Deadlifts in CrossFit

Deadlifts in CrossFit: Controversial or Just Named Incorrectly?

Lets go through this step by step.

  1. the definition of a Deadlift “Deadlift refers to the lifting of dead (without momentum) weight”
  2. the higher the height one drops an object from, the higher it bounces
  3. the goal in CrossFit is to be as efficient as possible
  4. the CrossFit movement standard for the Deadlift is: Starting at the floor, the barbell is lifted until hips and knees reach full extension with the shoulders behind the bar. The arms must be straight throughout

If we take that knowledge and work our way back up from 4 to 1. The standard only states “Starting at the floor”, the weight touching the floor satisfies that requirement.

If we want to be efficient, which generally means taking shortcuts, then we want to only focus on the lift and let gravity do it’s work on the way down.

To be the most efficient, we let the weight drop from as high as possible; the higher that the weight drops from, the higher the bounce we get on the way up; meaning, we can get the weight bouncing halfway up so that we only have to lift half a rep each time.

Which bring us to number 1, sorry guys, but we’re not Deadlifting if we drop and bounce that weight. We’re in effect bounce lifting. Hey, we have a Hang Clean, meaning the weight hangs, we have a Deadlift (dead lift) which supposedly is to be dead from the ground, so why not call it a Bounce Lift? I’m serious.

And here comes another idea, and again, I’m not taking the piss, I’m just doing my bit to help make things better, safer, fairer and more appealing to the eye for the masses. Well, you know, less complaining, less taking the mickey etc. The idea is to get a better standard for the strict Deadlift, you could suggest to require a hand release, but again, one can release the hands before the weight has hit the ground and still use the bounce. We need go a bit further than just hand release, I’m suggesting a Deadlift with the same movement standard as currently implemented, plus a hand release through a hand clap behind the back, whether you come up or stay in the hip hinge to clap does not matter.

Some of you might laugh at this, but is it really that weird? Are there better options? One could call for a Strict Deadlift, but that would cause issues with timing, timing as in, how long does one leave the weight on the ground before initiating the next lift? A split second, full second?

You could look at the plates side-on and judge if they’re bouncing or not, but again, this becomes such a hard thing to do with high fast paced reps.

We’ve all seen them before, but here’s an example, the video is full of bouncing lifts: 1:10:30s in or watch video below and skip to the DLs.

I was pleased to see this in the 17.04 today though but it’s a blurry rule, what is bouncing, when is it not bouncing? Hard to judge if there is no strict standard.

We’ve got Strict Pull-ups, Kipping Pull-ups, Butterfly Pull-ups, so why not Bounce Lifts, Hang Lifts and Strict Deadlifts? I’m not quite sold on the whole bouncing thing myself, but I can see that it’s a skill that can be mastered, just like kipping is.
Some more bouncing here
Your thoughts below or on this Facebook post. Have a better idea for improvement, drop it below.


PS. I love CrossFit, I’m simply saying “Let’s improve the standards for the Deadlift”.

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