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Thread: Yay, hit 400 on my DL page

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    adamm's Avatar
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    Talking Yay, hit 400 on my DL

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    Yesterday I decided to "see where I was" and I was able to do 1RM at 400lbs while deadlifting. I know it isn't a large number, but it isn't small either, so I'm pretty excited I doubt I could have made 405 though...

    --Me

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    TTBlue21's Avatar
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    Congrats! Did you do anything in particular to help? I have noticed really pushing the weight on my squats has helped immensely.

    Any tips on form? How straight are your legs? I hit a plateau a few months ago. I dropped the weight, concentrated on keeping my shoulders back and it has really helped.

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    adamm's Avatar
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    Just steady progress. I do 1 x 5 once a week, is all. But I make steady gains. I use the dead mostly for my back. I do squats, lunges and RDLs for legs, which obviously help the DL as it isn't really "just" a back exercise

    In fact, I don't do "full body work outs any more". I confess, I am on a bodybuilder type split. My first exercise I still train for strength (5 rep sets), but the assistance exercises are 8 - 10 rep sets.

    So on back day I'll do:
    1 x 5 DL
    3 x 8 bent over barbell row
    chins to failure (not yet needing to add weight)
    3 x 10 shrugs

    On leg day it is:
    Front squats
    lunges
    RDLs

    etc.

    I want strength and mass, hence this hybrid type approach. I'm making good gains though, with raw strength. The "assistance" exercises with 8 reps do seem to help my strength lifts as compared to before I started adding them in.

    --Me

    EDIT: My form is pretty good, but I'm using a standard bar, not an olympic, so I'm a bit lower to the ground than most people. I start with legs, with my hips and back locked, and then as the bar clears my knees I start pivoting at the hips. I keep my chest out (like with a back squat) to make sure I still have a decent arch in my lower back.

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    The deadlift shouldn't be a "back" exercise at all. The back is only there to stabilize the spine, along with all the other core musculature. It's the glutes and hamstrings that you should be working when you deadlift, NOT the back. There is a bit of rear delt and lat involvement. That makes it a pulling exercise, but not a "back" exercise.

    Anyway, congrats on hitting 400! I'm working my way back up there myself.
    Josh Vernier, CPT

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    Congrats. And I say that with a sour-ass envious look on my face. Deadlifting 400 lbs is one goal I've yet come up short on.

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    adamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvRevFit View Post
    The deadlift shouldn't be a "back" exercise at all. The back is only there to stabilize the spine, along with all the other core musculature. It's the glutes and hamstrings that you should be working when you deadlift, NOT the back. There is a bit of rear delt and lat involvement. That makes it a pulling exercise, but not a "back" exercise.

    Anyway, congrats on hitting 400! I'm working my way back up there myself.
    Oh, I agree that the DL heavily works the glutes and hammies, but it also works the whole back. It is a compound exercise after all. I'd say it is equally both. At the same time, I put in my "back" split, freeing up the number one slot on leg days to be squats. DLing and squatting on the same day were becoming, uhm, not practical.

    --Me

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    I'd feel the best after a DL workout. I am not sure what chemicals are released outside of endorphins and adrenaline but I'm ready to conquer the world after DLs. Every other muscle in my body started increasing after incorporating DLs (more than squats, presses).

    EvRevFit: I agree that they target the glutes and hamstrings. However, I believe you can control where the pressure is being applied based upon your form.

    Adamm: I attempted 405 a few months ago and was not able to get the bar off the ground. I knew I needed to build up more strength in my legs so I have focused on adding weight to squats. Also, I noticed I was "cheating" as my shoulders were falling forward so I concentrate on holding shoulders back.

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    EvRevFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamm View Post
    Oh, I agree that the DL heavily works the glutes and hammies, but it also works the whole back. It is a compound exercise after all. I'd say it is equally both. At the same time, I put in my "back" split, freeing up the number one slot on leg days to be squats. DLing and squatting on the same day were becoming, uhm, not practical.

    --Me
    I guess that's just a differing in opinion. It does work the whole back and if you're using higher volume it can be a little much to do both unless that's all you do. I view it as hip-dominant more than anything else because you aren't moving the muscles of the upper back through a range of motion, so it's all isometric (and the postural muscles become more dominant than the movement muscles). I may end up having to separate mine one day, but so far I have no problem squatting 280 and DLing 325 in a 5x5 protocol...so let's chalk it up to semantics and individual needs
    Josh Vernier, CPT

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    EvRevFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTBlue21 View Post
    EvRevFit: I agree that they target the glutes and hamstrings. However, I believe you can control where the pressure is being applied based upon your form.
    You shouldn't be pulling with anything other than your glutes and hamstrings. The back is only ever holding isometrically to keep your spine in alignment.
    Josh Vernier, CPT

    My Journal

    Evolution Revolution Fitness

    "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

    -Ayn Rand

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    adamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvRevFit View Post
    You shouldn't be pulling with anything other than your glutes and hamstrings. The back is only ever holding isometrically to keep your spine in alignment.
    Agree with you 100% here. I do all pulling with hips/hammies, but I certainly feel it in my back. If I do DLs followed by bent over barbell rows, the amount I can row is much lower than if I just do bent over barbell rows. That means the DLs are simply taxing/working my back.

    They absolutely work my glutes/hammies, but the above paragraph is why I have DLs as my first exercise on back day. Also, because it is a full body exercise and probably tells your body to release lots of yummie hormones, it is useful to have it on the opposite side of the week as squats. Thought that might just be in my head

    --Me

    P.S. I think your body has more endurance than mine (which isn't a surprise). I have always been "naturally strong", but I've also always had crap endurance. I started exercising originally with SS (though with bent over barbell rows instead of power cleans), but found that once the weights started getting up there it was too much for me to do squats and DLs on the same day. Or even squats and benches/presses. By halfway through a session I'd boink. A body part split is much easier for me to handle physiologically even with multiple exercises.

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