Anyone can pile down huge amounts of food and lift a lot of weight.
Am I rite?
Below is something that has been key in being able to pull 3x body weight (595lbs at 197lbs), and over 600lbs since there after.
If you want to lift more weight you need to learn to intelligently overload from time to time.
Once someone has garnered a decent amount of strength, the next focus is on “speed” training – namely, its use for the acquisition of more maximal strength.
Instead, we have seen more carryover from using block pulls.
A block pull is simply an elevated deadlift with heights anywhere from 1-6 inches in height using blocks such as these —>
Why blocks over rack pulls? The technique is more truer to a conventional pull rather than rack pulls.
The slack remains in the bar and it must be pulled out by the lifter. This is really vital, because you want to maul these heavier weights and learn what it’s like to create a lot of force into a heavier bar.
In a 12-week range of training, We may use block pulls for 3-4 weeks.
My training partner and I generally use them the month before a meet, or even the month before hitting weights off the floor upwards towards 90-100% of our 1RM.
Comeing back to thought, every weight that we have ever pulled from the floor in the past years came off the blocks first.
We want to give you some guidelines on how to fit these in, as well as how to perform them correctly without injuring yourself.
Starting with technique:
Below is a video detailing the proper technique, as well as some common flaws in the block pull.
So you know how to do them…great!
But how do I fit block pulls in my workout routine?
Referring back, we usually place these in after eight weeks of targeted training.
In those previous eight weeks, we would recommend you work from a high volume-low intensity phase to a mid volume-mid intensity phase. Then insert the deadlift block pull after your regular deadlifts during a high intensity-low volume phase.
One way to overload with using block pulls is by adding more weight to the bar.
Example, let’s say you pull a single from the floor at 90% of your 1RM. (See calculator section here to get your correct 1RM)
You can then finish the session with pulling a single or two from the blocks at over 90% of your 1RM.
Going with this approach, the blocks should allow you to pull a weight over 100% of your predicted max from the ground.
We have seen clients successful hit 110% of a 1RM from 4.5in blocks. It is also important to note; though, that on a day where you will be over-reaching on the block pull, you’d want to make that it is your lightest day in order to max out.
All out workouts can zap your energy which can lead to killing your PR efforts.
Another way is to overload your training through the addition of more volume. This can be done either by adding reps to a set, or by adding more sets.
Whatever way you cut it, we are going to use the blocks to increase the volume, as opposed to doing more volume from the floor.
With this approach, let’s say you hit the same 90% of your 1RM from the floor. You could then go in either of two paths:
1. Hit and additional 2–3 singles from blocks at that 90%.
2. Take the 90% for a set (or sets) of 2 to 3 reps from the blocks.
In both situations, we are overloading regardless.
We tend to go more in the direction of adding reps to a single set, because overloading in the sense that you might not be able to do that from the ground.
There you have it: a single lift that has had tremendous carry-over into my maximal strength on the deadlift.
It’s helped out a lot of lifters and even our clients!
Be sure to not abuse the block pull or make into a “ego-booster,” but rather, a tool to add overload in both intensity and volume to your strategy for improving your deadlift.