THE DEADLIFT : GAIN OVERALL STRENGTH FOR ANY LIFT Learn the deadlift from U.S. Olympic & Team USA coach, Harvey Newton. The deadlift for weightlifters is not like the powerlifting exercise of the same name. Either a conventional snatch or a clean grip is used. The starting position is identical to the start of either of these competitive lifts. The lifter simply stands to an erect position, takes a breath, and returns to the start position. Maintain identical positions as would be used in the snatch or the clean. Maintain tension throughout the body while lowering the weights, and execute the following repetitions without bouncing the weights on the platform or relaxing.