T Nation

Weird Strength Curve

Not sure where to put this, I hope this is alright. Feel free to move it if it isn’t. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago my friend was deadlifting 280 and decided to go for a max set. He got 17 reps. Yesterday he went for a PR at 315 and couldn’t do it. I was shocked that he could pull 280 17 times but couldn’t even do 315 once.

One thing that I have noticed and we are beginning to work on his is difficulty getting the first rep. It is substantially harder for him to get the first rep because of the lack of a stretch reflex. Because of this i have now got him pausing for a couple of seconds at the bottom before lifting every rep. So i guess my question is, why is there such a dramatic drop off as weight is added?

A possible cause (not necessarily the cause in his case) is Golgi tendon organ inhibition.

These organs sense stretch resulting from load, and can shut down muscle activation when the body “thinks” that the load is too great.

It may be that he shuts down at something not much past 280 even though his muscular strength would be well beyond that.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
A possible cause (not necessarily the cause in his case) is Golgi tendon organ inhibition.

These organs sense stretch resulting from load, and can shut down muscle activation when the body “thinks” that the load is too great.

It may be that he shuts down at something not much past 280 even though his muscular strength would be well beyond that.[/quote]

This is why my DL maxes have always come when I feel stupid and literally pile random plates onto the bar and pull it without doing the math. Asking for injury? Yes, but its how I pulled 355 the first time. I don’t know how heavy it is, so I pretended it was light.

Maybe cause he did 280, 17 times his back was completely fried, making 315 impossible?

Regardless if he does some deficit deads if he’s so bad at pulling from the floor I’m sure he will be well within the realm of 405 quick if he can pull off 280x17.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
Maybe cause he did 280, 17 times his back was completely fried, making 315 impossible?[/quote]

280 was a couple of weeks ago. The 315 attempt was last night

Again he still may not be completely recovered…did he do any squats or any other intense activity?

[quote]rasturai wrote:
Again he still may not be completely recovered…did he do any squats or any other intense activity?[/quote]

No that was our first lift. He may have just had a bad day however i know what he is capable of deadlifting and it’s probably just barely over 315 on a really good day. I’m definitely going to include some deficits though for him and myself. Never really gave them a try

Happens to me sometimes too. There’s some days I can pull over 10 plates and some days where I literally shut down right at 8 plates. Can’t even budge the bar. It’s fucking annoying. I’ve had it happen on rack pulls too.

i think your right about the stretch reflex…i think he is just extremely efficient at using his stretch reflex…i’m the same way or used to be anyway…When I started using more controlled form which killed my stretch reflex…I had to drop my training weights by 30-50lbs…