Strength Training Training

Bigger Deadlift Through Partial Training

  • 11

I felt that since the first article did so well, that I would continue on with the series. The deadlift is without a shadow of doubt, MY top choice for putting on some serious size and strength. Face it, who wants to be small and weak? If it’s you then you have no place in a gym…

The deadlift can be trained in a variety of ways, power from the floor or strength at lockout. This depends on your weak point and where your sticking point is. If your sticking point is just below the knee, then Rack pulls are very good for you.

My quam with this movement is that guys tend to move more weight here so it becomes an ego exercise. Remember this is only a partial movement, so you are only partially strong. 900lb rack pull doesn’t translate to 900 deadlift, never has never will to my knowledge. Remember, you are training a lift not your ego.

Main lift: Deadlift

Rack Pull: Typically performed inside a rack, place the pins about 2-3 inches below knee level. Positioning yourself as you would pull from the floor. Pull and return to rack.

Do not bounce the bar off the pins, as this could send unpleasant vibrations through your body. In short, don’t bounce the bar dork! As stated earlier, you typically can work heavier loads so lets set up the scheme.

  • 405lb deadlift, we’ll use 105-115% range of 1rm @ 3×5

Block Pull: Just as the rack pull, you are pulling from your sticking point. (typically from upper shin to right above knee) except here you are pulling from mats about an inch thick or so. This gives you the ability to adjust on the fly. Also the mats actually similate the floor pull because they absorb the shock and prevent “bouncing” that you get with rack pulls.

You can get mats from or either a sporting good store. All else fails, just swipe those exercise mats from the gym closet, but be ready for a fight with the aerobic community!

Same principle scheme as rack pulls, except we will use a slightly lower percentage. (75-85%)

After warm up sets, work your way into the 3×5 worksets. Please do your body a favor and warm up properly.

The breakdown:

  • Week 1: Rack pull (3×5) @ 105% (425lbs.)
  • Week 2: Block pull (3×5) @ 75% (305lbs)
  • Week 3: Rack pull (3×5) @ 110% (445.5lbs)
  • Week 4: Block pull (3×5) @ 80% (325lbs)
  • Week 5: Deadlift (3×5) @ 85% (345lbs.)
  • Week 6: Rack Pull (3×5) @ 115% (465lbs.)
  • Week 7: Block Pull (3×5) @ 85% (345lbs.)
  • Week 8: Rest!!!
  • Week 9: Test 1rm of deadlift

Gabe’s Note: Doing heavy pulls as those outlined in this program will tax your CNS (central nervous system) so listen to your body will do YOU wonders. Happy lifting!

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