T Nation

Deadlift Too Slow Off the Ground


Hi guys, 88kg bodyweight, deadlift best of 220kg, but today at the gym and most other times i've trained deadlift its a real struggle getting the bar off the ground and to get it moving, once its off the ground i do not struggle with it at all really, even on a max lift the lockout is never an issue.

Anyone else have this problem?? I literally have to have patience for the bar to come off the ground in a max attempt and persevere till it does move, my form is very good, no rounding no hitching, but this is starting to piss me off. Anyone know of the bar moving very slowly from stationary on a deadlift and what my weak link might be?? Thanks, p.s i don't use straps just chalk


Is this a sumo pull?


nah just regular stance deadlift


A vid would help. I don't know that I've seen a max pull with no rounding before.


I struggle with this too...don't really know whether i should do speed pulls or something...rather lost tbh


i've tried speed pulling and there is no issue for speed on the bar when its 180kg, getting that for 8 reps or so, but when it cranks up to past 200 its a real struggle off the ground


maybe having the hips higher would help? but i've never pulled in any other position than how i normally lift


this might be a very, very stupid reply, but anyway, here goes:
have you considered the possibility that it might be the weights staying on the ground a tad longer due to the bending of the bar that ticks you off? meaning that maybe for the first 3 or 4 inches you pull and you experience the whole resistance but the plates still don't leave the ground..


This doesn't make sense. You've tried speed pulls for 8 reps? Speed pulling consists of maybe 5 - 8 singles. Is that what you meant? Plus if your max is 220 kg, you may be better served to do speed pulls with 130 kg or less (and add accomadating resistance if available).

It sounds to me like speed pulls are exactly what you need. Increase rate of force production = getting the weight off the floor faster, and that's what speed pulls do.

Drop the weight and pull as fast as you can with 50 - 60% of your max for 5 - 8 singles and see if that helps.

Additionally, do you take your last breath in when you are standing or bent over? I ask because you can get some 'bounce' from your belly off your thighs to help you off the floor as you drop your hips down and sit back when you start to pull.


I too struggled with my speed from the floor in the past. What cured me was speed work in the form of 8 sets of 2-3 reps deficit pulls in the 50-60% 1RM range. I generally did this on my squat day right after my Squat work, so about 3 days before my deadlift day. I still keep these in my speed work rotation.


Anything over 200kg creates this delay. This happens even with a good bar, let alone a training bar. This is also why we are taught not to 'yank' the bar to begin a pull.


It is kind of hard to tell your problem without a video. I will say what really helped me, was advice from a former powerlifter that competed all over the country.

Instead of starting the deadlift with your knees in the quarter squat, grab the bar with your legs straight. As soon as you are ready to pull, immediatley drop down and start the pull. This will give you alot more explosion from the floor. Reset completley for EVERY rep. I will be posting my deadlift video in the PR thread if you want to have a look at what i mean.


cheers, jakerz96 ill take that into consideration and incorporate this into an off day definitely, yeS! the resistance from the bar, never thought about it, but even though the bar didnt move i felt as if i had completed a max effort, possibly because the bar was moving but the weights hadnt moved from the ground!


i set up the whole lift from a bent stance as i like to feel my grip in before i lift it, i don't really ever just approach the bar and lift (from a standing position)




Get stronger. Deficits, pulling for reps, and volume helped me get over this.


You can try a lot of things. Speed work as suggested, deficit deads, also work on your regular leg training with squats, front squats, leg presses as leg strength can help get the weight going. Plyos might be useful, as might modifying your stance (try both in or out but it is likely in). Finally when training with reps I would do the opposite of what you are doing now - if you are doing touch and go reps then try a full pause, if you are doing full pause reps try just touch and go to maintain tension. If your knees are bad this can kill the leg drive, and tight calves can limit your starting position, try foam rolling them and rolling out the bottom of your feet. Solution should be in there somewhere.


All of this.

And going off the tight calves and limited starting position, make sure you are mobile enough to start the lift in a good position. Be sure your technique is sound before you go looking for other exercises to fix the problem. If you are in a bad position while performing all of the exercises you are doing in an attempt to fix your bad positioning on another lift, you are going to be in a world of trouble.


You've got some solid advice now TAO, so go get it done!

Never thought about the tight calves being a problem. Time to go roll and stretch.


cheers guys, im on it!