My New Favorite Deadlift Accessory Exercise: The Paused Deficit Deadlift

im so excitedSeriously.

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.

Did You Like This Article?

When you sign up for your free Syatt Fitness newsletter you’ll get 3 world record training manuals sent directly to your inbox.

If you enjoyed this article and want to get free access to the best strength training and nutrition info on the web, just plug in your info below.

Talk soon!


World Record Strength!

Sign Up & I’ll Send Your 3 FREE World Record Strength Training Manuals Directly to Your Inbox

We respect your email privacy