T Nation

Training the Deadlift

As of right now I have pulled a 1RM 500 lbs @190 body weight. My deadlift has always been all over the place though, with that pull coming four months ago and since then I have been barely able to pull 450 for a single.

I was just wondering if anybody has a deadlift program they have used in the past that they really like, or really anything that would be able to help me out with my deadlift issues.

here’s a link to my max leading up to a meet this weekend (460 lbs)

Really any ideas would help. I’m thinking about going to sumo for 6 weeks or so to see if that will help, any opinions on that?

I have had great success by employing range of motion (ROM) progression in my deadlift training.

Tim Henriques wrote about it here

And I covered my experiences here

Basically, start with a partial deadlift off of blocks or mats, and each week very gradually reduce the ROM until you are pulling a full deadlift with a weight you could previously only get a partial with. I use rubber patio tiles for this, and if you cut them in half you can transport them to the gym in a duffel bag. Using this approach, I managed to get a 650lb pull at 200lbs bodyweight.

Granted, it was ugly as hell, but it counts in strongman, haha.

i have seen a lot of my buddies pull big weights with Ed Coans deadlift program. They have all made great gains with it. Maybe something to check out and considder!

Ed Coan Routine is Money

Ortmayer Routine is Money


Also a george leeman type designed routine that always works for me

week 1 60% old max amrap one set, two assistance compound lifts 60% old max amrap one set

progress each week by 5% (60,65,70,75,80,85,90,95,100, max)

all these programs never failed to progress my deadlift

I have had good results with emphasising speed. Not necessarily the standard WS way, but just pulling sub maximal weights with a conscious effort to pull aggressive and fast. I know of somebody who ran a standard 5x5 adding 2.5-5kg per week who managed to get to 255kg @ 82.5kg in competition. Quite excessive in volume but works for some.

Coan routine has always interested me. I like the idea of pulling frequently too, whether it be one heavy day, one lighter ‘speed’ day.

I’ve pulled 505 beltless both ways 192~

I swear deficits (snatch grip) is money for me

Ramp up to 5/3/2 rep max snatch grip and then pull 1-2 more sets conventional at heavier weight

Thanks for the ideas! Can someone send me a link to the Ortmayer program? I tried the Ed Coan program once and it worked pretty well, so I think I might get back on that! Thanks a lot guys!

I agree. Deficit pulls are awesome for increasing strength

I’ve based my deadlift training around some of George Leeman’s principles over the past month and a half, and my strength has gone up like crazy. The main idea I’ve been following is to build some strength in higher rep ranges, then peak that strength.

The base program I use normally is 531, but I rarely go for rep PRs on pulls (I always thought I’d benefit more from putting in some heavier sets after the main work). The past two cycles I really pushed the reps, and ended up increasing from 180kg x 10 beltless, to 190kg x 11 beltless and 200kg x 10 belted (over 6 weeks). Best low rep pulls before this were 210kg x 3, and I failed 220kg several times.

The plan now is to peak the strength I’ve built by running a 3 month long linear progression cycle (this is known as a Coan program in some places but it’s reallyas simple as adding weight and dropping the reps down each week).

Cliff notes: Hard work works well, and don’t be afraid of using reps to build strength before doing heavier work. I think most of the suggestions you’ve received so far fit in with this idea pretty well, personally I’d like to give Pwnisher’s style of training a go some time, but I have equipment limitations.

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:
I’ve based my deadlift training around some of George Leeman’s principles over the past month and a half, and my strength has gone up like crazy. The main idea I’ve been following is to build some strength in higher rep ranges, then peak that strength.

The base program I use normally is 531, but I rarely go for rep PRs on pulls (I always thought I’d benefit more from putting in some heavier sets after the main work). The past two cycles I really pushed the reps, and ended up increasing from 180kg x 10 beltless, to 190kg x 11 beltless and 200kg x 10 belted (over 6 weeks). Best low rep pulls before this were 210kg x 3, and I failed 220kg several times.
The plan now is to peak the strength I’ve built by running a 3 month long linear progression cycle (this is known as a Coan program in some places but it’s reallyas simple as adding weight and dropping the reps down each week).

Cliff notes: Hard work works well, and don’t be afraid of using reps to build strength before doing heavier work. I think most of the suggestions you’ve received so far fit in with this idea pretty well, personally I’d like to give Pwnisher’s style of training a go some time, but I have equipment limitations.[/quote]

Are you just missing the mats? They’re a pretty easy fix, and Tim had some great work arounds in his article too.

When I’m at home I’m limited to around 200kg on the bar (just the amount of weight I own, and buying more isn’t really an option right now), and then yeah, I don’t have the mats (or really the storage space for them).

I don’t think my uni gym is cool enough to let me bring mats in, although I’ll have access to the uni’s larger gym this year, and they might have some better equipment (people I know always tell me to go there because “the equipment is so much better” but I have a feeling that just means they have running machines with tvs in them).

I’ll have a read of you threads though, it does interest me. Are you sticking to strongman for now then?

Oh, and while I have you here, when you powerlifted, did you ever have any issues with using mixed grip in competition despite pulling with straps in training? I’m fully on board with straps, and don’t think my grip is going to be an issue any time soon, it’s mainly the slight difference in form that bothers me.

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:
When I’m at home I’m limited to around 200kg on the bar (just the amount of weight I own, and buying more isn’t really an option right now), and then yeah, I don’t have the mats (or really the storage space for them).

I don’t think my uni gym is cool enough to let me bring mats in, although I’ll have access to the uni’s larger gym this year, and they might have some better equipment (people I know always tell me to go there because “the equipment is so much better” but I have a feeling that just means they have running machines with tvs in them).

I’ll have a read of you threads though, it does interest me. Are you sticking to strongman for now then?[/quote]

Truth be told, the trick with bringing mats in is to just act like you own the place. I’ve never coorded with a gym when I did it, I just carried them in my gym bag, broke them out, used them, and put them away. When you act like it belongs there, others will comply. Steppers and plates can work too though.

I have plans to do another powerlifting meet, or possibly just a deadlift meet. I’m digging strongman, but I really need a training group/coach if I want to get better.

As for your other question, the only issue I’ve noticed with using mixed grip only in comps is that I have a small part on the palm of my underhand grip hand that gets inflamed whenever I used a mixed grip. I can still make it though a meet with no issues, but afterwards it’s a little tender. I don’t have this issue with straps, which makes me even more compelled to use them in training, haha. Otherwise, it’s seemless.

The only approach that ever worked for me with getting my dl up was a conjugate approach. Literally only pulling max from the floor a few times a year, but building that lift up with plenty rack/matt pulls, stiff legs, gms, front squats, front squats to a box, ssb box squats, rows, more gms, more front squats, zercher squats, grip work, db rows, etc etc. Last PR was 745 @ 275 at 42 years old. Speed work for form and explosiveness is also a must.