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Thread: Am I Deadlifting too much?

  1. #1
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    Am I Deadlifting too much?

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    Hey dudes

    So I'm dead lifting 102.5 kgs today, not much, I know but hey.

    The problem is, I'm trying to do 1 set of 5 but for the life of me my work sets can never be a consecutive 5 reps. I have to do 1, MAYBE 2 reps before I have to stop, take a 5-10 second break, then bang out another. Until I hit 5.
    Does this mean I'm using too much weight?

    Also, afterwards, is my back supposed to feel, well, stiff or even slightly sore? I try not to bend, and I've got some form videos on my phone that show my back in good position however I still sometimes get this weird stiffness, even soreness, accompanying an epic back pump. This feeling goes away if I hang off a pull-up bar for traction.

    One more question, when in the starting position, should I actively try and keep my shoulders down and back?

  2. #2
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    When you say traction fixes it, it makes me think you might have a disk issue in your back.

  3. #3
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    From your description it sounds like you might not have perfect form. It's normal to get a pump in your back muscles, but it shouldn't feel sore. If you post your videos, we can try to help spot anything wrong.

    Eric Cressey also has some great instructions on the deadlift. He posted one recently about not extending your lower back too much (most people flex too much but some have the opposite problem). Similarly you can pull your shoulders too far back. I think a more accurate cue is to externally rotate your humerus in your shoulder while keeping the shoulder in a more or less neutral position:
    Rotate it down. | Katy Says

  4. #4
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    As to the 5 to 10 second rest I don't see a problem. I usually take 1-2 breaths between each rep to reset my valsalva. So if your more in the 5 second range your fine....Personally I could not ek out any more rep with a 10 vs a 5 second break.... If I'm gonna fail with only 5 I'm gonna fail even if I take 10 so I don't think it matters one bit.

    For the shoulders I pull em back and draw my shoulderblades down toward my arse as cues. And yes like yodi said about that slight rotation at the humerus/shoulder.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 10-26-2013 at 09:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a form or grip issue. What grip are you using for your deadlift?

    If you fix your form and you still can't, because of grip strength or otherwise, you're probably using too much weight. Be careful not to overdo it, as risking lifelong injuries are not worth it.
    Salube Up! - SalubriousU

  6. #6
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    Sometimes I need a couple seconds just to breathe. Sometimes for squats, too. And for deadlifts, sometimes I stop and do the set-up all over again. I've heard that this still counts toward the 5 reps. Better to be safe than sorry.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  7. #7
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    Like others have mentioned (and theres another thread started yesterday about pain) if it hurts stop and address the issue. Sounds like a form problem - I had a similar problem, got really bad tailbone pain from deads. Deloaded and addressed form - no pain now.

    Regarding your question about rep pauses -- I refuse to do touch-and-go deadlifts. With my history of back pain taking one to two breaths between reps to regroup and reset to ensure proper form is more valuable. I see some very sloppy work from people doing speed deadlifts - but if it works for them, to each his own. I just can't chance a sloppy pull.
    Additionally, in a powerlifting competition - you only get one - so stopping to reset and really drive home the muscle memory of proper form makes more sense for my training.

  8. #8
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    Post your video(s) so some members on here can give you some notes. The deadlift is a very technical lift and theres a lot more to it than just keeping your back straight.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
    Post your video(s) so some members on here can give you some notes. The deadlift is a very technical lift and theres a lot more to it than just keeping your back straight.
    well said...........2 years working away on deadlifting and still not happy with form.........not sure if I ever will be.......but its WAY better than when first starting out...lots of reading, video watching and....well....deadlifting of course to get it right.......lighten up the load a little (not too much) for some practice sets........

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lockstock View Post
    Hey dudes

    So I'm dead lifting 102.5 kgs today, not much, I know but hey.

    The problem is, I'm trying to do 1 set of 5 but for the life of me my work sets can never be a consecutive 5 reps. I have to do 1, MAYBE 2 reps before I have to stop, take a 5-10 second break, then bang out another. Until I hit 5.
    Does this mean I'm using too much weight?

    Also, afterwards, is my back supposed to feel, well, stiff or even slightly sore? I try not to bend, and I've got some form videos on my phone that show my back in good position however I still sometimes get this weird stiffness, even soreness, accompanying an epic back pump. This feeling goes away if I hang off a pull-up bar for traction.

    One more question, when in the starting position, should I actively try and keep my shoulders down and back?
    It's fine if you need to reset your grip or stance between reps. Try your best to keep it a true set of 5, though, and not 5 singles. What works for me is to get the set done as quickly as possible (usually doing the first 3 reps without stopping, and then resting for a few seconds before doing the next 2). Staying in the bottom position of the deadlift too long can be fatiguing.

    When I've done deadlifts correctly, my lower back muscles feel "relaxed" after I leave the gym. When I've done them incorrectly, they'll have a dull to sharp ache, depending on how much I screwed up the form. Hanging from a pullup bar does indeed help, but it's better just to avoid the pain in the first place. From personal experience, it's pretty dang annoying when your back hurts, but you still need to carry around a heavy ol' backpack for class .

    I would say not to worry about your shoulders during the setup. Get in the best stance and grip width for your body type, lower your shins to the bar, move your chest up, and keep your neck in line with your spine. A cue for the right back position is to try pointing your nipples at the wall in front of you. Posting a video would help a lot.

    Deadlifts are trickier than they look. The form is worth learning and implementing correctly, however, because the "health lift", as they used to call it, does so much to improve overall health and strength.
    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

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