Discover the Secret of the Dimel Deadlift
Essentially, Matt Dimel’s deadlift is a partial range of motion deadlift variation.
There is ample evidence that you will get stronger on the pull from below your knees to a standing position.
This range of motion is the last half of a complete deadlift.
This partial deadlift is explosive.
So, instead of slowly standing up with the bar, you use a lighter weight.
Now you can ‘pop’ up to a standing position.
As a result, you will not use heavy weights with this deadlift variation (also known as the dimmel deadlift).
You can think of the dimel as a ballistic, plyometric type of deadlift assistance exercise.
Matt Dimel’s deadlift variation is a crucial, secret ingredient because this assistance exercise is a staple of Westside Barbell and the brainchild of Powerlifter Matt Dimel.
Other notable powerlifters who trained with the dimel at Westside Barbell were Kenny Patterson and Chuck Vogelpohl.
Success leaves clues.
How to Perform Matt Dimel’s Deadlift:
- Use 30 to 50 percent of the weight you usually deadlift for your work sets.
- For example, if your current best deadlift weight is 160 pounds, use 50 to 80 lbs.
- Start from the top of the deadlift position.
- Hip hinge, move your hips back, and lower the barbell down to just below your knees.
- When you move your hips back, this will give you a hamstring stretch.
- When the barbell reaches below your knees, drive your hips through and stand up.
- Do 15 to 20 repetitions to build up your deadlift endurance.
- Build up your speed as you do your reps.
- “You should pull so hard that the plates clang against the barbell at the top of the deadlift. If the plates ring at the top, you are using your hamstrings like a good deadlifter. If they don’t make a sound, you just pulled with your back.” – Louie Simmons, Westside Barbell Founder and Coach.
- You will hear the plates ringing as in this excellent video below of Queen bee power demonstrating Matt Dimel’s deadlift:
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Primary Cues for a Perfect Dimel Deadlift
- Stretch your hamstrings, and then
- Flex your glutes,
- First, stretch your hamstrings when you hip hinge and move your hips back, and then,
- Flex your glutes to drive your hips forward and complete the deadlift.
Benefits of the Dimel
The dimel will improve the posterior strength and power of your hips and glutes.
And as a result, your ability to lockout and complete both the squat and the deadlift.
Dave Tate says that the dimel “helped Matt Dimel increase his squat from 800 to over 1000 pounds”.
Here is a rare video of Matt Dimel squatting 936 pounds:
Matt used the benefits of box squatting to build his strength until he could perform a squat of 1010 pounds in 1985.
What is the Difference Between a Dimel and Romanian Deadlift?
Do you think that the dimel deadlift resembles a Romanian deadlift?
You are not the only one.
Here are the main distinctions between the dimel vs. Romanian deadlift:
- First of all, you only lower the bar an inch or two below your knees when you do the Dimel deadlift.
- Whereas in the Romanian deadlift, you lower the bar as far as possible while keeping good form.
- Second, the Dimel deadlift is a fast and explosive exercise, as you saw Laura Phelps demonstrate above.
- On the other hand, the barbell or dumbbell Romanian deadlift is a slower movement with control.
Louie Simmons on Dimel Deadlifts
Louie Simmons is the Founder of Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio.
He is the only man over 50 to squat 900, bench 600 pounds, and deadlift 700 in a powerlifting competition.
Here are his thoughts and advice regarding the Dimel deadlift, as reported by Jordan Syatt:
“Dimel deadlifts are similar to Romanian deadlifts but performed as explosively as possible. The Dimel deadlift is one of the best deadlift assistance exercises to improve explosive power.”
To dimel effectively, follow these five steps:
- First, assume the top position of a conventional deadlift stance holding the barbell with a shoulder-width, overhand grip.
- Now, keep all weight on your heels,
- Then, send your hips back towards the wall behind you while maintaining a neutral spine.
- Progressively move your hips backward until the bar barely passes the knees.
- Once the bar passes the knees, drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes.
- Shoot your hips forward as quickly and explosively as possible.
Rest in Peace, Matt Dimel, Creator of the Dimel Deadlift
Matt Dimel’s death in 1994 was a devastating shock and loss to the world of Powerlifting.
In 1994, Powerlifting USA reported that “Matt Dimel died suddenly on Apr 9, 1994, when he suffered either a stroke, a seizure, or perhaps an aneurysm. Matt was only 33 years of age.”
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