T Nation

To Deadlift more, don't Deadlift


Anyone ever tried this approach?

If so could those share their experiances whether successful or not?

Any tips and suggestions how to apply this approach?

(For information purposes, Ive been training 2 years, Height 5,10, Bw 170, Max Deadlift - 375)



Didnt deadlift for over a month, only squatted and for assistance lots of hamstring work. My deadlift didnt move a pound, my squat increased though.


I don't find it very effective for long. My best gains have been pulping hard and more with adequate rest . 605 at 205 at 47 years of age btw.


I only like to deadlift heavy once a month... if that. But you need practice with the lift. I do speed pulls every week with lighter weights and that seems to keep my technique dialed in.


Very true. Storm the beach has pulled 800 plus. He spent his time pulling . Less experienced people need to know how to do the lift.

As you get stronger and bigger you will need to constantly monitor your technique . I started powerlifting at 132 pounds. Now I'm 205. Leverages have changed and I've increased my strength . My body is different with 70 more lbs.


Ok nice, thanks for the tips.

Ive got very little knowledge of speed pulls. Would it be possible for you to outlay how you approach speed pulls? Sets, volume, percentages? Do you follow this up with a back/deadlift specific w/o?

I know I'm asking a quite a bit, but advise from someone who can pull that well would be undoubtedly help me and maybe others reading.



Speed pulls are performed on DE squat day after your DE squats. They're usually between 6-12 singles with 50-60% of your 1RM. They're done as fast as possible. Almost always done against bands and/or chains. The band tension and chain weight is up to you. 45-60 seconds rest in between each single. Hope this helps. Anybody else feel free to add on if I missed anything.



This worked great for me.

I used to pull every week (a la 5/3/1) and made good progress. However, I stalled around ~550.

I started training with a group of powerlifters who followed a lot of the West Side methods. We never did competition deadlifts, but we'd do pin pulls, pin pulls w/ bands, reverse band pin pulls, etc, etc. We used box squats, good mornings, speed pulls and special exercises to target weak points too.

A year later, I'm guessing my deadlift is ~680. I might do a heavy pull 1-2 a month. I know based on my PRs from pin 1, 2, and 3 what my floor deadlift is.

It stands to reason that if you make your deadlifting muscles stronger, then your deadlift will increase. Deadlifting isn't the only exercise that strengthens these muscles. Box squats are great for your hips, good mornings are good for your entire posterior chain. Speed pulls help you practice form and also train explosiveness.


I went on an Oly lifting kick for about a 6 week period earlier this year...no deadlifting at all. I did squat at least 2x a week and then obviously having C&J and snatching in there with several other accessory lifts. My previous best deadlift was 445lbs (set in January). Then I decided to do 5/3/1. I only did 1 cycle and decided to max out because the numbers I was using were from old PRs and I was smoking the lifts every time. After that I set a PR of 475lbs. I have similar stats to you; I'm 6ft even and around 160lbs. Honestly I do believe not deadlifting for that short amount of time gave me a chance to recharge and come back hitting the lift harder than before. Referencing what STB said above, incorporating speed pulls regularly and then going heavy less often would be a good route to take...I wouldn't recommend doing what I said as a regular thing, but just something to keep in mind if you ever feel like you're getting burnt out.


Ok great, thanks guys. It's good to hear real experiances instead of just theory.

Good to hear the similarities within your approaches. I think I've heard enough to put this approach into place.

Appreciate your time.


DLing a lot brought my DL to approx 600. Then I tried lots of assistance work and accessory lifts with very little DLing(mostly just speed pulls) and that got it up to 660. Gonna try doing a higher volume of DLing the next few weeks and see what happens.


To be fair, incorporating speed/power work isn't going to do much for you if you aren't already strong. But if you have a good base of strength, then it'll do wonders.


Here is a fairly simple routine that uses speed pulls. I like this since it can be fit into most programs that have a dedicated DL day and gives all the %s so you don't really have to worry about doing it wrong.



I have heard both sides. I wonder if there is any difference which may be related to conventional vs sumo. I have always deadlifted at least once per week if not twice.



Nice link posted - recent article as well - dont know how I missed it! Tips from the best deadlifter in the world!

I realise perhaps more records have been set pulling convential style - however for the norm of competitors I see a lot pulling sumo style. Is the sumo style more efficent for the norm of competitors?

Again thanks for the posts.


Second best, actually.


I've wondered this myself. You often hear that the biggest dead lifts are conventional. I wonder what the top 50 or 100 are. The biggest are likely due to the fact that the men pulling them are outliers and beasts regardless of the style used.


I think the largest pulls are conventional because the guys in the largest weight classes are generally built to suit conventional pulling.


Do a search on this subject and Bill Star (he had a workout plan for the DL that didn't involve DLing).


To deadlift more; pull weekly, whether it's speed pulls, deficit pulls, or pulls from blocks, wave loads and movements according to time out from competition. Squat in some variation at least twice a week, three has been my 'sweet spot'. Program pulls into a training week at least two days after last heavy squat session, or after squats on the same day.