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Thread: I can't figure out how to program Deadlifts

  1. #11
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    My squat programming is included, but I suppose it is rather hard to distill in this format.

    Monday:
    Squat 5x5 ramped to a top set
    ex.:
    205x5
    255x5
    305x5
    355x5
    405x5

    Wednesday:
    1x5 Deadlift
    ex.:
    205x5
    275x3
    345x2
    405x5

    Friday:
    Squat: 5x5 ramped to a top set (+5 from Monday)
    ex.:
    210x5
    260x5
    310x5
    360x5
    410x5

  2. #12
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    The thing that helped me most with deadlifts was doing them more (same is true for press). I know most people dont like this idea but I read Power to the people and decided to give it a go and it really worked for me. Of course the price is that I now only squat twice a week.

    Right now I am doing deadlift 3 days a week

    Monday
    1x5x180kg
    1x5x160kg

    Wednesday
    1x3x190kg
    1x5x160kg

    Friday
    1x5x160kg
    1x1x200kg <-- i switched these last two around because I couldn't make 200 after the 190
    1x3x190kg

    I had 6 months without any training at all and have only been back a few months so my lifts aren't great at the moment but this programming allows me to deadlift more often without burning out as it cycles volume and intensity across the week. I have actually been doing this as LP. I just add 5kg to each lift every week.

  3. #13
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    That's what has been so tough about this for me. I can't tell if it is a more or less type of problem. It seems to be less because I go from 5 to 0 so often. Perhaps, I'm just working to close to 5RMs too often. I don't know. Normally, as a novice, it is really easy to tell whether you need more volume or less volume.

  4. #14

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    Hey Tom, 5 bucks it's the volume you're doing on squats. You're basically working up close to a 5RM twice a week from squats, and if that's working that's awesome. However it means that you're spending your energy there are don't really have enough to keep progressing deadlifts as well. Also if you note the times you didn't squat for a while your deadlift session was a PR. That being said, if you don't want to change the progression I would 1. suggest switching to multiple singles instead of a set of 5. You can keep comparable volume (IE 3 or 5 singles), but it will allow you to keep moving the weight. 2. Don't expect your deadlift to shoot up with this setup. Once a week is usually maintanence. You'll need to switch programs to something move deadlift focused to get it shooting up again.

    That's my two cents. I could be wrong but it should at least give you a point to start experimenting from.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Narvaez View Post
    That's what has been so tough about this for me. I can't tell if it is a more or less type of problem. It seems to be less because I go from 5 to 0 so often. Perhaps, I'm just working to close to 5RMs too often. I don't know. Normally, as a novice, it is really easy to tell whether you need more volume or less volume.
    On one level this seems prettys traight forward to me. Not deadlifiting often enough (at least in the context of this conversation and the time frames being discussed) isnt going to see you go from being able to do 5 to 0 at the same weight. Such a differential is very cleary an issue of incomplete recovery. What complicates this is you have to factor in the effects of your squats on this recovery process. You may be a "novice" in terms of the way we use it, but you also have to accept that squatting 400+ produces very different results and affects recovery differently than it does for a novice doing 200lbs for sets across. Personally I find that I have far less wiggle room and margin for error if I'm to squeeze out a top deadlift perfomance compared to the circumstances in which I can squat well. It seems reaonable to me then that, relatively speaking, you are still a novice on the squat, but you have an absolute level of performance that limits your performance on a different lift that while it shares many of the aspects of recovery with squats is less forgiving when done without perfect recovery.

    Maybe you could switch to haltings and rack pulls while you try and eek out your last bits of NLP on squats? Maybe you could throw in a light squat week every third week or so where you focus on hitting a heavy deadlift?

  6. #16
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    Good points, LJ. I'll probably just have to accept that while I'm squatting 2-3x per week, at the weights I'm squatting, that I'm not going to be able to get predictable deadlift results because I'll never be going into a deadlift workout with full recovery. For now, I'm going to reset my deadlift. I anticipate that I'll probably be done with my squat LP soon enough. As long as I'm getting 10lbs on squats per week, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. I'm hoping that the base I build from squats will eventually carryover to deadlifts once conditions are more favorable (squatting 1x/wk or something).

  7. #17

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    Tom, are you possibly mixing plates that are metric and english? I only ask because a guy I know was completely confused about his DLs and determined he was mixing plates in pounds and kgs and thought they were all in pounds. No kidding - I am not making this up. I figured it out after the 3rd work out though.

  8. #18

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    Tom, adjusting the rep scheme might help (you don't need to keep doing fives to build a thick back), but I think, more importantly, there's utility in holding a weight steady for a couple weeks or more. As the bar speed increases and things start feeling smoother, just add a rep(s) or add some weight to the bar... rinse and repeat. I've recently found that pulling weekly helps me stay better adapted to the systemic and muscular stress of deadlifting; even if I'm not chasing PRs every week, my deadlift numbers have become much less erratic, and more importantly, I haven't regressed.

    I think the pink elephant in these data points is that you have extremely high expectations of yourself - you've been taking big jumps on your deadlift increases, trying to keep pace with the squat progress. I respect your work ethic, I just think you've been a tad number fixated - its understandable, given your ambitions in the sport, but deadlifts are a stubborn lift built slowly... and they don't seem to respond to bodyweight gains nearly as well as squats do.

  9. #19
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    Have you ever used rack pulls in your routine? It looks like you're squatting very close to the same weights as you deadlift, so assuming that your squats are technically good, that leaves back, hip extensors, and grip (, and possibly technique), as things that might be holding back your deadlift.

    Also, you should try not to go too long between deadlift days. Or if you do, you should be doing some light or medium pulling stuff in between.

  10. #20
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    I don't think holding the weight steady would have worked because my problem was that I'd go from a 5 rep PR to ZERO reps. That would imply that I basically couldn't repeat the weight the next week even if I tried.

    I also don't think it has anything to do with a weak muscle group or anything like that. Weaknesses in lifts show up when you hit a sticking point. I don't have a sticking point when I fail a deadlift. They just don't come off the ground. The weight feels much heavier than it should. Even my warm-ups feel magnitudes heavier than they did the previous week. It's an overtraining thing through and through. In fact, the very few times I've stalled on deadlifts without getting zero reps, I failed at lockout or I'd hitch the weight at lockout and have to repeat the next week.

    I now squat ~30lbs more than my best pull (425x5 vs 396x5), but it is what it is. My squat just keeps going up without a hitch and I've only recently reset my deadlift and moved onto the other things. For now, while I'm still using novice programming, I'm going to just deadlift every other two weeks and see if that works.

    Eventually, I'm just going to stop squatting 2-3x per week as I believe that is the real reason why I was never recovered for deadlifting. In fact, I don't even know if my strategy to reduce the pulls to 2x/month will be effective for that same reason. It takes a solid 72 hours for me to recover from squats nowadays. I'm going to play with Madcows and maybe even TM style programming after LP, but, like I said, eventually I'm moving to a split and I believe that is when I will see the most rapid deadlift gains.

    I don't have bad anthropometry or anything like that. My hands are smallish, but my arms are longish and I can hold on to 405+ for at least a minute straight without losing grip. I passed both the coaching and lifting portion of the SS Seminar. My squat technique is pretty good, but I have issues like anyone else at PR weights. As for deadlifts, I can get very sloppy at times and just kind of go crazy. It actually tends to work better, but it is something that I'm going to eliminate this training cycle.
    Last edited by Tom Narvaez; 04-25-2012 at 02:17 PM.

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