Weak off the floor on the deadlift

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pdellorto
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Weak off the floor on the deadlift

Post by pdellorto » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:13 pm

On Monday I worked up to a new PR single in the trap bar deadlift.

My previous record was 1 x 305.

I worked up to 300 and then did:

Fail x 320; barely broke the bar off the floor and got stuck.
Fail x 320; barely broke the bar off the floor, and got stuck again.
Fail x 315; got the bar off the floor but stalled at mid-shin at best.
1 x 310; broke the bar off the floor and ripped it to lockout, no problem.

Since I had such success with 310, and 315 and 320 stalled right off the floor, my belief is that my weak point is right off the floor.

Based on muscle fatigue post-workout, I think my lower back is my weak point. If I'm not loading my spine, I can move a lot more weight - prowler pushing, sled dragging, single-leg exercises, etc. So besides the obvious - do more lower back work and build it up, what should I work on to improve this?

Kenny, KPj, TimD, Jason, Doc, I'm looking at you guys. Jason especially since he does 2x my deadlift 1-rep max on his deload week. :wink:

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:08 pm

@pdellorto:

Try doing snatch grip deadlifts while standing on a 4-inch box. Your top weight will be about 60-70% of your 1RM (or 50% if you're doing speed pulls). This exercise works the posterior chain like no other.

If your weakness is in getting the bar up off the floor, it is more likely to be due to your hamstrings or your set-up for the lift than your lower back. You also could be moving too slow. If so, you need to develop power at the start of the lift.

More here in Deadlift Diagnosis.

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:03 am

That's a great article by Cressey. Peter, it sounds to me that you are having his problem #2 and not #1.

I, on the other hand, am weak off the floor, at mid-shin, at lockout and everywhere in between.

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Post by KPj » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:47 am

Being weak off the floor was my first major sticking point. Used to be that if I got it even 2 inches off the floor, it would easily get locked out.

Doing speed work and/or pulling from a deficit is deffinitly what needs to be done.

For me, it was deffinitly a speed thing. This is actually what made me realise the true value of speed work. I done speed pulls from a deficit - not a big deficit, just stood on a couple of weight discs. I used 50% of my max, done 8 x 2. I added 5 % every week (I suspect now that adding 5% each week is probably too high). On my other lower body I done Box Squats for 2 weeks (quite DL and hamstring specific, in my view), and snatch grip DL's for 2 weeks (snatch grip even just from the floor is still technically pulling from a deficit/more ROM).

Anyway, since that 4 week period, getting the weight off the floor has never been an issue. It was the first time I had done any kind of speed work. I also think it taught me to really lock down my form when down at the bar, get solid/tight and rip it up. So it could of partly been a form thing, too.

I should note that, the 1-2 months previous to this, I got new PR by just doing conventional DL's from a deficit. I was stuck on DL's and didn't know why. Had a stint training in a PL club and they just happened to be pulling from a deficit. However my sticking point still remained off the floor until I done the speed work, although i'm sure it built on top of the deficit pulling, box squats, etc. Probably a combination of all. Hard to tell, especially since I always overthink these things!

Guess in short what I'm saying is, try doing stuff from a deficit and/or speed work.

KPj

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:49 am

So, far, I've got:

- pull fast
- pull from a deficit
- pull with a snatch grip
- possibly need more hamstring work

That's a good start. I may have to drop my front squats and work on my snatch grip DL.

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Re: Weak off the floor on the deadlift

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:09 pm

pdellorto wrote:On Monday I worked up to a new PR single in the trap bar deadlift.

My previous record was 1 x 305.

I worked up to 300 and then did:

Fail x 320; barely broke the bar off the floor and got stuck.
Fail x 320; barely broke the bar off the floor, and got stuck again.
Fail x 315; got the bar off the floor but stalled at mid-shin at best.
1 x 310; broke the bar off the floor and ripped it to lockout, no problem.
Peter,

You miss 320 on two tried, miss 315 and then lock out with 310...that's a head problem.

I did somewhat the same years ago. I wasn't able to break my deadlift of the floor in one training session...which really pissed me off.

So, I came back the next day to try it. I pulled 5 reps with the weight.

I didn't get stronger over night. I was all in my head.
Since I had such success with 310, and 315 and 320 stalled right off the floor, my belief is that my weak point is right off the floor.
Stephen John provide you with some good answers on how to resolve breaking the weight off the floor. KPj add to it.

Bret Contrera's "Deadlifting 5 Plates Like A Champion" is an article that can help you.
http://www.wannabebig.com/training/dead ... -champion/

Kenny Croxdale
Last edited by Kenny Croxdale on Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Weak off the floor on the deadlift

Post by KPj » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:50 am

Kenny Croxdale wrote: Peter,

You miss 320 on two tried, miss 315 and then lock out with 310...that a head problem.
That's a good point..... Always good to have some Ammonia around for this reason :grin:

KPj

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Re: Weak off the floor on the deadlift

Post by pdellorto » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:09 am

Kenny Croxdale wrote:Peter,

You miss 320 on two tried, miss 315 and then lock out with 310...that's a head problem.
Maybe so, but I feel it in my back, not my head. :)

I'm sure there is some psychology to it, but I'm pretty consistently weak in motions that require strong lower back stabilization or pulling from the floor.


I did pull 315 off the floor with a lower bar on Thursday, just 3 days after failing at 315 and 320 with a high-handle bar. But I credit some of that to good coaching as I did the lift - I felt like I kept my chest up more and got my hips a little lower. The conditions weren't equal but I did do better.


But thanks, I saw the Contreras article already, and I'm going to try pulling from a deeper deficit.

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Re: Weak off the floor on the deadlift

Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:42 am

pdellorto wrote:Maybe so, but I feel it in my back, not my head. :)

I'm sure there is some psychology to it, but I'm pretty consistently weak in motions that require strong lower back stabilization or pulling from the floor..
How is your hamstring and hip flexibility?

You're a martial artist, so chances are that your flexibility is better than average. But in most cases with lower back distress when lifting, it is a result of tight hamstrings or hips shifting the workload to the lower back. I suppose relatively weak hamstrings will do the same thing, too.

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Post by Jason Nunn » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:25 pm

I didn't see this till now, but I'd have to echo what was mentioned earlier. Weak hammy's and/or mental issue. Usually, if someone is weak off the floor, it's a hamstring issue. If they're weak at lockout, it's a glute issue.

The only reason I throw the mental part in there is at 310 vs. 315 there's another 45# plate on the bar (assuming your trap bar weighs 45#). Adding another plate to each side can be daunting, and typically, you have your mind made up whether you know it or not if your going to get the weight. I have the same problem when I get close to a century mark on my deads.

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Post by pdellorto » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:44 pm

Jason Nunn wrote:Usually, if someone is weak off the floor, it's a hamstring issue. If they're weak at lockout, it's a glute issue.
Thanks - yeah, I clearly need some extra hamstring work.
Jason Nunn wrote:The only reason I throw the mental part in there is at 310 vs. 315 there's another 45# plate on the bar (assuming your trap bar weighs 45#).
Actually, it's worth noting that at home - when I failed at 315 and 320 - I have a 50 pound trap bar and only 1 pair of 45s (my others are on loan right now). So the bar had, one each side:

1 x 45
1 x 35
1 x 25
3 x 10

315 was the same but with 1 x 5 and 1 x 2.5 instead of one of the 10s, 310 was the same without the 2.5.

So if 3 plates is scary, what's like 6 assorted plates like? :lol:

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Post by Jason Nunn » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:34 am

pdellorto wrote:So if 3 plates is scary, what's like 6 assorted plates like? :lol:
Kind of like being scared of three giants vs. six midgets. :lol:

Also, just throwing this out there, but what about cleans? I've seen in your log where you do alot of kettlebell work and plyos, but I've never seen any barbell cleans. (I could've missed them) I've noticed that my speed off the floor is much greater when I'm doing power cleans regularly. Just food for thought.

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Post by frogbyte » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:08 am

Hamstring off the floor? He's tall, so I'd expect his knee angle to be rather small, taking the hamstrings largely out of the movement right off the floor. It'd be only quad/glute right there...?

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Post by pdellorto » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:12 pm

Maybe I'll see if I can do a video - although getting the angle will be hard. Even on a moderate-weight deadlift it should be easy to see my setup.


As for cleans, yeah, I never do full squat cleans. The rare times I do cleans I do them as hang power cleans in a complex. It's a combination of two things here:

- gym/trainer philosophy. Instead of spending time teaching me to do a clean, it's easier just to have me jump, do band triple extensions*, do explosive prowler pushes, etc. to explode from a dead start. I do kettlebell snatches (which is technical but pretty easy, really), kettlebell swings, etc. to explode from a moving position. I do hang high pulls sometimes, too, starting from a very low hang - near to mid-shin, which is where the bar starts for my deadlift.

- lack of practice with them. I'd have to learn them on my own, and I haven't really done them. I'd be fine with doing them, but I just haven't done them on my own.

I'd agree with you - cleans might help. But I'm not really confident doing them right now, I do explosive work 2x a week already so I'm unsure I should add a third day.

I'll put them in the toolbox, though. I should give them a try. Snatches work so well for me (you want triple extension? I'll jump snatch if you want me too...), so do jumps. And I know my reactive explosive strength isn't great. I tend to stop instead of just load up and fire. Cleans might help...


* Think of doing a supplex holding a band for resistance.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:45 pm

Yeah. Isn't Joe actually opposed to using cleans? Or at least opposed to teaching them to people who aren't specifically wanting to do O lifts?

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