Courtesy of Liam Tweed
I am indebted to Rudolph Noess, of Bergen, Norway, for the illustrations demonstrating the various methods of performing the Dead Lift.
To the best of my knowledge, the Dead Lift Hopper as shown in the diagram above was first given publicity by Roger Eells in the February 1940 issue of VIM magazine. By the use of a hopper, strength athletes are able to increase enormously over a comparatively short period of time the power of their back muscles.
It is possible to perform 12 to 15 repetition Stiff Legged Dead Lifts on a hopper with a poundage that is one's maximum on the standard Dead Lift.
Note: Whoa! Pardon me? Read on to the performance description and you'll get a better idea. It's definitely a hard rebound deal here.
The method of performance is as follows: The weight is first lifted in the standard Dead Lift fashion with bent knees, flat back and head up, On reaching the erect position, the knees are locked and kept locked throughout the complete number of repetitions. Between 15 and 20 are excellent.
As soon as the body reaches the erect position you dive with the weight, letting it strike the hopper the hopper with the full impact of its own weight. Immediately the weight touches the hopper you pull hard and return to the erect position.
It has been said that a hopper bounces the weight and that it is really the hopper doing the work, not the lifter. That statement is not correct. If you held a really heavy poundage at the chest and dropped it onto the hopper you would find that it bounced approximately 1/2 inch.
The great advantage of this apparatus is that it accustoms the body to handling really heavy poundages. It overcomes the nasty sticking point at the bottom of the lift, thereby reducing the possibilities of sacroiliac strain to the point where they are almost nonexistent.
This equipment is of great value to Olympic men and any man who experiences difficulty in the clean will benefit enormously from its use.
The construction is quite simple, and as timber is easier to obtain now there should be little difficulty in its erection. If it is not possible to fix the hopper to your club floor you should fix a platform across its base so that when you perform dead lifts your own bodyweight holds the apparatus in position.
The alternate grip helps some lifters maintain their hold on the bar, to prevent the bar from slipping out of the hands. Many people, including myself, prefer to perform the dead lift with the knuckles of both hands facing front.
Enjoy Your Lifting!