, or whether the bar was making him its’ bitch. He’s been struggling a bit with deadlifting the past few weeks, mostly mental. His physical progress has been amazing, but he has a hard time believing he’s getting stronger, so some honest feedback from everyone would help him out tremendously.

So again: Did Mark slay 225, or did he drop the soap in the prison shower?

Note: There's 4 sets of toes in this picture. Creepy.

Let me know, and the world will continue on as always.

About deansomerset

Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Post-Rehab Specialist, personal trainer and probably the coolest guy my mom knows, I try to impart a little knowledge with a sense of humor to keep people reading. I've always thought if it's something that can grab your attention, you're gonna remember it tomorrow!!
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15 Responses to I Need Your Help

  1. Rick says:

    i think he “owned it”….. but that’s because i HATE dead lifts!!!! someone has to show them who’s boss, because they always make me their slave!

  2. Jon Stewart says:

    He has serious potential and could likely give 300 a ride not to far down the road when he irons out a couple technique issues… if I could lap a 90+% deadlift I’d be pretty damn excited.

  3. Michael says:

    Yes, he owned it, just a minor technical problem at the end.

  4. Jordan says:

    Have him DL without his shoes on. It is common when someone is sitting back and driving through their heel that the cushion of the shoe does not provide enough support and they fall backwards.

  5. Tracy says:

    Nice effort Mark but I have to go with no. Although the positive comments above are nice to hear, honest and constructive feedback will get you so much farther.

    If everyone was satisfied with partial success and completion regarding tasks we are faced with in our daily lives, what kind of world would we live in? This ‘minor technical problem’ that is mentioned in the post above refers to the completion of the movement… not so ‘minor’. If Mark were to run in a marathon and be on pace to set a PR but tripped and blew out his knee just a few kms from the finish line he would not be awarded the ability to say he completed a marathon at a PR time. To this we would say “nice job Mark, entering a marathon is more than the average Joe on the street would do… keep up the dedication and you’ll have the next one in the bag”.

    So… nice attempt Mark; 225 3RM deadlift is good and I’m sure with dedication you will get there soon. Drive your heels into the floor and as soon as the bar passes your knees drive the power from your hips forward and pull up and back with your rear delts… you may get your 225 deadlift by Christmas. Good luck, I’m cheering you on.

  6. Jeffrey McCarthy says:

    Not only did he nail the deadlift, but he seamlessly started doing Pierre Roy Squats. He is a natural!

  7. drivefs2010 says:

    Looks like he had it off the floor but just had a hard time locking out which could be why he started to move back. But, before the third rep, he did move out of position, and whenever I do that, I mess myself up more also (if anything, mentally like you said). The weight didn’t seem to be an issue though.

  8. deansomerset says:

    Tracy – But….he DID get a 225 deadlift. He got 2 of them, just not the third.
    Jordan – I’d love nothing more than to have clients barefoot, but commercial gym rules don’t like that sort of stuff. I know, I know, Globo Gyms have their issues.
    Jeffrey – ……Sorry, I was distracted by the guy in the background of the video with the stupidly tight shoulders and velicoraptor neck. What was the video about again??

    • Tracy says:

      Dean, I realize he got the first two reps, the statement in your post was “leave a comment on whether you think he owned this third rep” so I based my answer on the third rep, which he did not get.

      • deansomerset says:

        Tracy – I know, just giving you a hard time 😉
        How’s the CrossFit treating you??

      • Tracy says:

        You keep me on my toes Dean! CF is fantastic… I’m riding a good wave right now… business is up, hitting PR’s, new ventures on the horizion. I love it! (Although I haven’t kicked anyone down the Hotel Mac stairs lately… ha)

  9. Jacob Parece says:

    To answer the question on whether he owned this lift I would say no. The first reason being is because from the start his set up was average at best; it looked like he had a hard time squeezing the scapula back and down and engaging the lats. Also as he comes up he doesn’t finish hip extension and decides to “shrug” the weight up as soon as it passes the hips. In order for me to consider this a lift he would have to approve all the mentioned above and control the weight with good form. Hard work on technique will pay off for him for sure.

    Good Luck, J

  10. Donovan says:


    With regards to his strength, he absolutely has the potential. But I believe that we can all agree here that his technique on his third one broke down from what it looked like to be fatigue. I noticed that in his third attempt his knees locked out and his hips kept raising which drove his momentum backwards. To me that lets me know that his glutes and hams were spent.

    But let’s be real here. It’s going to be hard to perform picture perfect form on a PR; your body is dealing with weight and at volume that it hasn’t used before and therefore would compensate for anyway it can. I saw a few things: 1) his speed could be faster which would be helpful dealing with that kind of weight. His acceleration and deceleration was at about the same rate, making the rep longer which would make him more fatigued. 2) Also, he could work on his hip drive. After looking at the video multiple times, the first one was good, but that second one he didn’t finish the hip drive. 3) On the third rep, his strength was there, but he lost his balance and that hip drive wasn’t there at all. I would agree that he should be barefoot which I like for myself, but if he can’t due to gym policy, wearing flatter shoes would be the next best thing.

    I don’t know what you’re doing with regards to accessory work leading up to it, but apparently whatever it is it’s working. He’s definitely getting strong. I personally like using the iso back extension machine emphasizing glute activation as well as pull throughs. When I performed at my first powerlifting meet months ago, I got stuck right where he had trouble and couldn’t finish the hip drive. Doing the said exercises along with weighted barbell hip thrusts is what really helped me on my deadlift.

    Sorry for the long post. Best of Luck.

  11. Eric says:

    I can not say that he “owned” the third rep. And just to add my own opinion, once he had to take that break before the third rep and shake his grip out he was pretty much toast. It appears that he was moving differently in that third rep mainly due to the failing grip. I’d go so far as to say that he’d pull 4reps at 225 with straps (although I hate straps, just making a point)

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