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Old 07-13-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
Michael A. Jones
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Deadlift Plateau

I am looking for some assistance and/or guidance to improve on my deadlifts.
I seem to have hit a wall with my DLs....I PR's with 410# back in February, and cannot seem to make any progress.
I have gained a lot of strength in my squats but have plateaued on this particular lift. I thought I was making progress but a minor back injury set me behind the power curve. I do deads about twice a week. I try to vary my routine by doing heavy sets on one day, and moderate weight with more reps on the other.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Michael
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:35 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

If you got time, posting a vid would help see if there are any major form issues and also help see where you have trouble with the lift. Since the deadlift uses so many muscles, there are a lot of different weak links that can respond to different solutions. Weak lockout could be grip/upperback or hips. Weak start can be hammies, setups, low back in some cases.

For some people, deadlifting heavy even once a week can be taxing. What does your current program look like? How much is the heavy day compared to the lighter day? In general, I'd say one day of deadlifting and then use another day to work the deadlift with assistance work instead of deadlifts. This might be out of position deadlifts, speed pulls, good mornings, GHRs etc.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
Michael A. Jones
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
If you got time, posting a vid would help see if there are any major form issues and also help see where you have trouble with the lift. Since the deadlift uses so many muscles, there are a lot of different weak links that can respond to different solutions. Weak lockout could be grip/upperback or hips. Weak start can be hammies, setups, low back in some cases.

For some people, deadlifting heavy even once a week can be taxing. What does your current program look like? How much is the heavy day compared to the lighter day? In general, I'd say one day of deadlifting and then use another day to work the deadlift with assistance work instead of deadlifts. This might be out of position deadlifts, speed pulls, good mornings, GHRs etc.
Thanks for the feedback, Robert. I don't have the means to video right now but I'm working on it.
As for programming, I don't go to a box so I have no coach. I do my own programming.....An example of one of my heavy days is 4x4 at 350 or 3x3 at 375 while a lighter day would be 6x6 at 225 or working snatch grip or sumo style. I do incorporate good mornings into my WOD. One problem has been grip strength. I had taken a month off from all lifting due to my back, and have to regain that strength.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:12 AM   #4
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

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Originally Posted by Michael A. Jones View Post
Thanks for the feedback, Robert. I don't have the means to video right now but I'm working on it.
As for programming, I don't go to a box so I have no coach. I do my own programming.....An example of one of my heavy days is 4x4 at 350 or 3x3 at 375 while a lighter day would be 6x6 at 225 or working snatch grip or sumo style. I do incorporate good mornings into my WOD. One problem has been grip strength. I had taken a month off from all lifting due to my back, and have to regain that strength.
That's not very good programming if you want to get strong on deadlifts. For one, it's random so there's not any smart progression. And two, it's too many work sets.

Look at programs like GSLP and CFFB--they only have you pull a single heavy set of 5 each week, then add 5-10lbs per week. Or with 5/3/1, which has you pull two sets which are essentially warmup sets before going for a new 5RM, 3RM, or 1RM, with your training 1RM increasing by 10lbs per month.

My guess is you could see pretty quick gains if you replaced your 4x4 at 350lbs with a single set of 5 at 350, then the next week you do a set of 5 at 360, then 370 the next week, and so on til you're pulling your old 1RM of 410 for a set of 5.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:13 AM   #5
Michael A. Jones
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
That's not very good programming if you want to get strong on deadlifts. For one, it's random so there's not any smart progression. And two, it's too many work sets.

Look at programs like GSLP and CFFB--they only have you pull a single heavy set of 5 each week, then add 5-10lbs per week. Or with 5/3/1, which has you pull two sets which are essentially warmup sets before going for a new 5RM, 3RM, or 1RM, with your training 1RM increasing by 10lbs per month.

My guess is you could see pretty quick gains if you replaced your 4x4 at 350lbs with a single set of 5 at 350, then the next week you do a set of 5 at 360, then 370 the next week, and so on til you're pulling your old 1RM of 410 for a set of 5.
Thanks, Eric. I'll try out the 5/3/1 approach. I honestly had made good progress by "freelancing"; went from 275 1RM to 410 in about 4 months time. I do wish I would follow a strict program....
I'll keep you guys posted on my progress.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

We deadlift once every 3 weeks. We pick our target weight +10 pounds from last effort if it went well and then subtract 10% and 20% for our first two sets. This has been working well to keep things progressing.

Example: Target third set 350 so:

5 x 280
5 x 315
5 x 350

Next time target becomes 360:

5 x 280
5 x 315 (or 320)
5 x 360

You have to round off to keep things in #5 increments. We focus on speed and quality of third set. Sometimes if speed and quality fall we repeat a weight.

We front squat and back squat heavy the other two weeks. This is regular strength work in our CrossFit programming.

If you want to do dedicated strength program there are faster/better ways to get stronger but this works well with in the general CrossFit programing.

It is all about the high quality 3rd set.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
Jonathan Renner
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael A. Jones View Post
I am looking for some assistance and/or guidance to improve on my deadlifts.
I seem to have hit a wall with my DLs....I PR's with 410# back in February, and cannot seem to make any progress.
I have gained a lot of strength in my squats but have plateaued on this particular lift. I thought I was making progress but a minor back injury set me behind the power curve. I do deads about twice a week. I try to vary my routine by doing heavy sets on one day, and moderate weight with more reps on the other.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Michael
In addition to what Eric said (he's the strength guru guy), I was noticing your other stats, and your DL doesn't seem up to the standard of your other lifts. If you can clean 230 and shoulder press 205, then a 410 DL (and a 365 back squat not to mention) are a bit behind.

Could it be form issues? Maybe you're just proportionally stronger in your upper body than your lower body? You mentioned a back injury...is that affecting your flexibility?

Just food for thought.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
Michael A. Jones
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Renner View Post
In addition to what Eric said (he's the strength guru guy), I was noticing your other stats, and your DL doesn't seem up to the standard of your other lifts. If you can clean 230 and shoulder press 205, then a 410 DL (and a 365 back squat not to mention) are a bit behind.

Could it be form issues? Maybe you're just proportionally stronger in your upper body than your lower body? You mentioned a back injury...is that affecting your flexibility?

Just food for thought.
I've been working on perfecting my form on my DLs, Jonathan. I was taught to keep the BB close to the shins, and pull "up" my body...I, honestly, don't believe that my DL and back squat are behind
I think that I am about where someone of my stature and age "should" be....According to this http://www.crossfit.com/cf-journal/WLSTANDARDS.pdf (WSF) , I am between intermediate and advanced on all my weights. I'm no expert though. Everyone is different.....
As for the back injury, yeah, it has hampered some of my flexibility. That, coupled with hip injuries from 20+ years in the Infantry has diminished my flexibility. I've been working it out by doing drills from mobilityWOD.com
Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #9
Jonathan Renner
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

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Originally Posted by Michael A. Jones View Post
I've been working on perfecting my form on my DLs, Jonathan. I was taught to keep the BB close to the shins, and pull "up" my body...I, honestly, don't believe that my DL and back squat are behind
I think that I am about where someone of my stature and age "should" be....According to this http://www.crossfit.com/cf-journal/WLSTANDARDS.pdf (WSF) , I am between intermediate and advanced on all my weights. I'm no expert though. Everyone is different.....
As for the back injury, yeah, it has hampered some of my flexibility. That, coupled with hip injuries from 20+ years in the Infantry has diminished my flexibility. I've been working it out by doing drills from mobilityWOD.com
Thanks for the input.
Yeah I suppose it differs, judging on which charts you go from.

According to the one that I subscribe to, your Shoulder Press is very impressive in comparison to your deadlift.

At 200 lbs (198 on the chart), a 205 shoulder press puts you halfway between advanced and elite. http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html

On the deadlift, a 410 puts you halfway between intermediate and advanced.
http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html

Again though, I'm sure there's a lot of variation between them.

I deadlift around the same as you. Maybe a little more, but I can only Clean 205, and my press is probably around 165.

One thing that has helped my deadlift, which I think is definitely worth a try is using a platform.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcD8uXTE8Lw

That way, you're getting more range of motion, and it just switches it up and makes your body adapt to new stimulus, which is generally what you want to do when you find yourself plateauing. Just make sure to drop the weight a little bit when doing so, because obviously it makes it a tougher pull, as you have to lift the weight more distance.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:34 PM   #10
Chris Mason
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Re: Deadlift Plateau

I wrote an article on the subject:

WFS - http://www.wannabebig.com/training/s...ng-a-big-pull/
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