Powerlifting Meet Recap: My 4x Bodyweight Deadlift and What’s Next for Syatt Fitness

Powerlifting Meet Recap: My 4x Bodyweight Deadlift and What’s Next for Syatt Fitness

Ever since I was 18-years old it’s been my goal to hit a 4x bodyweight deadlift.  At that time I could barely deadlift 225lbs (not even 2x my bodyweight) but I quickly became obsessed with my 4x bodyweight deadlift goal and spent the better part of the next 5-years doing everything I could to achieve it. Finally, in March of 2012, I hit my first 3x BW deadlift: 402.5lbs at a BW of 132lbs Until that pull, a 4x bodyweight deadlift seemed like a far-fetched dream. A monstrous and most likely unattainable feat of strength. Not anymore. As soon as I deadlifted 3x my bodyweight I knew I was going to pull 4x. It was just a matter of time. And patience. A lot of patience. Fast forward almost 3-years to this past Saturday, January 24th, 2015, and I’m excited to announce that I finally achieved my goal. At a bodyweight of 130lbs, I deadlifted 530lbs for my first ever 4x bodyweight deadlift.  It was an extraordinary meet and I couldn’t possibly be any happier with my overall performance so below I’ve provided the play-by-play meet recap, ending with my 4x bodyweight deadlift.  Squat 380lbs (2.9x BW) Lifting in the Raw Classic division (sans knee wraps), this was an all-time personal record. During this past training cycle I ended up with some nagging hip pain and only squatted 1x/week for the last 8-weeks leading up to the meet. Despite the less than optimal training conditions, I’m very happy I was able to set a new personal record and move 1-step closer to a 3x BW squat. Moving forward I plan to squat 3x my...

My New Favorite Deadlift Accessory Exercise: The Paused Deficit Deadlift

Seriously. I’m so freaking excited! See, I love deadlifts.  But that’s not what I’m excited about. I mean…who doesn’t love deadlifts? I’m excited because on my quest to deadlift 4x my bodyweight (530lbs at a bodyweight of 132lbs) I recently discovered my brand new favorite deadlift accessory exercise. I’ve been using this movement extensively over the past 4-months and I truly believe it’s one of the major reasons I was recently able to pull an all-time best 535lb deadlift for 2 reps. The best part? It felt pretty easy. So what’s my brand new favorite deadlift accessory exercise? The Pause Deficit Deadlifts A combination of pause and deficit deadlifts, this drill is extraordinary at improving: speed and power off the floor strength off the floor lockout strength lat recruitment at lockout and general technique Want to see what it looks like? Here’s a set of me performing 5 reps at 300lbs. Performance & Programming Tips 1. How much weight should you use? Anywhere between 40-75% 1RM with both of these recommendations being on the “extreme” end. Personally, I prefer to stay between 50-70% 1RM and focus on using this drill as a way to perfect my technique without accruing too much volume.  Keep it light and focus on maintaining perfect form. 2. How large should the deficit be? No more than 2-inches.  Some lifters think it’s badass/extreme/more effective to use huge deficits (4+ inches) but, in my opinion, that’s a waste of time. A deficit of 1-2 inches is more than enough to illicit a sufficient training effect without needlessly increasing the risk of injury. 3. How long should you pause? Anywhere between 1-3 seconds. Keep in...
My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 27

My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 27

  My Training Log Week 8, Day 3: Dynamic Effort Lower Body Great day. As you know, my hip has been bothering which has kept me from doing any bilateral squatting for the past 5-weeks. I’ve been doing some corrective work and it’s been feeling better so I decided to try some high box squats and they felt fantastic. No pain. No discomfort. And I felt surprisingly strong. All great things. 1) High Box Squat: 1 x 4 @ 315lbs I planned to work up to 1 top (heavy) set of 4 reps before going into speed squats but I decided to nix speed squats altogether. I figured there was no reason to keep squatting and possibly aggravate the hip on my first day back – especially after such an encouraging set of heavy squats – so I called it there and moved on to speed deadlifts.  2) Speed Deadlifts vs. Bands: 7 x 2 @ 275lbs Felt great. Conventional is in no way, shape, or form my favorite lift but it unquestionably helps to build my sumo strength so I’m happy to train it every now and again. 3a) Front Loaded Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 x 8/leg @ 155lbs I hate these. Love ’em and hate ’em. So sore already. 3b) Barbell Hip Thrust: 3 x 12 @ 295lbs World Record Strength! Sign Up & I’ll Send Your 3 FREE World Record Strength Training Manuals Directly to Your Inbox Name: Email: We respect your email...
How to Stop the Bar from Rolling Away From You While Deadlifting

How to Stop the Bar from Rolling Away From You While Deadlifting

It’s the most obnoxious thing in the world. The bar’s fully loaded, you’re ready to deadlift, and every time you’re about to set-up the bar starts rolling away. It’s worse than watching a bro-brah curl in the squat rack while simultaneously balancing on a bosu ball and texting his girlfriend.  Fortunately, I’ve found a solution. A simple and effective method to ensure the bar never rolls away from you again. Here’s How to Stop the Bar from Rolling Away From You While Deadlifting Crazy, right? Who knew keeping the bar close to your shins could be so simple? Use this trick wisely and remember: with great power comes great responsibility. -J Strength Made Easy Sign Up & I’ll Send Your 3 FREE Strength Training Reports Directly to Your Inbox Name: Email: We respect your email...
My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 21

My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 21

My Training Log Week 7, Day 1: Max Effort Lower Body This week marks the beginning of my peaking phase for the coming meet. Officially 12-weeks out, I’m switching to a concurrent periodization model that, on the surface, resembles that of Westside’s Conjugate System but is actually very different.  First day went very well including a huge all-time Deadlift personal record. 1) 4″ Raised Sumo Deadlift: 3 x 5 @485lbs At my previous meet I maxed at 490lbs and it was struggle. I strained my pec pretty badly on that pull as well. So starting this 12-week phase by pulling 485lbs for an easy set of 5 was a huge confidence boost. I’m very excited to see how things keep progressing. 2) Squat: 1 x 5 @275lbs After 2-weeks of no squatting I decided to give it a shot but my hips are still pretty cranky. I worked up to 1 heavy(ish) set of 5 at 275lbs and then called it quits. No reason to keep pushing through the hip pain. 3a) Barbell Hip Thrust: 3 x 12 @ 255lbs In addition to lighting my glutes up they also made my hips feel great.  Going to focus on improving these a lot over the next 3-weeks. 3b) Superman Push-Up: 3 x 10 Brutal core stability drill. If you want to give it a shot, watch this instructional video. Sign Up for Your FREE Syatt Fitness Newsletter! Name: Email: We respect your email privacy Powered by AWeber...
My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 14

My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 14

My Training Log Week 4, Day 3: Squat & Deadlift Workout Great day. Brutal training session. But a great day overall. 1) Squat: 4 x 5 @ 300lbs First training session with my belt on since my previous meet and I was wicked happy with how it felt.  First and foremost, the speed on these squats felt great. I did 3 total sets here and it was honestly pretty easy. Second – and equally important – the belt felt pretty loose around my waist which tells me I’ve done a good job of keeping fat gain at bay during this mini-bulk that I’m currently running. All that being said, by the time these squats were over and done with I was spent.  2) Speed Deadlifts: 8 x 1 @ 300lbs Reviewing the footage these look pretty fast but they honestly felt wicked slow. Regardless, I was happy with how my technique felt and wasn’t surprised that I was so fatigued especially after heavy squats.  3a) Walking Barbell Forward Lunges: 3 x 10/leg @ 135lbs Horrendous exercise. Absolute torture. And no doubt the reason why my glutes and quads are horrifically sore today. That being said, the weight felt pretty light so I’ll probably go up to 145 – 155lbs next week. 3b) Single-Leg Hip Thrusts vs. Band Resistance: 3 x 12/leg This is also why my glutes are insanely sore. It’s interesting to watch the video because my hips definitely aren’t reaching full hip extension but my glutes were 100% fully contracted. I felt little-to-no hamstring involvement (which is a good thing) as well so the nerd in me is excited to...
My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 13

My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 13

My Training Log Week 4, Day 1: Squat & Deadlift Workout Awesome workout. Seriously, very happy with today’s session. Especially my Deadlifts. You’ll see why. 1) Beltless Sumo Deadlift: 3 x 5 @ 405lbs An all-time beltless Deadlift PR, this was shockingly easy. I wasn’t planning on going beltless today (I went beltless for the past 3-weeks) but I ended up forgetting my belt at AMP Fitness so I just said fuck it and went for it anyways.  Very happy I did. Fast, explosive, and technique felt on point. 2) Beltless Squat: 3 x 5 @ 255lbs The Deadlifts destroyed me which made for a pretty shitty squat workout. It’s hard to tell on the video but I could actually feel myself “stutter stepping” on the way down which ruined the fluidity of the movement.  I ended up dropping the weight to 245lbs for the last set which helped a lot and made the movement feel exponentially better. Friday’s workout starts with Squats so I’m excited to see how I feel when I’m fresh and not fatigued from Deadlifts. 3a) RDL: 3 x 12 @ 245lbs First and foremost, the oddly long and drawn out, indistinguishable sound at the beginning of the video is my friend, Eric, letting out a massive fart. Hence the laughing and brief discussion. Farts aside, I kept these light on purpose since I was so fatigued during the squats. I figured I might as well keep it light and just work on speed & explosiveness. 3b) Front Loaded Barbell Rev. Lunge from Deficit: 3 x 10/leg @ 135lbs These suck. Holy shit, these suck. I had...
My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 5

My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 5

Yesterday marked the first day of my 2nd week in this current training cycle. A lower body training session largely focused on increasing muscle hypertrophy, my main goal was to increase the total weight lifted in every exercise from last week. It went extremely well. Here’s the breakdown: My Training Log Week 2, Day 1: Lower Body Workout 1) Conventional Deadlift: 3 x 6 @ 335lbs I increased the weight by 20lbs from last week and it still felt light as all hell. I’m by no means a phenomenal Conventional Deadlifter but I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy this was especially considering I haven’t pulled Conventional in a very long time, nor was I wearing a belt. 2) Squat: 3 x 8 @ 245lbs This felt fucking awesome. I increased the weight by 20lbs from last week and still had more in me. Very excited about this. I had to train at AMP (instead of the gym I normally train out of) so I couldn’t use an SS Bar for this or the Goodmornings (below). Not a huge deal but definitely want to get back to the SS Bar next week since it addresses my weaknesses very well. 3a) Goodmorning: 3 x 12 @ 175lbs I increased the weight by 20lbs from last week and it, honestly, felt pretty easy. I have a feeling it’ll be much harder with the SS Bar but, overall, very happy with how these felt. This 1st set felt a little uncoordinated but by the 2nd and 3rd set I was on point. 3b) DB Goblet Reverse Lunge: 3 x 10/leg @ 90lbs These suck. Seriously....
My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 4

My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 4

This past Saturday was my 2nd (and final) Bench Press session of last week.  It went well – much better than expected – especially considering I was still atrociously sore from Wednesday’s upper body workout.  Here’s the breakdown. 1) Bench Press: 4 x 8 @ 175lbs I kept the weigh relatively low because I still insanely sore from Wednesday’s training session. To make up for the lower weight I reduced rest periods to a maximum of 75-seconds.  I’m still mainly focused on increasing muscle hypertorphy in this phase so I’m not overly concerned with maximal strength. 2) Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 x 10 @ 60lbs By the time I got to these my triceps were already destroyed. You’ll see what I mean near the end of the set. 3) Barbell Bent Over Row: 4 x 8 @ 135lbs Looking at the video I’m not happy with how much momentum I used to get the bar to my chest so I’ll either: a) Lower the weight next time  or b) Stop being a cheater and focus on using better form. I think I’ll opt for Option “b.” 4a) Dumbbell Row: 3 x 12/arm @ 70lbs Nothing special to note here. Supersetted these with DBell OH Press (below) and pushed the rest periods so I had zero rest between sets.  Back (specifically lats) was completely blown up…in a “it hurts so good” kind of way. 4b) Dumbbell Overhead Press: 3 x 12 @35lbs Nothing special to note here, either. With little-to-no rest my forearms and delts were hating me by the end. Still feeling this workout a lot today (2 days later). That’s...
My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 3

My Road to a 4x Bodyweight Deadlift: Episode 3

Yesterday was my 2nd (and final) lower body workout of the week and it went very well, especially considering I got little-to-no sleep the night before. And as an added bonus, I went for an impromptu 48″ box jump – seriously, I didn’t even warm-up for it – and hit it on my 3rd or 4th try.   The rest of the training session went exceptionally well and is laid out for you below. I’ve gotta jet so I don’t have time to break everything down in extreme detail today but if you have any questions make sure to leave ’em in the comments section at the end. 1) SS Bar Squats: 4 x 8 @ 235lbs I increased the weight 10lbs from Monday’s workout and it still felt pretty easy. I’ll go up to 245lbs this coming Monday. You probably noticed my feet slide back on almost every repetition. This is a weird habit I picked up while practicing to be more explosive at lockout. It’s not something I purposefully try to do but sort of just happens. Interestingly, practicing this extreme explosiveness is one of the  things that has drastically improved my Deadlift. 2) Sumo RDL: 3 x 10 @ 275lbs, 295lbs, 295lbs Similar to a standard RDL, this is far more specific to my needs as a Sumo Deadlifter and absolutely destroys by glutes, hamstrings, and low back. I’ll have an instructional video for this movement coming out within the next week. Did the first set at 275lbs but it was too easy so I increased to 295lbs for the final 2 sets. I’ll probably go to 315lbs...