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Deadlifts. Off the rack or off the floor?


Do you prefer to start with the barbell on the floor or off the rack?  

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I find that so many people prefer to lift the barbell from the floor, stating that to rack and unrack it and walk the weight back to the rack has a greater risk of injury to it.

 

As far as myself, I find it to be alot more comfortable to start standing up and unracking the weight from a squat rack and I have never found it to be difficult to walk it out, no matter heavy the weight was. It actually makes me feel more comfortable because I can feel the weight before I start to work with it. People tell me they disagree and say i'm risking injury but I don't feel that way.

 

What about everyone else? Style, Opinions, etc....?

 

Also instead of making a second poll, if you'd like, could you post whether or not you use a weightlifting belt or if you just keep it raw when you deadlift heavy? For me, I have never ever used a belt. IMO it takes your lower back out of the exercise which is counterproductive. I don't believe belts should be worn...

Edited by Lean and Green
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I could not agree more about the belt. I can see using one if you're a powerlifter trying for new max, but otherwise it seems like a good way to get a weak (and eventually injured) lower back.

 

Personally, I've always liked pulling from the floor, but I don't think you're risking injury pulling it out of the rack first. The only concern would be if the weight you lifted from the rack was too much to pull from the floor, so you ended up hurting yourself when lowering the weight.

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Off the floor, totally raw with no equipment in hands, back or anywhere. I usually lift barefooted so I couldn't be more raw.

 

I think I have a leather weightlifting belt at my parents, I bought one 10 years ago when I trained for a while at our school's gym... but I'm not sure whether I want to use a leather belt while being a _vegan_ bodybuilder. Maybe I could use a belt when I try for max 1 rep so that I won't break my back. Nothing like that has happened so far but you can never be too careful.

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Off the floor, for sure.

 

I've seen people discuss it before, and the main gripe that the off-the-floor camp has is, the deadlift is supposed to be done from a dead-stop to get the maximum benefit, since doing it with a bounce off of the first rep uses less leg drive and incorporates more stretch reflex. I've experienced firsthand how the initial pull off of the floor can be more difficult than the 2nd rep if you do a light tap instead of a dead-stop re-set, so starting from the top can make it easier to complete a rep.

 

Either way, it's still a deadlift, but in the truest sense, you'll get the most benefit from pulling straight off of the floor.

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Off the floor for me when I deadlift. I am a pretty firm believer in the 'treat every rep as a single'-theory for deadlifting, that is putting the weight to rest between reps. So taking the bar from the rack wouldnt make no sense .

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Its not a deadlift off the rack...you're doing grip training more than anything when you come off the rack instead of the floor.

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When I do romanian deads off the rack, I pull the bar off the rack, step back, let the bar down all the way and then count reps from there. I feel I can get the proper back alignment if I start that way and I get the same benefit as starting from the floor.

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Romanian DLs are definitely fine to do off the rack - since they never touch the ground anyway, it makes no difference if you start off the floor or the rack since only the first rep would potentially touch the ground. They're much more about a solid hamstring stretch and have a different motion than standard DLs, so either way someone pulls them, it works

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I don't know if this habit has made it over to the UK, I've never seen anyone start a regular deadlift with the bar on the rack. Off the floor everytime for me - I don't think my grip would survive the journey from the rack

 

As for belts, I'm undecided. If you're going to compete with a belt might be worth training with one. I think heavy usage can lead to weak abs more than a weak lower back though.

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I'm just starting to do deads and I'm wondering about a silly thought I had... The size of plates you use determines how low the bar will go... so... starting out my deads are weak I was thinking of using 2-25lbs plates on each side instead of a 45... this way i could get a little lower to the ground. Are the same risks implied with relation to below parallel squats? Will make a difference or should I just stick with a 45 on each side...? let me know...

 

ps. el flaco has powerful looking avatar!

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I'm just starting to do deads and I'm wondering about a silly thought I had... The size of plates you use determines how low the bar will go... so... starting out my deads are weak I was thinking of using 2-25lbs plates on each side instead of a 45... this way i could get a little lower to the ground. Are the same risks implied with relation to below parallel squats? Will make a difference or should I just stick with a 45 on each side...? let me know...

 

ps. el flaco has powerful looking avatar!

 

I started using 25# plates too.. But honestly thats damn easy. Throw 135 on there and work up. I started doing sets of 5 with 95 pounds.. added 20 pounds every workout until it started to get hard (235#) now I just add 10# each workout

 

as wobbly lifter stated, having the bar lower to the ground will make it harder. I know some people load up their work weight with lots of 25's or 35's to make it harder.

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I was thinking of using 2-25lbs plates on each side instead of a 45... this way i could get a little lower to the ground.

Not a bad idea at all, but it probably depends on where your weakness is when deadlifting. If you are slow off the floor these might be worth a go. Can also stand on a platform or take a wider (snatch) grip.

 

If coming off the floor isn't the weakness I don't think there's anything wrong with making the deadlift harder by just adding more weight

 

Here's a vid of a couple of Scottish guys doing deadlits with smaller plates:

 

ps. el flaco has powerful looking avatar!

Cheers man, checked out the pics & vids in your sig, awesome progress you've been making too

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  • 4 weeks later...

I realize I started this thread and I never responded to everyone who advised but know gthat I did read every word. I asked people at the gym as well and everyone overwhelmingly said off the floor.

 

Well to let everyone know, I did deadlifts today and I decided to listen to everyone and get the gall to do them off the floor. It is somewhat harder but not significantly.

 

The first lift off the floor feels completely different and very taxing. Maybe it is that I just have to get used to it?

 

My other question is where does that rep of lifting the bar off the floor fit into counting reps? Does the rep count only start after you lift it off the floor or is that part of the count? How are the rules in an official powerlifting meet, meaning to 1rm, do you have to lift it off the floor, bring it down and then lift it off again? Someone at the gym told me yes but it doesn't seem that way to me, anyone?

 

Also great idea with the smaller plates Troy; I have seen that done before but for some reason only with lighter lifters not the ones doing heavier poundages. Makes total sense to me. Would like to incorporate that.

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The first lift off the floor feels completely different and very taxing. Maybe it is that I just have to get used to it?

 

Two things that come to mind:

 

Make sure you are pausing long enough between reps so that you are lifting the weight dead off the floor and not bouncing it as VeganEssentials said earlier. If you are bouncing, the latter reps would be easier.

 

Pay particular attention to your form when starting your set. I find that I have a tendency to lean forward (shoulders too low, butt too high) at first and that makes the action harder (and wrong). With the weight pulling me down finishing the first rep, I can usually end in the right position and continue correctly for the next reps. On the initial rep, without the weight pulling me down, it's harder for me to just bend with my own bodyweight and get into the right starting position.

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My other question is where does that rep of lifting the bar off the floor fit into counting reps? Does the rep count only start after you lift it off the floor or is that part of the count? How are the rules in an official powerlifting meet, meaning to 1rm, do you have to lift it off the floor, bring it down and then lift it off again?

A deadlift start as you bring the bar off the floor, and is finished when you are standing fully erect with shoulders back. So a competition deadlift doesnt really have a negative phase, you have to lower the bar 'under control', which in practice means only that you need to keep your grip on it as you lower it. Of course in training there is nothing inherintly wrong with doing the negative phase, allthough many people dont since it is not really part of the lift.

 

Someone at the gym told me yes but it doesn't seem that way to me, anyone?

The guy at the gym didnt know what he was talking about.

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I'm just starting to do deads and I'm wondering about a silly thought I had... The size of plates you use determines how low the bar will go... so... starting out my deads are weak I was thinking of using 2-25lbs plates on each side instead of a 45... this way i could get a little lower to the ground. Are the same risks implied with relation to below parallel squats? Will make a difference or should I just stick with a 45 on each side...? let me know...

 

i had the same issue when doing romanian deadlifts, i felt i got much better contact with the hamstrings if i went further down but of course i didn't want the weights to touch ground.

so i stole a step board from the aerobic room in my gym http://www.fitnessgeneration.com.au/images/accessor/Healthstream/aerobic_step.jpg

and stand on it when i do deadlifts. when i do so i can go as far down as i want since it's the actual barbell that touches something first and not the weights.

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