T Nation

Block Pull Height?

How high should I want the bar when it is sitting on the blocks?

I see guys like Tom Martin with pretty high blocks and some others with much lower.

This will be to target my sticking point that pretty much starts some where after the knee depending on how out of position I am by that time. People say block pulls eliminate a lot of the leg drive putting all the emphasis on the back and I think my back rounding is why I have issues with lock out. So this seems like the right choice.

It depends. Somewhere between knee level and 2 inches off the floor would make sense. I never really got anything out of block/rack pull though.

Tom Martin used to pull from a different height every week. If you aren’t sure what height to go with then use all of them.


Use a variety of heights. I use rubber patio pavers and stack them on top of each other to create the effect. I used a ROM progression approach with this, starting with 6 mats under the plates down to 0 to train the body to get used to handling heavier loads. Set a PR of a 650lb pull that way.


Did you start at 650 and work down in “pavers”?

1 Like

For that cycle in particular, yeah, but it was after many cycles with lighter weights and higher reps.

1 Like

Mid shin is always a good default height.


OK thank you!!! I will probably just start at ~3 inches and see how that goes.

I think it makes sense and def a good approach to start from 3 inchish

Prolly nothing you haven’t done before, but you might also reconsider some other troubleshooting options, maybe rotate through them throughout your training year?

  • I heard that deficits are good for lockouts because there’s more time under tension. I think by this logic, snatch grip deadlifts would be good too because of the ROM, and you get some extra upperback gainz (depending on where you’re rounding)
  • I think high rep RDLs could help too, for the same time under tension and having to maintain your brace without putting the weight down. I think it was a George Leeman video where he kinda traces his weakpoint through an RDL for AMRAP

I usually do 2 blocks (dunno how many inches) for meet prep. But when I did static monsters, it was an 18" axle deadlift so I put the blocks higher.

1 Like

If lockout is the issue I’d vote for deficits as well. Way more time for the bar to fuck with you by drifting out, and just more distance. Plus you need to be extra locked in with your lower back.


If it’s a positioning issue at a point pauses could be useful. If position is lost earlier on and becomes a problem later e.g back rounding off the floor making lock out harder than pauses at that earlier point too.


I have done a some pause work in the past with good results but I found it made me slow of the floor.

Deficits I did a ton but I think getting into position with those will be difficult in my thicker state.

Another reason to chose Block Pulls over deficits is I know I am terrible at them. Deficits I have always been pretty good with them.

1 Like

Yeah might be good to rotate in some block pulls then

I think block pulls helped me get fast off the floor

Is there anything more awful than pause/halting deadlifts?

Did Block pulls and they hit the spot!!! I am going to investigate how much it will be to make some blocks and if it is too much I will do Pause Deads but pausing just below knee height. Normally I pause those barely off the ground. 3rd option would be Snatch Deads but where you dont touch the ground. Markko gets these programmed sometimes.

1 Like

Was there plenty of comp deadlift in your training when you did pause work?

Not saying this is you but going from rounded off the floor to straight back will make you a bit slower at that point but will make the second part of the lift a breeze (relatively lol). Doesn’t matter how fast you rip the bar your off the floor if we can’t finish the lift. So slow-er ish isn’t necessarily bad if position is better for it. Max weights probably ain’t gonna be fast anyways but positioning and control matters more at those weights.

1 Like

Usually half or one third.

Very true. And for me I am sure the straight back was slowing me down a smidge but it was like I had learned the motor pattern of stopping at that height. With in a couple weeks of just comp deadlifting my speed came back with the better positioning but if I can avoid that with Block Pulls that is what I am going to do.

1 Like

Casual… everyone knows rolling with 110% comp lifts 50% assistance is optimal

1 Like