T Nation

DL/Rack Pulls: Rest Between Workouts


I' m very in need of advice my deadlift seems to be going up and down as of late by huge amounts and its pissing me off beyond measure.
Turned 17 month ago
Deadlift - No clue
Bench 260
Squat - 350

3 weeks ago I pulled 405x5 for deadlift with a conventional stance
than about 6 days ago I did rack pulls Maxed out with 635 no straps bar at knee level
Four days after I tried Deadlift again this time I only pulled 405 for a single with a sumo stance which is my prefered stance. The 405 felt so hard. How long should I wait until training deadlifts or rack pulls like 2-3 weeks how long inbetween maxes?

Also my best deadlift was 405x10 touch and go with a sumo stance which I've never been able to get back!? Why is my deadlift bounching up and down. I really want to break some high school record but I dont want to emberass myself putting up a weight once that I can play with on other days? please any advice would be crucial im not sure if my cns or nervous system was heavily taxed from the rack pull or what.

Posting a video of my deadlift as well ps someone took a mat from underneath deadlift thats why theres one missing. I used mat to prevent noise


It depends on what program you are on. For instance, on West Side, rack pulls, conventional, and sumo deadlifts are max effort exercises. You would rotate max effort exercises every 1-3 weeks depending on your level of experience. So there could be a period of 6 weeks between rack pulls, conventional deads, or sumo deads. It just depends on your program, how well you recover, and how strong you are. The stronger you are, it might take 2 weeks to fully recover from deadlifting. It usually takes Krock about 3 weeks to recover from heavy deadlifts. Obviously, you're not Kroc, but you catch my drift? Hope this helps.



Are you looking to improve your 1RM or improve overall with heavy weight and decent amount of reps. Stop with the rack pulls also it looks like that is not a weak point so no need to do them.


Thanks, I was just finishing 5x5 when I did 405x5 for deadlifts day which was last week of the program.
I usually take 2 weeks inbetween but I never thought the rack pull would have affected me that much. I now will take 2 weeks between rack pulls and deadlifts hopefully my deadlifts steadily rises it just fucks with your head when you think your near 500 but max out on a 405. Right now I plan on doing blast your bench program so for 3-5 weeks I will stay away from deadlifts. Thanks for your help

As for the second poster I do rack pulls because they look cool people always look at heavy weights I just do holds at the top of my reps for grip it's not really for my weak point in deadlifts. Though I just started rack pulls after I did the 405x10 you think rack pulls could of decreased my deadlifts is that possible?


You pulled ~200 lbs. over your DL max in a rack pull and then tried to max DL four days later. It shouldn't be a big surprise that your DL wasn't at its best. If you want to maximize your DL then you probably need to quit doing stuff that "looks cool" and eats into your recovery ability and doesn't carry over to the main lift. Just DL every week from the floor. Alternate so you pull heavy one week then do speed pulls with a moderate weight the next week focusing on speed and technique then continue that alternating week pattern.


Please for the love of God, do not run this. It is complete bullshit. Nobody can make their bench improve 50 lbs in 3 weeks. It's a bunch of crap. I don't give two shits what Lee Hayward says. This is a powerlifting forum, not a "get strong quick" scheme forum. Your bench can only improve that much unless you completely don't know how to bench and you suck at it. Then, and only then, is when you might see some type of improvement of 50 lbs. But please, don't but into this. Just what I think.



This man is a genius.

Also, if you can pull 635 off the rack, that would tell me that your lockout strength isn't whats holding you back on the deadlift and maybe you should spend some time strengthening your power off the floor.


Thanks for all the replies

SRS2000 - I will follow what you said and not use rack pulls, deadlift once a week once doing speed pulls and the other week heavy. I just love lifting heavy all techniques all the time but I guess I've gotten to the point I can't recover as fast as I used too. Thanks, for speed pulls what rep scheme would you reccemend? 3 sets of 6?


I m not expecting 50lbs but rather 20lbs and Bench is a weak point for me. I have the program from a torrent and me and my workout partner are willing to give it a try. Its only 3 weeks if you want I can make a log and keep everyworkout updated for anyone interested.

Frankjl - Besides deficet pulls what are ways to strengthen my power off the floor, is speed pulls the best way to do that for me right about now?

Thanks again for the replies I really want to achieve my goals.


For speed pulls do sets of 1-3 reps. I prefer singles with relatively short rest periods (60 seconds or less). That way you reset and use good technique for each rep.


Ok sounds good, the weight shouldnt be light but not really heavy either so like 315 would be good ?


Start with ~60% of your max, so 315 is probably close to that. If the reps aren't fast and snappy, then decrease the weight a bit. The important thing is speed, not the weight. Also make sure your technique is perfect on every rep. Some people get loose and sloppy when you tell them to pull fast so make sure you don't do that.


Thanks Bud Appreciate the help


My deadlift took off once I started doing heavy box squats. I do them to all different heights with different bars (my favorite being the safety squat bar).

One of the more experienced guys I train with has me pulling sumo more often trying to strengthen up my hips and he thinks it will translate to more power off the floor with a conventional stance.

To give you an idea of where I'm at I recently missed a 595 rack pull from about 2 inches below the knee and have pulled 605 off the floor before (with a pretty bad hangover too). I'm sure I wouldn't even budge a 635 bar at the knee.


Impressive DL. What do you feel SSB box squats help you with in particular? I've done free SSb squats and felt like my upper back was getting a lot more work than a regular squat. I just never thought of doing it off a box.


rack deads are a tool that has to be used wisely in order to make progress. Amazingly enough modern lifters do not use the rack properly. My opinion is that one of the best training methods has been basically removed from the scene and that is using the rack to develop unbelievable strength. There is a 200 lb guy out there who has pulled 1500 in the top deadlift. Another guy who weighs 350 has done 700lb overhead partials and 2000lb top deadlifts. What do you think is the result of this? Extremely strong overall! All that overload conditions and develops what you need like nothing else. Without a doubt proper use of the rack is the best assistance work you can do. Yes assistance work should be heavier than your main powerlift contrary to popular opinion that states assistance work is lighter to develop the weak link in your chain. The way to get Super strong is to handle incredible weights. Of course you must do the full movements as well to keep that ability.

What happened is you put a much larger demand on your bodys recovery system and have not fully recovered, and of course when not fully recovered you are weaker! Also, high rep sets of deads are extremely draining as well. That set of 10 @ 405 took lots out of you absolutely! So, the combination of the high reps and the rack lifts was extremely draining. It takes time to recover. Like one guy said it takes Kroc 3 weeks. I remember years ago hearing about one top guy who made great progress training his dead once a month! I remember he pulled 700 for 5 came back a month later and pulled 715 for 5. Recovery is so critical and the stronger you get the more critical it becomes that is why so many guys stall in their progress.


The SSB makes a man out of you. Here are just a couple of things it's done for me:

  1. Allowed me to use heavier weight on good mornings because I don't have to keep the bar from rolling down my back
  2. Made my traps / upper back grow because during the whole motion I had to push back against the bar or else it would come over top of me
  3. Strengthened my upper back considerably -- my upper back used to round a lot on heavy deadlifts. While it still does to a small degree, it's much better than before
  4. Gave my bicep / bicep tendons a break from the straight bar. Strained bicep tendons really hampered my bench for a while and switching to the SSB alleviated it.
  5. Specifically for heavy box squats, fixed my tendency to fall forward in the hole on free weight squats. Because the SSB rides higher on your neck, if your head falls forward you're gonna lose the bar over top of your dome.
  6. Because the SSB sits higher on your back, it forces your lower back to work harder than a regular squat.

However, I think heavy box squats had more to do with the strengthening of my deadlift -- not specifically the SSB. Heavy box squats with any bar have strengthened my hips & hamstrings more than just regular squats.

Here's an old article about the SSB which gave me a good chuckle:


I would love to see a video of this.


By the way, I'm not sure there is a single mass-produced bar that can handle 2000lbs, much less have enough room on the bar for that many plates. Besides the fact that it is almost double the current WR deadlift, and the fact that your post lacks anything to give it any kind of credibility (like the name of one of these freaks)... I think the MythBusters would call this...


the guy had 100 lb. plates...also had weights hanging from the bar via chains. Check out Bud Jefferies and Mike Bruce.

And I can tell you without a doubt it works. My own experience: I was stuck in the mid 400's with my deadlift . Started doing rack deads from various hts. Also maintaining my technique in the full dead with sub maximal lifts. I increased my own top rack deadlift from 525 to 990. And I can now pull 570 from the floor sumo style.
Also my overhead press increased tremendously. I could overhead press 185...started doing overhead supports with 235..now can overhead support 360 and can do a strict overhead press with 255.... I could probably increase my full movements even more if I practiced them more, but I prefer doing what gives me the most "bang for my buck" and that is partials.

Where else do you get the overload on all the muscles you need to perform ? My abs, obliques, glutes, spinal errectors , traps, hamstrings even calves have gotten much thicker from this! The tension you create is mindboggling, this is the most functional training you will ever do by the way. I have been training for years and have tried most every training system ever devised...but partial lifts have always done way more than anything else.
All I can say is partials work well if you learn to recuperate properly. But beware...I only do this type training infrequently..like 2 times a month...I also do lots of conditioning with strong man stuff . i even use partials for some of my conditioning. I have been known to do partial squats, partial deads and partial overheads in a circuit type deal.This gives me lots of volume plus cardio. Of course I use lighter wts. My training is a combination of strong man, powerlifting and even some bodybuilding.
For those who have an open mind and are not just critical of RADICAL ideas this will greatly aid your progress.


Very interesting posts thanks. I do alot more heavy box squats than regular squats I firmly believe box squats have good carryover to my deadlift. This thread was a great help I ll keep 2 week breaks inbetween heavy deadlifts and rackpulls. I will put in speed pulls to help my deadlift from the bottom. I ll keep the rack pulls to a minumum but train them heavy as I do not want to underestimate such a great tool as rocket man 400 stated.

Aside from incorporating speed pulls which I will definetly do is there anything else for developing the bottom part of the deadlift. Any suggestions would be great cause my rack pull is way way ahead of my normal pull.