Time to Try Jefferson’s Deadlift

So far, in our test of strange lifts, I have asked you to do a one-arm deadlift and a one-arm dumbbell snatch . Now for the relief: for this week’s exercise, I’ll let you put both hands on the barbell. We do Jefferson deadlifts.

The elevator is named not after our third president, but after a circus strongman named Charles Jefferson . This is an asymmetrical deadlift and you must engage your core muscles to keep the bar from rotating during the lift.

Ok, this is how you do it. This requires a barbell. He is on the ground, you hold on to him and stand up. The only catch is that you have to place one foot on either side of the bar.

This means that you are either facing one end of the bar with one hand in front of you and the other behind; or you have arms, as you would normally in the deadlift, but with one leg in front of the bar, not both behind it. Any method will work, or you can find something like a hybrid of them. Here I am doing lifting in the gym with a light weight of 135 lbs (below) and in competitions with 100 kg (220 lbs) on a thick bar .

It may take a little experimenting to find the best position for you. Some people take a broad position; I did better when my legs were close together. I like to set up like I’m doing a regular deadlift and then I step one leg over the bar. Then I tilt my back leg slightly outward and try to keep my body centered by bending over and lifting it. If my right leg is in front, I will hold my left hand in the grip from the bottom and my right hand from the top. And when the barbell rises, I move my hips as necessary so that the barbell continues to rise straight without touching my legs.

That is, yes, you are pulling the bar up to crotch level. It looks really, really stupid. You might think the guys have an anatomical problem here, but I’ve never heard anyone complain about it. Rather, you’ll hear people praising this weird lift on the Internet. (I mean, look at this guy . And this . And this .)

It’s like there’s an unwritten rule that we won’t laugh at this elevator, even if it’s dumb as hell. So here we are. You have to take this elevator very seriously , okay? Give it a try and let us know how it goes.


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