Sumo Deadlift, Chin Ups and One Arm Push Ups (Workout Post Mortem)

by Marianne  - June 18, 2011

Hey everyone,

Today I decided to make a return to my heavy gym training and I did Sumo Deadlifts, Front Squats, Front-Loaded Reverse Lunges, Chin Ups, Dips and Single-Leg Hip Thrusts. When I came home I thought I would film my one arm push up attempt LOL. What this video shows, is why we aim for progression and how sometimes regression is forced on you, so best to go with it and even laugh, if you can πŸ˜€ (a little “Grr” is allowed and is only human).

Some thoughts:

  • Deadlifts went better. I didn’t max out on the weight as I want to improve my lower back strength. Any heavier than 100kg and my form starts to break down, so I stopped at 90kg.Β  My sets looked like this: Set 1 – 65kg x 15, set 2 – 70kg x 13, set 3 – 80kg x 9, set 4 – 85kg x 8, set 5 – 90kg x 6 (as seen). Last 2 reps could’ve been better. Next time I’ll know to bring my hips forward quicker, or stop at 5 reps.
  • Chin Ups and Dips were the most disappointing things today. I had been up to 8 chin ups (underhand grip), and 12 dips. Today chin ups down to 6.5 and dips down to 6! But I know i will get this back up. I did 3 sets of each exercise x 6 reps.
  • Decided to do front squats instead of back squats because before I think the back squat was annoying my lower back. Verdict – front squats rock! Did 3 sets: 35kg x 12, 40kg x 8, 45kg x 5. Need to get these numbers UP!
  • Front-Loaded Reverse Lunges – also ROCK! Below is Alli doing an amazing job at these! This is where I got the idea/inspiration from.Β  I did 3 sets of this too (as I want to build up my quads a little) – 40kg x 10 (each side), 45kg x 7 (each side), 50kg (hard) x 4 (each side). Was thinking next time I might add a step and do a deficit variation.

  • The single-leg Hip thrusts are a staple exercise for me now.Β  Want to do weighted double-leg, but haven’t built up the courage yet to try them –Β  But I will (especially now I am going to meet these other ladies – need to up my game haha).
  • One Arm Push Up – haha! OK, my excuse is I was just after doing 3 sets of dips in the gym, but it took me about 6 attempts to manage this concentric portion on the right! These are tough cookies! The last day I did them I was fresher, but I need to get the left side up too. It was funny trying though… At least I have a baseline and can only improve on that, right?!

Another thing is that I have a new motivation and zest for training!!! It may or may not be my competitive nature coming out (with the looming trip and all LOL), but it’s doing wonders for me and I hope the motivation spreads.Β  Seeing what others can do, really helps boost not only motivation, but also standards. My form has become better as you can forget about building proper strength without it – hence the lesson that regression is not a bad thing, if it is what you NEED. Good form is all that really matters in keeping us lifting for longer.

In addition to the new zest, I have a new curiosity to try new (to me) lifts.Β  So I will be trying to do more of these, both with the KB and the Barbell.

For those folks waiting on a new workout, I will have one up tomorrow πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoyed the video today, and if I can get a secret camera next time, I will try and film more in the gym. But they are clamping down on this at the minute, boo!

Chat soon.



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  1. Marianne,

    Hi. When you do the sumo deadlift, why does one arm face you and the other one face away from you? At the gym they have bars with fixed weight, but they are not large plates. So I would have to squat very deep to pick up the weight. They have bars but the plates they have are not large enough to be able to pick up off the floor. I usually end up doing straight-leg deadlifts.



    1. Maria, the mixed grip I use is to help me hold the bar at those heavy weights. As I progress through the sets, my grip fatigues, so you can mix the grip or use straps.

      I know the sort of issue you are having and the best thing to do is to somehow fashion a platform for each end of the barbell that you have, to raise it up to a height you can reach. Usually 2 low steps will give it enough height to do this.


  2. Oh look who’s here, the woman mentioned on ben bruno’s blog!!!LOL
    And Bret Contreras…. God woman you’re everywhere!!!
    Well at least any place where strength and technique is admired!

  3. Hi Marianne,
    sorry, one question.
    Why not use belt power in your lifts?
    for example, the dead weight, many people recommend, but I see you’re not using it.
    What is your opinion regarding the use of belt power in heavy lifting.
    Thanks, greetings.

    1. Manuel, I wish to train my body’s natual Lifting Belt as I don’t want to rely on added support just yet. The form is more important than the weight right now and I want to know what feels right in that sense. Just my thoughts though.


  4. Hi Marianne,
    Yes I did compete, loved the experience. I learned so much and have kept that discipline all these years. The dead lift is my favorite lift. I also worked with a woman who was phenomenal in powerlifting. She was a wee little thing weighing perhaps 120-123 lbs. But…… She benched over 215, squatted 305+ and dead lifted 365. We’d meet in the gym at work and help each other out. We weren’t competing any longer but continued the drill so to speak . Powerlifting is something I am passionate about and was my introduction to weights. I love cardio but weights are my first love. I never tried the weightlifting you do. Lifting that weight over your head is so awesome, strong, powerful. That’s some technique. Continue as you are and you’ll be forever young. Also, you mentioned form, I agree with you on how important it is to get it down. It’s always a work in progress. My coach drilled that into us all the time, and I agree with you, regression is not a bad thing. All the greats have good form . Your teaching your followers well. Thank you for that.

  5. Hi Marianne,
    Kudos to you on making the Beautiful Badass Girls list!!!!!! Deservedly so. Also so happy to hear your coming to America. I would love to see you and FitmissTv Melissa working out together. Great minds hard at work . I’ve been on her blog in the past and like her workouts and ideas. I can’t help but comment on your deadlifting form if I may and offer a few suggestions. ( your form is good , I’d just like to help you enhance it ) From what I can see if you open your stance ,almost touching the plates , sit into it , then turn your toes inward ,stick out your bum a wee bit ,keep the bar very close to your shins , shoulders back , head up , dig your feet into the floor and pull. I think you’ll see a difference. I also like that your not wearing a belt. My coach taught us that way. We only used it during competition training.
    In my opinion I knew my form was good when I pulled and the weight didn’t feel heavy. It didn’t matter how
    much was on there, it just didn’t feel heavy. So there you have it, Minnies two cents. I hope you try my tips and find them helpful.
    Loved your one arm push ups, you’ll master those in no time . The one you did do was strong . Kudos to you Marianne.
    Cheers ,

    1. Thanks Minnie, I will do my best to improve πŸ™‚ Thanks for the pointers. Did you compete in Powerlifting?

      Dam the one-arm push ups, they won’t beat me πŸ˜‰

    1. Do you mean, am I still strong in the traditional lifts even when I only do KBs for a while?

      If find my KB work has improved my traditional lifts. This is down to improving form with lighter loads and, as Bret said in our interview:

      “When you go lighter, form stays great and muscle activation is where you want it. You groove excellent motor patterns and strengthen appropriate muscles. As you progress to more advanced versions of bodyweight and kettlebell exercises, the muscles can get challenged just as much as they do from heavy exercises. One thing that most people don’t realize is that muscle force is determined by body position, distance from the joint, and the magnitude and direction of the load. Performing good single leg lifts and explosive kettlebell lifts can provide a great stimulus for the muscles of the knee extensors and posterior chain, while strengthening similar movement patterns as the bilateral barbell exercises.”

      Because my ROM and overall form is better, I have gotten better at some traditional lifts.

  6. BTW – I love that you mentioned the “concentric” contraction of the push up!!! That “eccentric” contraction can be a killer!!
    Michele <

  7. I’ve always considered the reverse lunge as hip dominant movement. Never tried a front-loaded version of it, however.

  8. Oh, I’m sorry you couldn’t do more 1 armed push ups, but I hope you realize that makes us feel better! I can hardly do one on a good day much less doing any after tricep dips!!! Your poor little face said it all! Well, I was doing the Kicking Butt Extreme Glut workout and included those one leg Bulgarian squats in addition to the single leg Hip thrusts (on the benches) – I sounded like I was going to die! My heavy breathing and groans probably made everyone uncomfortable LOL! But I’ve found it amazing how much the proper breathing pushes me through a ton of sets!!! So, it’s okay if we see you not able to make it through some one armed push ups – we KNOW you can do it normally! Thanks for being real!
    I too am trying to do a little more lifting, but going slowly as I want to learn proper form! Looking forward to hearing about your visit to see our country!! Chin up! Michele

    1. Thank you Michele, I am glad you appraciate me showing my struggle. No point in pretending that I get everything right. My favorite saying here “work in progress” – with the important word being “progress” πŸ˜€ Like how you said “chin up” πŸ˜‰ haha “just one more” !

      That workout you are talking about, I remember it LOL – tough tough tough!

      BTW, where are you from?

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