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Thread: To the big DLers, I need some help.

  1. #1
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    To the big DLers, I need some help.

    Up front, if you're pulling big (I mean at least 600+) I could really use some help here. I'm killing myself trying to get my DL up again. Right now I'm trying to pinpoint my weakness. (I'm pulling convo right now). My last PR was 10 weeks ago and was done with a knee injury and was fairly easy. I've also lost about 12 lbs since that time, which I'm sure has contributed somewhat.

    I'm missing just as I get to the knees and I can hold it there forever but I can't seem to pull it back and get it where it's gotta go. At the same time, I've noticed that my hips will pop up almost immediately when I'm trying to break the weight off the floor. This only happens when I'm close to my Max (95%+).

    Is this a glute problem? Hams? Hips?

    At the same time, I know I've been lagging on my ab work and am going to start bringing that back up again. Could this be what's killing me?

    I know I'm all over the place. Anything anyone can throw out here might help me. (Also, I can't post a video as I have no camera. Sorry.)

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  2. #2
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    I thought above the knee was going to be mainly ham/glute work, with lockout spinal erectors. I don't know, I deadlift small.

  3. #3
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    im not strong on the DL but im not weak either, try to rape the bar, seriously, when u get there to help lockout drive your hips foward like your gonna pork it, lol, it works for me.
    2000 or bust

  4. #4
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
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    Do you yank the bar off the floor or do you squeeze it off the floor? The hips should be up a little when you start to pull, you don't want to try and front hack squat the weight.

    If you're trying to get the bar passed the knees then it could be a couple things. If you're hips are too high then you're too far forward and you're having to pull back too much. It could also be that you're getting bentover at the upper and lower back and need to shrug your shoulders back into position.

    Maybe some rack lockouts for an ME exercise and DE deadlifts using 25's instead of 45's.
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  5. #5
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    AH i also just thought of trying some deadlifts from a higher surface like platform or blocks. once u do em from the ground its easier.
    2000 or bust

  6. #6
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Like HY said, do rack lockouts. Also, Good Mornings and SLDL's have helped me get through the same problem you're having. Finally, when you get the bar to your knees, clench your asscheeks together, it will help get your hips forward so you can lock it out.

    I don't dead 600 lbs yet, but there are plenty of guys I train with who do and this is what they've recommended.
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  7. #7
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeYield
    Do you yank the bar off the floor or do you squeeze it off the floor? The hips should be up a little when you start to pull, you don't want to try and front hack squat the weight.

    If you're trying to get the bar passed the knees then it could be a couple things. If you're hips are too high then you're too far forward and you're having to pull back too much. It could also be that you're getting bentover at the upper and lower back and need to shrug your shoulders back into position.

    Maybe some rack lockouts for an ME exercise and DE deadlifts using 25's instead of 45's.
    I yank it. I try to be as fast as I can. My hips are alwyas up a bit, but I usually have the bar a few inches off the floor before they really rise any more.

    I haven't done deads on DE day for quite some time. I may add them in for a while. Thanks.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  8. #8
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp
    AH i also just thought of trying some deadlifts from a higher surface like platform or blocks. once u do em from the ground its easier.
    I've done these in the past and they really don't work at all for me. All they do is wreck my lower back.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  9. #9
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido
    Like HY said, do rack lockouts. Also, Good Mornings and SLDL's have helped me get through the same problem you're having. Finally, when you get the bar to your knees, clench your asscheeks together, it will help get your hips forward so you can lock it out.

    I don't dead 600 lbs yet, but there are plenty of guys I train with who do and this is what they've recommended.
    Yeah Guido, looking back at the last few months, I've only done heavy GMs once or twice. I need to start working them in more. Thanks.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  10. #10
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
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    You don't yank off the floor. You want to move fast, yes, but when you yank, the first thing that happens is that your hips get way up and you end up pulling with your lower back. I was doing that for too long. I trained at the gym that Marc Bartley owns. He's doing speed deadlifts while we do speed squats. When we get done squatting, he's typically finish up pulling and we hop in with him (not using his weight of course, none of us pull, 700 very fast for 3 reps). I was deadlifting and pretty much yanking it off the floor. He said to stop, squeeze it off the floor. Once the bar leaves the ground, then you yank. You maintain much better form throughout the whole movement that way.

    Granted Marc's not the best deadlifter in the powerlifting world but in the 3 months I've been going up there, my deadlift has gone up at least 70lbs if not 80lbs. That's a helluva jump for one little form critique but it made a huge difference for me. Squeeze it off the bottom and when it breaks the floor (or you feel it move if you don't watch yourself in the mirror, honestly its better if you don't watch yourself), then you yank and yank hard. Drive your hips forward and throw your shoulders back hard. Watch guys do the 2nd phase of the powerclean, that's how your deadlift should look from the shins up.
    What is elite?
    "Those who work the hardest often complain the least." -anonymous
    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  11. #11
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks HY. I never thought of it that way. I'll give that a try and see if I can figure it out. Maybe I'll work a cycle with speed pulls every week and try to get it.

    Lucky you for getting to lift with one of the greats.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  12. #12
    big pimpin biggimp's Avatar
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    think of falling back, and the weight of the bar is keeping you upright. you should be leaning back.
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  13. #13
    Eat and eat and eat and... ThatSkinnyGuy's Avatar
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    Someone once told me "Do not pull the bar from the floor, but push the floor away from the bar." Worked for me.
    It turns out the answer to every question is still deadlift and eat.

  14. #14
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    Someone once told me "Do not pull the bar from the floor, but push the floor away from the bar." Worked for me.
    Thats very goodd advice, I will try that, with my squat form a guy came over to me and said don't push the bar, push the floor and I was like heh IDK how that'd work but guess what it does!
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  15. #15
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Once the bar leaves the ground, then you yank.
    That's a perfect piece of advice that I wish I would've read in one of the many descriptions I read on the internet.
    http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/

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  16. #16
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    I'm confused...so don't explode with all your power right from the floor?
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 06-24-2006 at 02:51 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  17. #17
    Canucks Fan Hockey66's Avatar
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    I've actually been having a similar problem.

    Earlier in the year I was pulling low to mid 400's, I may have broken my 425 PR or not I can't remember, but that's beside the point.

    Lots of **** happened in my life and I took some time off lifting, upon return I decided I was really fat and did a cut. Now I'm bulking up again and trying to get my numbers back up, but something about my deadlift doesn't feel right. I can't get the form I used to have back down, it's like I can't find the groove or something. I'm not doing anything differently than I used to, that I can notice.

    Today I went for a fairly easy 385 single and tweaked my back a little bit. This used to be, and still is, fairly light weight for me, I just couldn't get the form down. The only thing I can possibly think of is I've started incorporating GMs into my leg day which is four days before I deadlift, and I usually still have some hamstring DOMS (I know, they last a long time for me). Could this slight soreness be causing me to not use my hamstings to their full potential, thus throwing off my form? It almost felt as if I was pulling more with my back and not using as much leg drive. Any opinions would be helpful.

    Bah, I just wanna pull 500.
    Age: 18
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  18. #18
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    If you literally yank from the floor you are much more prone to injury.

    The way to do it is to visualize the "press" from the floor starting at your feet and working its way up your body. After the bar is moving you can try to accelerate it.


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  19. #19
    Do that voodoo that he do
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    I've trained up there with HomeYield and Marc noticed the same thing about my deadlift.

    I used to jerk the bar off the floor with as much power as possible (and got up to 545 doing it). After a bunch of injuries I had lost a ton off of my lifts and things weren't going well.

    Marc had me squeeze it up and then really pop my hips through once it cleared my knees. I haven't tried for a PR lately but I've pulled in the 500+ range easily on days where I haven't even set out to deadlift, while weighing 20 less pounds. Homie will tell you that my dead looks smoother and faster than it ever did.

    Think of deadlifting like watching a tractor or truck pull. There's this moment at the beginning where the vehicle is building up power but hasn't moved yet. Everyone is wondering if it's going to get started. All of a sudden it starts to pull the weight forward and then gets going faster and faster. That's what your deadlift needs to be like. SQUEEZE the bar off the floor and once it's in the air pick up speed.
    Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell

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  20. #20
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    When you squeeze the bar off the floor, is it more quad involvement or should it still begin with the hips?

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  21. #21
    Do that voodoo that he do
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    Remember when you start a deadlift you aren't pulling up, as you would for a squat. You pull BACK. The initial squeeze is almost all hamstrings and glutes.
    Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell

    "Borris is correct. That sounds logical if you ask me."
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  22. #22
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Yeah, I always pull back when I Deadlift, but I've read that some guys use the quads to help break the weight off the floor, then begin to pull back once the weight is moving.

    Also, I start the bar about 2" in front of my ankles and then pull it back from there. It generally doesn't contact my legs until it clears my knees. I've tried starting the bar right at my shin and dragging it back, but that always puts my shoulders too far forward and generally will take 50 lbs off of my lift.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  23. #23
    Amateur Strongman Dinosaur's Avatar
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    http://www.dieselcrew.com/articles/deadlift101.pdf

    This article has everything you need.

  24. #24
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeYield
    Do you yank the bar off the floor or do you squeeze it off the floor? The hips should be up a little when you start to pull, you don't want to try and front hack squat the weight.
    Sound advice HomeYield (and Borris). I tried the slower squeeze into an accelerated pull today. Jumped up from 365 to 405. Very sound advice.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Sug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borris
    Think of deadlifting like watching a tractor or truck pull. There's this moment at the beginning where the vehicle is building up power but hasn't moved yet. Everyone is wondering if it's going to get started. All of a sudden it starts to pull the weight forward and then gets going faster and faster. That's what your deadlift needs to be like. SQUEEZE the bar off the floor and once it's in the air pick up speed.
    Nice analogy

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