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View Full Version : My 605 Deadlift--I Need Your Guys' Help!



Hobo Beard
02-01-2011, 05:31 PM
I've just recently started powerlifting again after another (and hopefully my last) failed attempt @being a bodybuilder.

I have pulled the reps which %-wise correlate to a 605 deadlift a long time ago, but until last night, I had never ACTUALLY pulled the weight.

My intensity was great as normal (I never, EVER give up when I pull), but my form was **** and I hitched @the top.

Would it pass in a meet--no, but it was a great psychological barrier for me to bust through.

Here it is:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCVRgAEdNDo

I'm looking for advice in regards to improving my technique and what areas of weakness to work on.

My squat is significanlty lower than my deadlift (for example, I did 355x5 on SSB box squats last week), so I know that needs to get jacked up.

I'm thinking I need to:

1. Train my squat hard.

2. Do heavy and speed deads against bands and deads off blocks.

3. Get my hamstrings stronger with stiff-legs, glut-ham raises and pullthroughs.

Do you guys thinks I'm on the right track? Would you suggest?

NickAus
02-01-2011, 06:09 PM
Yep on the right track, SSB G.Ms will help you too.

Technique needs some work but others here are better than me so should give some advice there.

On thing, dont spend so long down at the bar before you pull.

Hobo Beard
02-01-2011, 06:13 PM
Yep on the right track, SSB G.Ms will help you too.

Technique needs some work but others here are better than me so should give some advice there.

On thing, dont spend so long down at the bar before you pull.

Thanks for the advice, bro.

What do you think spending longer down at the bar before I pull does?

pricedtosell
02-01-2011, 06:22 PM
I believe it eliminates any stretch reflex you'd be able to get. I know this is the case with sumo, not sure about conventional. You're supposed to be able to generate more power and speed off of the floor by pulling quickly as soon as you get your hips down. I've seen a lot of people rock back and forth between hunched over and a set up position several times before finally pulling, basically generating momentum and a stronger stretch reflex.

shawno
02-01-2011, 06:24 PM
You don't mention rack pulls - I'd do 'em, start below the knees. Watch your form and what happens @ 17-18 seconds.

mchicia1
02-01-2011, 06:29 PM
Im not a DL expert and I realize rounding the upper back is a technique some use, but doesn't it seem excessive here?

theBarzeen
02-01-2011, 06:30 PM
Rolling the bar out like that is great when it's timed right. But after you rolled the bar out you stopped it then waited a few minutes before you pulled. It should be one motion. You are also starting the pull with your back already hunched and your hips high. Konstantin can pull with a hunch, mortals can't.

Never mind the obvious one of not having the strength to lock out the pull without ramping it up your quads pretty bad.


I had a lot of these same problems with my pull too.
To fix them Jose Garcia had me doing heavy rack pulls ( without straps until you really need them), deficit pulls off of a 3" block, and heavy negatives....
That got me from ~600 to around 660
I've been lucky to be able to lift with not only Jose regularly, but also the Lilliebridge family on occasion. Ernie Jr. spotted that I had weak quad drive so I added some shoulder width ( foot placement) raw squats, and leg press.

Because I'm long-limbed like you and not built like a brick ****-house like the Liliebridges I also had to figure out how to keep my back tight and sit way back when starting the lift ( this will put the weight on your heels, and pull your knees back far enough to where you won't have to fight the weight around them on the way up)

And that took me from 660 to my PR this past sunday of 705..... it's not an 800+ like any of the guys helping me, but it's a start. And pretty good progress in a year.

And keep your head UP when you pull..... like a horse, our body goes where your head is pointing.

joey54
02-01-2011, 06:32 PM
Nah, its ok. Really strong off the floor, no reason not to be able to smash that once you start deadlifting on a regular basis again.

NickAus
02-01-2011, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the advice, bro.

What do you think spending longer down at the bar before I pull does?

Spending to long wastes energy and you lose the stretch reflex too.

I pull better sumo so check out some other guys videos...

There are many great pullers here but Brian Hooper has plenty of videos you should check out, also Selk uses his back a lot so check out his style too and Scott Yard.....none of them waste time down at the bar.

Once your technique is better and your lock-out is stronger you will be a pulling machine!

burt128
02-01-2011, 09:04 PM
Snatch grip deadlifts would help a lot in my opinion. You can't break the floor with them using poor form like you do here.

Sean S
02-01-2011, 09:23 PM
Like most have mentioned here, the problem is really one of body positioning on the way up. When you come up with your back rounded to that degree it puts you in a poor leverage situation at the top of the lift, which causes the ramping or hitching. There are a select few who seem to be able to pull rounded way over and then uncoil and straighten out at the top without hitching, but they are the exception in my experience. It's tough to stay perfectly arched on a max pull, but clearly your rounding is excessive since it causes some difficulty with lockout. The fix could be technical and/or strength related. From a strength standpoint, anything that strengthens the back and allows you to hold an arch better will likely help. Of course you have to make a conscious effort to try and arch while pulling as well.
Good job on the pull. 605 is a very nice pull and should continue to improve with some more hard work and tweaking a few things.

Hobo Beard
02-03-2011, 01:06 AM
I believe it eliminates any stretch reflex you'd be able to get. I know this is the case with sumo, not sure about conventional. You're supposed to be able to generate more power and speed off of the floor by pulling quickly as soon as you get your hips down. I've seen a lot of people rock back and forth between hunched over and a set up position several times before finally pulling, basically generating momentum and a stronger stretch reflex.

Good to know. Thanks, brother.


You don't mention rack pulls - I'd do 'em, start below the knees. Watch your form and what happens @ 17-18 seconds.

This was the 1st time in over 2 years I maxed from the floor. I did rack pulls when I was BBing and strength on those is good. I think it's my technique (or complete lack of) which is holding me back.

Now that I think about it, maybe rack pulls against bands to force me to pull in a straight line?


Im not a DL expert and I realize rounding the upper back is a technique some use, but doesn't it seem excessive here?

I agree.

Hobo Beard
02-03-2011, 01:13 AM
Rolling the bar out like that is great when it's timed right. But after you rolled the bar out you stopped it then waited a few minutes before you pulled. It should be one motion. You are also starting the pull with your back already hunched and your hips high. Konstantin can pull with a hunch, mortals can't.

Never mind the obvious one of not having the strength to lock out the pull without ramping it up your quads pretty bad.

I had a lot of these same problems with my pull too.
To fix them Jose Garcia had me doing heavy rack pulls ( without straps until you really need them), deficit pulls off of a 3" block, and heavy negatives....
That got me from ~600 to around 660
I've been lucky to be able to lift with not only Jose regularly, but also the Lilliebridge family on occasion. Ernie Jr. spotted that I had weak quad drive so I added some shoulder width ( foot placement) raw squats, and leg press.

Because I'm long-limbed like you and not built like a brick ****-house like the Liliebridges I also had to figure out how to keep my back tight and sit way back when starting the lift ( this will put the weight on your heels, and pull your knees back far enough to where you won't have to fight the weight around them on the way up)

And that took me from 660 to my PR this past sunday of 705..... it's not an 800+ like any of the guys helping me, but it's a start. And pretty good progress in a year.

And keep your head UP when you pull..... like a horse, our body goes where your head is pointing.

Thanks for all the advice, brother.

I do heavy rack pulls. My PRs on the Elite rack are: pin-5: 675, pin-3: 635 and pin-1: 605 w/o straps.

I'll try the deads off blocks, narrow-stance squats (I'm a wide-stance squatter), leg press as you suggest and keep my head up!

How did you do the negatives?


Nah, its ok. Really strong off the floor, no reason not to be able to smash that once you start deadlifting on a regular basis again.

Thanks, brother.

I've always had brute strength, but struggled with good technique.

Hobo Beard
02-03-2011, 01:17 AM
Spending to long wastes energy and you lose the stretch reflex too.

I pull better sumo so check out some other guys videos...

There are many great pullers here but Brian Hooper has plenty of videos you should check out, also Selk uses his back a lot so check out his style too and Scott Yard.....none of them waste time down at the bar.

Once your technique is better and your lock-out is stronger you will be a pulling machine!

Thanks, brother!

I'll make sure to get to the pull right away and check out the lifters you mentioned.


Snatch grip deadlifts would help a lot in my opinion. You can't break the floor with them using poor form like you do here.

Thanks, brother.

I had a buddy suggest the same, so I'm definitely going to add them in my program!


Like most have mentioned here, the problem is really one of body positioning on the way up. When you come up with your back rounded to that degree it puts you in a poor leverage situation at the top of the lift, which causes the ramping or hitching. There are a select few who seem to be able to pull rounded way over and then uncoil and straighten out at the top without hitching, but they are the exception in my experience. It's tough to stay perfectly arched on a max pull, but clearly your rounding is excessive since it causes some difficulty with lockout. The fix could be technical and/or strength related. From a strength standpoint, anything that strengthens the back and allows you to hold an arch better will likely help. Of course you have to make a conscious effort to try and arch while pulling as well.
Good job on the pull. 605 is a very nice pull and should continue to improve with some more hard work and tweaking a few things.

Thanks, brother!

Focusing on keeping my back arched is definitely something I need to do.

AdamBAG
02-03-2011, 07:38 AM
When I pull conventional I have a lot of the same issues. In my opinion rack pulls won't help that much because you are able to get in an ideal pulling position which you can't get into when pulling off the floor. Due to your height you really need to work on pulling your shoulders together and getting your chest up. I would try pulling off the floor most of the times. Use bands and chains if you have them and really work on arching hard, sitting into your heels, and keeping your chest up.

Rack pulls can really train your CNS to handle heavy weights, but when you are having lockout issues due to bad positioning rack pulls don't make you fix that problem. You just become good at rack pulls. :)

Pulling from a deficit is good too, like was suggested above. Start out by standing on one 45lb plate. Maybe throw a yoga matt etc. over it so you don't slip.

theBarzeen
02-03-2011, 01:11 PM
Thanks for all the advice, brother.

I do heavy rack pulls. My PRs on the Elite rack are: pin-5: 675, pin-3: 635 and pin-1: 605 w/o straps.

I'll try the deads off blocks, narrow-stance squats (I'm a wide-stance squatter), leg press as you suggest and keep my head up!

How did you do the negatives?



Thanks, brother.

I've always had brute strength, but struggled with good technique.


The way Ernie ( Frantz) has us do them is just to have a guy on each side help you get the weight up then just lower it as slowly as you can while using good form. When I do these and I don't have a whole team of guys around who really know their stuff I use heavy bands ( green or the fatty blue ones) hung from the rack to lighten the load. Then get two guys ( who don't necessarily have to know what they are doing) to unhook them at the same time..... if thats not an option ( like if I'm at a commercial gym and I just want people to stay the heck away.... I'll set the hooks in a squat rack really low, lift the weight out of the hooks, and lower it to the floor..... or if it's close to where I'm at now I can bounce it off the floor and pull it up.

Doesn't really matter how you do it as long as you are handling weights that are too heavy for you t o do for a full pull...... train that CNS.

pricedtosell
02-03-2011, 04:35 PM
I'll try the deads off blocks, narrow-stance squats (I'm a wide-stance squatter), leg press as you suggest and keep my head up!

Front squats are also great to build leg drive. Also, if you use the leg press, pause at the bottom to be more specific to the DL.

This is from a Marc Bartley article:

"I rotated leg presses for three weeks at a time with some wide stance and some close stance work, but for all of them, I made a complete stop at the bottom of the movement. I got this from Glenn Herring’s article in Powerlifting USA. His ideas made perfect sense to me because the deadlift is much the same as a pause/stop leg press. Most of the movement is concentric with limited eccentric input. The yielding phase, like the descent of the squat or bench, doesn’t produce the same muscle loading effect so it’s much harder to complete. I wanted to work my explosiveness off the stop to improve my leverages and output from the poorest angles of the deadlift.

I did these for the entire cycle on lower speed days until three weeks from the meet. The work involved only 3–4 sets of six reps with the weight staying in the 800–1200 lbs range. Sometimes I would do weight only, and sometimes I would use lighter weight and add 200 lbs of band tension. The most important part though is the pause/stop. If you don’t do this, then it’s a waste of time and effort. You are no better than the bodybuilders who hide from the squat and do leg presses and knee extensions all day long. Sorry guys, it is what it is."

Hobo Beard
02-06-2011, 08:26 PM
When I pull conventional I have a lot of the same issues. In my opinion rack pulls won't help that much because you are able to get in an ideal pulling position which you can't get into when pulling off the floor. Due to your height you really need to work on pulling your shoulders together and getting your chest up. I would try pulling off the floor most of the times. Use bands and chains if you have them and really work on arching hard, sitting into your heels, and keeping your chest up.

Rack pulls can really train your CNS to handle heavy weights, but when you are having lockout issues due to bad positioning rack pulls don't make you fix that problem. You just become good at rack pulls. :)

Pulling from a deficit is good too, like was suggested above. Start out by standing on one 45lb plate. Maybe throw a yoga matt etc. over it so you don't slip.

Thanks, brother.

I'm going to definitely start using bands and chains.


The way Ernie ( Frantz) has us do them is just to have a guy on each side help you get the weight up then just lower it as slowly as you can while using good form. When I do these and I don't have a whole team of guys around who really know their stuff I use heavy bands ( green or the fatty blue ones) hung from the rack to lighten the load. Then get two guys ( who don't necessarily have to know what they are doing) to unhook them at the same time..... if thats not an option ( like if I'm at a commercial gym and I just want people to stay the heck away.... I'll set the hooks in a squat rack really low, lift the weight out of the hooks, and lower it to the floor..... or if it's close to where I'm at now I can bounce it off the floor and pull it up.

Doesn't really matter how you do it as long as you are handling weights that are too heavy for you t o do for a full pull...... train that CNS.

What do you think about reverse-band deadlifts?


Front squats are also great to build leg drive. Also, if you use the leg press, pause at the bottom to be more specific to the DL.

This is from a Marc Bartley article:

"I rotated leg presses for three weeks at a time with some wide stance and some close stance work, but for all of them, I made a complete stop at the bottom of the movement. I got this from Glenn Herring’s article in Powerlifting USA. His ideas made perfect sense to me because the deadlift is much the same as a pause/stop leg press. Most of the movement is concentric with limited eccentric input. The yielding phase, like the descent of the squat or bench, doesn’t produce the same muscle loading effect so it’s much harder to complete. I wanted to work my explosiveness off the stop to improve my leverages and output from the poorest angles of the deadlift.

I did these for the entire cycle on lower speed days until three weeks from the meet. The work involved only 3–4 sets of six reps with the weight staying in the 800–1200 lbs range. Sometimes I would do weight only, and sometimes I would use lighter weight and add 200 lbs of band tension. The most important part though is the pause/stop. If you don’t do this, then it’s a waste of time and effort. You are no better than the bodybuilders who hide from the squat and do leg presses and knee extensions all day long. Sorry guys, it is what it is."

Awesome quote, brother!

I know I need to do front squats because I never have. Haha.

Implementing the pause leg press is another exercise I'm definitely going to start doing.

Hobo Beard
02-06-2011, 08:57 PM
Alrighty, after much consideration and rearranging this week, I've come up with my cycle for the meet I'm doing on March 27th.

I've tried to incorporate as many recommendations as possible (both from you guys and my lifting buddies), and I will implement those I didn't in this cycle in my off-season cycle after the meet.

Thanks again for all your guys' help!

Squat Day:

weeks 1-8: deadlift-stance SSB box squats: 60%x10x2+bands, pause leg press: 5x5, trap-bar stiff-legs, decline sit-ups: 3x10.

--Nothing fancy or any variation because close-stance box squats are new to me and I really want to focus on being explosive out of the hole.

Deadlift Day:
1: snatch-grip deadlifts: 505x1, chin-ups: 5x5, DB rows: 3x10, hammer curls: 3x10
2: snatch-grip deadlifts: 505+x1, chin-ups: 5x5, DB rows: 3x10, hammer curls: 3x10
3: speed deadlifts: 60%x10x1+bands, chin-ups: 5x5, DB rows: 3x10, hammer curls: 3x10
4: deadlifts: work up to 585 with good form, chin-ups: 5x5, DB rows: 3x10, hammer curls: 3x10
5: deadlifts: work up to 605 with good form, chin-ups: 5x5, DB rows: 3x10, hammer curls: 3x10
6: deload--off
7: deadlifts: work up 605 for a clean single, then go for what I feel is an achievable max this day, chin-ups: 5x5, DB rows: 3x10, hammer curls: 3x10
8: off--2 days before meet

--Snatch-grip deadlifts will help me learn to sit back and improve my position out of the hole and I'll practice my form/deload with speed deads.
--I've never peaked for a meet (just did whatever leading up to them). I'm attempting to do so by pulling 585 cleanly and shutting down, then going for 605 cleanly and shutting it down, deloading, then working up to 605 cleanly again and going for a new max (my hopes are 615-625).
--My focus with my deadlift right now is not necessarily getting stronger, but getting my form fixed.
--Chin-ups are a brand new addition to my routine and I was so surprised when I hit 4x5 last week! I'm hoping they help to strengthen my shoulder instability.
--I selected DB rows to keep my grip strong and hammer curls because I feel they are the most applicable curl in powerlifting.

Any further advice/comments/criticisms/critiques are more than welcome!

BloodandThunder
02-07-2011, 08:29 AM
If working on form is your main concern, you may want to incorporate more singles into your program. Speed work is awesome, but sometimes, you need to pull a decent amount of heavy singles (85%+) to work on form with a good amount of weight. Singles won't burn you out and unlike the bench and squat, you practice the concentric on every rep with no stretch reflex. The lower end for volume of the Prilepin's table for each intensity is a good starting point. Many DL programs go with this.

Regarding your plan, why go for an achieveable max a week before the meet? Maybe pull your opener end of week 6, then drop the intensity down to form work with 60-70% week7, then week 8 off. Leave it out on the platform where it counts.

Hobo Beard
02-07-2011, 12:57 PM
If working on form is your main concern, you may want to incorporate more singles into your program. Speed work is awesome, but sometimes, you need to pull a decent amount of heavy singles (85%+) to work on form with a good amount of weight. Singles won't burn you out and unlike the bench and squat, you practice the concentric on every rep with no stretch reflex. The lower end for volume of the Prilepin's table for each intensity is a good starting point. Many DL programs go with this.

Regarding your plan, why go for an achieveable max a week before the meet? Maybe pull your opener end of week 6, then drop the intensity down to form work with 60-70% week7, then week 8 off. Leave it out on the platform where it counts.

Thanks for the input, brother.

I am not familiar with the Prelepin's table--I'll check it out for sure.

You are right and I shouldn't pull so close to the meet.

Honestly, what I'm worried about is how I'm going to handle not being to train the week before the meet.

2 days of not lifting I can handle.

3 starts edging into higher-than-normal anger territory.

4 days not training I'm starting to get REALLY pissed about **** I normally have under control (random idiot entering my personal bubble, someone cutting me off in traffic, etc.).

Never gone 5 days or more in a LONG time.

AdamBAG
02-07-2011, 01:27 PM
I think you are worrying about nothing. Trust your training and relax. Put the work in and then recover. That's all there is to do.

AdamBAG
02-07-2011, 01:28 PM
If working on form is your main concern, you may want to incorporate more singles into your program. Speed work is awesome, but sometimes, you need to pull a decent amount of heavy singles (85%+) to work on form with a good amount of weight. Singles won't burn you out and unlike the bench and squat, you practice the concentric on every rep with no stretch reflex. The lower end for volume of the Prilepin's table for each intensity is a good starting point. Many DL programs go with this.

Regarding your plan, why go for an achieveable max a week before the meet? Maybe pull your opener end of week 6, then drop the intensity down to form work with 60-70% week7, then week 8 off. Leave it out on the platform where it counts.

Very good advice here...

BloodandThunder
02-07-2011, 01:33 PM
Thanks for the input, brother.

I am not familiar with the Prelepin's table--I'll check it out for sure.

You are right and I shouldn't pull so close to the meet.

Honestly, what I'm worried about is how I'm going to handle not being to train the week before the meet.

2 days of not lifting I can handle.

3 starts edging into higher-than-normal anger territory.

4 days not training I'm starting to get REALLY pissed about **** I normally have under control (random idiot entering my personal bubble, someone cutting me off in traffic, etc.).

Never gone 5 days or more in a LONG time.

Prilepin's is just a guideline. Ultimately, you have to figure out the balance. Take the 90%+ zone. No way I'm doing 7 singles with 90% max. Same reason why in ME work, you typically do 3 lifts above 90% because Prilepin's was based on Oly lifts and powerlifts are harder to recover from. There's an article somewhere on how to address this when figuring out volume over a training cycle.

You don't have to take off the week of the meet. Everyone is different but you can do some very light work on the main lifts to lock in your form, especially if you are raw. A quick workout of warming up, then maybe doing some doubles up to 50% and a few singles up to 60% or so never hurt anyone. But do this at the beginning of the week. The last few days you should be stretching, sleeping, and relaxing. Multi-ply and singleply typically deload longer due to the workload over training and the fact you just survived it.

If a guy is built to pull, he might be able to get away with doing his last DLs a few weeks out then just doing accessory and GPP up until the meet. A guy with raptor arms or poor leverages might have to pull closer to the meet to keep his form dialed in.

BloodandThunder
02-07-2011, 01:44 PM
After watching your video, I'd definitely put heavy singles in. Your starting position is not really good (pause the vid at 0:17, your back resembles a rainbow) although you recover enough to ramp the weight up (hitching is a drop of the barbell then recovering it through leverage). But pulling lots of singles will offer you plenty of practice on driving the barbell off the floor. You need to work on keeping your back flatter, your chest up and not having your hips immediately pop up (0:18).

Dead stop leg presses, deficit pulls, and heavy singles will help your leg drive and pulling the bar off the floor. (Speed work will make you get it off the ground faster too)
Halting pulls and Hi-bar/SSB GMs will help you keep an arch mid-range.
Heavy RDLs and upper back work will help you shove your hips through at the top.

Just some stuff above to work on after the meet. Good luck!