T Nation

Methods to Increase Deadlift

T-Freaks, the Screel man needs some help. Anyone have some training methods to help increase my deadlift? I’ve been stuck at pulling 405 for a set of 4 for about three months now. I feel like a puss! I’m deadlifting every two weeks, second in my back routine after pullups. Any thoughts or ideas will be appreciated, and I look forward to seeing some of you fools at the Arnold next weekend.

Periodization, perhaps? You can’t expect to make continuous, uninterrupted weight increases in your workouts. You gotta back off when you hit a peak.

I’d start by doing Deads on leg day when you’re suppose to.The prime movers for a deadlift are you quads,hamstrings,glutes,and lower back,not the upper back muscles you’re hittng on back day.I know your traps get sore from deads,but hitting legs hard(squats) on your other days will effect recovery.Try alternating your squats,front squats,and deadlifts for 2 week cycles,you should see improvement

Dave Tate just posted an article that may help you at T-mag: The Dead Zone. Check it out.

Here’s a few off the top of my head.

  1. Try switching your style. If you currently lift conventional, give sumo a try, and vice versa.

  2. Do 5 sets of heavy singles, as heavy as you can go. This has really helped me to push my numbers up lately.

  3. Do good mornings. These are the best exercise IMO for getting your deadlifting muscles stronger.

  4. Check out Dave Tate’s recent articl on T-mag called something like “Top 10 Deadlifting Mistakes”.

One thing I found out was that deadlifting is a really inefficient way to train for the deadlift. That makes sense. I’ve been doing all olympic lifts & pulls & they work like crazy for building deadlift strength. That’s what I feel anyway. Have you heard of John Davis? He was the 2nd guy in history to put the original Apollon’s Axle overhead (there will be a replica at the Arnold this year). He didn’t focus on the deadlift at all & his best was 733@233, just from all the oling he did. Westside lifters also to high pulls as an assistance exercise.

Well, my 2 cents: Priority and nutrition
Nutrition: Are you eating enough, both in quality and quantity? The best I can do while cutting is maintaining so I don’t try to improve while dieting.

Training: Put your deadlift first in the week and first during this training session (Ian King), use assistance GHG raise, Good morning, romanian deadlift and straight-leg deadlift helped me a lot in deadlifting. Full cleans and snatches help also because of the speed…Try partial lifts…

Hope this helps!

Dave Tate is d’man! His articles/training tips have helped me tremendously! My boyfriend and I have begun to see huge gains in our deadlifts as a result of reading Tate’s articles - for instance I’m now deadlifting 235lbs (I’m 5’4", 123lbs) - with no problems. What I did also, when I did hit a plateau - was start doing cleans once a week. That really helped to give my deadlifts a boost. I also did not deadlift for a couple of weeks and when I proceeded - my strength did increase. The break was what I definitely needed!

try snatch grip (wide grip) deadlifts as described by Ian King in his lower body program. You’ll have to decrease the weight to do this lift, but will have better leg drive when you switch back to your normal deadlift style.

What shoes are you wearing? use flat ones w/o a lot of cushioning

Try Dave Tates methods from the 2 weeks ago . I was stuck at 315 and was able to quickly move up to 335 in a week or two.

Dave Tate’s technical methods are good but I wouldn’t necessarily focus on westsides training methods for deadlift specialization. The deadlift is their weakest lift and they don’t concentrate nearly as much on it as the squat and bench (probably due to it’s negative effects on recovery). This does work ok for some people however. One thing you might try is avoiding the deadlift for a while. If you’ve been doing them consistently it takes so long to fully recover from that just by avoiding it for a couple of weeks might put an easy 20-30 lbs on your max. If you want to try something a little different try pulls from different positions working up to a near max weight. For example:
weeks 1-2 deadlift from midshin 5X3-5
week 3-5 deadlift from just below knee 5X3-5
week 5-7 deadlift from above knee 5X5,4,3,2,1
week 7. Start over on the floor and you’ll probably find your max has significantly improved. You can also do this in reverse, that is start a cycle with the bar around mid shin to lower knee level and drop the bar 1-2 inches per week until it’s on the floor. Hope this helps

Try spreading your feet farther apart, turning them out slightly, and using a wider grip (thumbs more than 1 inch outside of the locator band) on the bar. This change worked wonders for me, recently.

First thing to do is take some time off from deadlifting. Are you training for strenth, power, or hypertrophy? If you’ve been deadlifting for a while, and have the technical aspects of the lift down pat, then you don’t need to deadlift very often to improve your max. Concentrate more on assistance exercises like good mornings, reverse hypers, and so on. When you go back to the deadlift, do it first in your order of exercises. If you’re training strictly for hypertrophy, follow some of the other’s advice by using different stances and varying the height of the starting point. Good luck!

I have to agree that you may need to take a break from deadlifts for a while BUT, first you need to make your deadlift your main lift of the week before you just ditch it all together. You shouldn’t expect it to go up that much if you don’t give that lift priority. If that doesn’t work then consider stopping the deadlift for a while. As far as additional exercises that help I noticed that anything with speed seems to do the trick, when you can’t get your max lift up. Just simple ass-to-the-floor jump squats can help as do power cleans and the good ol’ stiff-leg deadlift. You might also want to consider sprinting.

re: sprinting, when all I’ve been doing for legs is sprinting and I deadlift, my poundages are relatively high and the bar moves pretty fast, especially from shin to above the knees. So sprinting probably does help in some way…

Sled dragging has helped my deadlift. If you don’t have one, you can make one easily.

Thanks for the advice guys and vixens. I’m reading into the series by Dave Tate and will see how that goes. Thanks again to all!

how would one go about making a sled?

the best way to make a cheap sled is to stick a couple pieces of plywood in a tire and throw weight on that, make a hole attach a rope… i made my own with a piece of metal linned flooring adn a pipe stem, or buy one from elitefitness, they are heavy duty. also bryan neeses company sells a monster one for HEAVY dragging only, it weighs like 75lbs i think