I’m so freaking excited!
See, I love deadlifts.
But that’s not what I’m excited about. I mean…who doesn’t love deadlifts?
I’m excited because on my quest to deadlift 4x my bodyweight (530lbs at a bodyweight of 132lbs) I recently discovered my brand new favorite deadlift accessory exercise.
I’ve been using this movement extensively over the past 4-months and I truly believe it’s one of the major reasons I was recently able to pull an all-time best 535lb deadlift for 2 reps.
The best part?
It felt pretty easy.
So what’s my brand new favorite deadlift accessory exercise?
The Pause Deficit Deadlifts
A combination of pause and deficit deadlifts, this drill is extraordinary at improving:
- speed and power off the floor
- strength off the floor
- lockout strength
- lat recruitment at lockout
- and general technique
Want to see what it looks like?
Here’s a set of me performing 5 reps at 300lbs.
Performance & Programming Tips
1. How much weight should you use?
Anywhere between 40-75% 1RM with both of these recommendations being on the “extreme” end.
Personally, I prefer to stay between 50-70% 1RM and focus on using this drill as a way to perfect my technique without accruing too much volume.
Keep it light and focus on maintaining perfect form.
2. How large should the deficit be?
No more than 2-inches.
Some lifters think it’s badass/extreme/more effective to use huge deficits (4+ inches) but, in my opinion, that’s a waste of time.
A deficit of 1-2 inches is more than enough to illicit a sufficient training effect without needlessly increasing the risk of injury.
3. How long should you pause?
Anywhere between 1-3 seconds.
Keep in mind, the longer you pause the more stressful the lift is going to be. That being the case, as you increase the length of your pause (up to 3 full seconds) it’d be wise to consider reducing the total weight lifted.
4. Where should you pause?
Below the knees.
It could be 2-inches below or .5-inch below. It’s honestly arbitrary and won’t make a big difference either way.
Just make sure to get a solid pause below your knees prior to initiating the second part of the lift.
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