197kg, sumoman

197 kg × 10 reps, an improvement on

I’ve noticed over time that I was unable to do more than about 2 deadlift sessions before getting backache. If I continued doing more sessions my backache became worse until I felt like a crippled old man.

Nevertheless I kept coming up with ideas for overcoming the 2 deadlift sessions road block. None of the ideas worked, until I tried the simplest solution… that of arched back deadlifts, interspaced with round back deadlifts.


By arched I mean arched like an Olympic weightlifter when cleaning a bar. So for the above lift I lowered the weight to 142 kg and did 10 reps and found that I could lift the weight with a very tight arch. Somewhat to my surprise this meant that the weight jumped up fast from the floor (which is no doubt why Olympic weightlifters arch during the clean), faster than if I assumed the stronger round back style.


By round I don’t mean the cross fit humped back style of silliness, I mean like the way say Eddie Hall or most of the big deadlifters round their backs. They basically get a big lungful of air and pressurise the weight up. That for me is the strongest style. I could lift more with the cross fit humped back style if my back didn’t herniate, as a beginner I would have been able to lift more in this style because I wouldn’t have been strong enough to herniate my back.


By mostly doing arched back lifts, say 4 sessions arched to 1 round I am able to keep a cycle going seemingly indefinitely without suffering the nervy, discy, sciatic type of pain I used to get. I get muscle ache in the hamstrings and quads and its is super hard overall on the muscles.

So for the above videoed lift I worked up in arched back style from 142 kg over a number of sessions to 197 kg × 6 reps – the 6 reps were super hard to do. I was able to keep a very tight arch up to 182 kg, whilst at 197 kg I was mostly very arched, arched enough not to get the nervy, discy, sciatic type of pain and arched enough so that I could continue with the sessions. I then did the above videoed 197 kg × 10 reps with a ’round’ back and suffered no nervy, discy, sciatic after effects.

How To

I started out by mixing arched and round in a session, i.e. higher volume arched and minimal round back… but this didn’t really work, because even minimal round back in a session still lead to a vague herniated, discy type of pain, furthermore it was difficult to switch from one style to the other in a session. They are basically like two different exercises. Obviously they are not that different but different enough so that it turned out that keeping the sessions separate was the way to go, this meant I could concentrate on whatever style I was doing.

Although the two styles were different enough that they might be considered different lifts, they were close enough for the strength in the arched style to readily transfer to the round style.


So I am not a crippled old man and am still getting stronger.

ever, sumoman

Arched back stuff hits the legs nicely.

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