The other day I made a post about how I was deadlifting with a deficit in the gym on my Facebook page. I got a question from a friend of mine asking what I meant by "deficit". Here is my best attempt at explaining.
A deficit with regards to the deadlift can mean that you are elevated in relation to the bar higher than you normally would be, usually with a platform of some sort. It can also mean that the bar is lower than it would normally be in relation to you, usually by using smaller diameter plates.
I chose to go the lower in relation to me, and stacked my bar up with thirty-five pound plates instead of the usual forty-five pound plates. I just wanted to change my deadlift up a little bit, and decided to go with a deficit for lifting.
Now to the why of the deficit. The short answer is that it provides an increase in the range of motion that you have to move the bar through. In the case of deadlifts, this can help to strengthen your lower back through a greater range of motion. This can be of use for someone like me who has strong legs, but I tend to get stuck in the hole when squatting, or I have trouble standing the bar up after I've gotten it off the floor.
After crunching the numbers, the deficit I used was only about one point five inches, which doesn't seem significant. However, it made three hundred eighty-five pounds feel a lot heavier than normal. Adding a deficit to your deadlift can be a good way to target a weak area of your posterior chain, as well as just a way to change up the stimulus that you are using when doing deadlifts. Typically, you see people use a raised platform, also about one point five inches.
Adding a deficit to your deadlifts will most likely help you bust through a plateau, and so I highly recommend it.