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  1. #1
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    Default life and death programming question

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    Mark, you recommended Dr. Sullivan book to me sometime ago. I am doing intermediate programming from his book. Stuck on deadlift. What is happening here is I do light day and heavy day. Light day on Tuesday goes like this: light squat, press, weighted chins. Heavy day goes Squat, Bench and deadlift.
    All lifts go 3 reps on one week, 4 on the next and 5 reps on the next week. after that I go up in weight and do 3, 4, 5 again. I also do back off set for deadlift 10% or so lighter weight x 5 reps . Reason for this question is everything is going up like it's supposed to but the deadlift. My form is pretty decent and have been looked at by SS coaches.
    Deadlift is only 325. I am one month on this weight and can't move on. 2 weeks ago I did 3 reps, last week 4 and last time only 2reps. Even backoff set did not go too well. What do I do to make this go up? Do I add another lift on the light day to get more stress? I weigh 230, 52 years old. Eat enough, try to sleep enough and rest between set enough. What say you? Do I swap deadlift with chins? Do deadlift after light squat and do chins after heavy squat? my squat is nothing to brag about either. 270x5.
    Really appreciate it. Leo
    This is the 2 reps instead of 5 after all the eating and sleeping Deadlift 2 reps instead of 5 - YouTube

  2. #2
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    Stop doing the backoff set.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by therussianrocket View Post
    Deadlift is only 325. I am one month on this weight and can't move on. . . .
    Couldn't tell in the video which grip you used (or if you used chalk). Try alternate grip, if you were using double-overhand or hook. Chalk is a must.

    Coach Santana wrote an excellent article on improving the deadlift, which helped me a lot:

    Artificially Weak Deadlifts, Part 1: Perception vs Reality | Robert Santana

    There was extensive discussion of the article in the forums (including by me):

    Artificially Weak Deadlifts, Part 1: Perception vs Reality | Robert Santana

  4. #4
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    Brilliant. I don't think i would have gotten this answer from anyone else. I was thinking of additions and not subtractions. You need to be cloned immediately! Thank you so much. I think this will do it. I was nicely moving forward now that I am thinking back until the backset was introduced.

    My grep was never an issue. Coming from wrestling background I can hold on to weights like this no problem so far. It's lack of progress. Sitting on the same weight for a month is what is unconstitutional. I believe Rip has solve it for me. He needs to compile yet another book of short sentences answers that are pure gold.

  5. #5
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    Leo,

    I'm similar to you at 230lbs/53 years old and I've stuck at this point before.

    What is your warmup scheme for the deadlift right now that you're working on 320lbs? Like with the backoff set, it's quite possible that you're introducing too much volume during those warmups, a concept that J. Killmond laid out for me a few months back.

    Bill

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    Leo,

    I'm similar to you at 230lbs/53 years old and I've stuck at this point before.

    What is your warmup scheme for the deadlift right now that you're working on 320lbs? Like with the backoff set, it's quite possible that you're introducing too much volume during those warmups, a concept that J. Killmond laid out for me a few months back.

    Bill
    I did 4 reps with 325 today and was hoping for 5. But last week I was totally dead. only 2 reps.
    Deadlift
    135 x 5 x 2
    185 x 5
    235 x 3
    285 x 1
    325 x 4
    Thank you Bill. I hear rip saying 500 squat and 700 deadlift. I don't know how to get there before I die.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by therussianrocket View Post
    I did 4 reps with 325 today and was hoping for 5. But last week I was totally dead. only 2 reps.
    Deadlift
    135 x 5 x 2
    185 x 5
    235 x 3
    285 x 1
    325 x 4
    Thank you Bill. I hear rip saying 500 squat and 700 deadlift. I don't know how to get there before I die.
    First off, that 500 squat/700 deadlift is a great goal if you are in your 20s/30s. Read through the training forums for all of the guys who have been at this for years, are in their 50s/60s, and still won't get there. It doesn't mean that you aren't that unicorn, but tempering expectations might be a good start.

    If you read the articles that J. Killmond linked above about the artificially weak Deadlift and then read the forum discussions for each, you'll see Coach Santana talking about how the heavy squat and heavy deadlift are exhausting the same muscles. Unfortunately, the deadlift is the first to stall. And with the warmup scheme that you just did, you're telling me that you are using too much volume in your warmups, leaving little gas in the tank for your work set, which is the important set. It all goes back to an important point from Barbell Prescription - at our age, volume is not our friend if done without careful consideration.

    Here's a comment I had this week on another 50's lifter who wasn't able to pull 405 like he was hoping. Note the warmup scheme and the total tonnage for what he did and what I suggest. For comparison, your tonnage for your warmup sets (above) was 3,265lbs. Chances are, you don't need that much, unless deadlifts are the only thing you are doing that day.

    Whatever other lifts (warmups + work sets) that you already did during that workout have your body warmed up. By the time you get to deadlifts, the deadlift warmup reps are really just getting your body and brain primed for that heavy workset. Even though you're warmed up from the other lifts, your brain and system aren't primed to just pull 325, which is why you do the minimal deadlift warmups to get ready.

    In the link I just posted, there's also another link to a discussion that J Killmond and I had earlier this year on this topic. And that doesn't even touch on programming, specifically doing your deadlifts on your light squat day, etc.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    First off, that 500 squat/700 deadlift is a great goal if you are in your 20s/30s. Read through the training forums for all of the guys who have been at this for years, are in their 50s/60s, and still won't get there. It doesn't mean that you aren't that unicorn, but tempering expectations might be a good start.

    If you read the articles that J. Killmond linked above about the artificially weak Deadlift and then read the forum discussions for each, you'll see Coach Santana talking about how the heavy squat and heavy deadlift are exhausting the same muscles. Unfortunately, the deadlift is the first to stall. And with the warmup scheme that you just did, you're telling me that you are using too much volume in your warmups, leaving little gas in the tank for your work set, which is the important set. It all goes back to an important point from Barbell Prescription - at our age, volume is not our friend if done without careful consideration.

    Here's a comment I had this week on another 50's lifter who wasn't able to pull 405 like he was hoping. Note the warmup scheme and the total tonnage for what he did and what I suggest. For comparison, your tonnage for your warmup sets (above) was 3,265lbs. Chances are, you don't need that much, unless deadlifts are the only thing you are doing that day.

    Whatever other lifts (warmups + work sets) that you already did during that workout have your body warmed up. By the time you get to deadlifts, the deadlift warmup reps are really just getting your body and brain primed for that heavy workset. Even though you're warmed up from the other lifts, your brain and system aren't primed to just pull 325, which is why you do the minimal deadlift warmups to get ready.

    In the link I just posted, there's also another link to a discussion that J Killmond and I had earlier this year on this topic. And that doesn't even touch on programming, specifically doing your deadlifts on your light squat day, etc.
    Bill, thank you so much for a generous comprehensive answer. I will make all the mods asap. I pulled my 325 x 5 last friday like I was supposed to. All I did was to remove backoff set @300 pounds the week earlier. I know there will never be 500 deadlift in my life however I always always aim to jump higher than I think I can. Since I bought my own gym at home I feel like an ape already. It is so much easier to work with ladders and heavy things when your deadlift and squat are 100 pounds stronger. I am thinking now if I can do squat passed 3 plates and deadlift passed 4 it should be good enough. I also had long history of backpain and such pain I was bed ridden for weeks at a time thinking I am cripple now. Those days I believe well behind me and all because some brilliant guy in Texas bought a gym and decided to write a book.

  9. #9
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    The way I approach it now based on J. Killmond's suggestion ("using age as an excuse to do less warming up when appropriate"), plus using Phil Megger's "Plates and Quarters" choice for warmup weights.
    135x4
    185x2
    225x1
    275x1
    315x1
    365x1
    Makes perfect sense. Can't wait to try. thanks

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Skip 185.

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