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View Full Version : Deadlift Stalled Need Advice



punkguitarist
04-15-2010, 09:13 AM
So I've been doing 3 sets of 5 reps for deadlifts the last 6 months or so and that brought my deadlift from 225 x 5 to 335 x 5. However, the last couple of workouts I haven't been able to progress. I think I need to change my reps/sets scheme.

Do you have any advice on what to change the reps/sets to? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I need to worry about doing special exercises for my "weak points" because my whole body is weak haha.

This is what my current routine looks like below:

Monday- Bench + assistance

Wed-Squats + assistance

Fri-Military Press + assistance

Monday-Deadlifts + assistance

Wed- Bench + assistance

etc..

Currently as assistance for deadlifts I do leg press, glute ham raises, and weighted ab work. On squat days for assistance I do romanian deadlifts, lunges, and weighted ab work.

I don't think diet is an issue. I'm eating 300 grams of protein a day and around 4000 calories a day. My weight has been the same for the last couple of months (around 185-190 at 5'8").

I'm currently not trying to gain any weight because I think I need to get stronger at my current weight before I try to bulk more.

My other best lifts that would be relevant to deadlifts are box squat 280x7, weighted chins 55x7, and db rows 100 x 12

Below is a video of me deadlifting. This was 335 x 5 (but the video cut short).

Do you see anything in my form that needs to be changed?

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Any suggestions?

coach falcon
04-15-2010, 10:05 AM
My biggest suggestion is to get rid of the leg presses. In my opinion they are worthless. What I like to do is incorporate reverse hyper-extensions or back extensions after my dead lift. Try throwing in some Bulgarian split squats and reverse lunges. Both of these can be performed with your front foot elevated and with knee raises.

Another thing that will improve your deadlift is to start with a plyometric warm up. Squat jumps while holding 10lb DBs is what I warm up with every time I squat or deadlift. It activates the nervous system and gets it ready to lift some serious weight. Try a set of 4x6 before you deadlift.

Here is my deadlift/leg day day

Squat Jumps w/10lb DBs - 4x6
Deadlift - 8 reps of 72.5% max, 6 reps at 75% max, 4 reps at 85%
Hyper Extensions w/ 45lb plate - 4x12
Weighted Russian Twists - 4 x 12 (each way)
Bulgarian Split Squats w/front foot elevated 4 x 8
Timed Mile - Shoot for under 9 min.

Every now and then I will through in Squats instead of deadlift, reverse hypers instead of hypers, medicine ball twists instead of Russian twists, glute/ham or reverse lunges instead of BSS, and Tabata Style Jump Rope instead of a timed mile.

JRider23
04-15-2010, 10:18 AM
By no means am i that strong, but i think that cable pullthroughs have helped my deadlift... Might want to consider them.

coach falcon
04-15-2010, 10:25 AM
By no means am i that strong, but i think that cable pullthroughs have helped my deadlift... Might want to consider them.

Great point. Any type of movement that extends the hip flexors could be used.

tnathletics2b
04-15-2010, 11:19 AM
My biggest suggestion is to get rid of the leg presses. In my opinion they are worthless.

I disagree. Wendler uses them in the 5/3/1 template on squat day. Since he totaled about...hmmm... 2500 pounds, I am going to take his word for it.

tnathletics2b
04-15-2010, 11:20 AM
To the OP, I would try good mornings, too. Strengthen up your lower back immensely.

bojackson
04-15-2010, 12:25 PM
how bout tryng some triples and doubles...

ZenMonkey
04-15-2010, 12:27 PM
Dont change anything. Just deload 10% and work back up.

SMK41
04-15-2010, 12:35 PM
I got stuck around 335 lbs on DL too. I switched to doing working sets of 3x3 instead of 3x5 and i was able to keep adding 5 lbs every week all the way up to about 385 before stalling. I mixed in another day a week where I would pull 3x8 of 295 lbs to keep my volume up.

Sidior
04-15-2010, 12:37 PM
Dont change anything. Just deload 10% and work back up.

Fully agree with this. If you made 100lbs of progress in 6 months, stick with it!

coach falcon
04-15-2010, 12:42 PM
Sorry, should not have said leg presses were useless. There is a place for everything, I just don't believe that they are very functional in training. If you are going for pure strength they are ok. If you want some functionalism with your lifts, they don't give you as much.

ehubbard
04-15-2010, 12:55 PM
Leg press is fairly useless. You need to strengthen your ass and back. Drop the leg presses and do another squat variation such as Pause Squats. Also I would do back extensions twice a week and abs 3 times a week. I would also change your rep scheme around every once and a while. Otherwise, I like 3 sets fo 5. Also, deload may be smart too.

JCD
04-15-2010, 01:20 PM
the ass and hams can be strengthened just as well with leg press, no? What if the person has ankle/hip/hamstring flexibility issues? I'd much rather see them doing leg press + lots of stretching and mobility work to improve their flexibility. However, in the mean time, they could be building up strength on the leg press that will transition over to their squat and deadlift workouts.

Not saying the OP seems to have any of these flexibility issues, I'm just playing devil's advocate here and I see no reason to hate on the leg press.

Plus he's doing leg press as an assistance movement on his deadlift days. it wouldn't make too much sense to do any heavy squatting afterward.

ehubbard
04-15-2010, 01:32 PM
the ass and hams can be strengthened just as well with leg press, no? What if the person has ankle/hip/hamstring flexibility issues? I'd much rather see them doing leg press + lots of stretching and mobility work to improve their flexibility. However, in the mean time, they could be building up strength on the leg press that will transition over to their squat and deadlift workouts.

Not saying the OP seems to have any of these flexibility issues, I'm just playing devil's advocate here and I see no reason to hate on the leg press.

Plus he's doing leg press as an assistance movement on his deadlift days. it wouldn't make too much sense to do any heavy squatting afterward.

You do 3 sets of 5 on a pause squat one week and then do 3 sets of 5 or whatever it is you want on the leg press and tell me what makes you more sore. If someone has flexibiltiy issues, then guess what, you work on those by squatting and tell them to stop being a pussy. Nothing will replace squats. Now if you want to do leg press as an assistance exercise for your squat or to buid bigger quads that's fine. The OP was questioning how to improve a stalled out deadlift. Leg Press is crap for that.

JCD
04-15-2010, 02:39 PM
You do 3 sets of 5 on a pause squat one week and then do 3 sets of 5 or whatever it is you want on the leg press and tell me what makes you more sore. If someone has flexibiltiy issues, then guess what, you work on those by squatting and tell them to stop being a pussy. Nothing will replace squats. Now if you want to do leg press as an assistance exercise for your squat or to buid bigger quads that's fine. The OP was questioning how to improve a stalled out deadlift. Leg Press is crap for that.

ell oh ell

IMO, I don't believe it'd be too smart for someone with some major issues with hamstring flexibility to continue squatting even though their lower back rounds and puts them in danger of injury just so they can be macho instead of being a pussy.

I think it'd be much smarter to have them on a leg press to support their lower back, work slowly on their range of motion and then stretch their azz out real well post workout. THEN once it all improves, have them begin squatting and help them develop better form.

what about the tall mofo's that aren't built too well for the squat? just going to tell them to stop being a pussy despite being 6'6"? Even if the lift, anatomically, is not a good fit for them? that just makes no sense.

saying nothing will replace squats is a bit of an absolutist statement. It's like saying nothing will replace the bench press. or nothing will replace barbell rows.

What if someone has shoulder issues and benching with a straight bar completely effs them up? What if neutral grip work is the only thing they can do comfortably? What then? Are they still a pussy?

Plenty of folks decide to use weighted dips or heavy DB's are their chest builder. Some use cable rows or machine rows as their primary rowing movement. Are those sub par just like the leg press? or is this is one of those arguments where squats-are-king-no-matter-what discussions?

JCD
04-15-2010, 02:41 PM
but let's carry on and help the OP with his questions instead of this pointless argument.

Hazerboy
04-15-2010, 02:42 PM
Plus he's doing leg press as an assistance movement on his deadlift days. it wouldn't make too much sense to do any heavy squatting afterward.

I do this. Its never as heavy as my regular squat day, you have to use less volume, and its always a variation (ATG squats or front squats, to help with power off the floor) but you really just have to man up, cause its ****ing exhausted. I think my best is maybe 285x8 ATG squats after 490x6 deadlifts.

Point being, you can still do some heavy ass compound movements are your first movement,, it just takes some grit, and you ahve to lower volume and/or weight significantly (I usually only do one heavy work set or several lighter sets of weight).

SO I would recommend what everyone else has said as far as accessories--natural glute ham raises, good mornings, or maybe some front squats or ATG squats after deadlifting like I do, or some speed pulls, maybe from a deficit.

But more importantly figure out your rep range. It the current one has been working till now, deload and start over.

Remember this: Everyone goes through plateaus. Figuring out how to plow through them is part of weight training, and is sort of something you have to figure out yourself.

punkguitarist
04-15-2010, 03:17 PM
the main reason I do leg press's after deadlifts is because my lower back usually feels too beat to try to squat afterwards. I also feel like I'm weak off the floor so I thought the extra quad work that leg press's provide would help with that.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll probably try doing 3x3 for now and see how that works out.

How does my form look from the video? Anything I could improve on?

ehubbard
04-15-2010, 04:27 PM
ell oh ell

IMO, I don't believe it'd be too smart for someone with some major issues with hamstring flexibility to continue squatting even though their lower back rounds and puts them in danger of injury just so they can be macho instead of being a pussy.

I think it'd be much smarter to have them on a leg press to support their lower back, work slowly on their range of motion and then stretch their azz out real well post workout. THEN once it all improves, have them begin squatting and help them develop better form.

what about the tall mofo's that aren't built too well for the squat? just going to tell them to stop being a pussy despite being 6'6"? Even if the lift, anatomically, is not a good fit for them? that just makes no sense.

saying nothing will replace squats is a bit of an absolutist statement. It's like saying nothing will replace the bench press. or nothing will replace barbell rows.

What if someone has shoulder issues and benching with a straight bar completely effs them up? What if neutral grip work is the only thing they can do comfortably? What then? Are they still a pussy?

Plenty of folks decide to use weighted dips or heavy DB's are their chest builder. Some use cable rows or machine rows as their primary rowing movement. Are those sub par just like the leg press? or is this is one of those arguments where squats-are-king-no-matter-what discussions?

I am 6 feet 4. I squat twice a week almost every week. I do not hide behind excuses so that I dont have to do something that is hard. I have injured and rehabbed my knees, back and shoulder and have come back stronger. The point was not to ignore "functional" issues such as legitimate injuries or disfunction (which the OP never alluded to), but rather to do an exercise that would have better carryover to the deadlift, something I think I know a little something about. Pause squats, as I suggested, really work the glutes. Leg presses, not so much. There are lots of exercises that have carryover to the deadlift, but in general I believe most guys who want to get big and strong should squat and squat often. I did not suggest HEAVY squats after he deadlifts. As a matter of fact I use somewhere around 60-70% of my pause squat max for these.

The pont i think most people miss through much of their training lives is some simple math, which I will use your leg press as an example:

Leg press = easy
Squat = not so easy
Things not easy > things that are easy

How you go about using that bit of information is up to you.

ehubbard
04-15-2010, 04:32 PM
the main reason I do leg press's after deadlifts is because my lower back usually feels too beat to try to squat afterwards. I also feel like I'm weak off the floor so I thought the extra quad work that leg press's provide would help with that.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll probably try doing 3x3 for now and see how that works out.

How does my form look from the video? Anything I could improve on?

If your back is beat you really should get it stronger. Back extensions x a bagillion. Also, if you do decide to try pause squats, try them beltless and use some ridiculously light weight to start and build up from there. It wont take much to have an effect.

joey54
04-15-2010, 04:51 PM
Leg presses more than likely will help improve your deadlift in the same manner that HS incline presses will help your bench. If you are trying to get stronger on an exercise, have your assistance work help you accomplish said goal.

joey54
04-15-2010, 04:51 PM
And, the simple answer, do what Zen suggested and start doing freaking glute ham raises.

MarcusWild
04-15-2010, 05:13 PM
Is that Gold's gym in Campbell? I used to to train there before starting a powerlifting gym.

NickAus
04-15-2010, 05:42 PM
HEAVY ABS and back raises will help and will not eat into your recovery much.

punkguitarist
04-15-2010, 05:46 PM
Is that Gold's gym in Campbell? I used to to train there before starting a powerlifting gym.

Yes thats the gold's in campbell.

I don't know if you remember but I went to your gym one saturday back in september and you helped me with my deadlifts.

MarcusWild
04-15-2010, 05:50 PM
Yes thats the gold's in campbell.

I don't know if you remember but I went to your gym one saturday back in september and you helped me with my deadlifts.

Yeah, training at our gym would get you stronger a lot faster. Even our newer guys are deadlifting 500 after a few months.

robchris
04-15-2010, 06:04 PM
I box sqaut after ME deadlifts.... As stated earlier, I only use 60-70% sets of 3-5. I feel its really helped my DL off the floor!

All to his own bro... Its a lot of trial & error starting out... Use what works discard the rest.

Aslin
06-17-2010, 12:12 PM
Just do 1 working set of 5, my DL has rocketed up to 450lbs for a set of 5 this way, How would you deload from DL's when your only doing them once a week? back off 10% for a week and try a new PR the next? otherwise you'd risk detraining?

brauny96
06-20-2010, 07:28 PM
I'd say take a week deload, and go back to it for a few weeks, if you feel stronger, keep going, if you dont, then maybe its time for some changes. Also, try goodmornings, really heavy 5x5 for assistance, this could definitely help you, once I started doing them, my deadlift went up.