With Nationals fast approaching and the car deadlift again being an event for now the 5th year in a row. I feel an article with my tips on what has lead to my success in the event would be beneficial, especially since I will not be competing this year I
I see a lot of car deadlift videos and people posting big numbers, 15,20, even 30 reps! This might make you feel over confident going into Nationals, I have to stress the car deadlift at Nationals will be HEAVY and very different, the frame doesn’t flex, the handles are lower, You will not pull it for 30 reps. Well the one guy did in 2012.
There is also a lot of misconception with the car deadlift. I will list the five most common mistakes I see.
- Lean Back: DO NOT DO THIS! You need to get your hips underneath you. By leaning back you are doing the opposite. If you push your hips forward and have your feet set right (more on this later) you automatically get into that backwards lean at the top but this is not hot to imitate the lift.
- I have a strong deadlift! This will help of course but stop thinking of it as a deadlift. It is more of a squat really. Strong quads are key!
- Warming up by lifting the actual car. This is fine if you are confident and are familiar with car deadlifts but it is a very taxing lift most of the time so save your energy.
- Feet are set up wrong: Either too far back or too narrow. Don’t set it up like you would your deadlift. Set it up like you would your squat. Of course a lot is personal preference but I like my feet as wide as possible toes out at about a 45* angle with toes just ahead of the handles.
- Training on a trap bar: Just because the handles are on the side doesn’t make it the same lift. I’ve seen plenty of competitors put up crazy trap bar numbers only to zero the car. I think this is the #1 overrated assistance lift for the car deadlift.
Training for the car deadlift
I’ve had my best success lowering the training weight on actual deadlifts keeping weights under 80% and adding simulated car deadlifts using a 5/3/1 rep scheme after the main lift (Either block pulls, front squats or deadlifts under 80% of max) Make sure your program consists of some combination of the following.
- HEAVY front squats. It builds up that quad strength you need to break it off the floor along with the abdominal and mid back strength, I recommend using knee wraps to overload even more.
- 1 arm dumbbell rows to build up the grip, forearm, and upper back strength needed.
- Elevated deadlifts from 14-18″ height
- snatch grip deadlifts for upper back and quads
- Ab roll outs and weighted plank to improve core strength
- Stiff leg deadlifts
Setting up the ghetto car deadlift
Take two barbells, place them alongside each other with one end up to a sturdy structure such as a wall or base of a power rack. If you have a pair of grapplers use them! Place a heavy db/sandbag/kettlebell over the end of the barbell to secure it in place. Place plates on the other ends of the barbells. Elevate the plates with blocks to make it about 12-14” high place hands at the back of the collar behind the plates on the knurling and pull!
On this weeks ASR Bryan and Kalle introduce the two newest ASC Pro’s to the community. John Posen won the Heavyweight while Adam Lane won the Middleweight class at the Odd Haugen MetRx Strength Classic in San Jose. Updates on America’s Strongest Man, NAS Nationals in Reno, details on this years Americas Strongest Woman and Pro Middleweights in Las Vegas and Record Breakers at the Europa in Phoenix in October.
Hi Martin, thanks for taking some time to talk to Starting Strongman, please introduce yourself to our readers.
My Name is Martin Wildauer (born 27 November 1987) and I live in Tirol, Austria. I work for the government in building permissions in my hometown and my hobbies are swimming, hiking, and working with wood but my greatest passion is strength sports – Strongman, Powerlifting and some Bavarian Stonelifting (a traditional strength event in Bavaria where the goal is to lift a heavy stone – starting at 254kg/559lbs – 1 meter/3.28ft high). I am 7x Austria‘s Strongest Man, World’s Strongest Man finalist, current leader of the well known Strongman Champions League, winner oft he SCL Portugal 2014 and winner of the Giants Live in Finland 2011. I am also the current world record holder in the Bavarian Stonelift.
I spent all day yesterday at the San Jose Fit expo watching the top Amateur Middleweight and Heavyweight athletes in the country battling it out to become the next American Strongman corp Pro. There was some amazing performances and it really made me remember why I love this sport so much, the athletes in it are just phenomenal. I also worked a bit behind the scenes giving the live updates via social media, and interviewing event winners. I hope I did a good job and as a fan or friend of the competitors you were able to get a better sense of what was going on. It gave me a new found appreciation for what it takes to run and organize a big show like that. Doing the updates took a lot of work! I now know what I need to do differently to make it easier and better next time. I also want to post more up to the minute videos but anyway.
One of the first things that people say to me when they find out I compete in Strongman is “You can do that?! I had no idea they had women competitors.” While Strongman has traditionally been considered a male-centric sport, more and more women are participating. There are even women’s only contests! I’ve mentioned before that I have a unique situation at my gym – there are far more girls than guys on our Strongman team. As of now, we have 4 women on our Strongman team and a few more who are incredibly interested in participating in a contest in the near future. Now, part of that is due to the fact that I attend a Crossfit gym that has a high percentage of female members. But a large part of that, in my opinion, is due to other factors including the coaching, the fact that getting strong is encouraged, and the general attitude of gym coaches and members. Beyond that though, I’ve noticed that there are more women, in my region at least, participating in Strongman due to thefact that they’re not intimidated by it. ￼ There’s a solid group of ladies who compete in the region that all know each other -
Hey Leslie thanks for taking the time to talk to Starting Strongman! Go ahead and introduce yourself, what is your athletic background? Your best lifts (squat, Log Press, Deadlift, bench, etc) and how did you find your way into the world of Strongwoman competitions?
My name is Leslie Hofheins and I’m 43 years old and have been competing in strongwoman competitions for the past two years. My current best lifts are a 405 box squat, 325 front box squat, 451 raw conventional deadlift, log press is only 150 but I hold a Middleweight NAS record for overhead barbell press of 185. I also currently hold the 18″ deadlift middleweight record of 515#. I no longer compete in bench due to a rotator cuff injury.
I started lifting weights in high school and college for swimming and water polo but didn’t know what I was doing. I hated being sore but liked that I got faster in the pool! I stopped all sports when I got married at 23 but then started lifting weights again at 33 to lose weight and get stronger to lift my physically disabled child as he got bigger. I was also 38% bodyfat at the time and severely depressed. After going through a divorce I hired a trainer to show me the way in the gym. He quickly told me at I was the strongest female client he ever trained. I just assumed I was average. I had never heard of powerlifting. A year later I started competing and absolutely fell in with lifting, it became an addiction.
Your first contest can be a pretty daunting undertaking this article won’t prepare you completely, the best way to learn is by doing and no better way to learn than actually going and competing.
- Talk to everyone! Do not be shy! Strongman is a very welcoming and encouraging community, We want everyone to do the same crazy stuff we do. Unsure of the technique for a certain event? Ask! You will be able to tell in warm ups who looks like they know what they are doing. Also I feel like for most of us the community is the main reason we love to compete. Sure it is fun to push yourself but nothing is better than going to a competition and being around all your friends in the sport. You will build up some of your best longest lasting friendships competing in this sport so be sociable you will not regret it.
- Don’t do anything new: No new supplements that came in the goody bag, no new techniques, It is just another day do what you have already been doing in training. It is important to listen to the more experienced competitors advice but don’t drastically change anything. Have faith in what you have already been doing, you can not be second guessing yourself once the event starts.
Taylor Weglicki, PT, DPT
I decided to take a bit of a different direction with this month’s article. I’ve had an interesting time lately working with some folks on elbow rehab, and beyond the typical “tendonitis” kind of stuff you hear about most frequently. One lifter in particular at NBS has had a hell of a time trying to get everything healed up, and it’s his path to healing that I’ve decided to make the focus of this article. Our outcome is not yet complete, as he’s not completely back to normal yet, but we’re heading that direction. Rehab is often an x+y=z path, but not everyone’s path is. As such, I think it is important to illustrate that when faced with a particularly difficult rehab, the most important thing is to keep trying to move forward. I want to provide a bit of history on the lifter (I have his permission, don’t worry), just to show how every case is not the same, and how important it is to start simple before you get to complex diagnoses (and attempt to major in the minors).