Since making his international pro strongman debut at the 2022 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition, the 2023 WSM champion Mitchell Hooper has competed in 13 strongman contests and podiumed all of them. Of those 13 podiums, Hooper claimed gold in six of them, including the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic and the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational.
“I have got a pretty strong fire lit under my ass for the next year.
On Nov. 8, 2023, Hooper published a video on his YouTube channel wherein he broke down his new deadlifting technique aimed at achieving a stronger lockout. Additionally, Hooper announced his new YouTube series that will chronicle the 2024 Pro Strongman season. Check it out below:
Hooper noticed a loss of strength and mobility in his right ankle and hip over the last few months. To correct this issue, he is employing unilateral exercises like Bulgarian split squats in his offseason training program.
Mitchell Hooper’s New Deadlift Technique & Accessory Lifts
Hooper noticed that his hips rose too early during his deadlift, leading to an over-reliance on the posterior chain. “In the off-season, I’m working on getting my hips down more,” said Hooper, believing this issue contributed to his recent hamstring and back injuries.
Hooper’s new deadlift technique involves keeping his hips lower to engage his quads more effectively. Doing so should ease his lockout. Hooper opined that engaging the quads should ease the lockout. “When the bar gets to your knees with your torso more vertical, the lockout is super-super easy,” Hooper confirmed.
The 2023 WSM champion incorporated deficit deadlifts into his programming to reinforce the bottom position of the conventional deadlift. “You’ll notice in deficit deadlifts, when you struggle, you struggle from the knee up because you start to lose integrity from the position off the ground,” explained Hooper. “If you can perfect your position off the ground in a deficit deadlift, that’s going to carry throughout your traditional deadlift, and your lockouts will become much stronger.”
Hooper stressed limiting deficit deadlifts to the off-season to avoid motor pattern disruption during competitions. Hooper’s programming also includes barbell back extensions to further build power and resilience in his back to help with partial pulls typically scene in competition, such as various 18-inch deadlifts, including the mainstay Hummer Tire Deadlift event at the Shaw Classic.
Hooper performed back extensions with 315 pounds for eight reps in his training session in the video. During his off-season, Hooper aims to improve his body composition, grip strength, and consistency on Atlas stones.
Hooper announced a new YouTube video series, “No Stone Unturned,” for the upcoming 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic and 2024 World’s Strongest Man competitions, in which he will document his prep, covering every facet of his training, recovery, and nutrition.
Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram
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