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Year Long Deadlift Plateau

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  • Year Long Deadlift Plateau

    Hi. Everyone. I've come looking for some help with my deadlift. I've been lifting seriously for 4 years now. For the last year I've been running Barbell Medicine's Strength III program and have made good progress on both my bench and squat (both up ~20lb overall), however my deadlift is hard stuck at 460, which is where it was when I switched over to Strength III a year ago. My sticking point has moved from the floor to my lockout and my grip strength has gotten much stronger (I used to use straps for anything above 365, now I can pull 460 with mixed grip), but my 1RM has remained the same for over a year now. I know this isn't much information to go on, but I honestly don't know what to do. It's simply frustrating to see my other 2 lifts continue to increase while my deads stall. (I want that coveted 500 pull)
    Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide.

  • #2
    If you're finding that you're failing heavy DL on the lockout, maybe attack that as something to put more work into? Block/rack pulls are the obvious variation to use in this instance, but RDLs would probably help too. I know that there are rack pulls in the first block of SIII, but you could always substitute them in elsewhere too. In addition: if you been running the same program for a year (I assume on repeat), it might be a good idea to switch it up for a while. Maybe give Hypertrophy II a go to give yourself a change of focus and a reset?

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    • #3
      Usually the solution to a plateau is more volume over a given period of time. I don't know what strength 3 looks like, but perhaps try a program that has more (intelligent) deadlift volume if the one you're currently running is low. I have a hard time imagining most people doing as much deadlift volume as the 12 week strength program has. I brought my deadlift from 585-675 after a 2 year plateau just running that program off and on a few times throughout a 12 month period. 12 week strength, then 8-12 weeks of bodybuilding stuff and maintenance volume for the big 3 - rinse and repeat.

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