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My DL Sucks Balls

Hi all,

So here’s the thing. My DL went from a 1RM of 215kg (around June), to not getting 200 off the ground (around August). I’m following a 5/3/1 template with 5’s, and they feel heavy as shit, while they used to be light.

So I’ve hit a plateau, and my numbers went down and it all felt heavier than it used to.

I switched from conventional to a semi-sumo stance, and it felt heavier too. (Does this mean my posterior chain is underdeveloped?)

I get enough sleep, I eat enough food, so that can’t be it.

I’m gonna do more hamstring and back work coming cycle, so that may help, but do you guys have any tips for a plateauing deadlift?

Thanks for your response.

Video. Could be technical.

That’s over 90% of your max, it could just be that you had a bad day. Did you peak for that or just try to pull 200kg one day?

Was this before or after failing 200kg?

Fix your technique and don’t do the same thing over and over.

Will post a video next week, just finishes my session

I tried to go for another PR. Was hoping, and expecting, for a 225KG DL. My squat went from 190 to 200, so I expected my DL to do kinda the same.

I switched from conventional to semi-sumo after my failed attempt of the 200kg.

try using bands and chains

That doesn’t sound like a very smart decision. If you’re not stronger with sumo and you aren’t hurting your back with conventional then there is no need to switch. People have bad day, shit happens, and you didn’t answer my question but it sounds like you weren’t peaked when you failed 200kg so it proves nothing. Stop testing your maxes and switching your technique for no reason and work on getting stronger.

You’re right, I didn’t peak. My peak was the 215, so I guess the time between both attemps was too short.


I’m with @chris_ottawa on this one. A month or 2 ago I tested 1RM in deadlift, and I was very careful not to fatigue while warming up. Couldn’t get 210kg of the floor, which is something I often do doubles/triples with. BUT I know I’ve been putting in the work, so I just went along with training as I usually do, and two weeks later I was back to doing doubles with that weight. Bad days REALLY do show up in big lifts. Thats why 5/3/1 has you using a 90% training max.

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Testing your maxes is not something to do on a regular basis and if you don’t prepare properly for it then you are setting yourself up for a disappointment. I didn’t pull anything close to my max for several months, when I eventually got back up there I pulled it for a triple and 10lbs more for a double the following week. If you keep testing then you don’t give yourself a chance to get stronger and you accumulate too much fatigue.

Save max attempts for your third attempt in a meet.

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Sorry. What I’m trying too say is that the time between my 215 and 200 DL was probably too short, it was like a month or 2 between both lifts.

Did your training change? Did you lose weight? Are you deadlifting less often?

I switched 5/3/1 templates recently, where I went from 3 to 6 working sets, but that was after my failed attempt.

Neither did I lose weight, and neither did me frequency change. (Still once every 9 days)

You need to build a base if you want your pull to go up. Find a weight you can lift for a 5 that’s heavy but you feel confident you can do anytime you come into the gym. Do the same thing for a triple. Then alternate your weeks - 5/3/5/3/5/1 over 6 week cycle. Use the same weight and same reps. When you do your single, don’t max. Do a heavy single that will obviously be more than your triple but still allows you to be smooth and not lose technique. So if your 5 weight is 150 and your triple is 165 your single could be around 180-185. Work with those weights for a while until they become easier or less taxing. In other words, it takes less recovery time or the weight feels lighter. Then add 10kg to all those numbers.

You can also do a couple sets of block pulls with straps afterwards as well. Usually a box that puts the bar just at mid shin to just below the knee should help you the most. I wouldn’t do block pulls everytime. Maybe once or twice per month.

It takes consistent work to make increases in strength. Learning how weight is supposed to feel is the best way to know if you’re getting stronger. You can’t learn that if you use something like 531.