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  • Sucky Deadlift

    I searched long and far on the forum for a solution to this but couldn't find it. I can squat 400x5 and bench 220x5 but my deadlift, in comparison, sucks. Less than 275 on bad days. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it just a lack of core strength? I see guys who are flip (squatting 275 but deadlifting 400)

    I'm just wondering if this is normal...

  • #2
    I'm definitely on the opposite end of the spectrum. I can squat 315 and DL 405.

    I think one factor is your arm length in relation to your leg/torso length. If you have "short" arms you have to pull the bar over a relatively greater distance.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dynastinae View Post
      I searched long and far on the forum for a solution to this but couldn't find it. I can squat 400x5 and bench 220x5 but my deadlift, in comparison, sucks. Less than 275 on bad days. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it just a lack of core strength? I see guys who are flip (squatting 275 but deadlifting 400)

      I'm just wondering if this is normal...
      It's only normal if your squats are very high. Do you high-bar or low-bar? Any chance you could post a video?
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #4
        Is it your grip giving out before your back? That was my problem when I started deadlifting (15 years ago) and the only thing that fixed it was to deadlift more and do grip strengthening exercises.
        People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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        • #5
          That is pretty out of whack but you're fairly tall, right? Most taller people find it harder to deadlift. I'm a shortass and it's probably my best lift after OH press.

          Any chance you can post a video for analysis?
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          • #6
            Appreciate the help guys. I do it from the floor and I have a wing-span of about a 6'5 guy. I'm also long torso-ed with shorter legs so you would think that would be optimal. I am about 6'2 though so maybe that is a deterrent. My grip does give out but is there anything I can do to make that better?

            I'm doing deads tomorrow so I'll get a video for analysis.

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            • #7
              How deep do you squat?

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              • #8
                I've heard a long waist is less than ideal for deadlifts, but I don't really know, I guess.

                This is maybe a stupid question: Are you using an alternating grip on your heavy lifts?

                Start doing towel pullups and a few fingertip pushups to build forearm strength. Start holding your heavy DL at the top for 10-20 seconds on your last rep of the day.

                You're lifting way more than me in squat and bench, but I'm pretty close to you in DL.

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                • #9
                  Not a stupid question, I actually haven't been. Whoops. Most of my gains were made through high school and college sports but I've recently been using the Weldon 5/3/1 system (which has been awesome).

                  That's a good idea for the towel pull-ups, btw.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dynastinae View Post
                    Not a stupid question, I actually haven't been. Whoops. Most of my gains were made through high school and college sports but I've recently been using the Weldon 5/3/1 system (which has been awesome).

                    That's a good idea for the towel pull-ups, btw.

                    Definitely do the alternating grip, and try hooking your thumb too. Technique is key here, but you'll need the raw grip strength too. Lift a barbell to dead lift top position, with your hands both palm facing forward. Hold this for time, for reps, it will do a great job stressing the forearm. Another good one is holding on to a pull up bar with your feet off the ground in a dead hang, for time, with weight.

                    It's pretty easy to neglect grip strength, considering so many exercises such as squat or bench don't really use much of it, and others such as rows or pull ups don't generally apply enough weight to stress the grip as much as a heavy dead lift will. Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      I still think the squats are probably high.
                      The Champagne of Beards

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                        I still think the squats are probably high.
                        What do you mean?

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                        • #13
                          I mean I have doubts as to whether you're reaching the proper depth. You can handle more weight if you cut the range of motion short on the squat. I've seen lots of guys quarter squat 405 who can't get to parallel with 135.

                          I should have said "shallow" instead of "high." Sorry for any confusion. I think we should see a video of both in order to make more informed guesses. Like I said, it's a suspicion, not an accusation. I hope I'm wrong.

                          And if the grip is the limiting factor on the deadlift, you should sacrifice your thumbs and learn the hook grip. And never forget the old adage "chalk is cheap."
                          The Champagne of Beards

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                          • #14
                            @RichMahogany Thanks. I appreciate the concern and I welcome any constructive criticism. However, Squatting is just a strength of mine (probably the only when it comes to heavy-lifting). I've been doing it for about 10 years while being professionally coached, unfortunately all the while neglecting deadlifts and rows. I'll try to get a video of that as well to impress you

                            What I'm starting to gather is that I just need to work on my back strength. I used to do do well with pull-ups but now thats gone to hell as well. I'll get my trainer to help with my deads and just start to focus a bit more on strengthening my back.

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                            • #15
                              Looking forward to seeing the videos.

                              In the meantime, are you squatting high-bar or low-bar? In other words, is the bar resting on your traps (high-bar), or across the rear delts/resting on the spines of your scapulae(low-bar)?

                              If it's truly a strength deficit (coupled with your anthropometry) that's stopping you from deadlifting more, you can always experiment with heavy partials (e.g. rack pulls & RDL's) as well as trying to add some work over an increased ROM (e.g. Deficit deadlifts). I wonder what Mr. Palfrey would say about either of those ideas.
                              The Champagne of Beards

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