Stalling on deadlift at pathetically weak weight. What is going on? Stalling on deadlift at pathetically weak weight. What is going on?

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Thread: Stalling on deadlift at pathetically weak weight. What is going on?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Stalling on deadlift at pathetically weak weight. What is going on?

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    I apologize for a lengthy post, but I've tried watching videos, looking through the books, and reading through articles, so I figured I've ran into a unique situation.

    Background: 28 year old male, 6'1.
    Started program Apr 19 at 190 lb bodyweight, Squat 130, Bench 100, Overhead 70, Deadlift 135
    Now today my bodyweight is 220 lb (about 10 lb is from creatine loading, rest is from clean bulking), Squat 240, Bench 180, Overhead 117.5, Deadlift is 275

    To answer the three questions, I'm eating approx 4000 calories a day, sleeping about 7.5 hours a night, and was taking 10 lb jumps on Deadlift, 5 lb on Squat/Bench, and 2.5 lb on Overhead.

    Now, you're probably wondering why my squat and deadlift is so low. I got my squat up to 230 on Jun 03. This was followed by intense tendonitis due to me loading my arms during the squat. I found a good coach who I got a one time session with. We dropped the weight to about 185 and did pause and tempo squats to figure out exactly what adjustments I needed to make. This worked well and I worked my way up from there. Today I squatted 240 with no issues and feel like I'll be able to add 5 lb for many months to come (same story with Bench/Overhead).

    This brings me to my Deadlift issues. I obviously started at a very low weight, and Deadlifts really never felt challenging to me until I got my weight to 260 on Jun 03 (coincidentally the same day as my squat stall, not sure?). I couldn't pull it off the ground, I figured I stalled, and reduced my weight down to 245 and tried to build back up. I dropped Cleans and Chins out from my routine to focus on my Deadlift, but then ended up failing to break the bar from the floor at even lower weights. This spiraled for some time until I found the tip to pull for at least 5 seconds from one of the SS videos, and Robert Santana's artificially weak deadlift article, both which helped a bunch, and probably meant that my 260 stall wasn't a real stall.
    From here I brought it up to 275 last week and got two reps in. I was too exhausted to continue another three reps and figured it was time to throw the Cleans/Chins day back in. So I did that and a week later (today Jul 09), I tried 275 again and only got three reps before running out of gas. I even tried to take a 10 minute break and go back to get a 2x3 set in so that at least I'd be getting the volume. But on the attempted second set I couldn't even break the weight off the ground.

    So my plan now is to deload and try to work back up again. This is extremely frustrating because of how pathetic my deadlift is compared to where it should be, mostly due to perception and starting it out way too light. Here are a few questions I have though to try and make the best of the situation:

    1) My hardest part of my Deadlift is breaking the floor. Would it be worth it at all to switch to Halting Deadlifts until the floor break feels easier?
    2) If I didn't do #1 and continued to do conventional Deadlifts, should I continue to go for 10 lb increments or immediately switch to 5 lb increments?
    2b) If I do move to 5 lb increments, obviously my squats will eclipse my Deadlift weights very soon. Should I add in the Light Squat day? I don't need to yet for the sake of my Squat, but maybe too much heavy squatting will fatigue me for the deadlift?
    3) Obviously with me running out of gas on my deadlift there are some conditioning issues. When deloading should I do some higher volume (1x8, 3x5, etc) to help with conditioning?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2019
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    I'd get a deadlift form check on the technique forum. Other than that, it might actually be an issue with your grip. Your back will know when your hands are not holding the bar securely, and it won't want to do its job.

  3. #3
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    I am probably the least qualified person here to help you, but I'm awake on a Sunday morning so I'll give it a shot. You should wait for somebody smarter to respond before you make any decisions.

    How is your sleeping? Has it gotten worse? Do you have other signs of overtraining? Increase in resting heart rate? Irritability? Insatiable appetite? How do you feel in general?

    Your deadlifts seem relatively low (1.2x body weight) for a severe overtraining incident but they are also 2x your starting weight and deadlifts are *very* fatiguing in good part due to the axial loading. There's a reason that the program calls for deload/reset when you fail a lift. Instead of deloading you "doubled down" and started deadlifting more frequently. The consequences of intensity overtraining can be pretty significant. Do it as an intermediate or advanced and you will set yourself back months or more. In the immortal words of Andy Baker, if you overdo the intensity ... after a few weeks "you're fucked" (Hope I got the quote right)

    Again before making any decisions, please wait for additional comments. But if the consensus is that you need a hard deload to prevent getting sick/injured, I hope you will be mentally prepared to do it. It's way better than deload by injury. If it turns out that you haven't overdone the intensity, save the mental preparation since the time will come!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Lots going on here, hard to say without a form check.

    I’ve been in the same boat as you, struggling with the deadlift and dreading doing them. Technique is a huge part of the equation. Get yours checked.

    Figure out how to “feel strong” when deadlifting.

  5. #5
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    Thanks I'll do that. I'd be surprised it was a grip issue... When I failed I tried experimenting with hook and alternating grips...

  6. #6
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    How is your sleeping? Has it gotten worse? Do you have other signs of overtraining? Increase in resting heart rate? Irritability? Insatiable appetite? How do you feel in general?
    Nope... everything has been pretty normal.

    Your deadlifts seem relatively low (1.2x body weight) for a severe overtraining incident but they are also 2x your starting weight and deadlifts are *very* fatiguing in good part due to the axial loading. There's a reason that the program calls for deload/reset when you fail a lift. Instead of deloading you "doubled down" and started deadlifting more frequently. The consequences of intensity overtraining can be pretty significant. Do it as an intermediate or advanced and you will set yourself back months or more. In the immortal words of Andy Baker, if you overdo the intensity ... after a few weeks "you're fucked" (Hope I got the quote right)
    Good callout, I had thought that by lifting at submaximal weights it wouldn't be as fatiguing.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2019
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    Read this article, both parts. Then read the forum discussion for each. NM, I see that buried in there. But it would be good to read it again, including the forum discussions. The answers to your questions are in there. Seriously.

    You did not mention your programming. What are you doing? NLP? Which phase? Still a standard A/B newbie novice? You stopped doing cleans/chins, but why? They are very important as a lighter recovery day for your deadlifts as those get heavier. Dropping those just means that you will not recover from your previous deadlift session in order to progress on your next.

    Your questions:
    1) No. You're still a novice that isn't even close to needing to introduce those variations.
    2) 5lb increments from here on out.
    3) They won't, because if you reread the Artificially Weak Deadlifts article again, you'll find that the solution is a deload your squat in order for your hips and lower back to recover while your deadlifts start to climb again (trust this process). Do not deload your deadlift while driving up your squat.
    4) The conditioning issue is that you are not giving your hips and lower back a chance to recover from your currently heavy (to you, based on your current strength levels) combined squat and deadlift volume. Going into your work session, your lower back is already near its limit, at which point you might get a rep or three off the floor, but no more. No matter how hard you try. Higher rep schemes (which necessitate lighter weights) are not the solution. Also, you're trying to pull your limit deadlifts on the same day that you're doing your limit squats. Some minor modifications to your weekly squat programming, e.g., H/L/H, and doing your limit Deadlifts on those lighter squat days often does the trick. Also, that lighter squat day slows down your rapid progress (which is OK in this case), which means that you won't catch up to your deadlifts as fast. This is all in the book(s).

    You really aren't in a unique situation. A lot of folks run into it, hence the articles and forum discussions.

  8. #8
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    I’m curious what coach prescribes tempo and pause squats to treat arm tendinitis from a grip problem.

  9. #9
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    Post a video. Are you on NLP ? How many times per week are you deadlifting ?

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Upping deadlift frequency and keeping pushing probably led to issues, but generally when the squat comes close to or even overtakes the deadlift in novices it seems like it's almost always either they are not squatting to depth (thus inflating the squat), or something is wrong with their deadlift technique. Other than that, maybe obesity might cause issues with the deadlift, but this doesn't look like an obesity case. I'd get a form check on your deadlift, and also check to make sure your squats are getting below parallel.

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