T Nation

Lifting w/Speed: Genetics, Training, or Mental?


I'm not a super strong guy but I'm fairly fast/"explosive" (for a white guy anyway). Here's the deal, a lot of times when I'm lifting people say "Dude you could do way more" because of the speed I'm moving the bar. But the thing is, I've never been one to grind out a super heavy, 5 second long rep. Either I'm gonna get it or I'm not.

It's most pronounced when I'm deadlifting, and in my head I grab the bar and I want to YANK it off the ground. And I'm either gonna do that, or it probably won't even budge. Is that A) just a genetic difference in strength types or muscle fibers or whatever B) a different kind of strength that I can fix through training adjustments, or C) maybe I'm just a big weiner and I give up on the lift if I can't blast through it.

Thanks for the help.


For a white guy? Why so racist?


Just a joke. Don't turn me into the ACLU or anything.


It's mental. You make a choice to keep pulling or pushing and get the rep or you tell yourself that if it doesnt move when you yank at it then it just wont move. It would be nice if every rep were a crispy clean gunshot of a rep but it's just not going to happen unless you want to stay where you're at forever. Where i train the ability to visualize and make it through a rep or set is called "getting tough" and/or "dont be a pussy."



Some people are just like that. Watch someone like Andrey Belyaev lifting. He either gets lift in <2 seconds, or not at all. Ryan Celli is the same way. Everything looks super easy up to his max.


That's kind of what I was thinking. I have noticed that if I miss a lift that I KNOW I should get (or maybe just want really bad), then I'll get super pissed at myself and nail it on my second attempt. I just have to be focused and motivated enough.


Deadlift requires a slow gear Ferrari.


keep deadlifting heavier and heavier. Eventually you'll get to a weight that you can actually do, but can't just yank up.


Yeah, it really varies based on what lifts you're doing too.

If you're always going fast, and can't do it slow, you're using momentum to power through your weak range.

Ideally, like your deadlift for example, you should be able to start from a static-state at any point in the progression in the lift (weights on the ground, weights 3" off the ground, weight at the half-way point, exe). Most people can't do this, and with a little effort and locate their weak are in the rang of motion of any of their lifts, i.e. the place in their lift where the other 99.9999% of the time, they fly past it with momentum.

I don't advocate really slow lifting, although sometimes I do do really slow negatives, I like to keep the positive motion intense. However, I also think that as part of a program that's trying to build size and strength (as opposed to power lifting, or Olympic lifting where the primary goal is to complete the lift) you should be doing weights at least some of the time, where you can barely squeeze out five grinding reps, and the weight forces you to slow down, even if you're being as explosive as possible.


That's good advice.

Thanks for the tips guys.


I've had the same problem. I came across an article from cressey a while ago and it helped me out a lot.

Basically you set the pins at the powerrack at your sticking point and load the bar with something light (about 50% rm) and pull it off the floor till you hit the pins. When you do, pull as hard as you can for 5-10 seconds. Just a word of advice, dont forgot to leave some 45s on the powerrack or else the whole rack might tip over (as I found out).