"SS" with a Hex Bar "SS" with a Hex Bar

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Thread: "SS" with a Hex Bar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    22

    Default "SS" with a Hex Bar

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    I picked up a copy of Starting Strength and Practical Programming a couple months ago. I set up a home gym during quarantine to get back into it after a year or so of bodyweight training/cycling. I've been training for 2 months now and have gone from 185x5x3 squat, 185x5x3 bench, 95x5x3 press, and 275x5 hex deadlift to 275x5x3 squat, 205x5x3 bench, 122.5x5x3 press, and 350x5 hex deadlift. I have gone from 6'2 195 to 205 at 26 yrs old. I have spent a lot of time working on my deadlift form but it's just never that strong. I have always been able to pull more weight from the low handles of the hex bar.

    I understand Rip's problems with the lockout position and stability of the hex bar but I find it hard to believe that properly executed deadlifts move more weight than hex bar deadlifts. This seems to be validated by exrx standards, which consistently list hex bar weight standards 5% higher than conventional deadlift standards based on real lifts. I have a couple friends who are competitive powerlifters, and they seem to agree that they can pull more weight using the hex bar. One friend in particular set the USPA American record for the deadlift in his weight class with a 760lb pull, and he says he is stronger from the low handles of the hex bar. It seems to me, at the very least, that there are people who can pull more using a hex bar.

    I also have a problem with the supposedly high back angle that is attributed to the hex bar deadlift, given that it is clearly not optimal for moving heavy weight, and is not required by the movement. My back angle is actually quite horizontal on trap bar deadlifts because that it is a stronger position for me to pull from.

    Anyway, I'm training the hex bar with SS so I will be the guinea pig on the matter for now. I am not competing in powerlifting and just want to be strong so I prefer the trap bar because I can move more weight over the same distance. Once I get to 500lbs maybe my opinion can be more valid . I put SS in quotes because I figure this disqualifies me from the program. Has anyone else tried SS with this substitution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisatkeson View Post
    I picked up a copy of Starting Strength and Practical Programming a couple months ago. I set up a home gym during quarantine to get back into it after a year or so of bodyweight training/cycling. I've been training for 2 months now and have gone from 185x5x3 squat, 185x5x3 bench, 95x5x3 press, and 275x5 hex deadlift to 275x5x3 squat, 205x5x3 bench, 122.5x5x3 press, and 350x5 hex deadlift. I have gone from 6'2 195 to 205 at 26 yrs old. I have spent a lot of time working on my deadlift form but it's just never that strong. I have always been able to pull more weight from the low handles of the hex bar.

    I understand Rip's problems with the lockout position and stability of the hex bar but I find it hard to believe that properly executed deadlifts move more weight than hex bar deadlifts. This seems to be validated by exrx standards, which consistently list hex bar weight standards 5% higher than conventional deadlift standards based on real lifts. I have a couple friends who are competitive powerlifters, and they seem to agree that they can pull more weight using the hex bar. One friend in particular set the USPA American record for the deadlift in his weight class with a 760lb pull, and he says he is stronger from the low handles of the hex bar. It seems to me, at the very least, that there are people who can pull more using a hex bar.

    I also have a problem with the supposedly high back angle that is attributed to the hex bar deadlift, given that it is clearly not optimal for moving heavy weight, and is not required by the movement. My back angle is actually quite horizontal on trap bar deadlifts because that it is a stronger position for me to pull from.

    Anyway, I'm training the hex bar with SS so I will be the guinea pig on the matter for now. I am not competing in powerlifting and just want to be strong so I prefer the trap bar because I can move more weight over the same distance. Once I get to 500lbs maybe my opinion can be more valid . I put SS in quotes because I figure this disqualifies me from the program. Has anyone else tried SS with this substitution?
    Before I found ss I used to use it. My experience is work on your form and the barbell deadlift is better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    67

    Default

    No. Read the book. Again. Do the program. 🤣

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    748

    Default

    The trap bar os sacrilege. Donít fuck yourself up using that thing. Sagittal plane instability in the deadlift is a great way to get a back tweak.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    524

    Default

    Chris,
    There is a very fundamental philosophy used in Starting Strength when it comes to exercise selection. The Three Criteria.

    Since you have the books you know that.
    But trying to justify the advantages of a hex bar over a deadlift as taught here seems to contradict one, perhaps two of The Three Criteria. The ability of your friend being able to lift heavy using a hex bar does not invalidate the three criteria. If numbers are important, pull sumo. Hell, get one of those bench shirts and go full equipped.

    Setting up the deadlift properly is difficult.
    It sucks. Maybe video yourself. Say the five steps out loud as you are at the bar.
    Maybe get a coach.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    162

    Default

    Don’t be a pussy - learn how to deadlift correctly. Your post is a symptom of the - make it easier theory of training. Teach yourself to accomplish difficult tasks. Thank me later.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    1,010

    Default

    Let's look at this from another angle. Instead of asking, "why not use a hex bar?" ask "why use a hex bar?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    75

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    The barbell constrains your starting position and your lockout in a good way and feeling it against your legs provides a point of reference that aids in developing consistent movement.

    Learn to deadlift with the barbell. Getting the form right is a challenge and succeeding at it can be just as satisfying as reaching any other goal. When you can deadlift the barbell with good form go back to the hex bar and see if you still want to use it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Murphysboro, IL
    Posts
    30,320

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
    Learn to deadlift with the barbell. Getting the form right is a challenge and succeeding at it can be just as satisfying as reaching any other goal. When you can deadlift the barbell with good form go back to the hex bar and see if you still want to use it.
    This is an excellent point. Prior to discovering SS, I used a hex bar and loved it. I noticed no problems with sway or other instability at the time. Then I went to a seminar and learned good form for the deadlift. I've tried the hex bar and variants of it a couple of times and find now that the instability is apparent and distracting.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    58

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    starting strength coach development program
    When I first started training, the PT I was using (who happened to be very good) started me off with the Trap bar then moved onto rack pulls followed by full Deadlifts and ever since then Iíve always looked at the Trap bar as essentially a training tool to move up to full Deadlifts.

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