Deadlifts for Tall Lifters – An Entire Set-Up Guide



Video taken from the channel: Jye Cassidy


Deadlift Set-up and Body Shape

Video taken from the channel: Alan Thrall


Bench Press, Squat & Deadlift Tips for TALL Guys with Aaron Reed

Video taken from the channel: Criticalbench


Correct Dead Lift Form for tall athletes

Video taken from the channel: STRENGTH CAMP



Video taken from the channel: Tall Lifts


Tips For Tall Lifters Part 1: The Base

Video taken from the channel: Zack Telander


Deadlifting With Long Legs / Grip Issues / Hip Position

Video taken from the channel: Alan Thrall

July 18, 2018 Andy Yingling Collaborator. Deadlifts for Tall Lifters A Complete Set-Up Guide. The deadlift. Sometimes looked at as the king of all exercises, as it is one of the lifts that utilizes your entire body to complete the lift, upper and lower body. Not only is it king, but it’s also a true testament of strength, pick it up and put it down.

One exception is when training for a powerlifting competition. The deadlift is the last event at a powerlifting meet, meaning that a lifter has already done three maximum squat and bench-press attempts before mounting the platform for a first deadlift attempt. You’re going to be tired. In a powerlifter’s case, training the deadlift last makes. And there’s no one variation of the deadlift that everyone has to do.

Leverages, ability level, injury history, and preference will determine what’s best for you. But for the conventional deadlift, these “golden rules” work for most people: First, make sure your armpits are right above the bar. Many people set up.

Download the 4 Week Tall Lifts Program here: on My #1 tip for deadlift for tall guys. Watch the whole video to see what it is. Anyway, if you want a simple solution to back troubles on the deadlift, good mornings are for you. They’re great for strengthening your spinal erectors, hamstrings, and back-extension strength. Best of all, they don’t require any special equipment, they’re easy to set up, dead simple to learn, and they’re a breeze to recover from.

Deadlifts come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for a variety of training goals. This guide is going to break down the movement in-depth, teach you how to optimize your deadlift technique, and teach you how to start maximizing your deadlift training. The following exercises, set-up cues, and assistance work will apply to not just tall lifters, but those with long limbs as well. I’m in no means an “expert,” but I feel that I can share my knowledge base and help out many lifters out there that are looking for assistance.

Once a lifter reaches a point in their training, doing high volume (a lot of reps and sets) deadlifts with moderate loads (50-60% rm) can place high amounts of neural and muscular stress on the body. Better Grip = Bigger Deadlift. Most lifters deadlift with an alternated grip, which means one palm is facing forward and one palm is facing back.

How to Deadlift – A Step-by-Step Guide. Step 2: Stand up tall. Step 3: Hip hinge driving your hips backward while keeping your torso straight.

Step 4: As your hips go back, reach for the bar. 4. Increase How Often You Deadlift. There are many opinions floating around at how often you should train a particular movement or muscle group in order to build mass..

However, if you have followed any powerlifting or Olympic lifting program written by someone with good credentials in the industry, you will notice a common theme. They all have you doing.

List of related literature:

You want to set up for all four exercises inside a squat rack before you begin.

“The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle” by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove
from The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle
by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove
Penguin Publishing Group, 2005

To recap: place the feet and grip shoulder-width apart, grip the bar like the bench press, keep the back neutral, descend straight to the clavicles, tilt the head back while looking forward, raise the bar along the same path, shift the torso forward slightly, squeeze the glutes, and lock out.

“Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body” by Michael Matthews
from Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body
by Michael Matthews
Oculus Publishers, 2019

Spotters can assist the lifter with removing and returning the bar to the rack.

“AAOS Atlas of Orthoses and Assistive Devices E-Book” by John D. Hsu, John Michael, John Fisk
from AAOS Atlas of Orthoses and Assistive Devices E-Book
by John D. Hsu, John Michael, John Fisk
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008

To put together your squat stand, set the height of the barbell to roughly your knee height on the front of the rack.

“Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training” by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
from Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training
by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

In addition to adding leverage and weight to the mob, using a box or bench gives you added mobility, giving you access to areas of your hamstrings that are inaccessible when mobilizing from the floor.

“Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance” by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
from Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance
by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2015

I finish off with partial deadlifts in the rack for the low back and overall back thickness.

“Natural Bodybuilding” by John Hansen
from Natural Bodybuilding
by John Hansen
Human Kinetics, 2005

Step 6: Lift the bar off of the rack using an alternated grip upon the command of the subject.

“Laboratory Manual for Exercise Physiology” by Greg Haff, Charles Dumke
from Laboratory Manual for Exercise Physiology
by Greg Haff, Charles Dumke
Human Kinetics, 2012

VARIATION #6 I VARIATION #7 BUILD YOUR BICEPSITOOI _ _ As you perform the braced squat, Iso Exploswe Body Braced Squat W,”wwkywmmsbydomg ‘.

“The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!” by Adam Campbell
from The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!
by Adam Campbell
Rodale, 2009

Most people prefer starting from the rack because it makes it easier to load the bar and doesn’t force you to waste energy pulling it off the floor at the beginning of each set.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

Toe clearances and specific grab bar locations are important as well.

“The Codes Guidebook for Interiors” by Sharon K. Harmon, Katherine E. Kennon
from The Codes Guidebook for Interiors
by Sharon K. Harmon, Katherine E. Kennon
Wiley, 2006

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Duno why YouTube recommend me this… I’m 5’4 and on top of that I pull sumo, + my femurs are hella short. What the actual fuck YouTube?

  • Hey CriticalBench, to sum it all up, if you’re tall like me (6’3) you should point your toes out wider when squatting so you can get your glutes down all the way?

  • I have really short arms and legs but a really long torso (think T-rex). If I get in your recommended lift position, my arms don’t reach the bar. I could put the bar on something to give it more height but then my range of motion would be very small. Am I better off finding an alternative to deadlift?

  • I have short arms and femurs with a long torso. I cannot seem to DL (conventional or sumo) without experiencing lower back muscular pain. My deadlift is only up to 320 lbs after years of lifting. I’m beyond frustrated. Any useful advice is welcomed.

  • Love this explanation!
    I’m learning to deadlift and asked a friend to watch me while deadlifting. She told me that I should lower my butt which was very difficult for me since I’m 180cm and built like shape B. She is about 168cm and built like shape C…

  • I’m 188 cm with long legs, stuck at 200 kg deadlift (while also squatting 200) because i can’t find a good position to start, I’ll try this

  • Man I’m 6’4 and deadlifts snd squats seem so smooth for short dudes…they don’t have to come all the way down from the sky basically. Short dudes are lucky….but I’m glad im over 6 foot lol so I’m good

  • I’m 6′ 5” type B and already suck at bench because of my long goblin arms. Thought at least it would make me a good deadlifter but then Alan says 05:03 fml

  • great video watch the Ants tutorial and he is 5 foot 3 he says the exact same thing I think he pulls like 700 or so and he weighs nothing lol Im 6 foot 2 and I realize also the bar does not need to be that close to you and indeed it is a push thru the floor with your legs not a “pull”
    rocco nyc

  • Hey Zack I think there’s an extra letter in your title. It should say “Tips for All Lifters Part 1: The Base”.:-D The important point about catch position that you so clearly illustrate really does apply to all lifters not just tall ones.
    Just discovered your channel recently, already recommended it to a lifter-friend. Excellent content; love the wonderfully concise and straight-forward presentation. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  • My grip is my limiting factor as well! When I’m doing mixed grip and go to set my lats, my sup. Hand wants to rotate back around where I am quickly holding on with my first two fingers and thumb. For some reason I can’t seem to keep that hand rotated back

  • Hey man havent deadlifted for years and decided to try after just getting back into lifting a month ago, I warmed up with 60kg for a set of 8 using the method i was using years ago and tried this technique i ended up only doing 85kg for a few sets of 5 but it felt lighter than the 60kg warmup with the unaware RDL technique i was using. Im 196cm btw thanks for your tips mate

  • Im also 6’1 as Kolecki but much thinner…recently narrowed my grip trying to copy his grip and i feel much more powerful on the jerk, contrary to the usual widening of the grip, which shortens the distance the bar has to travel. Unfortunately, started doing the sport after 35, so i don’t have the same hip flexibility as he used to show…if you notice,he always kept his feet pointing forward on the catch and had a very pronounced turning of his back foot on the jerk, very wide split and rear leg bent a little more than what is suggested in russian manuals.

  • Hey allan. Am 13 getting 14 on the 8th of october. just wanna ask u is it healthyu for me to deadlift i do get testical pain, and stomach ache. today i deadlifted 95 kg( i am from eu) and i injured my back. nothing seriouse. and i weigh 96kg. so is it healthy for me or nah?

  • Should I do squats after 2 knee surgeries ( tore LCA twice)? Been avoiding squats and doing leg press. Anyone with similar experience?

  • At 6′-7″ I appreciate this information. I’ve always felt awkward doing squats the way I do because I noticed I maintain tension the entire time as most don’t.

  • Finally. I’m 6’3″ and wanted to get a tutorial on sumo deadlifts but everyone on youtube who gives the sumo tutorial are fucking 5 feet tall. After following the videos I look in a mirror and my form looks nothing like the guys teaching the deadlift and every ounce of power is gone whenever I do the lift based on what they tell me.

  • Hey bro, I recently created a fitness channel. Could u please tell me what camera u use? Or maybe you could tell me some cheap options. Appreciate bro����

  • 6’4” with long legs and a short torso

    I found this out after experiencing way too much lower back pain from following conventional advice of placing the bar over the middle of the foot. If you’re too close you simply cannot get into proper form.

    Placing the bar farther away helped with this.


  • When I do deadlift, I lose my natural arch in my lower back (not to the level that it get flexed, but it gets flat), is it okay? can someone point me to a video or article about it (if it is okay or not?)

  • 6’2” long femur untermensch reporting in. Haven’t started oly yet, but your videos have been a well-spring of quality content that I’ve been using. Also, good procrastination material when I need to study. Thankfully, I live and study in the Netherlands where tall lifters are abound; I’m looking forward to learning from them. Can’t wait for the rest of the series. Congrats on a million channel views. Keep it up, fam. One day, us spindly-folk will rule the world.

  • I have the same exact issues: I’m around 6’0″ (181 cm) with long legs and a short torso. What helped me was taking what I call a “hybrid stance” it’s not quite sumo but it’s not conventional either. My feet are slightly wider than shoulder width, pointed out a bit, and my arms are inside of my knees. This allows me to have the inside of my shins (a few inches above my ankle) make contact with the bar. I cannot make contact with the bar if I’m in a conventional stance following conventional wisdom unless I’m bent way over with my head near me knees.

  • im 5’6″ but i feel like i have a short torso like person b, could that even be correct or i have to deadlift like person c only?

  • I just like using a shrug/trap bar. You stand inside it and don’t have to worry about the barbell scraping your knees and shins….

    Addendum…I just went to the gym and did deadlifts this way with spread legs and toes out. It helped alot. I also didn’t lower all the way to the ground but just below my knees. I know….not a full deadlift but I still could feel the back strengthening effect and…thanks Eliot, this helped. I’m 6’3 btw….

  • For me, pronated grip all the way. I hate mixed grip. Won’t do them. I have, however learned to tolerate sumo deadlifts. Never did a sumo style deadlift til last week. I’m 58 years old.

  • Im not into powerlifting comps nor plan to make one in the near future
    Just a general gym goer

    Can i just stick to rack pulls a little off the floor? My biomechanics are fucked and conventional feels really unnatural but a rack pull feels really good and strong

  • hey zack,
    was wondering if you have any tips on really increasing flexibility/mobility because i’m a tall 6’5 guy like you and my flexibility is awful. Are you naturally flexible or do you stretch loads? thanks

  • Rad video, I’m 6’3, former football (soccer) player for 14 years so I really struggle with dorsiflexion and I can only squat to parralel before but wink occurs, so I’ll be watching closely to up my lifting game, cheers from the UK

  • Deadlift is the only excercise tall people have an advantage. We have a greater moment arm on our hip hinge, but im only 6`4, maybe taller people than me struggle, people like Brian Shaw and Hafthor…..

  • I’m 6’3 and I trained for Weightlifting for the past 6 months, so besides not being an explosive individual myself, the height does not help. You showed some accurate concepts in this video and I’m excited for the rest of the series. Keep it up Zack!

  • You speak the truth!!! I always felt more comfortable with the bar further away, watching my lifts the bar would move move forward as I went to pull because my set up was wrong. Instagram: jahneels I can see the bar moving forward on most of my lifts

  • so Alan Does this mean that a person with longer legs will use more posterior chain and thus its normal to get more sore hams,glutes and back?

  • Going off around 8:35 with the plates hitting unevenly on dead-lifts…. my largest problem tends to be with my overhead press (especially heavy). I have moved to pin presses for my heavy days to prevent bouncing too much and throwing my shoulders around. (shoulder pain was the cue for me doing this). Pin presses have helped me very much in this regard, but I am wondering if there are any cues or other tips you could give.

  • Any more coming? I’m not especially tall but have pretty long femurs compared to the rest of my body other than adjusting my snatch technique and squatting extra so far it’s not been a huge issue but seeing on how to improve more is always great!

  • wish I clicked on this because I actually needed the advice but being the shorty I am, now I feel worse about myself roles back into the midget box

  • Once again great piece. I’m a 6′ weightlifter and I still have trouble pulling the bar to my hip before I pull the bar up and drop under.

  • Hi,I just started lifting weights (went to the gym two times),I am 16yo 1.8m tall and I weigh 90kg,i can bench press 3 times 150pounds,OHP 100pounds,deadlift 162,5pounds and squat only 100pounds.
    The problem is that the gym I go to doesn’t have a power rack,so whenever I want to do a squat I have to deadlift,clean it and then put it above the back,or above the clavicles,and I can squat only 100pounds for five repetitions,I can’t load more because I lack the strength when I have to bring the barbell from behind the head to above the clavicles.
    Also,is it normal to feel a bit of wrist pain during the bench press and squat?
    My goal would be a 250pounds bench press,squat and a 375 deadlift,can I reach them in a month or two?

  • I used used to be 5’10 & I fell off lifting for a while. then I grew to 6’0 & deadlifting felt so weird, thank you so much man this really helped!

  • Alan, I’m going to disagree with your narrow stance. I pull over 600 lbs with a wider stance. I believe the wider stance enables my glutes more which recruits more muscles. If I set up narrower, there’s no way in hell my glutes would fire properly.

  • But your physique is way better looking, I take your physique over 99% of people never liked overly devolved thighs. I know you don’t care just saying����

    Also it seems like u need to use more hips and lower back if you’re taller with long legs compared to short torso do you think this is true even in weightlifting not just powerlifting in the squat for example?

  • I think Kolecki had short arms compared to his legs. Its the long limbs that create issues in order to set the bar into the power position without bending arms. In the clean, the longer arms mean a pronounced bend and that slack means a slight loss of power.

  • I have a bad habit of jumping too wide when catching snatches and this 1.) leads to knee pain and 2.) makes me unstable in the bottom and basically all my snatches are powersnatches. How can I force my brain to jump narrower? I already start with a narrow stance with toes pointed outwards because of my long shins. I’m 6ft tall. I think my body proportions are very similar to Klokov and Alexandr Zaichkov, who I try to emulate.

  • How would you suggest I build a base for Olympic lifts? I am 6 foot 210 and have been training powerlifting and general strength on the starting strength template for about a year-and-a-half and I’m interested in getting a better clean and snatch thanks for any information have a good day

  • Best Guide. I had the same Problem. Starting Strength is probably the worst on teaching how to Deadlift and Squat. Once i started to use more Legs everything got better.

  • You’d think there would be a lot of tall lifters as taller people tend to have a higher muscle building potential. They would take a longer time to reach it, but taller people have naturally larger muscle bellies and as a result should have a higher muscle building potential.

    Just thoughts, correct me a if I’m wrong.

  • I don’t know if you’ll reply but, I was wondering if you can recommend a good hex bar that works for wide muscular tall guys. Everything out there is made for small people.

  • You are the only person that has been able to articulate this. I’m 5’11 but I have an extremely short torso and 37” inseam. I’ve hurt my knees in the past and stopped weight lifting due to it.

  • Great video, I was definitely one of those people ending catching with too narrow a stance. I worked on my hip mobility and moved it out, and almost immediately hit two new snatch pbs. not only that, it also sorted a lot of calf pain that I had been having for months. Still working on getting the new positions dialled but it definitely feels good

  • hi Alan i’m you big fans, so appreciate you teaching powerlifting program, but i got a question about when i do the deadlift, my head also turn a little bit form right. how can i fix this? can i send a video to you? thank u so much.

  • I have been trying to learn and progress my deadlift but I’m a lanky bastard so it has never really felt natural, and my form falls apart quickly. I will try the frog stance, thanks for the tip Alan.

  • Yeah, I’m c type, and I feel I pull better when my hips are lower than they are “supposed be” in the set up. I’ve struggled to match the ideal set up and it feels harder than when I go lower with my hips.

  • Thanks for this series! I’ve always been told that I don’t “look” like a weightlifter because of my slim 6’2″ frame, and that I should choose something else. Gains keep coming and my passion for the sport keeps growing though!

  • Bless! Thank you so much, can’t wait for the following vids on this.
    Stats: 5’11” with a 6’4″ wing span at 220 pounds. Not necessarily super tall, but definitely on the spider monkey side lol.

  • I’m not “tall” but I’m all limbs and no torso. This is awesome. I might have to do a 2nd sesh today just to try a wider pulling stance.

  • Your videos are VERY valuable. I shudder to think how many people have been injured trying to deadlift from a position not commensurate with their body type.

  • Dude I don’t think you know what you’re talking about any more it sounds like you’re pulling it right out of your ass. I’m 6’7 and I deadlift 415 at 17 years old and I’ve been doing conventional forever and I have no problem with it. Just stop

  • I’m stumped man…. I’m 5’9 have short arms short legs and more torso than anything. All I feel I can really do properly is rack pulls below the knee because nothing feels right. Possibly a flexibility issue? I feel like I have the potential to be good with deadlifting because I can rack pull almost 700lbs. Which I know there is a difference. I can do a 405lb deadlift pretty easily I just feel like my body doesn’t like the way I do it and it hurts…. lol mainly hamstrings

  • This is the best video I’ve seen on this subject so far. Thank you very much for the technical details and the tips for us taller folk.

  • Can you make a video, for tips on bicep recovery and best approach on how to get back into deadlifts with more safety precautions? Plz.

  • The problem find with using my legs is my football knee grinds so hard if I even slightly apply pressure to that knee joint. Usually I can keep my knees out of the equation but once in a while I dip a bit too low and bend th knee to much and it fucking kills the rep and set and I gotta stretch it out and shake it off.

  • The technique you’re using to demonstrate is incorrect.
    Your hips shoot up way too early and your knees should stay more forward during the movement (they should nearly not move back until the bar has passed the knees)

  • Wish i knew this when i started working out. Im 6,5 and hated deadlifts. Doing them rn and can already tell that this wide method is 100x better. Thank you

  • I’m 6’8 myself and I am so glad I have found ways to work on my strength and mobility! It can be challenging for tall guys to fill out the frame but trust me guys, it’s all worth it! Compound exercises will be your best friend! Stay strong!

  • Dude I fucking love you. I’m really struggling with my form during my deadlift. I look at the mirror and I can’t seem to not arch my lower back without dropping my hips really low to knee height or below. I’m 6’4 and was utilizing the conventional stance, this video really helps a lot and I’ll be trying this out next time I go to the gym

  • First channel that deals with tall guy’s issues. I’m 193 cm and your videos relate to me. Great videos. Everyone forgets tall men and gives advice for shorter ones. I totally agree with your advice. Thank you!

  • Good stuff man! I’ve been dead lifting wrong for years! 6 1” here and have always had back problems after dL, this position is so much better!!

  • When I look at people doing snatch, sometimes I see them starting with the bar a bit further forward than midfoot, and they pull it back slightly so it ends up an inch or two further back when they’re holding it overhead. So I guess they’re really pushing into the floor with their forefeet. Here’s an example:

  • Thanks a bunch for this! I’ve been needing to hear this for a while.

    6’3” here with a long torso and not the strongest lower back (pulled it a couple times). I’ve been stalling on my deadlift for a while. Rounding in my lower back was minimal on the way up but was there nonetheless and I never managed not to completely round my back on the way down.

    Just tried this with the same weight I was lifting for my conventional deadlifts. For the first time, my deadlift felt the way I was told it should feel: nice push through the heels at the start, solid core and lower back, nice strong upper back in standing position, and nice straight back all the way back down… which makes it way easier to just hit the ground and lift right back up.

    I kept my palms down after reading the bicep tear comments. It’s fine for now. Will switch to a mixed grip when the weight gets heavier.

  • I am 191 cm. I have exact same problem(my shoulder gets round when going down with bard ) I think this shit happens because I cant stand 90 degree that means I have no hip mobility. that shit affects also my squat too.

  • The other issue is proportional small or proportional big. You can be 7 foot and proportional and still have to get way further down to the (relatively) low barbell vs a 5 foot proportional person.

  • Super thank you man. Saved. So much stuff people teach you does not apply to people 6 feet plus. Especially that relationship to the ground and rest at the top of squats. I had surgery and I’m not getting stronger with traditional squats. I’m resting half the time no wonder. Definitely modifying my routine.

  • Interesting video, I’m not tall, but I like watching these kinds of tips.

    With this tip, because you are starting your feet a little more behind then usual, is the center of mass moving a bit forward onto your toes? Is this concerning or did you feel just as balanced as before? I ask because it’s mostly recommended to keep the center of mass of the barbell-lifter system over mid-foot.

  • This video helped me a ton as i’ve got the long torso type and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get my form right. Question for consideration… since I’m basically doing a squat, would squat shoes with the slightly raised heel help?

  • Pete Rubish tip for mix grip is to have the supernated hand an inch or two further out from centre compared to pronated to prevent helicoptering the barbell. Tried this and really helped. For me anyways.

  • Alan, I’d like thank you for the work that went into this video. At 46, I’m relatively new to barbell training, even though I’ve been working out since my late teens. I’m 5’7″ and 230 lbs, with relativety low body fat and a 29-inch inseam. So, hardcore Type C.

    I’ve been having MAJOR trouble figuring the deadlift mechanics out, but what you shared about keeping the bar over the middle of the feet and the scapulae over the bar made ALL the difference in the world. Earlier tonight I was able to do the lift smoothly and for the first time I felt like I was working WITH my body instead of fighting against it.

    You’re a good man, Charlie Brown! Massive tackle hugs from Hattiesburg, MS!

    Rodney McNeely

  • Interesting tips, ill try it out. Im 182cm with short arms so my starting position looks like the 200cm example you drew. I started sumo deadlifting to get a better starting position. Would you recommend sumo deadlifting for someone with my body type?

  • 6’7 here I’m told I’ll fuck up my lower back with squats by many people, I haven’t so far but will it make me a cripple when I’m older?? No-ones answered me.

  • I started deadlifting recently and I have long legs so my leverages is like the 3rd one on the top. It’s such an awkward lift because I have no experience doing it. Going to try these tips cause my lower back feels off and is a little painful.

    Thanks for the upload.