Plateau Buster: the Deadlift


So you want to pull enough weight to move the orbit of the earth, but you’ve recently hit a plateau? Here are a few obvious and not-so-obvious work arounds that could help:

Address Your Weakest Point

Two places to look—thoracic stability and grip. Four weeks of heavy farmer’s walks will help with both. Then return to your deadlifting and reassess.

Change Your Auxiliary Lifts

If you typically supplement your deadlifting with back extensions, try reverse hyper extensions or good mornings.


When you deload, decrease volume, but not intensity. Cut your typical volume in half for a week but keep your weight heavy and you should be able to deadlift a personal best by Friday.


Recover better and you can lift more. Big culprits could be post-workout nutrition or myofascial tightness. Learn about it, make some changes, get stronger.

Manage Expectations

Micro progression is essential as you near maximum loads. The body simply can’t make large leaps if you’re close to your potential. If you lifted 300 lbs. last week and it took eight seconds, 302.5 lbs. this week is a big victory.

If all else fails, try having your lifting partner slap you in face before you lift. If that doesn’t piss you off enough to move some serious weight, nothing will.

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