T Nation

Deadlift off the Floor Problems

Hello,

I have stalled on the deadlift once again.
I figured id get more replies here than in “beginners”.

My lift off the floor is pretty weak.
A week ago i pulled 250 off the floor with no problem and yesterday i had problems with 225.
From half way to lock out, i have no problems.

My squat is still going up, currently at 270. Maybe it’s techniques i don’t know.

I’ve been training for 4 and a half months.

I feel my grip is a problem too but what exercises can i do that would help with the pull off the floor.
Glute ham raises, etc?

Greatly appreciated.

I like doing snatch grip dead lifts on two 45’s. That has always helped my dead lift off the floor.

Speed pulls with ~55-60%. Also box squat. I have the same problem and these 2 things have helped me jumpstart my DL.

Box squats and paused front squats will help you get off the floor.

Pulling lighter from a deficit will also help.

If your squat is 270 and your deadlift is only 250, then I say you are not squatting deep enough. You should be going below parallel. Take the weight down on your squat and start going ATG.

That will build your hamstrings up to where they should be. Your deadlift should almost always be more than your squat. My max deadlift is 100 lbs more than my max squat below parallel. Also maybe your form is crappy.

That might not be the solution you’re trying to find, but I personally wouldn’t try find a complicated solution to your problem. I’d say you just need to deadlift a bit lighter until you get solid reps on whatever weights you’ll be using.

Is that you in your avitar pic? if so why are you so weak? you look fit and reasonably strong.
how long have you been deadlifting?
what is your program like? (how often to you deadlift, reps, sets, etc)

Also I agree that your form on squats or deadlifts (or both) must be bad for you to be able to squat more than you pull.

Are you using chalk? That will help your grip a bit. Super heavy dumbell shrugs and chinups are real good ways to work forearm/grip while hitting larger muscles.

I would also make sure you are getting low enough in the starting position.

[quote]elano wrote:
If your squat is 270 and your deadlift is only 250, then I say you are not squatting deep enough. You should be going below parallel. Take the weight down on your squat and start going ATG.

That will build your hamstrings up to where they should be. Your deadlift should almost always be more than your squat. My max deadlift is 100 lbs more than my max squat below parallel. Also maybe your form is crappy.[/quote]

x2

As for grip I highly recommend COC grippers. And you start doing farmers walks with heavy dumbells.

If you can carry 150’s around then your not going to have a problem with a hook grip and 250.

You are using a hook grip yes ?

One over on under.

AND

I recommend you never use straps for anything agian.

[quote]elano wrote:
If your squat is 270 and your deadlift is only 250, then I say you are not squatting deep enough. You should be going below parallel. Take the weight down on your squat and start going ATG.

That will build your hamstrings up to where they should be. Your deadlift should almost always be more than your squat. My max deadlift is 100 lbs more than my max squat below parallel. Also maybe your form is crappy.[/quote]

3X

I thought that my Squat was more than my Deadlift last year. The truth was, my form was just horrible.

I also feel that pulling off a Platform may not be the best solution to power off the floor. Hear me out on this.

Pulling off a platform isn’t necessarily going to strengthen the muscles that give you power off the floor (hips and hamstrings). Instead, pulling off the floor may just cause your torso to take a steeper angle and cause your spinal erectors to take more of the workload.

But LOW box Manta Ray Squats and Parallel Front Squats, both done with a narrow stance, will pretty much guarentee improvement off the floor in my opinion.

Teaching yourself to Sumo Deadlift WITH GOOD FORM (Using your Hips - not your back to lift the weight) will strengthen your off the floor power as well.

So I’m guessing you’re doing either an Upper Lower Split or a Bodybuilding Split. If it’s Upper/Lower then

Lower Day 1:
Deadlift
Front Squat
Sumo Deadlift
Abs

Lower Day 2:
Squat
Narrow Stance Strict Good-Morning with 30% of your Squat Max
Walking Lunges
Abs

Or for the Bodybuilder in you:

Back:
Deadlift
Whatever else you do for Back. Hopefully Rows and Chins
Something for the Lower Back besides Deads. Pull-Throughs

Legs:
Squat
Sumo Deadlift
Walking Lunges
Abs

[quote]elano wrote:
If your squat is 270 and your deadlift is only 250, then I say you are not squatting deep enough. You should be going below parallel. Take the weight down on your squat and start going ATG.

That will build your hamstrings up to where they should be. Your deadlift should almost always be more than your squat. My max deadlift is 100 lbs more than my max squat below parallel. Also maybe your form is crappy.[/quote]

I squat ATG everytime, all the time.
I do high bar as well.
I think my form might be crap.

[quote]Doyle wrote:
Is that you in your avitar pic? if so why are you so weak? you look fit and reasonably strong.
how long have you been deadlifting?
what is your program like? (how often to you deadlift, reps, sets, etc)

Also I agree that your form on squats or deadlifts (or both) must be bad for you to be able to squat more than you pull.[/quote]

Ya, i look very fit but for some reason deadlifts don’t work for me.

I have been deadlifting for 4 months, prior to that i had never deadlifted before in my life. Same with squatting, benching, pressing, etc. I am totally new at this. Started in may of this year.

I started with rippetoes but that stalled (deadlifting problem) so i switched to mad cow’s intermediate 5*5.

Deadlift is wednesdays only and it goes like this.

Squat 5 reps 4 sets. Building up to about 60 percent of my 1 rm.
Then it’s press (only wednesdays too).
Then i do 4 sets of deadlifts (building up) to my last set…5 sets total… All 5 reps.
I think i might be pulling with my back and not my hips.

I try to squeeze my ass on the way up and thrust my hips towards the bar but it’s a no go.
I think a video is in order but it might be a while before that.

When i deadlift i think, drive through heels. Have arms straight and locked out. Shoulder blades back. Legs should be like if you’re in a half squat going on parallel.

Thrust hips towards bar and squeeze gluts as you lift.
Open your knee angle as you pull and when the bar is past the knee caps, open your hip angle (however more or less doing it all at once). Keep lower back arch straight.
Inhale before lift and squeeze core for extra support…etc

Advice is greatly appreciated.

At your weight I would suggest trying higher reps than 5, more like 8-12. Obviously lower the weight. If there is a big difference in the rack pull vs a deadlift then pause every rep briefly on the floor.

Once every 3 weeks or so do a heavier set of 1-3 reps after your working sets. Might try adding in GM’s to your routine and perhaps RDL’s for more practice. I don’t think you need an advanced solution since you are not advanced, just more work on the deads.

It sounds like your form is good but to echo the others, it is extremely rare for a newbie to squat more than they deadlift. A 270 ATG squat after 4 months is good. A 250 untrained deadlift is just so-so.

I have seen lots of people say they squat ATG and then don’t even break parallel, they are just deeper than everybody else in the gym. My guess is from rereading your post you need to bring your hips up, your legs should not be parallel but thighs about 45 degree angle to the floor.

Try some RDL or Stiff deads, if you can do more weight on those than your form is definitely screwy on the conventional deads (I am assuming that is how you are pulling). Good luck with it. Final tip, get angry as you pull, that is usually worth 50 lbs right there.

[quote]Tim Henriques wrote:
At your weight I would suggest trying higher reps than 5, more like 8-12. Obviously lower the weight. If there is a big difference in the rack pull vs a deadlift then pause every rep briefly on the floor.

Once every 3 weeks or so do a heavier set of 1-3 reps after your working sets. Might try adding in GM’s to your routine and perhaps RDL’s for more practice. I don’t think you need an advanced solution since you are not advanced, just more work on the deads.

It sounds like your form is good but to echo the others, it is extremely rare for a newbie to squat more than they deadlift. A 270 ATG squat after 4 months is good. A 250 untrained deadlift is just so-so.

I have seen lots of people say they squat ATG and then don’t even break parallel, they are just deeper than everybody else in the gym. My guess is from rereading your post you need to bring your hips up, your legs should not be parallel but thighs about 45 degree angle to the floor.

Try some RDL or Stiff deads, if you can do more weight on those than your form is definitely screwy on the conventional deads (I am assuming that is how you are pulling). Good luck with it. Final tip, get angry as you pull, that is usually worth 50 lbs right there.[/quote]

If it helps last week when i pull my quads felt very tired :smiley: I might try “standing” up more.
My ATG means that my lower calves are touching my ass/hamstring.

[quote]elano wrote:
If your squat is 270 and your deadlift is only 250, then I say you are not squatting deep enough. You should be going below parallel. Take the weight down on your squat and start going ATG.

That will build your hamstrings up to where they should be. Your deadlift should almost always be more than your squat. My max deadlift is 100 lbs more than my max squat below parallel. Also maybe your form is crappy.[/quote]

AGAIN with this retarded arguement. I have squatted 605 to legal depth (I train with an SPF judge), but my max dead is 550. I’m very tired of hearing this.

If you Squat 275 ‘ATG’ but you have trouble with 225 then you are injured or you do not know what a Deadlift is.

Are you using 2 hands?

This is just totally impossible.

[quote]masonator wrote:
elano wrote:
If your squat is 270 and your deadlift is only 250, then I say you are not squatting deep enough. You should be going below parallel. Take the weight down on your squat and start going ATG.

That will build your hamstrings up to where they should be. Your deadlift should almost always be more than your squat. My max deadlift is 100 lbs more than my max squat below parallel. Also maybe your form is crappy.

AGAIN with this retarded arguement. I have squatted 605 to legal depth (I train with an SPF judge), but my max dead is 550. I’m very tired of hearing this.[/quote]

do you use any gear?

[quote]masonator wrote:
elano wrote:
If your squat is 270 and your deadlift is only 250, then I say you are not squatting deep enough. You should be going below parallel. Take the weight down on your squat and start going ATG.

That will build your hamstrings up to where they should be. Your deadlift should almost always be more than your squat. My max deadlift is 100 lbs more than my max squat below parallel. Also maybe your form is crappy.

AGAIN with this retarded arguement. I have squatted 605 to legal depth (I train with an SPF judge), but my max dead is 550. I’m very tired of hearing this.[/quote]

I have lifted in 12 PL meets and have always squated more weight than I deadlifted. My workout logs would look the same. I know plenty of lifters the same way & plenty the other way around. This is not the result of some training deficiency. Just the natural development strength in a given lifter.

Strength development is not a straight line. If your progress has stalled; I agree with several of the posts that suggest you light’n the load, increase the reps, and focus on form. On every rep both ends of the bar touch at the same time. Speed off the floor.

Every rep a mirror image of the one before. When you can do this w/BW for four sets of eight or ten; for four consecutive weeks; try to gradually (2-5%) increase the weight and move the rep range down…four to six. Meanwhile if the squat is climbing…go with it.

I squat 405 and DL 365, both raw and to legal depth in the squat. My grip is fine and I am a novice.

It’s just that my back is weaker than my legs and I have an AC-joint problem which prevents me from training my DL as much as I would like to.

OP - you haven’t been deadlifting long enough to know how much you can deadlift. You wouldn’t have a “groove” yet. Next week you’ll probably DL 270 for all you know.

Just maintain good form, keep your back safe, and keep doing it.