T Nation

DL Speed Off Floor, Form Critique

Hey guys, I’ve been a long time lurker on the forum. Figured it’s maybe time I posted as I’m seeing a lot of good threads especially in the powerlifting section and I’d love to get a bit more involoved.

I’ve been training for just over two and a half years, mainly bodybuilding style, 5 day split, starting each night with a heavy, low rep compound movement. Pretty Standard stuff. I competed in a strongman comp in my home town this summer for a bit of fun and had a total blast, so I switched my routine in October to a 4 day powerlifting styled split to really help get my strength up there and maybe compete at a higher level in powerlifting and strongman.

The reason I’m starting this thread as I’m looking for a bit of input on my deadlift form; see if I can get any pointers or advice. When I did a 5 day split, I didn’t deadlift, I’m ashamed to say!! I did either romanian deadlifts or rack pulls instead, so I have a very strong lockout compared to my strength off the floor, which is awful.

Here’s a video from this weekend, a new PR for me. Finally beat 200kg! Which I’m happy about despite weighing about 105kg, I’m gonna run with the excuse that I’ve only been deadlifting off the floor for the past few months :stuck_out_tongue: It felt a lot harder than it looks, because watching it back, it looks nothing like a max effort!

I tried 210kg after this and got it about an inch off the floor… I think if I ramped up better and did my last warmup at 190kg, I would have got it.

I’ve rack-pulled upwards of 250kg, so I’m quite confident that once I build my strength off the floor, I should see some pretty quick progress - I’m hoping for 230kg in the next few months.

My deadlift day at the moment is:

Deadlifts - Work up to a 1RM, I’m doing this every week right now as I don’t actually know what my 1Rm is, and I’ve beating beating the previous week everytime. I plan to do some percentage-based rep work once I hit a wall.

GHRs - 4 x 8

Lying Leg Curls - Just roast my hammies to failure

Core Work - Usually a circuit of heavy cable crunches, hyper extensions, leg raises, side bends, etc.

Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

First of all that was a good deadlift, although it looks like you let the bar get out away from your body somewhat if I pause the video around 33 seconds.

That’s not really what you were even asking about though lol. So as for speed off the floor… I’m not telling you that what I do is proper form, or even that it’s a good idea, but I am really fucking fast off the floor. Lockout is my weak point big time. My setup looks pretty much the same as yours. Once I’m set, I basically abide by “grip it and rip it”. I jerk it off the ground as fast as I fucking can. I don’t pull the slack out or anything, I just tear it off the floor like a madman. Like I said, I’m not sure that’s really a good idea, but that’s how I am fast off the ground…

Do some deficit deadlifts. Those may help you.

I liked the pull. There was a couple things I noticed during your setup but you fixed them right before you took the slack out. For me being explosive off the floor is a weak point as well. Try just doing pulls from floor to knee for a while. Also Speed work at a much lower weight will help derive power from the floor. As soon as the bar breaks from the floor drive those hips forward and throw that head back. When I say drive your hips I mean try and slam your cock against that bar! Those two things have really helped me as they keep my hams and glutes activated throughout.

any reason you use the double-overhand grip ?

if not , maybe try a mixed grip

[quote]marlboroman wrote:
any reason you use the double-overhand grip ?

if not , maybe try a mixed grip[/quote]

I think he was hook grippin.

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]marlboroman wrote:
any reason you use the double-overhand grip ?

if not , maybe try a mixed grip[/quote]

I think he was hook grippin.[/quote]

didnt catch that…my bad

never mind

Thanks guys, I have tried deficit deadlifts with light weights, and I just don’t have the flexibility to pull with a straight back in this position. I figured this would be a problem…

I’ve seen Larry10 post about deadlifts to the knees too, I shall try those. Would it be worth completely substituting my deadlifts for these, or doing these as well as full-range pulls?

Also, yes it is a hooked grip. This kinda of stems from my bodybuilding days when I used straps for everything… I hate mixed grip, makes my deadlift completely off balance so learned to love hook grip. I usually use straps for rep-sets though.

Oh also, any tips about the bar coming away from me? I noticed this too, is it just a case of getting over the fear of ripping my legs to bits?

[quote]Ramsay777 wrote:
Oh also, any tips about the bar coming away from me? I noticed this too, is it just a case of getting over the fear of ripping my legs to bits?[/quote]

It’s something I have to catch myself on as well. Thinking about pulling back can be helpful for some people.

Hey man,

I really liked your deadlift, in my mind it was near perfect.

You broke off the floor in perfect position, and accelerated to lockout and kept a nice neutral back. Really nice stuff.

Thanks for noticing my posts about pulling to the knees, they will really help, I don’t know if you need to full substitute, but adding them in as a first movement for a month would be helpful. However, I feel these are better at building your form than strengthening your start.

What I really feel you need to do is build up your front squat in a big way. All things being equal, in a conventional pull, the first half of the movement is quads.

So get your front squat up to 75-80% of your back squat and you can expect that 210 to fly off the floor.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

I also have this problem. Or, I did when I was conventional. I think really getting tight right before starting the lift helps. As does pulling the slack out. Anddd getting the weight on your heels and being patient.

I used to hate deficit deads for that reason as well. I’m starting to think that standing on a normal plate is enough height to help, without really hurting your technique too much.

I see no one has mentioned bands yet, i think they help a lot with speed off the floor. Moreso than the other lifts imo

mkra,

yeah bands are awesome, but sometimes I forget to mention them because most dont own or have access to them. I totally agree that everyone should own a set and know how to use them!

[quote]mkral55 wrote:
I see no one has mentioned bands yet, i think they help a lot with speed off the floor. Moreso than the other lifts imo[/quote]

I personally find they help more in the 2nd half of the lift, and teach more how to accelerate to lockout, I find speed pulls quite often lead to a poor start, as it’s light so the bar tends to get ripped off the floor as opposed to broken off the floor.

just my .02

[quote]Larry10 wrote:

[quote]mkral55 wrote:
I see no one has mentioned bands yet, i think they help a lot with speed off the floor. Moreso than the other lifts imo[/quote]

I personally find they help more in the 2nd half of the lift, and teach more how to accelerate to lockout, I find speed pulls quite often lead to a poor start, as it’s light so the bar tends to get ripped off the floor as opposed to broken off the floor.

just my .02[/quote]

Larry

I could see how some could misuse bands and get into the habit of jerking the bar off the floor. You gave me something to think about.

[quote]Larry10 wrote:

[quote]mkral55 wrote:
I see no one has mentioned bands yet, i think they help a lot with speed off the floor. Moreso than the other lifts imo[/quote]

I personally find they help more in the 2nd half of the lift, and teach more how to accelerate to lockout, I find speed pulls quite often lead to a poor start, as it’s light so the bar tends to get ripped off the floor as opposed to broken off the floor.

just my .02[/quote]

[quote]tattoo’d’popeye wrote:

[quote]Larry10 wrote:

[quote]mkral55 wrote:
I see no one has mentioned bands yet, i think they help a lot with speed off the floor. Moreso than the other lifts imo[/quote]

I personally find they help more in the 2nd half of the lift, and teach more how to accelerate to lockout, I find speed pulls quite often lead to a poor start, as it’s light so the bar tends to get ripped off the floor as opposed to broken off the floor.

just my .02[/quote]

Larry

I could see how some could misuse bands and get into the habit of jerking the bar off the floor. You gave me something to think about.[/quote]

Yeah its definitely something to think about.

Re: bands-
I think bands have a purpose for speed off the floor once you find the right tension ratio. You would have to find a very high tension that’s not easy to lockout, with moderate weight (anywhere from 135-225lbs for you).

If you find that almost max load with the weight and band combo then you have no choice to be fast off the floor, or you won’t gain enough momentum to get toward lockout. So, if you do have bands they are still a tool that you can use. Heavy reverse bands hold the same purpose, kind of, they would help but the reasoning is a little different.

But, I’d rather choose speed pulls of 50-60% max. Record your lifts or use a knowledgeable lifting partner to tell you if you aren’t tight enough or doing it wrong.

Other than that, just get faster in general regarding the hips and legs. Do speed work with anything from deadlifts, jumps, pull throughs, GMs, front squats (don’t break your jaw), back squats, etc.

I think the speed will come from practice, mostly. Like you said yourself, you havent been pulling, at all. Add those in where you should, and add in some speed pulls on a non-ME day (just be fresh. not saying you need to do westside training, but if you add in speed pulls do them first thing in the training day)

we get some really great discussions going on here

Do KB swings have merit here?

Nice deadlift, I didn’t see any particular issues with it.
One thing I would say is not to work up towards a 1rep every session. Try to stay in the 50-85% of your 1rm but do a lot more work sets.
Getting strong is about building the base of your strength over time (for the most part) as opposed to increasing the ceiling.
You should be busting out like 5 sets of say 3 reps with a weight like 170kg and pushing for 1rep every month or so.