Sumo Deadlifts and Width Training.
When it comes to weight training it’s always good to mix things up whether that’s rep ranges, the weight itself or even exercises. We do this so we can keep progressing and break past plateaus. Recently I’ve been mixing up my back workout replacing conventional deadlifts with sumo deadlifts. At the moment I’m currently cycling the 5/3/1 program which focuses on the 4 compound movements (Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift & Overhead Press), this program along with a high calorific surplus diet, my Bodybuilding Warehouse Diet Whey and Warrior RAGE has increased my weight, mass and PBs on all 4 compound lifts. Since my first Men’s Physique show in May I’ve been focusing on the width of my back, so I’ll be showing how I hit my reps and percentages with the compound Deadlift exercise and teaming it with assistance exercises focusing solely on the width on the back to bring out that perfect aesthetic tapered look.
The starting position for a Sumo Deadlift is really the only visual difference between the two, you stance should be wider with your toes pointing outwards towards the plates. How far you should go is really down to preference and what feels comfortable for you, just make sure that your shins are no more than an inch away from the bar during this starting position and when you come down to grip the bar your shins should meet the bar. When coming down to grip the bar make sure you sit BACK not DOWN keeping your bum back and chest up, the grip itself is also different to a conventional deadlift as you grip the bar inside your legs as oppose to outside but still maintain an under over alternate grip. Everything else with regards to the movement is the same, core tight, deep breath and pull keeping your chest up, bum back and back flat.
The 5/3/1 program is based on percentages of your 1 rep max of the four compound lifts, and is split across 4 weeks increasing the percentages from week 1 to week 3 and having week 4 as a deload week before starting the 4 week cycle again however you add an extra 10kg to your lower body compound 1 rep max (Squats & Deadlifts) and an extra 5kg to you upper body compound 1 rep max (Bench Press & Overhead Press). To mix things up my last two cycles I’ve changed my conventional deadlifts to sumo deadlifts and my bench press to incline bench press.
Week 1 – Back Workout
5 minutes on cross trainer or rower
5-10 mins foam rolling
Wide Pull Ups (warm up) 3 sets of 10 reps
Sumo Deadlifts (warm up) 40% of 1RM x 5 reps
50% of 1RM x 5 reps
60% of 1RM x 3 reps
Sumo Deadlifts (5/3/1) 65% of 1RM x 5 reps
75% of 1RM x 5 reps
85% of 1RM x 5 reps
Bent Over Row 3 sets of 8 reps
Single arm Dumbbell Row 3 sets of 8 reps
Wide lat pull downs 3 sets of 10 reps
Narrow lat pull downs (reverse grip) 3 sets of 6-8 reps
(2 secs down, 1 sec contraction and 4 secs negative)
Lying pull overs (with either ez bar or dumbbell) 3 sets of 10-12 reps
By Lee Malone