T Nation

Raising Your Deadlift


It seems like there are a million articles that say they can help raise your deadlift numbers.With all these articles are a plethora of different ways. So many I get overwhelmed. I have recently deadlifted 430. Not great but it is good ,no? I have not done anything fancy just deadlift and add weight on the bar periodically. I haven't really stalled in this manner but I am looking to start pulling with the big dogs.

I want to add a lot to my deadlift. Should I just keep slowly adding weight or is it necessary to do all this other stuff, such as partial assistance like Romanian deadlifts,stiff legged,and rack pulls? Or other stranger things such as using chains or pulling with giant rubber bands? Should I worry about these things when I am really stuck? I have been deadlifting twice a week, then once a week in a alternating fashio.

Now I am past 400, is that too much? Should I be doing speed work, whatever that is? I do really like keeping things simple, and feel that I have been able to build above average strength from it, but what should I do from here? Do you believe heavy squats will also help raise my other lifts? I mean do you get stronger in all the lifts simi-simultaneously?


Oh yeah I forgot about deficit deadlifts.


Do you think all of these "Big Dogs" got to 800 lbs. over night? Nope. Just follow a routine that will progressively get you stronger and your pulls will be "up there" within a few years.


How much do you weigh? 400 is a good foundation but by no means a big DL. I feel like anyone over 200 lbs can pretty much get to a 500 pull by just pulling each week using standard progression.

That being said, assistance stuff would all depend on how you pull, where your week points are, ect. But for the most part, just get in there and pull heavy weight.

There is no real big secret to powerlifting other than hard work and dedication.


Try to find guys to lift with that are better than you. You'll quickly find out that you can do so much more. Even if it's for a short period of time find some training partners if at all possible. If that is you in your avitar, then I'd say that 400 is marginal. Why not try some of the things you mentioned? There really no wrong answer so long as you set goals and track whether you are on par with those. So you've lifted 430. Great now set a goal of 455. I bet you'd probably be able to hit that if you intentionally tried to max out assuming your form is good. Try to feel what is the weak link in your deadlift. Maybe it's glute strength. Then do extra glute exercises. Your weaknesses will change over time so keep trying to find where you suck at. Do things to suck less. In time, if you keep wit it you'll be pulling more weight. Where you end up is up to you and how hard you want it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq-aL9NbAIE Brandon Lilly and absolute animal , gives some great tips I like how he describes the deadlift as the most violent lift.


I am 270. When you say marginal would that mean it is definitely on the weaker side of someone my size? I do FEEL like I am not as strong as I should be, but I am also limited by the equipment I have and by the lack of being able to afford a gym membership with two kids. I have a strong drive to succeed as a powerlifter, but I have also outdone myself sometimes and feel overtaxed. You know extreme fatique, irritability. Is testing your one rep max important? Would it be better to work in the low range of say five reps or less and keep adding weight as I go? Does a powerlifter need to do many high reps of deadlifts?


reps in the 3-5-8 range, have you thought of looking into a strength program?


I have been working Starting Strength. I guess my question is, does it take 10 years to be able to pull 800 pounds, that is if you are even physically able to get that strong?


I really can't answer that question, as I am still new to the strength game myself. I would say that its probably not something that will happen overnight and not to get discouraged when you have setbacks or sticking points.


Anything is possible though don't ever set limits



In regards to your deadlift....don't worry about how it compares to other people's lifts. That 430 Lbs is yours so be proud of yourself and that accomplishment. You are just starting your journey towards being a better version of yourself. I would recommend you stop trying to max lift right now and focus on perfecting your form and get some quality reps every workout.

Only you can determine how far you can take this. An 800Lb deadlift take a lot of training and dicipline to achieve (for most of us). I would recommend you take an easy to follow program like Wendler's 5/3/1 and just train your ass off. I guarantee you will see a significant improvement in your lifting and outlook on training if you read the book and just follow it as written.

Congrats on your deadlift, go kick some ass.


Thank you Hara. A positive forum user is sometimes a rarity and I really appreciate it. But everyone is being very positive on this forum so I want to say thank you to everyone. I am dedicated and I'll just keep on pulling.


I agree with Hara 430 is a great lift by any standards, and 531 is a great program. At your stage, on a program like 531 you should be able to expect somewhere between 10-20 % strength gain a year for the first year or two, and than things will probably start to level off to 10% or so. This is all dependant on effort and consistency. I wouldn't usually try to predict some ones strength gains on the internet, but I think that's kind of what you were looking for. Now you have a goal to prove me wrong, and put more than 80lbs on your dead this year. Goodluck


5/3/1 is one of many possible great options to look into. I think the biggest problem you're having with your deadlift is coming off a Starting Strength. I'm not knocking the program It's great for beginners and has a proven track record of success...but it's a little too Spartan with the deadlifts.

Where in Cali do you live Soko?


A couple exercises you can do at home that I've seen pay big dividends in the dead are power cleans, and explosive high steps, you won't need special equipment for either. The power clean is the obvious one, working towards getting 225 from the floor to your shoulders will have tons of carry over. As for the step up, I like them high 15-18 inches, put one foot up on the step, and focus on pulling your self to a standing position with your front leg as fast as posibble, pull with your hamstrings, and snap your hips forward.

These plus a strong core, and a solid program should give you a pretty direct route to 600, try not to get to complicated, just strong, and fast. Bas'Barbell has some good free programs, ands percentage blocks as well as motivation.


If you're concerned about not being able to afford equipment, keep checking places like Craigslist for cheap weight plates and whatever else you need. I don't think I've ever bought a plate or barbell brand new. Power rack and bench press you may have to be pickier about. But weights? I find there's always people wanting to get rid of old plates.


Here's an article on this site from our very own Tim H. Based on your BW of 270 and this article, you rank around decent, with a 1.5ish% of body weight deadlift.


You can decide for yourself where you are at. In terms of the general populus you're ahead of most folks. For a 270# person who identifies himself as a power lifter,implied from posting in a powerlifting sub forum on a lifter forum, that 430# deadlift is a good starting point. Basically what I'm saying is I wouldn't go buy a "I deadlifted 430#" tee shirt lol. keep at it and soon you'll be banging out better numbers, if you are a number chaser.


I hear ya man. I have 3 kids, a dog, a mini pot bellied pig, a job at a power plant where I work 12 hour shifts and flip flop between day shifts and nights. Those 3 kids have 'activities' the wife has me do shit etc. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. WE must figure out how to fit training in IF it's important to us. YES I feel like a sack of smashed assholes 1/2 the time but I somehow make shit happen, to some degree. Some days the heaviest thing I lift is my ass off the couch. Think on that for a min....

Gym memberships are overrated most times. You have to listen to shit music, put up with all the doosh bags doing dumb shit and most box gyms are not PL friendly, at least not for long anyways.

You don't need tons of money to be a bad ass. Go get an old pick up truck tire from a tire place. They will give you all you want for free. Then put an eye bolt on the side wall / tread. Attach a rope to it and you got an instant dragging sled. Beat it with a sledge hammer. 2-3 min of whooping that tires ass and you'll be gassed. Find weight plates / bars at Yard sales / craigslist / play it again sports etc. Or you can go old school like my buddies dad from Long Island, go steal manhole covers and use for weights lol ( just kidding!) get a "D-Handle" and a length of small chain and a caribiner. MAke a makeshift kettle bell with a few 10# plates and the chain / handle. Now you can do kettle bell swings, which will help that deadlift.

check this link out man.... www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=157