Yesterday was a good day to pull heavy things off the floor. I started out wanting to do some deadlifts from a deficit, because it sounded like a good idea at the time. Truth be told, I’ve changed a lot of small things about my deadlift recently, from switching my hand position during heavy pulls, adjusting my hip and foot position, and doing 2 deadlift workouts a week whenever possible. Deficits is something I haven’t done in well over a year, so I wanted to work it back in.
I set it up a bit differently than most. Instead of using a small step or something like that to elevate my position, I went for a smaller diameter plate, using a 35 as my big ring and working some 25′s on the ends to add weight. The end result was a deadlift with 7 plates on the bar, even though 6 of them were 25′s.
”Got them 20′s on there, them 20′s I just got them.”
“Those ain’t 20′s but it’s all good.”
“Them are 20′s man, them are. Nah, they 10′s man, they 10′s but I keep em clean so they nice and all.” – Day Day.
QUICK!!! Name the movie!!!
Anyways, as I was saying, pulling from deficit, regardless of how or what methods used, puts you in to a position where you have to move through more of a range of motion. Where the normal position of a bar means you are grabbing a bar that’s midpoint is 8.875 inches off the floor, pulling from a deficit of say, 2 inches, means you have to flex your hips further through the range of motion to be able to simply grab the bar, and then create muscle tension through that additional unfamiliar range, especially if you aren’t used to it for the past year or so.
Pulling from a deadlift tends to give you more strength from the ground on your first pull, as when you go back up to the standard height you are able to get some carry-over for the work you’ve done at the lower height. Additionally, it’s more difficult to generate maximum force from a position where a muscle is held in more of a stretched out position, therefore making the exercise more challenging at the same weight than compared to a standard pull.
That’s all well and good, but with all these factors playing a role, typically deficits are supposed to be harder, meaning you aren’t able to pull as much weight. Then this happened.
Sure, it’s not a PR, but it’s not far off. Seriously, it felt pretty damn good. So good that all I wanted to do was run through the mall shirtless and flexing individual muscles while playing musical instruments hooked up to me by various EMG machines.
One thing I noticed when pulling a deficit versus pulling a standard height deadlift is I have a sticking point at pretty much the same point, roughly 3 inches below my knee. Maybe this means I should work on more deficit pulls or more rack pulls set to this height, maybe it means I need to do more quad strengthening work to help balance out the extension force of my glutes. Maybe it means I have some sort of secret powers deep inside my soul yet to be discovered, maybe it means I just want a cookie, or I just need to fart, I haven’t the foggiest. But at the end of the day, I think it means I have the power to make tropical storms head straight towards Tampa, Florida.
As a result of this, I’m going to start switching up the depth of my deadlifts on a regular basis. I’ll continue to do a heavier day in a standard setup position, and one day each week of either deadlift or elevated pulls, alternating between them.
I’m also going to start mixing in snatch grip deadlifts on my altered height day, just to work on more depth with an altered shoulder position. This will cause me to work the muscles of my back and scapulae differently than when I use a conventional grip. The main goal is to use these tools to help increase my chances of ripping 5 plates off the floor with a cacophony of muscle spasming excitement and excellence that by itself will impregnate anyone within earshot.
Either that or I’ll just have to strut, Gangam Style:
Yep, I shouldn’t be allowed on Youtube anymore…..