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Help with Deadlift: Hit a Plateau

2 weeks ago I hit my new PR. 190 KG/418 lbs at 75 KG/165 lbs.

Here’s the video:

After that lift I did a de-load phase and still could only pull 180 KG/396 lbs for 1 rep. After that my CNS just “died.”

I’d really appreciate some tips regarding breaking through the plateau. I’ve read Eric Cressey’s/Mike Robertson’s/Dave Tate’s articles regarding deadlifting.

I’ve noticed that since I do heavy low back work (back extensions) my deadlift’s gotten bettter. I’m focusing more on ab work and single leg training these days. What else can I do? I’m thinking rack pulls, pulls from a deficit, speed pulls.

Eat and sleep lots, and then start a new cycle again based off your new max.

Nice pull.

Form was good?

Form looked great for a max pull. It looked like you had more left in the tank.

you could always try working other stance. if you pull conventional, try improving your sumo.

I don’t know what routine you have been doing for your DL, but rotating conventional, sumo, and good mornings on a weekly basis may help as well.

Good ideas. :wink: I never did sumo before.

And I never did GM’s really seriously. Will put that in too. What kind of GM’s are the best? Zercher? Against pins?

I’ve tried the cable pull through but somehow I don’t feel right.

Everything looked good except maybe the finish (lockout).Like some people said, it looked easy. More left where that came from.

You’re going to have to find what works for you. Doing sumo for a cycle might help. It all depends what is the weak point, and that’s hard to tell from a video clip.

Good luck, and just keep experimenting.


I do just regular GM’s for 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps. If you want to go real f-in heavy (doing GM’s instead of DLs) then you may want to do them off pins or suspended via chains.

Zerchers off of pins (either low or high) are also good too. Painful, but good.

And while we’re on this kick, another awesome thing are DB rows. With a fat bar. Works the grip like no other.

First off, great pull! clean as a whistle mate

I can only point out what recently got me from 195kg to 205kg in a month - smolov base template on deadlifts. most people say not to do it since it’s too much volume at too high an intensity level. sure enough it’s a biatch and i loathed and loved my workouts simultaneously but it worked for me. it’s basically 4 days a week pretty much just deadlifting at certain percentages.

plenty of other things would help i’m sure, but this just worked for me last month.

Would you care to elaborate on the Smolov thing?

@TNT-CDN: lockout was a little bit “short” wasn’t it?

[quote]BostjanBavcon wrote:
Would you care to elaborate on the Smolov thing?

@TNT-CDN: lockout was a little bit “short” wasn’t it?


Draw an imaginary vertical line from your heels up to your shoulders. Make sure your shoulders go past this line when you come to the finish of the lift. Squeezing the glutes will do the trick.


I do squeeze the glutes. Every time when I lift. :wink: I guess it wasn’t enough this time. More glute activation drills should do the job. :wink:

It’s probably only important if you have 3 judges sitting in front of you.


Hey BB

check out this calculator :


it’s super handy and there’s other great stuff on there too. be warned tho…

  1. base lifts on current 1RM
  2. be super careful towards the last reps on the Monday workouts. 9’s are punishing and you gotta make a big effort to stay tight
  3. the program isn’t designed for pulls. it’s for squats. most people say it’s a bad idea to do it for deads. still, it worked for me
  4. consider using a belt for heavier sets
  5. i did zero assistance work and cardio; just benched a few times a week

i did the base mesocycle and am starting the intense phase tomorrow. my advice is if you have the time to pull 4 times a week give it a go, but expect to cut back time on all other exercises drastically for the 3 weeks - it’s not that long!

And if you decide to do it, make a super firm commitment not to quit halfway through and you’ll reap the reward. good luck!

Thanks. :wink: