Deadlift Help

I need deadlift help, let me explain. First off, the stats, 19 years old, bodyweight 177 and rising (slowly). Been training since i was 12, seriously since i was 15ish. Best ever deadlifts (all done with wrist straps on a straight bar) were 485 at 165 and 515 at 170. But those were all 5 months ago or before. Now im only pulling mid 400’s (hit 475 on monday, shot for 495 and like every single attempt at that recently, it flies off floor, stalls at knees.) I really feel that my legs are extending way to soon and back is trying to do all the work. But my question is, what the HECK do I do about it? Obviously a miraculously stronger back and or better technique would help but if i knew how to instantly do that I wouldnt be asking. What can I do to make my technique get better as fast as possible (learn better technique without doing it for years) and or make my lower back, hamstrings, whatever get stronger faster? Also if you just noticed anything in there you want to give advice about feel free to share it.

p.s. what i meant by back trying to take over is when i see a pic or mirror image of it, my back is like parallel to the ground and legs are almost straight

Try pulling without a belt for a while (much lighter weight!) and without the wrist straps.

For practicing technique, just pull lots of light singles (~75% 1RM).

Also, give some Romanian deadlifts a shot for lower back/hamstring strength.

Good luck,



Also, try doing some rack pulls from just below the knees, if thats where your sticking point is.

Forgot to mention that in my last post.



Sounds like your low back is plenty strong. It sounds like your hamstrings and upper back (romboids/middle traps) are what is holding you back. Using a good Glute/Ham Raise 3-5 days per week will do more for your dead than anything else-weighted, bands, bodyweight, assisted-rotate easy and light with hard and heavy. For upper back not much beats chest supported rows a/o bench shrugs. You may also want to consider switching to power cleans from blocks and using a trap bar for a while. The power cleans will clean up your groove while maintaining strength and adding explosive strength, while the trap bar will teach you to use more legs.

Do yo pull conventional or sumo? Without this info it is hard to say because in one lift this is fairly typical and you can probably strengthen some things to help, in another it is largely form related.

If you haven’t already, you need to videotape a training session. We try to video everything we do on the core lifts. It helps alot.

If you have access to bands use them for reverse band deadlifts. And ditch the straps all together and use a reverse grip with chalk.

hey thanks, all of those sound like awesome ideas. Ive been doing the rack pulls but those were just for fun cuz i could use a lot (all from below my knees) and i never made the connection it might help with this. I dont really have access to a glute ham raise but by god, ill find a way. Poor mans glute ham raise or something. Thanks for all the help, first post ever and it sure paid off

i pull conventional in answer to your question

sounds like youre a pretty strong little dude… maybe you missed out on other strength aspects if you have just been doing power moves your entire life. have you tried incorporating other main lifts for upper back / hams, like barbell rows, stiff-leg deads, heavy dumbell rows??
thats all i can think of – keep up the good work tho. good luck.

If you pull ocnventional, then I would basically concur with Pitt. It sounds like you are plenty strong.

The only thing I would add is to make sure you are pulling back and not up. As you have found out, sequence becomes very important.

I would also advise you to stay away form the lightened or contrast method right now. You need to get your position out of the hole figured out, get back on your heels and pull back, not up.

I would state with relative confidence that the problem you are having right now is not b/c your strength has declined this much, but rather your form is out of sorts. This happens to everybody.

I have never seen reverse band pulls do anything but further fuck up someone that is struggling with starting position. You get no feedback.

I once heard a quote from a Swedish lifter in reference to starting position who said, “start the first pull like you start the second.” It took me about a week to figure out what the hell he was talking about. Then it clicked.

Based on that, assuming your form is reasonable, one of the things I like to do is take a person and videotape sets of 5 at about 70%. What tends to happen is after the bar comes down on the second rep, the hips settle in and tend to be in a position of strength to start the next pull. This is basically the starting position you are then seeking to replicate on the first pull.

Good luck, dude.