Tips to make one of the coolest raw strength barbell movements EVEN better – Coach Misty

There are numerous philosophies around barbell movements on how to create a better movement pattern and what will give optimal results for strength and performance. A lot of this is followed up by principles and a lot is opinion. The below are tips that will help regardless if you follow the “Strong fit” philosophy, “Powerlifting” the “Chinese weightlifting method” etc. Please always remember too, that you as an individual have different levers to the person next to you, so a tip that helps a tiny human boss their deadlift may need to be tweaked for a much longer human ☺

The process

This is a deadlift– NOT a SQUAT: when you bend down to set your hands on the bar, bend your legs only enough to grasp the bar
Shins to touch the bar– you want that bad boy as close as possible to you
Arms to hang straight down from the shoulders ideally (this may be impacted by your height though)
Neutral spine! I.e. look at a spot on the floor about 2metres ahead of you
Get Braced! Make sure when that bar leaves the floor your abs and lats are tight, i.e. imagine what you would do if you were about to be punched in the stomach and needed to absorb the force ☺ If you are unsure how to brace your lats, next time you are in your deadlift starting position, call over a mate or me ☺ and get them to karate chop you in the lat a few times, you will defo learn how to tense them ☺
Hips and back lockout at the same time- do not let those leg lockout first as then you finish the pull with your back
At lockout stand tall, squeeze that butt and DO NOT hyperextend- no one cares about the “hips through- valid CrossFit rep mentality”
Hips initiate the decent – this is a hinge movement- NOT a SQUAT
Don’t crash the knees as you descend – keep tension in those hamstrings the whole you are tight and ready for that next rep

The start

There are different ways to start your deadlift, a “static start” which is how most of you start, where you set yourself up, fix your back, your knees, get a good firm grip, loosen your neck, tighten your back, think, focus and then drive those feet into the floor and deadlift. Many Pro’s do this start and a great bit of advice from Mark Chaillet (a deadlift champ) is “Put 100 pounds of tension on the bar before blasting off”

One could also do a “drive start”. Lamar Gant (who was the first man to do a 5x bodyweight deadlift) was a fan of getting tight standing up, then slowly fight his way against his muscle tension down to the bar, as soon as he reached the bar he would quickly set his grip and go!

There is also a “rocking start” which is a smidge more complicated, but you need to find what works best for you. If you have never tried to get tight at the top of a deadlift before going, why not give it a go with a lightweight, see if it feels better for you.

Power leakage

There are many areas in the process above where you can lose power in your deadlift, and hopefully, we can start to plug some of them ☺

Feet: You need strong stabilising muscles in your paws to not lose power as your feet start the drive of your deadlift. See Tuesday nights blog for some accessory work to help build strength in your feet, hamstrings and glutes 🙂
strong>Knees: These guys should not pop back too soon, or re-bend before finishing the pull. This would mean you stopped pushing with your feet too soon. We are required to keep tension in our quads and calves in order to help the hamstrings and glutes bring this lift home. Keep thinking that you are pressing your feet harder and harder into the ground. Yuri Vlasov (another amazing powerlifter) use to say that his feet burned from the pressure during his pulls
Hips: Don’t let that bum pop up first! This is your body switching to plan b and going with the path of least resistance and greater leverage. And although you may think this feels easier, it’s harder to lockout and also makes the back do most of the work, which we DON’T want. A tip from Louie Simmons- “In a deadlift, get tension in the hands and hamstrings /glutes. If you feel tension only in the hands, you are about to lift only with your back; if in your lower body, it means you are trying to squat the weight”
Lumbar spine: If your back starts rounding as the bar leaves the ground you are leaking strength and also about to be told off and have to drop weight by the coach.
Thoracic spine: No matter how much flexion you start with, once that bar starts moving it MAY NOT increase any more. As long as it stays the same, we are doing ok.
Scapulae: We need to take the slack out of the bar and un-shrug those shoulders. So create tension through the back, abs, lats and pull that bar into us
Fingers: GRIP is sooo important, make sure that bar is firmly in your hand and not starting in your fingertips

The above are a few of many points to remember when you deadlift and how to become more powerful. There is a lot of information out there, so please chat to your coaches before you start trying something fancy you read about or watched on youtube/Instagram ☺

If you find that your deadlift has plateaued, try the above tips, but also try to figure out where you are losing power. Although to get better at deadlifting, you need to deadlift ☺ There may be an area of weakness that you can work on that will help you get that PB you are after. Look out for Tuesday blog for some accessory work that can help improve this awesome lift 🙂

Sources: Power Athlete, Deadlift Dynamite, The CrossFit Journal


A) Back Squat
5 Sets of 5 @80% of heavy set of 5 from testing week!
I want these to have 60-90 seconds rest between sets.
A2) Superset with: 8/8 Kneeling Presses

B) 15 Min AMRAP
100m Sprint
Max Rep Strict Pull Ups


Classic CrossFit

A) Snatch, 10 Min EMOM
2 Power Snatch (Building)

B) Partner Workout (You do a set, I do a set)
6 sets (3 each):

50 Double Under (or 100 single under)
10 Sandbag Clean 60/40kg (Or Power Clean 70/50kg)

Target Time each set: sub 2:30
Time Cap each set: 4:00


5 Rounds
30 Wall Balls 9/6kg
15/12 Cal Assault Bike
30 DB Bench Press 22/16kg
15/12 Cal Assault Bike
– Rest 1:00 –


Classic CrossFit

A) 3 sets


Cal Row


Deficit Push Up

Deficit increases within each set: 20s no deficit, 15s with 15/10 plate, 10s with 15+5/10+5kg

-Rest 3:00 b/t sets-

Target Time each set: sub 6:00

Time Cap each set: 9:00

B) Accessory
 Elevated Ring Row (Use moderate difficult Box height)


Classic CrossFit

A) Superset for 3 Sets of:
Bulgarian Split Squats , 3 Sets of 8 per side
Bent Over Rows , 3 Sets of 7 @70-100% of BW

B) 15 Min Amrap:
1 Rope Climb
5 Front Squats 85/60kg
10 Toes To Bar


For Time:
2000m Row/Ski
200 Double Unders
100 DB Thrusters 16/12kg


Classic CrossFit

A) 5 Sets of:
Deadlift 5 @80% of Last weeks 5 Rep Max
Bench Press 5 @80% of Most Recent 5 RM
-90 Seconds Rest

B) 12-9-6-3
DB Hang Power Cleans 32/22kg
Box Jumps 24/20″


Team Vibes
Buy In:
100 Chest To Bar Pull Ups

30/24 Cal. Assault Bike
20 Power Cleans 100/70kg
30/24 Cal. Assault Bike
16 Power Cleans
30/24 Cal. Assault Bike
12 Power Cleans