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April 29, 2019 3 min read

The Deadlift.....

Often, pegged as the king of compound and strength movements. A powerful indictor of overall strength and power. 

When athletes first start getting serious about their training, countless professionals want to tell you to deadlift and deadlift some more to get your numbers up. You would be surprised about how much frequency they prescribe to athletes. It is shocking.

More frequency AND often times with the same variation of the deadlift is going to drive you and your numbers into a wall. 

What we need to do is work smarter.

Now, first off what people do not get is that the deadlift at high intensities (70% + ) is actually extremely taxing to your central nervous system. So, if you are doing the same variation at high intensities week after week, you are going to drastically increase your chances of overtraining.

I know the big line is ''if you want to get better at something, do it'' and I am not saying do not deadlift at all, but I am saying athletes are often looking the wrong places to get those stalling numbers up.

Now, the deadlift is hugely reliant on the posterior chain, so our main concern is building a strong and powerful posterior chain.

Now, when you deadlift the workload is not distributed evenly. This can lead to certain muscle groups getting neglected. 

What happens when a muscle group is lagging, your numbers stall. 

If your hamstrings can handle 500 lbs. and so can your glutes, but your low back can only handle 315 then guess what your gonna be lifting around 315 because your only as strong as your weakest link. 

So what you need to do is identify what is causing your deadlift to stall and attack it with accessory exercises instead.

How do we understand and find these weak points?

1. Just the look test. If it is clear that hypertrophy is lower in one area, good chance this could be a weak point for you.

2. Understand what part of the lift are you failing at? Do you miss the lift getting it off the floor? In this case, it could be weak hamstring and glutes. If you are missing in the middle or the top it could be that your glutes or low back that is weak. 

 

You need to be doing an assortment of smaller exercises to strengthen the posterior chain and bulletproof it.

Do:

Good morning variations

Box squat variations

Reverse Hypers

Kettblebell variations

RDL variations

Deadlift variations (deficit, from the blocks, snatch grip, overhand grip, wide stance etc.

Box squat variations

GHR's

Sled work 

etc.

Also, if you are not producing enough speed in your pulls this could very well lead you to fail the lift as well. We must make sure that you are explosive and your bar speed is on point. If bar speed is not increasing you are going to stall.

That is why we need to focus on getting more explosive. 

Do:

Jumping variations

Speed squats and deadlifts / with and without bands 

Weighted jumps

Sprint variations

To wrap it up, I hope you see that if your deadlift is stalling and/ or you want to keep increasing it and avoid plateaus, stop spending all your time doing straight pulls. More pulls ain't gonna get you lifting more. Take a step back from all the frequency and focus on building a strong, powerful and well balanced posterior chain and continue developing it with exercises that target each muscle group directly. 

Hope this helped everyone! 

Feel free to always reach out.

 

 

 


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