Powerlifting

Building Speed from the Floor in the Deadlift


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In the deadlift every lifter has strong points, and weak points. Some, like myself seem to generate maximum speed from the floor that carries through the top, and others that are very slow off the floor seem to find all the speed/strength in the world at the lock out. Ideally we find a way to marry these two and build a massive storm of a perfect deadlift. I kept looking at routines, and so many had deficit pulls, block pulls, pause pulls, etc. What each of those did were to put the body in some sort of position to build “new” strength within a specified area.

Also people who look at you and say if you are slow you can never be fast then I assure you that you are wrong. In April of 2012 I pulled 725 lbs. unequipped excruciatingly slow, and just over 6 months later I managed to pull 727/777/804 lbs. at the Backyard Meet of the Century, and all of them were considered “fast”.

How can a lifter increase floor speed specifically? There is a lot of great information out there on the subject, but one thing I have noticed is that while powerlifters will use high boxes to overload the squat, boards to overload the bench, and blocks/racks to overload the deadlift, but we are looking for maximum floor speed, so we need to specifically train the weight off the floor. Think about using a block to overload the lockout, we have to forget about the lockout for a bit to focus on floor speed.

KNEE PULLS

Knee pulls are an exercise used by some old time strongmen/powerlifters that was designated not just specifically for the deadlift, but also some of the more unique strongman lifts of the day. What you do is overload the bar and pull it as hard as possible to the knee, have a slight pause (not even a one count, just enough to show control) then reverse the weight to the floor. These eliminate the lockout portion (which is worked in other exercises) and allows the lifter to pull heavy, and for repetitions in the desired area of improvement. This sounds crazy, at first, but when you see how they are implemented, and used you will see why this works. It is not something I think you should try full time, but rotated in from time to time, or a cycle specifically designed for floor speed, this should have you smoking weight off the floor in rapid order. I am going to lay out a cycle that I have successfully used with numerous lifters that has seen improvement without fail, and numerous lifters adding 5-10% to their max in just ten weeks.

These can be implemented as a secondary movement into any program, but I will give you a Cube Rotation as this is how I prefer to train, and I have much success with my athletes using this layout:

Brandon Lilly will be coaching alongside other TeamJTS athletes/coaches in Cincinnati, OH on May 24th. Click the picture to learn more and register!
Brandon Lilly will be coaching alongside other TeamJTS athletes/coaches in Cincinnati, OH on May 24th. Click the picture to learn more and register!

Deadlift Cycle for Maximum Floor Speed

Based off a 500 lbs. Deadlift Training Max, 525 Comp Max x .95% for Trainining is 498+/- so round up to 500.

WEEK 1

Rep Week

Deadlift Standing on 1” Mat or Plate

Work up to 400 lbs (80%) x 3 x 3 sets

Knee Pulls (Pull to the Knee then return to the floor)

450 (90%) x 2 x 4 sets

Olympic Squat

300 (60%) x 6 x 3 sets

Lat Pulldowns (Heavy as Possible with good form)

4 x 15

Back Raises

50 reps

WEEK 2

Speed Week

Deadlifts

350 (70%) x 2 x 5 sets

4” Block Snatch Grip Deadlifts (For Lockout)

300 (60%) x 12x 3 sets

Knee Pulls

400 (80%) x 5 x 5 sets

Shrugs (Actually use your traps and squeeze them, don’t move the bar an inch and call it a rep)

3 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

5 x 12

Band Goodmornings

50 reps

WEEK 3

Heavy Week

Deadlift Standing on 1” Mat or Plate

135 x 8, 185 x 5, 225 x 3, 275 x 3, 315 x 2, 365 x 2, 400 (80%) x 2, 425 (85%) x 2, 450 (90%) x 1 x 2 sets.

Knee Pulls

500 x 1, 530 x 1 x 3 sets

Dumbbell Rows

3 x 12

Goodmornings w/Moderate Weight

3 x 10

Planks

3 x 30 secs

(As you can see on Heavy Days we get in then get out)

WEEK 4

Rep Week

Deadlift Standing on 1” Mat or Plate

135 x 8, 185 x 5, 225 x 3, 275 x 3, 315 x 3, 365 x 3, 405 x 3, 425 (85%) x 3 x 3 sets

Knee Pulls

450 x 1 x 5 sets

4” Block Snatch Grip Dead Lifts

275 (55%) x 8 x 3 sets

OLY Squat

300 (60%) x 8 x 3 sets

Lat Pulldowns (Heavy as Possible with good form)

4 x 15

Back Raises

50 reps

WEEK 5

Speed Week

Deadlifts 375 (75%) x 2 x 5 sets

4” Block Snatch Grip Deadlifts

300 (60%) x 8 x 3 sets

Knee Pulls

85% x 3 x 3 sets

OLY Squat

300 (60%) x 8 x 2 sets

UpRight Rows

3 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

5 x 12

Band Goodmornings

50 reps

WEEK 6

Heavy Week

Deadlift Standing on 1” Mat or Plate

135 x 8, 185 x 5, 225 x 3, 275 x 3, 315 x 2, 365 x 2, 400 (80%) x 2, 425 (85%) x 2, 450 (90%) x 1 x 2 sets, 475 (95%) x 1

Knee Pulls

530 x 1 x 2 sets, 550 x 1

Barbell Rows

3 x 12

Goodmornings w/Moderate Weight

3 x 10

Planks

3 x 1 minute

WEEK 7

Rep Week

Deadlift Standing on 1” Mat or Plate

135 x 8, 185 x 5, 225 x 3, 275 x 3, 315 x 3, 365 x 3, 405 x 3, 425 (85%) x 3, 450 (90%) x 2

Knee Pull

75% x 5 x 3 sets

4” Block Snatch Grip Dead Lifts

325 (65%) x 10 x 3 sets

OLY Squat

350 (70%) x 8 x 3 sets

Lat Pulldowns (Heavy as Possible with good form)

4 x 15

Back Raises

50 reps

WEEK 8

Speed Week

Deadlifts

400 (80%) x 2 x 5 sets

Knee Pull

75% x 6 x 3 sets

OLY Squat

400 (80%) x 5x 3 sets

Shrugs

3 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

5 x 12

Band Goodmornings

50 reps

WEEK 9

Heavy Week

Deadlift Standing on 1” Mat

135 x 8, 185 x 5, 225 x 3, 275 x 3, 315 x 2, 365 x 2, 400 (80%) x 2, 425 (85%) x 2, 450 (90%) x 1, 480 x 1 (Planned Opener)

Knee Pull

530 x 1 x 3 sets

Lat Pulldowns

3 x 12

Goodmornings w/Moderate Weight

3 x 10

WEEK 10 MEET WEEK

Rest, eat lots of clean food, and rest!!

Meet

As far as the meet goes, according to your training you know that 480 will be your opener, and based on your training your attempts should look like this:

1st: 480

2nd: 530

3rd: 550

Now if your opener feels heavy for some reason, split the difference, and plan for a PR on your 3rd, but if you follow this ten week program you should have no problem exploding off the floor, and powering through to the lockout. You have worked for 10 weeks to improve your speed, and now its time to put some smoke on the bar!

 

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