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Deadlift Stall

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I've been doing SL 5x5 off and on for about 6 months. The lastest "on" has been going steady for 5 weeks now. My squats are progressing nicely; currently at 165 and able to increase as recommended. However, my deadlift are a struggle; I'm stuck at 135 and struggle to complete the one set. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Replies

  • _benjammin
    _benjammin Posts: 1,224 Member
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    Get your form checked. If you don't know someone to watch in person, video and post in the Eat, Train, Progress group.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,993 Member
    edited January 2017
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    Too many variables to consider, including psychological and technical (form) issues, to offer meaningful advice here.

    As mentioned, lots of videos and web sites w/info and advice you can consult. You could also video yourself and post a clip and on this and other sites (like Starting Strength) to ask for help.

    However, if you still can't do it after reading/watching these sources or getting advice from a clip, I think the best thing you can do is consult a trainer. It doesn't have to be an ongoing thing, just a 1x consult to get you going.

    It's not good to overgeneralize but I'll take a risk and just say that pretty much everyone who lifts can DL more than they can SQT.

    So, unless you have a peculiar disability, I'm guessing that there's no reason physically why you cannot DL as much and more than you SQT.

    I also don't think there's anything technical that would prevent you from DLing just 30# more; 165 is not that heavy. If you can SQT it on your back, you can lift it w/your arms from the floor.

    The legs and hips used to complete the lifts are essentially the same. However, since DLs are more glute dominant, you should have more power to do so than w/the SQT, which is quad dominant. That's most (if not all) lifters can DL more than they can SQT.

    So, personally, I think it's something in your head, not your form, and the quickest way to figure that out is to pay for an hr w/a trainer to help you deal w/whatever is blocking you from doing the lift.

    Good luck!
  • CarlydogsMom
    CarlydogsMom Posts: 645 Member
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    Are you completing a full squat (at least parallel, if not lower)?
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
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    post a video
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
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    make sure you are fully engaged, your entire body is like a rock before you pull the bar. Take a few seconds to lock up every muscle rock solid. You'll increase your strength by a massive amt just by being tight and locked. Shoulders rolled down and back back, butt drop down, hams engaged, glutes engaged lats engaged. Take a deep breath to tighten up your core and hold it til the top of the lift to keep core engaged. Pull in and up, slide the bar up your shins. It takes some time and practice, but once you engage all those muscles the weight will fly off the ground.
  • codename_steve
    codename_steve Posts: 255 Member
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    Thanks everyone! @CarlydogsMom yes, I squat to parallel. @SonyaCele thanks for the description, I had a friend tell me something similar yesterday. I'll try to get my head more in the game and every muscle engaged before lifting and see how that goes.
  • slefko
    slefko Posts: 32 Member
    edited February 2017
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    Are you still using a normal grip or have you switched over to mixed grip? I have issues deadlifting because I have tiny little baby hands, so I struggle with a 45lb bar (plus additional weight) just due to how big it is. Maybe try switching your grip or starting off with a smaller bar until you can increase grip strength!
  • sjonesmse
    sjonesmse Posts: 5 Member
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    Assuming your form is good (get that checked first), you might want to try and mix up your training for a short stint to see if you can ramp past this. If I get stuck, I like to stay at the weight lower (I assume you're jumping 5 lb intervals) and add reps. Try for 6-8 reps, then when those are solid go for the next weight increment up for 5. Also, sometimes taking a week off (work on other stuff, but don't overdo it) can give you the reset you need. And make sure you're eating enough. If I don't get enough calories (carbs, usually) the day before I do some hard lifting, I feel weak and get tired so fast.

    The hard thing about the 5x5 is that at some point you can't milk the linear progression anymore. You'll start to plateau as you hit an intermediate level and your training needs to change to reflect that. There's no harm in experimenting a little with different techniques, as long as you are still grinding as hard as you can safely go. The 5x5 is a great motivator, but don't beat yourself up when your body can't hit weekly numbers. Just keep pushing. Good luck.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,413 MFP Moderator
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    Have you incorporated any deload weeks?
  • giantrobot_powerlifting
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    Knock 10 to 20 pounds off and work your way back up.

    Also, there is a chance you may have exhausted your newby gains, might be time to try a more intermediate program.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    Knock 10 to 20 pounds off and work your way back up.

    i found my deadlift progress picked up dramatically when i added boring-but-big accessory format into my week. you take a waaaay lower weight and do 5x10 sets, instead of the 5x5 format.

    it helped my 'real' deadlift and overhead press dramatically. and i'm a 51-yo woman so i don't really think the progress just came from me growing a ton of muscles under the influence . it just cleaned up my form without wearing me out. doing that many reps but keeping the weight light really lets you get acquainted with exactly what you're doing and how it feels to do it. i always loved deadlifts, but under sl, there just didn't seem to be enough reps for me to ever really get my head around doing them.

    i like mark rippetoe and alan thrall's tutorials/instructions about deadlifting, fwiw.
  • codename_steve
    codename_steve Posts: 255 Member
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    I use a standard grip. I'm still far from intermediate levels. I haven't done a deload week yet because I've only been consistent for 4 weeks this time around. I have been trying to add lighter weight, higher rep days with romain deadlifts, last time I did that i was sore the next day.

    A co-worker of mine that also lifts and is quite knowledgeable has suggested increasing to match my squat weight, engage all muscle groups (like previously mentioned), and grunt while lifting. Today is deadlift day, so I'll know in a couple hours if this helps!
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
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    I use a standard grip. I'm still far from intermediate levels. I haven't done a deload week yet because I've only been consistent for 4 weeks this time around. I have been trying to add lighter weight, higher rep days with romain deadlifts, last time I did that i was sore the next day.

    A co-worker of mine that also lifts and is quite knowledgeable has suggested increasing to match my squat weight, engage all muscle groups (like previously mentioned), and grunt while lifting. Today is deadlift day, so I'll know in a couple hours if this helps!

    No. Absolutely not. If you can't pull this amount, increasing it by 30 lb at this point is a recipe for disaster. You obviously need some form work.
  • PeachyPlum
    PeachyPlum Posts: 1,243 Member
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    You can do it! Don't let yourself get psyched out!

    I'm a 110lb woman and I can rip off 135 lb deadlifts no problem (but I can only squat about 90).

    Are you sure your form is correct and you're using the right muscles? Core should be tight and your glutes and hammies should be doing most of the work - not your back!

    If you know you're doing it right, maybe you have an old injury or something you're not aware of.

    Good luck! Let us know how you do!
  • not_a_runner
    not_a_runner Posts: 1,343 Member
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    TR0berts wrote: »
    I use a standard grip. I'm still far from intermediate levels. I haven't done a deload week yet because I've only been consistent for 4 weeks this time around. I have been trying to add lighter weight, higher rep days with romain deadlifts, last time I did that i was sore the next day.

    A co-worker of mine that also lifts and is quite knowledgeable has suggested increasing to match my squat weight, engage all muscle groups (like previously mentioned), and grunt while lifting. Today is deadlift day, so I'll know in a couple hours if this helps!

    No. Absolutely not. If you can't pull this amount, increasing it by 30 lb at this point is a recipe for disaster. You obviously need some form work.

    AGREE. Do not attempt to make a 30 lb jump just because you are able to squat that much. If you're stuck and struggling, trying to go much heavier with bad form is not going to solve things and could result in an injury.
    You've had lots of good advice on this thread. Work on your form and work your way up slowly.
  • _incogNEATo_
    _incogNEATo_ Posts: 4,537 Member
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    I use a standard grip. I'm still far from intermediate levels. I haven't done a deload week yet because I've only been consistent for 4 weeks this time around. I have been trying to add lighter weight, higher rep days with romain deadlifts, last time I did that i was sore the next day.

    A co-worker of mine that also lifts and is quite knowledgeable has suggested increasing to match my squat weight, engage all muscle groups (like previously mentioned), and grunt while lifting. Today is deadlift day, so I'll know in a couple hours if this helps!

    I wouldn't call it a stall if you've only been at it for 4 weeks.

    Stay consistent. Keep working.
  • codename_steve
    codename_steve Posts: 255 Member
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    Ok, so for today's workout I was able to complete my 1 x 5 at 135.

    Here's the verdict; my back is rounding. How do I correct that?
  • _incogNEATo_
    _incogNEATo_ Posts: 4,537 Member
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    Ok, so for today's workout I was able to complete my 1 x 5 at 135.

    Here's the verdict; my back is rounding. How do I correct that?

    Is there any way you can post video of your lift?
  • codename_steve
    codename_steve Posts: 255 Member
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    I don't have a video. I might be able to ask someone to help me with that next time. I came to this verdict based on feel.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
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    Ok, so for today's workout I was able to complete my 1 x 5 at 135.

    Here's the verdict; my back is rounding. How do I correct that?

    Vid will help.

    But best advice is lift a weight that doesn't cause you to round yout back & add weight progressively.