T Nation

Weak Points in My Deadlift


Hey Coach CT,
I’ve been noticing 2 sticking points in my Deadlift (conventional). My weakest point by a wide margin is off the floor. Then again, just around the bottom of the knee is another sticking point, however it is much more manageable. Any advice you could give me on what my weak links are so I can address my weaknesses? Thanks so much coach



I just read up on the 915. I need an assistance lift that isn’t a Deadlift. The volume I am currently doing is just enough to allow me to recover. I’m almost certain adding more Deadlifts will not work right now. Thank you though for the link. I really do like that template. Thinking about running it in a couple of months when I’m done with my current progression program


We’d need to know the rest of your program to give you any solid advice then. Recovery is important and you do have limited “training money” to spend. What’s the rest of your program look like?


When you start, do you feel the weight shifting to your toes?

Is the weakpoint breaking the bar off of the floor or about 1" from the floor.

The 2nd sticking point is more a side effect of the first one: you can’t great enough speed in the first part of the pull and when you reach the transition point below the knees the bar is not fast enough and you need to grind it over the transition point.


Strength training in OHP, BP, Front Squat, DL and the Snatch-grip High Pull. I’m working with 70-100% of my max on a 4 day split (OHP day, DL day, Bench day, Squat day). My strength work is 5-3x1-5. I do assistance (5x10 or 4x8 or 5x5) for the bench on my press days, Squat assistance on my DL days, and so forth like that.


I will have to be intentional about this. I’m honestly not sure. In that moment all I can think of is hatred and trying not to bust a nut haha.


The weakpoint is definitely off of the floor. A couple of days ago I attempted a PR (my third attempt in 3 weeks) managed to get it of the floor maybe an inch. The past 2 attempts I couldn’t even make it budge. May as well been 500KG. What’s frustrating is that when I strip 10KG off the bar I can pull 3 pretty clean reps, all from a dead stop, resetting on every rep.


Do you feel your lower back rounding? What you are describing seems like a weakness in the core; having a hard time creating enough tension. When you set up your must contract your stomach as hard a humanly possible (imagine getting punched in the stomach) and tighten up those lats.

The best exercises for you would be the floating deadlift focusing on keeping maximum tension in the core area, heavy farmer walks (20-30 meters) and Zercher squats


I have noticed that a bit. I got a lifting belt and that helped a whole heap.


I think you are on to something, I notice this very obviously on my front squats. Again, the belt has helped a lot but I suppose that isn’t fixing my problem. Just medicine for the symptom, not the cure.


Would you suggest that for a time I replace my front squats with these or add them in as assistance. If assistance, higher reps or lower reps? on my squat day or my DL day?


3 rounds 3 days a week after strength work?


how to you que this?


Yeah, when you have a big different with a belt it means a core weakness. So there’s your answer. Farmer walk, Zercher carries, Zercher squats, Frankenstein squats and direct core work… but mostly PRACTICING keeping your core tight (get punched in the stomach) with everything you do! Heck, even when you curl focus on tightening up your core… it must become automatic otherwise when you deadlift heavy weights you will revert back t your instinctive form, which is to keep the core suboptimally contracted. For now do not use a belt and only use weights that you can lift while maintaining a high core tension


Thank you coach! I will replace my front squats with Zerchers. Do Farmer walks after my routine. And I saw your core article. The Zercher holds from pins look pretty awesome. I’ll add that routine you gave into my routine.

As always you are a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you for the time you put into us here in this forum! Cheers!


I have incorporated your suggestions. Would you mind having a look at how I put core work in to see if its good enough?


A Military Press 5/3/1

B Incline DB Press 5x10

C Rows 3x10

D1 Switch Grip Curls 5x5/5
D2 Pushdown 5x12
D3 Face Pulls 5x10

E Zercher Hold from pins 5x 6-9 sec


A DeadLift 5/3/1

B Snatch-grip High Pull 6x3

C Chins 50

D Zercher Squats 5x10

E1 Seated Cable Crunch 3x8-10
E2 Standing Cable Crunch 3x AMRAP (same weight)
E3 Swiss Ball Crunch 3x AMRAMP (contract as hard as possible)


A Bench Press 5/3/1

B Military Press 5x10

C Neutral Grip Pull-Up 50

D1 Incline Curls 4x10
D2 Hammer Curls 4xAMRAP

E1 Concentration Curls 4x8/8/8 (dropset)
E2 Dips 4x12
E3 Face Pulls 4x10

F Farmer Walk (bodyweight) 5x20 meters


A Power Clean 5/3/1

B Front Squat 5/3/1

C RDL 5x10

D Good Morning 4x8

E Zercher Hold 5x 6-9 sec