Training a Novice in Raw Sumo

Training a Novice in Raw Sumo

Jan 26, 2014

20140126 Branka Deadlift Training.wmv.Still001

At just over 50 years young and shy of 123 lbs, Branka had deadlifted her bodyweight using conventional deadlifting at the December APF/AAPF Raw Challenge in Willowbrook, Illinois, with less than 6 weeks of training and no previous lifting experience.  Towards the end of the six weeks leading up to the meet, it was determined that she would be a better sumo lifter rather than conventional because of her longer legs.  In addition, her doctor recommended that she start strengthening her quadriceps and back.  Training started three weeks ago with the first two weeks involving working on form only following squat workouts.  Branka’s squats are light but textbook, so we have decided to focus on deadlift, primarily, over the next several weeks.

As with most sumo lifters, Branka has trouble getting the weight off the ground.  We looked at a few options and decided that this week we would ‘have a little fun’ and introduce her to chains and deficit lifting – separately, of course.  Also, for safety, we had her set up for each repetition with no more than three per set.  While the training session would be, effectively, high volume, it is also important to keep the number of repetitions of a deadlift down.

We first opened with chains in order to exercise the stronger muscles above the opening part of the lift and keeping the weight to ~30kg, or roughly half of the competition max, which we are using as the ‘max’ for training sumo.  Following a quick warm-up, which started with stretching the hip flexors and rolling the lower back and legs, we started adding 10lb chains in the center of the bar.  After we added four 10lb chains we moved to two 25lb chains and finished with an additional 10lb chain.  There was room left, but this was the first week of chains.  We then moved to 30kg off of a 1.5 inch set of mats (deficit) for a few sets and finished with a double and single at 40kg.

Finished with hip thrust exercises using the cable machine and banded glutes and hams.

 

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