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  • Deadlift help

    So in my year-long career in deadlifting, I have hurt myself twice. The first time at 165lbs and the 2nd at 150lbs. I have been slowly working my way back up and today I did 160lbs x 5.

    The things is, I started out doing a set of 8 as I worked myself back up. They became progressively more difficult to do as I added 5lbs each week. Soon I was only able to 7. Then I could do 7 if I took a little break in between the first 5 and the last 2. Then I could only do 5. Today I could barely do 5. I do not feel like I have been becoming stronger. More like I've simply been working back up to where I left off.

    What should I do? Is there a better way for the progressive resistance-resistant person like myself to make progress in deadlifts? I have been doing pretty well with Texas method and squats, microloading 2.5lbs per week. The volume seems to really help. I don't think the microloading by itself would help me without the volume.

    I often see people in the gym doing set after set after set of deadlifts. Tons of them. I mean it's far far more than 5 reps and vastly more than 5 sets sometimes. And these people, both men and women, are deadlifting way more weight than I am. Are deadlifts really so hard to recover from that one could not make progress doing more volume?

    Can anyone suggest a good (alternative to starting strength) programming method for deadlifts that you have done?
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  • #2
    Actually I think they are only THAT hard to recover from when you have sufficient muscle to be wrecked. If not, or if your form is lacking, or even your neuromuscular adaptation isn't quite there, then I would say you might be able to train em more frequently. Do you do several "warmup sets"? Thats where I get my volume when it comes to deadlift.

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    • #3
      Do you ever practice deadlifting over your 1 rep max doing partials in a power rack ?

      T NATION | Half-Pulls - Not Half-Assed
      Last edited by OldSchhool; 11-25-2013, 07:00 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
        Do you ever practice deadlifting over your 1 rep max doing partials in a power rack ?

        T NATION | Half-Pulls - Not Half-Assed
        I was going to suggest the same. I have not tried it myself, but I read a convincing argument on Eric Cressey's blog:
        How to Use Block Pulls to Improve Your Deadlift | Eric Cressey | High Performance Training, Personal Training

        I haven't tried it myself personally, but I want to work them in. My max on deadlift hasn't increased in a long time. I used 5/3/1 for a long time (and still go back to it on occasion) and while it helped me build some muscle, I didn't really see huge increases in strength as measured by 1RM.

        An alternative theory is that your form might not be perfect. This is especially convincing since you mention hurting your back in the past. Maybe your body doesn't want to lift more because it knows that pain might be imminent. Or maybe it has more to do with poor leverage from poor form.

        Good luck! Keep us posted on your progress.

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        • #5
          I just do the regular warm-up sets and regular deadlifts. The warm-ups don't feel all that heavy until the last warm-up set. It seems like I ought to be capable of a day of doing that last warm-up set weight with volume. Does anyone do that?

          I don't think doing partials would be valuable. It is hard enough for me to get enough practice doing a full regular deadlift. Seeing as how very little of my deadlifting career has been with the big plates, I think it's important to do the full deadlift. Most of my deadlift career has been partial or otherwise not a full and correct basic deadlift. 135 was my last warm-up set weight today. Basically, today was the 3rd workout in my entire life life where more than one set was with the full-height plates.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            What day do you do deadlifts? It can be hard to deadlift heavy after already doing squats. And where does it feel most difficult when moving the bar (getting it off the ground, moving it around your knees, etc)?

            I do 5/3/1, currently. When I do sets of 5, I'll do sets with 75, 80, and then 85% of my max.
            In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

            This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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            • #7
              i am just back from the gym and just started deading this week again as i the dog had tweaked one of my little intercostal muscles. while i was lunging there was a chick there who deadlifted 130kgs. i nearly didnt bother after that lol we dont do SS or any of those sorts of programs so disclaimer there but what we do is. i train non stop for an hour usually and throw in a few of the big lifts along with everything else. so current program, i do heavy lunges and farmer's walks to begin with supersetted. i accidentally had to dead lift 72kgs as i farmers walk 36kg dumbbells and they were on the ground which was good as i have had an 8 week break off deadlifting. when i have done that i do stiff legged deadlift on a step with 30kg. it is more a weighted stretch than anything strenuous. i superset the stiff legged deads with hamstring curls. then i do heavy deads. start at 70kgs x 2 and then add on 5kgs. 75kgs x2. then go to 80 kgs x1 and then 85kgs x 2 as the first one was not quite the whole way. then i go off and do bench press, cables etc. i mix it up a lot so i am always progressing in something. this week i got up to 37.5kg on the bench and almost did 40kgs. my trainer assisted with his little finger so i prob could have done 39kgs on my own. next week we will add 2.5kgs onto the deadlift if i can do the 85 kgs first go and try for 40kgs on the last set of bench press.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                So in my year-long career in deadlifting, I have hurt myself twice. The first time at 165lbs and the 2nd at 150lbs. I have been slowly working my way back up and today I did 160lbs x 5.

                The things is, I started out doing a set of 8 as I worked myself back up. They became progressively more difficult to do as I added 5lbs each week. Soon I was only able to 7. Then I could do 7 if I took a little break in between the first 5 and the last 2. Then I could only do 5. Today I could barely do 5. I do not feel like I have been becoming stronger. More like I've simply been working back up to where I left off.

                What should I do? Is there a better way for the progressive resistance-resistant person like myself to make progress in deadlifts? I have been doing pretty well with Texas method and squats, microloading 2.5lbs per week. The volume seems to really help. I don't think the microloading by itself would help me without the volume.

                I often see people in the gym doing set after set after set of deadlifts. Tons of them. I mean it's far far more than 5 reps and vastly more than 5 sets sometimes. And these people, both men and women, are deadlifting way more weight than I am. Are deadlifts really so hard to recover from that one could not make progress doing more volume?

                Can anyone suggest a good (alternative to starting strength) programming method for deadlifts that you have done?
                How did you hurt yourself SB?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just ignore what other people are doing to train. My goal is to not get injured. Every injury is a setback. I'm in it for the long haul. I do what I can do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                    I don't think doing partials would be valuable. It is hard enough for me to get enough practice doing a full regular deadlift. Seeing as how very little of my deadlifting career has been with the big plates, I think it's important to do the full deadlift. Most of my deadlift career has been partial or otherwise not a full and correct basic deadlift. 135 was my last warm-up set weight today. Basically, today was the 3rd workout in my entire life life where more than one set was with the full-height plates.
                    Originally posted by Jefferson1775 View Post
                    What day do you do deadlifts? It can be hard to deadlift heavy after already doing squats. And where does it feel most difficult when moving the bar (getting it off the ground, moving it around your knees, etc)?
                    If you are having the most trouble getting the weight started off the ground, then I argue that it might be even more important to use blocks/a rack to elevate the weight when you are doing your warmup sets with the shorter plates. Maybe you are not getting enough practice at the 45-lb plate-height range.

                    I guess in theory pulling more of your reps from a deficit (shorter plates) should make the sets with taller plates feel lighter. But you also need lots of reps to "groove" your lifting pattern.

                    Here is another Cressey article discussing optimum form for different bodies and mobility levels. Maybe you would be better served by trap bar or sumo if mobility is an issue:
                    How to Deadlift: Which Variation is Right for You? - Part 1 | Eric Cressey | High Performance Training, Personal Training

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                      I just ignore what other people are doing to train. My goal is to not get injured. Every injury is a setback. I'm in it for the long haul. I do what I can do.
                      +1000. It took me a long time to learn and accept this. I'm still learning to a degree. I compete with myself and want to push myself sometimes, even when I know my joints/CNS/recovery might suffer. But it is always better to leave some in the tank than to push yourself beyond your limits in an unsafe manner.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                        Actually I think they are only THAT hard to recover from when you have sufficient muscle to be wrecked. If not, or if your form is lacking, or even your neuromuscular adaptation isn't quite there, then I would say you might be able to train em more frequently. Do you do several "warmup sets"? Thats where I get my volume when it comes to deadlift.
                        Really agree with this but also, sbhikes, your previous workouts may have been too light in intensity to drive a strength adaptation, despite the extra volume. You didn't fail, you recover, then add weight next time, even if you felt like this was your limit set of 5.
                        The Champagne of Beards

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                        • #13
                          Are deadlifts really so hard to recover from that one could not make progress doing more volume?
                          We do a lot of different variations on deadlifts/accessory lifts. At 260, my 1 RM for a deadlift is middle of the road for a woman at my gym.

                          We do a mix of :
                          working to 1/3/5 rep maxes
                          large numbers of light reps (crossfit workouts)
                          accessory work- good mornings
                          lift varients of 1/3/5 rep maxes- deficit pulls, pauses (lift it an inch or two off the ground, count to 3, complete the lift), banded deadlifts- they all tax/work different parts of the lift.

                          We also do a variation where we elevate the bar a couple of inches (the bar gets set on a stack of plates to raise it). Maybe that would also help you.

                          It also could be that deadlift is going to take you a while to improve at.

                          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                          • #14
                            Please understand that I am not having difficulty doing a deadlift. My entire experience with Starting Strength and lifting in general has been that something was missing about it for me. Recently I started doing Texas method and it has been like a miracle. It feels like I'm finally doing something that gives me real strength and real progress.

                            I feel with the deadlift, since it does not follow the TM model, that I'm experiencing what I have always had, which I can only describe as a sort of false progress. Yes, I can add more to the bar but as I get closer and closer to some limit it simply gets very hard until I get to a point where it is just too hard and I cannot do it. The volume squats have shown me that it's actually possible to get stronger and it has shown me how different that feels from this false progress.

                            Looking around the gym it appears that a lot of other people do high volume deadlifts, so why not me? Seaweed and Magnolia do lots of volume and variations, so why not me? You really can't argue with their success. Maybe it works better for women to work more than one pathway toward strength and muscle.

                            I think I will give it a try and see how it goes.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                              Please understand that I am not having difficulty doing a deadlift. My entire experience with Starting Strength and lifting in general has been that something was missing about it for me. Recently I started doing Texas method and it has been like a miracle. It feels like I'm finally doing something that gives me real strength and real progress.

                              I feel with the deadlift, since it does not follow the TM model, that I'm experiencing what I have always had, which I can only describe as a sort of false progress. Yes, I can add more to the bar but as I get closer and closer to some limit it simply gets very hard until I get to a point where it is just too hard and I cannot do it. The volume squats have shown me that it's actually possible to get stronger and it has shown me how different that feels from this false progress.

                              Looking around the gym it appears that a lot of other people do high volume deadlifts, so why not me? Seaweed and Magnolia do lots of volume and variations, so why not me? You really can't argue with their success. Maybe it works better for women to work more than one pathway toward strength and muscle.

                              I think I will give it a try and see how it goes.
                              [s]I'm not familiar with Texas Method. Could you use it with the deadlift?[/s]
                              I read the T-Nation article on Texas Method and I see that it prescribes only 5 reps of deadlift per week. Ok, I agree that they are taxing, but I think a little more volume would do more harm than good. Go for it!

                              Also, this reminds me of a Robb Wolf podcast that I heard a long time ago where he talked about how some people respond better to higher reps/lower weight, and some respond better to lower reps/higher weight based on whether they are fast or slow-twitch dominant:
                              DNA Dictating Training - Episode 144
                              Last edited by yodiewan; 11-26-2013, 12:27 PM.

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