The Dead Lift


We have a new yoga teacher joining the family. Taking over Tuesday 10am yoga class.

M Ryan Saldivar

Internationally Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor

Nationally Certified Massage Therapist

NM Licenced Massage Therapy Instructor

Pre-Med Student

Ryan has a wide variety of experience from working with professional Athletes to young children.  As an alternative to passive stretching, Ryan uses a dynamic blend of isometric postures with moving exercise, deep breathing techniques, and stretching to your limit.  “Be ready to give yourself a good work out, because too many people think that yoga is just stretching, and you will find that it is so much more than that.”  As a premed student he is a great help in giving exercise for rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries.  For the past four years Ryan has taught yoga at Jacksons MMA gym, and has developed special work outs for fighters.  He is working as a medical massage therapist at Mountain Spirit in Santa Fe. Billing sessions to insurance he works on acute, sub-acute, and chronic pain conditions for a living while finishing a premed education on the path to being an orthopedic surgeon.

I had the amazing opportunity to take a private yoga class with Ryan today and it was divine. Breath work, balance, hip opening and ab work made for an excellent session. I felt completely challenged and was left feeling smarter and more flexible. What more could you ask for?

Today’s WOD


For time
50% deadlift max deads
Ring Pushups

AH, The Dead Lift. A relatively simple lift and a yet an excellent determiner of brute strength! This is an excellent example of functional movement. There are few movements that have such a real world practicality. When you are lifting your kid, a bag of dog food, or a heavy box, etc… and some one tells you to lift with your knees, what they mean is to dead lift. This is the safest, most anatomically supported way to lift anything of the floor to hip level. Period. It is true that you lift with your knees, but it is more about initiating the movement with your glutes and hams and keeping the pull out of your back. If you drop a pencil on the ground and tell a grown up to pick it up, they will bend at the hip and with straight legs and straight back and pick up the pen in that fashion. If you drop a pencil on the floor and tell a kid to pick it up they sink down to the floor through their knees and bring their entire body to the pencil. This is how we are meant to move. That being said, I did some research about the dead lift and this is what I learned…

“Every Man Dies, but Not Every Man Really Deadlifts”
From The Crossfit Journal, April 2011. By Mark Bell

“Starting with good positioning in the deadlift is crucial to how you pull. How you start is often how you finish. Often, a poor lockout or loss of grip is doomed from the start by a sloppy set-up. Everyone is different, but a few things remain the same about the set-up.
These tips will give you the leverage you need to deadlift like a savage:

•Grab the barbell firmly with an under-over grip.
Use the barbell to pull yourself into position. This allows you to produce torque before you actually start to pull.
Fill your belly up with air and push it out, like you just ate a huge pizza pie. I realize you CrossFit types have a much smaller, sexier waistline than me or many other powerlifters, but try this right now: bend at the waist like you’re going to touch your toe gloves (or whatever you call those strange shoes you wear). Do this with a rounded back. As you hang, take a deep breath of air into your belly. You will notice that your body moved up a few inches, away from your the floor. Now, without pooping, push your belly out hard. That is how your stomach needs to feel when you deadlift, squat or bench—even while running (ask my homie, B-Mack). Still not grasping what I’m saying? Just think of bracing your stomach for a punch.

Get your lower, mid- and upper back straight. This is    • not Olympic lifting, so your back doesn’t need look stiff as a board. Actually, some great deadlifters and people with longer arms may wish to keep their upper back rounded just a bit. Having trouble getting your back straight? Try sitting on a parallel box with your feet shoulder width apart. Lean forward with your head down and back rounded as much as you can. Now reverse your action, but start by just pulling your head up. Begin to arch your back while pulling your shoulders back and your chest up. That is about how your back should feel when setting up to pull.

•    Drop your ass. You don’t need to rub it on the floor, but you do need to drop your hips. A great way to drop your hips is to grab the barbell and use it to pull yourself down into position by pulling your chest up    • and straightening your back. You do not need or want
to drop your hips lower than below parallel. That is not ideal for deadlifting.

Keep as much of your body behind the bar as possible. If you have your head and shoulders in front of the barbell, it will leave you out of position to pull big. Also, my head weighs 97 lb., so I have to lift the weight on the bar plus my giant head. I try to use my head as a counterbalance. At the start of the lift, get tight and throw your head back hard, like you’re trying to flick a hat off your head. Throughout the lift, continue to throw your head back. On this same note, you should be falling back. It should feel like you’re going to fall backward once you start to pull. At my gym, we have a giant record board behind the deadlift platform. I yell at my lifters to fall backward into the record board as they pull. These cues help keep the body behind the barbell.
At this point, if you have everything together, you should be providing enough torque to move 135 lb. off the ground before you even start to pull.

•    Bring the violence. It’s significant. Deadlift with rage.    • Get mad! Think of all those people throughout your life who did you wrong or told you you weren’t good enough. Take all your insecurities and fears and ball them up into a crap-load of strength and fury to
be unleashed on the barbell. You will find yourself thanking your haters for adding pounds to your deadlift. I get so crazy before I deadlift that I talk to my brother Mike, who is no longer with us. That’s right, I speak to the dead. Nutty, huh? But it’s OK to lose yourself and show that barbell what’s up.”

… Well there is more, but I will save that for another blog. So much great information from one of the heaviest dead lifters of all time. We are talking somewhere around the 7oo+ lb mark. Crazy. He is one of like 4 guys in the history of the world that have ever dead lifted that much. So, keep in mind that this guy is a baller and a pro and he comes from a power lifting background. It is definitely a different approach than Crossfit, but who better to take dead lifting advice from, than a guy that repeatedly breaks world records in power lifting.

Super help full tips.

Comment by Dieo — May 4, 2011 @ 6:18 am

I think I need to bring my rage back to my dead lifts…

Comment by Mona Malec — May 4, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

I think I need to bring my rage back to my dead lifts

Comment by Mona Malec — May 4, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

I think if I had incorporated rage into yesterday’s workout I might have gotten more weight off the ground.

It’s hard to remember to harness rage while at UF….it’s so full of love there!

Comment by Alexis B — May 4, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

Need to change the blog format so the font isn’t white o white…

I think if I had incorporated rage into yesterday’s workout I might have gotten more weight off the ground.

It’s hard to remember to harness rage while at UF….it’s so full of love there!

Comment by Alexis B — May 4, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

Mobility WOD