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Davis 12-25-2011 11:30 AM

What causes weakness off the floor?
Title says it all. I'm weak off the floor. Why? I have built a very strong and explosive lockout. My top 531 set the other day was 370. I was hoping I could get it about three times, yet I could only do it once and it was like pulling 100%! Here's what happened: Set up(I may have not pulled my back tight enough), lift, and about mid shin I'm stuck pulling to my knees for probably 5+ seconds. Once I get to driving my hips through it's in the blink of an eye and almost without energy. I couldn't believe how hard I had to fight.

So, what causes the weakness off the floor? The last month or so I've been doing deficit deadlifts with about 50-70% of my max for 1-3 reps a set after my regular old deadlifts. I've seen some slight improvement on lighter weights around 300-315. Anything else you all recommend?

For what it's worth, I generally do a deadlift, good morning, ab work one week, and deadlift, deficit deadlift, ab work the next. I also hammer away at my upper back on my bench and press day through the means of pullups, face pulls, and dumbbell rows.

HERC410 12-25-2011 11:34 AM

struggling with same issues, i'm thinking its a hamstring problem, either your setup isn't letting you use them or they need to be stronger, or both.

Davis 12-25-2011 11:42 AM

I'd like to say my set up is perfect, but you could be right. Since working more on my technique and getting my hamstrings a bit stronger, I actually feel a large portion of it in my hamstrings if that can help anyone out. My actual start is the same, I've just raised my hips(used to keep em too low until November) however I'm not stiff legged.

Fazc 12-25-2011 12:08 PM

That's a fairly typical sticking point for a raw lifter. The solution won't be found in any great analysis of weak points and assistance, not at that stage anyway.

It is quite simply to get stronger all over. That means more Deadlifts, more often.

Davis 12-25-2011 12:20 PM

I got it. Thanks a lot.

Off Road 12-25-2011 12:26 PM

My deadlift absolutely sucks. Hoping to fix that this year, so I'm listening :)

Fazc 12-25-2011 12:34 PM

Davis, Offroad I'm not a massive deadlifter by any means, but enough to hold my own in my weight class. What has worked well so far has been to basically deadlift as often as possible, using variations of the actual lift and multiple low rep sets.

I'll typically deadlift three times a week now after my squats, with variations ranging from the actual lift, partials, SLDL or deficits. Reps will be at least singles or triples and sets will be around 5-6. Moving weight in a partial ROM, off the floor and in a stiff leg fashion really helps to avoid staleness associated with doing the same lift over and allows more weekly volume than just lifting once a week.

big_swede 12-25-2011 01:45 PM

My pull of the floor got stronger and faster from 1, halting deadlifts 2, GHR's 3, Powercleans

But as fazc said, deadlift variations and to deadlift more is probably the best way, and to work on strength in the whole body using compound lifts.

HERC410 12-25-2011 02:42 PM

I'm planning on pulling 3x/week next semester focusing on overall strength and i'm hoping things move up.

BendtheBar 12-25-2011 02:58 PM

Until last year I was very weak off the floor and very weak on rack pulls. One thing that helped me specifically was working on getting as strong as possible on rows.

I worked on getting my Pendlay's and dumbbell rows up while also concentrating on heavy high pull singles and the payoff for me was huge. Now I am stronger off the floor than I am locking out.

Overall my advice is to get stronger on everything. If you can Pendlay row 365 or one arm dumbbell row 200 for reps you will be stronger off the floor.

Nothing magical about this. With that said, far too many people treat back work like a second class citizen. Start exploding some weight off the floor. It might not be a cure all, but it certainly won't hurt.

Power and speed from the floor :)

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