T Nation

Best Way to Improve Deadlift?

my deadlift has stalled-basically my back rounds a lot but i can still pull heavier weights, except that seems dangerous.

how did you guys improve your deadlift? was it through a deadlifting routine, just squatting more, strengthening the posterior chain, accessory work? i’d love to know your stats and hwat you did to get it:)

All I did was deadlift more and more.

First of all though my max deadlift never went anywhere until I learned the correct technique. Your back can do the bulk of the lift for you now but if you are ever going to go past this point you need to fix your form and get the legs into the movement more.

I used to deadlift every Friday without fail. All I did on that day was deadlifts. Working up to 2 rep max or 1 rep. usually did about 8 sets total and then left the gym

That worked for a good while and got my deadlift way past 405lbs.

Other than that, things I do now to get it up are;

use straps, you will get more reps and a stronger deadlift, at the sake of losing a little bit of a grip workout.

Rack deadlifts - Allows you to use more weight, speaks for itself really.

Strengthen the hamstrings, doing romanian deadlifts, good mornings etc.

As well as all this, dont be afraid to add more weight. Some people stick to a weight for too long because they dont want to fail a bigger weight in front of their friends.

Right now My advice for you is to practice with lighter weight until you feel your form is solid. Not looking for perfection here but it should be safe and your back should not round to the point where its dangerous.

I went within 3 months from 550 lbs to 595 lbs while deadlifting 1 time a month. Everytime I was deadlifting I was going for a new 1RM and it workt. Next month I’m going to pull 617 lbs, I’m convinced the weight is going up while maintaining this type of training.

I was mainly doing much of power cleans and high pulls, did these on 1 day. On a max effort day I sometimes did Good mornings (3 times in that peroid) and other max effort days I just did squats or something like it.

DON’T use straps, just train your grip if it’s weak. + use chalk.

When I first started I made videos of myself that I could look at and see where my form was incorrect. I also placed the videos in forums where my form could be critiqued. Everytime I would increase the weight a significant amount I made a video. There is no point in going up in weight unless your form is correct.
I can’t think of anything I did specificly to help my DL outside of DLing though I also SLDL and goblet squats that help with the posterior chain.
Though it is not as impressive as the guys my DL went from 45lbs to a 1 RM of 225 in 6mnths. I had some injuries to get over due to some other things after that but just recently I pulled 245.
Straps are very helpful to me in pulling heavier weights, I can concentrate more on locking out then just trying to hold on.

Deadlift every week but don’t go hard every week. Do most of your training at lighter loads to work on speed and technique. Add in assistance lifts depenent on your weakness on the lift ie weak lockout do pin pulls and reverse band work.

Speed, plus technique kills in the deadlift!!!

I agree, keep deadlifting. If your back is rounding I’d also start doing some moderately heavy back extensions. Good mornings might help you too.

One thing I think EVERYONE tends to overlook is ab work.

Heavy ab work (and I mean HEAVY)is one of the best ways to help your deadlift, keep good form, and prevent back injuries. Don’t only train the back, train the abs and obliques. You’ll be happy you did.

grip it and rip it?

Train the whole posterior chain - grip work, try using a fat bar for a bit - ab work, particularly standing ab work.

Check these out, there is no better source in the world when it comes to this stuff IMHO:

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/03PDF/Overcoming%20Plateaus%20Part%203%20The%20Deadlift.pdf

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/05PDF/Deadlift%20Training3.pdf

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/02PDF/Deadlifting%20on%20the%20Rise.pdf

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/05PDF/Deadlift%20Training2.pdf

As the weight gets real heavy your back will end up rounding a little. Try wearing a powerlifting belt to help with this. Yeah it seems dangerous, but it happens to basically everyone. Although you should try not to let the back round, it is inevitable. Keep pulling and your back will get stronger as well.

What exactly is ‘heavy ab work?’ i’ve started training abs but i have no idea how much work i should be shooting for. so far it’s just holding planks with a 45lb on back, and occasional leg raises.

Try that ab wheel thing with a barbell, standing cable abs, you have to figure that out, one arm deadlifts, or suitcase deadlifts one hand at a time, and other stuff like that. Side bends as well.

I think it depends on how good of a deadlift you have. the average sized lifter who is under 2.5x bw or so will be better served by deadlifting, usually their form is off and they are too weak to have weakpoints,and don’t have enough training experience to coach themselves as far as diagnosing what they need. they would probably be best served by a pasic old school periodization with nuts and bolts assistance like RDL, Stiff legs and good mornings. Once you get over that level a five pound PR is cause to celebrate and you’ll have to try different things.

[quote]laroyal wrote:
Check these out, there is no better source in the world when it comes to this stuff IMHO:

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/03PDF/Overcoming%20Plateaus%20Part%203%20The%20Deadlift.pdf

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/05PDF/Deadlift%20Training3.pdf

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/02PDF/Deadlifting%20on%20the%20Rise.pdf

http://westside-barbell.com/Articles%20Top%20Ten/PDF.Files/05PDF/Deadlift%20Training2.pdf

[/quote]

thx for those links

What have you been doing for your core(TVA) strengthening?

As soon as my deadlift got past the mid-500s, my style changed to include a seriously rounded upper-back. Among conventional pullers, sinking your chest when you start getting up there in weight is very common.

thoracic rounding is a given for heavy lifts/1RM… unless your posterior chain is extremely strong.

if you back is rounding incorporate some heavy upper back work (dumbell rows) and heavy shrugs. pull from pins 3rm’s.

make sure before you pull that you aim to pull in your shoulder blades together

i seen someone telling you to use straps, dont do this it will only weaken you grip, the issue here is back rounding and not a grip one or a struggle to move weights. its form.

try using 60% for speed singles. this will teach you how to pull fast weights while focusing on form.

My weakness is from floor to knees. I find that if I can get the weight up that high, I can usually lock it out.

What are some things to bring up the bottom portion of the lift-- is this where the squats come in?