Monday, February 6, 2012

Deadlifting From Blocks

Block pulls are a fave of mine, and I will be using them in a cycle leading up to the meet in April in conjunction with pulls from the floor.

This past weekend I went to Home Depot to grab what I needed to pull from blocks.  I prefer pulling from blocks rather than the rack because it feels more similar to floor deadlifts.  In a rack the bar is bent and some of the inertia is taken out of the bar because of that.  So there's really two reasons to pull from blocks rather than the rack.

I picked up the shit in this video from Home Depot for around $55 all told.  I had them cut it at the store to save myself the trouble of fucking with it when I got home.



  1. Paul,

    A few questions about this, because I have a suspicion I always fuck it up and that's why I see no appreciable gains from block deadlifts.

    1) Do you do them with the purpose of starting in a position where you're at a mechanical disadvantage, or with the intent overloading the poundage around your 1RM (or both)?

    2) How would you work this into Strong-15 without messing up the meet prep? Add sets, do some sets off the blocks or all of them? 7 weeks out, so this might not be the best time to get creative.

    3) Should you start doing these when you stall out on regular deads, or when you're already kicking ass?

    4) How long to run a block deadlift phase for best results?

    I'm well over the question allotment for the month, but these drive me insane because they are good in theory but I can't seem to transfer that awesomeness to the floor.

    Thx much.

  2. 1. Yes. To both.

    2. I have created a cycle for them where I use them in conjunction with speed pulls but over time the speed pulls turn into "normal pulls" if you will. Again, this will all be laid out later.

    3. If your dead is kicking ass just ride it out.

    4. 6-9 weeks.

    5. I go over all the reasons that they don't transfer to the floor for most people. Mainly because people change their leverages to be good at block pulls, rather than using block pulls to get good at deadlifting. You still have to pull from the floor while you are doing block pulls to get the carryover. Second, you have to be in the same position that you are when the pull from the floor gets to that point (where the block pulls are at).

    If you get the height right, then you should feel more spring from the floor because you can get the hips and legs more involved than from the block. The block is great at building the erectors better than the regular pull, IMO, because it takes some of the leg drive out.

    Don't worry about the monthly allotment.

  3. Awesome. Thanks for the reply. Looking at the video, I think my setup was always bar too high up the chins. Probably let the ego get the best of me, to the detriment of accomplishing anything worth a damn.

  4. Nice set up Paul!
    Have you ever tried pause deads? Seems like they accomplish very similar goals as block deads, with a little more TUT in that weaker position. Just wondering how you thought they compared

  5. I think you're talking about halting deadlifts. Yes I've done. Not a big fan.

  6. Nice work! May have to build me some of these. I've been stacking plates to make blocks in my gym, and it's okay but there's a ridge around the hole in the plates and the bar kinda rolls off it half the time and messes up my rhythm. The stacks are about 5". Repping out from this height absolutely fries my glutes.

    Great stuff, as usual Paul.


  7. Yup. That's the thing. You can really get the hams and glutes more involved here, or you can use it for the erectors. That's the great thing about block pulls. Where with deadlifts you need to be more concerned about your technique to move the weight, block pulls can be used for that or more like romanians.

  8. your homegym looks awesome
    why do you even go to the comercial one

  9. eye candy.......No I like using the adductor machine once meet training starts.

  10. Question:
    Do these have more carry over than rack pulls for deadlifts?

    1. It all depends on what height you pull from. I think these do however because you're still pull the bar from the "floor". In the rack the bar bends and you can sort of position yourself under it better. Which is actually bad.

  11. Paul, great site you have here. I found your video on building deadlift blocks as I'm trying to do the same thing---GREAT idea you have.

    One question though--how did you attach the 2 4x6s together? Glue, bolts, duct tape, etc.??


    1. I didn't. I just sat them down side by side. They don't move on my floor.