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11/20/2014 5:19:47 PM - Drake Taylor
Mr. Darden,

My name is Drake Taylor. I'm 18 years old, and plan to compete in a powerlifting meet in a few months as a 181. My Deadlift lags behind my squat by a lot (405x5 back squat belted and 356 beltless front compared to a ~365x5 Deadlift). I was wondering if you could give me a few pointers to help increase my Deadlift, here is a video:

My training consists of a lot of submaximal work (55-88%) with a higher frequency (squat and bench 3x a week, Deadlift 2x a week). I have been doing a lot of glute work, a lot of planks, some hamstrings and some quad work also.

Thank you for your help,

Drake Taylor


It is really hard to tell you exactly what to do without seeing your entire program, what you are doing, what you have been doing, etc... I will tell you that it is RARE that touch and go reps on the deadlift have a carry over to a max deadlift. That first rep is where all of the explosion happens and with touch and go you are tight and in control of the moving object before it is ever "dead" on the floor. This never happens on a max single.

I don't know what you are doing for glutes, hamstrings, or quads so I can't assess that or if it is working. I can't say that I do any glute, hamstrings, or quads work to build my deadlift. I train movements and bring up those movements. As a general rule if you can determine which Good Morning you are terrible at and then get better at them, your dealift will rise. If you break PRs 2x per week on GHR variations, your deadlift will go up. If you break PRs on your abs, low back, and lat work...your deadlift will go up.

I have never REALLY seen a plank build a deadlift.

It is also very rare that working in the 55-75% range will build the deadlift. Even for speed deadlifts I often have clients use 80% of their 1RM AT THE TOP of the lift for multiple singles or doubles.

If you want to learn to pull a big number then you have to be prepared to pull big singles.

Clint Darden

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