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What makes Deadlifts so fatiguing?

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  • What makes Deadlifts so fatiguing?

    We did deadlifts yesterday and I was shocked by how wiped out I was upon completion. Just utterly exhausted in a way that no other activity tired me out. Much worse than squat day, worse than a Met-Con, and worse than distance running or even sprints. Just full on exhaust.

    Yesterday was a particularly hard day- about 6 or 7 sets of 3 reps with weights from 95 to 215 (working our way up to a 3 rep max). But anytime we do deadlifts as the main focus it just wipes me out.

    So what gives? What is it that makes these so taxing?

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  • #2
    Much greater tax on the CNS

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    • #3
      Oh, lol, hoping that is beneficial because I am still exhausted.

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      Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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      • #4
        I use a trap bar when I deadlift. Yeah it's exhausting. Right now I can only load 70 lbs on it but I can full squat more than what I can deadlift.

        Not to hijack the thread but how much does the the trap bar weigh? I'm thinking like 20lbs?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cayla29s View Post
          I use a trap bar when I deadlift. Yeah it's exhausting. Right now I can only load 70 lbs on it but I can full squat more than what I can deadlift.

          Not to hijack the thread but how much does the the trap bar weigh? I'm thinking like 20lbs?
          They're all different. Get on the scale without it, then with it, and subtract yourself.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
            They're all different. Get on the scale without it, then with it, and subtract yourself.
            lol...ok good idea. I will do that today when I go to the gym

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            • #7
              Exercises that hits lower back hard with a heavy load and few reps taxes CNS hard and need more recovery. People with long femurs and a relative short torso can get the same drained feeling also from squatting...
              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

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              • #8
                The deadlift is more tiring because you are lifting it from a dead stop. There is no stored kinetic energy in the barbell just sitting there on the floor. Other lifts have stored kinetic energy, usually in your tendons or in the stretch reflex, that helps you generate momentum.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #9
                  Bent over dumbbell rows, rest-pause style, is from the dead stop also, but they are usually far less taxing than deadlifts. Many dead lifters also uses the floor to bounce the weight, instead of resetting it, so it is often only the first rep that goes from the dead position. The reason is taxing of CNS and that lower back muscle fibers uses longer time to recover than other body parts...
                  Last edited by Gorbag; 07-30-2013, 04:05 PM.
                  "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                  - Schopenhauer

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                    Oh, lol, hoping that is beneficial because I am still exhausted.
                    Oh, it is! And its the main reason I go heavy. Working in the Power range requires a lot of your nervous system. Neurological adaptation is applicable to all areas of life, health, and transfers directly to strength.

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                    • #11
                      Weak CNS = eat more brains.
                      Yes, I'm a real person.

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                      • #12
                        I like to do my deadlifts early in my workout as I find it really raises the pulse rate/makes me sweat, which carries over well into my session.

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                        • #13
                          You should really ask why it is NOT fatiguing!


                          From Wiki:
                          The deadlift is a compound movement that works a variety of muscles groups:

                          The grip strength (finger flexors) and the lower back (erector spinae) work isometrically to keep the bar held in the hands and to keep the spine from rounding.
                          The gluteus maximus and hamstrings work to extend the hip joint.
                          The quadriceps work to extend the knee joint.
                          The adductor magnus works to stabilize the legs.

                          The deadlift activates a large number of individual muscles:
                          Rectus abdominis (under aponeurosis)
                          Abdominal external oblique muscle
                          Abdominal internal oblique muscle
                          Iliocostalis
                          Intertransversarii laterales lumborum
                          Latissimus dorsi
                          Levator scapulae
                          Longissimus
                          Quadratus lumborum
                          Rhomboideus major
                          Serratus posterior superior
                          Serratus posterior inferior
                          Splenius cervicis
                          Teres Major
                          Trapezius muscle
                          Quadriceps
                          Rectus femoris
                          Vastus lateralis
                          Vastus intermedius
                          Vastus medialis
                          Biceps femoris muscle
                          long head
                          short head
                          Semitendinosus
                          Semimembranosus
                          Gluteal muscles
                          Gluteus maximus
                          Gluteus minimus
                          Piriformis
                          Superior gemellus
                          Flexor digitorum profundus
                          Few but ripe.

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                          • #14
                            I always wondered the same. Squats do the same for me as well. If I start with dead lifts or squats my bench press sucks, I feel so tired to complete them. If I start with the bench and end with dead lifts my dead lifts don't suffer. I guess now I know why.

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                            • #15
                              I switched program, and it calls for SLDL instead of DLs. I do not get the exhaustion, so I am planning to follow the SLDL with 1 heavy DL next time. I often experience this feeling that the body just falls off the bones after doing DLs.

                              I always wondered the same. Squats do the same for me as well. If I start with dead lifts or squats my bench press sucks, I feel so tired to complete them. If I start with the bench and end with dead lifts my dead lifts don't suffer. I guess now I know why.
                              It is actually one of the recommendations to do the upper body lifts first if SQTs waste your shoulders. DLs are always recommended as the last of the big compounds. Some programs put SQTs and DL on the same day, but it might actually be more beneficial to just pick one!
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