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Deadlift heavy routines

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Dalton, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    Does anyone have any deadlift heavy routines I can try out? My deadlift is really, really weak and I'd like to improve it by quite a bit. In about three or four weeks I'll be starting a new program, and I'd like to do one that focuses on deadlifts as opposed to squats or bench.
     
  2. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    What do you mean by weak? Is it undertrained? Is it greater or less than you squat? Is it in the 100's, 200's, 300's, 400's, etc.? What's your training history like as far as pulls? Where in your deadlift are you weak?

    The answers to questions like those will help us make better suggestions. I mean, as is, I could suggest something like the Coan-Phillipi deadlift routine or a Sheiko template, but, if you're only pulling a few bucks, those routines don't make any sense (unless you only weigh around a buck).
     
    #2 chicanerous, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  3. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    Wouldn't a routine just consist of lifting heavy as you can 1-2 times a week as hard as you can and continue to progress? I don't understand what kind of a routine would be needed other than just doing deadlifts each week in order to build your strength.
     
  4. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    You're forgetting all about periodization and accessory work (which may or may not be warranted here). Lifting as heavy as you can a few times per week is great for progress when you're starting out, but, if you've been training for a while, simple linear progression starts to lose its efficacy. What you do to take your deadlift from, say, 300 to 400 is not likely the same as 400 to 500, as 500 to 600, etc. This goes for any lift.
     
    #4 chicanerous, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  5. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    This is good to know, Chic. As only today I did a 1RM for the first time, and I'm pretty weak, I'll have to look into the things you're discussing in future stuff. As of now, I'm on a "skinny fat" cut and not really focused on strength over all. The only reason I did it today was so I understood where I could be for 60% and 80% of 1RMs.
     
  6. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    My deadlift is weaker than my squat by a significant margin. The most I've ever done was 385lbs, but that was on a very good day. Just now, I managed 355lbs. There is no one weakpoint, but considering how much better my squat is I'd have to say my back is what needs work. As far as pulling training, almost none. I'm relatively new to lifting overall, but I've mainly focused on squats during my training.
     
  7. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I think he's got a squat in the low 400s#, 225# bench, but relatively new to weightlifting. (From his posts in the 300 bench and 500 squat fitness challenge threads.)

    So I'm thinking if his dead is well over 400# then it's reasonable to use Smolov/Coan/Phillipi style work.

    But if his dead is below 300# then I'd think he needs to learn the lift better.
     
  8. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    It's neither. It's in the mid-high 300s.
     
  9. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Do you think you are grip limited on that 355#? I assume not since you didn't mention grip yet.

    I think it sounds like you might have some issues with the lift, but also maybe your lats and traps are not up to the level you want.
     
  10. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    When I did 385 my grip was loosening a bit, but at 355 I didn't notice anything. I'm sure my form isn't too great at this point, but I'm also fairly certain my back could use some work.
     
  11. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    I agree with zen.

    With a deadlift less than you squat and being new to lifting, even though you're strong, you simply need some more regular work before you get to any type of deadlift program. Keep in mind that one of the big ways to improve your deadlift is to improve your squat and you can't do that when your deadlift is the lower lift. Also, the converse isn't usually true -- a bigger deadlift doesn't necessarily yield a commensurate gain on the squat.

    So, I'd suggest working conventionals once or twice a week, perhaps one day heavy and the other light for speed (or going heavy and then back off with some speed work on a single day), while you work on your technique and plug away at the rest of your back exercises -- barbell rows, chin-ups, power shrugs. You might also work in some hyperextensions or reverse hyperextensions a couple times per week as well, just to get some more lower back volume in. Your deadlift should come up pretty quick with concentrated effort and, once you're pulling a good bit in excess of your squat, then start considering a more regimented program.
     
    #11 chicanerous, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  12. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Everybody's back could use some work. The question is what sort?

    In your case, you have already done some back work by training squats; so you probably have a decent start on your lower back and pelvis, the big spinal muscles have already made some progress.

    So I'm thinking lats, traps, other muscles higher up the back can be targets here. The deadlift hits lats and traps a lot differently than the squat, so they might have been left out a bit by your training. Your somewhat low bench number compared to that squat also could suggest lat work.

    Do you row heavy? Pull-ups? Shrug?

    Now I've never looked at the Coan-Phillipi program in detail, but I just now had a glance and guess what? No surprise at what the accessory exercises are:

    Stiff leg deads
    Bent over rows
    Underhand grip lat pulldowns
    Arched back good mornings/Good mornings
    Power shrugs

    OK the SLDLs is sort of obvious, and that goes along with the GMs. In your case, having a better developed squat than dead means these two aren't quite as far out of whack, but what's left? Lat and trap work.

    So maybe the Coan-Phillipi is a good idea. Frankly, I'm not a huge "program" guy, but the ideas in that program line up with what I suspect might be in the mix here.

    One more word about technique. Yes, every exercise has technique; and some people get all jacked up about "perfect form" as if everyone had exactly the same biomechanics. The deadlift is maybe the best lift ever for proving that there is individual variation in lifting. And it comes from the relatively complicated interaction of lower and upper body that makes for the deadlift, this interaction exposes stuff like how long your back is relative to your femur length, how tall your knees are, how long your arms are. That's all obvious. What is less obvious is that when all the muscles involved in moving those bones have different relative strengths, then the weak point in the deadlift can be very different. Is it breaking the bar off the ground? Locking out? This can come about from different strength levels in the different large muscles involved in the lift.

    So what I mean by technique is not a form that you can check by looking at a picture, but what I mean is aligning your body parts to bring to bear the best combination of big strong muscles and mechanical advantage. You sort of have to read what a lot of people say and then think about how that works and feels in your own case.
     
  13. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    I've been doing starting strength, which only gives you one set of five for deadlift once or twice a week, depending on the week. I'll decrease the weight and increase to three sets of five. Now, considering my squat being stronger and thus my working weights being heavier for squats, should I stop increasing my squat weight and just increase deadlift?

    Or, should I replace squat and deadlift. That would mean three sets of five every day (lifting day) for deadlift, and then one set of five for squat every other lifting day. If I'm doing a heavy set of five, would that be sufficient to keep my squat where it's at?
     
  14. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    For the lifts you stated up above, I can do them all with what I have except for the lat pull downs, and instead of barbell rows I prefer dumbell rows because I think it allows me better form control and better range of motion. I'll take those into consideration, and I'll also take a look at the Coan-Phillipi program.
     
  15. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    If you think you can still make gains on your other lifts on Starting Strength, I'd just milk that for as long as you can without changing anything. Your deadlift has a lot of room for improvement, so it should gain pretty fast from week to week, while your squat should start slowing down. The one thing that might be holding you back is that Starting Strength isn't heavy on the upper back work. So, if you elect to keep it, I'd add 3 sets of chin-ups or pull-ups on the first and third workout each week. If you can complete more than 15 reps, add weight. If you can't do a chin-up or pull-up, use a lat pull-down machine. This is done in a few SS variations I've seen.

    Otherwise, I'd switch to a new routine.
     
    #15 chicanerous, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  16. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    Well, I'm also getting a power cage in March, just about a week before my current 5 week cycle is done, so after three more weeks, and then a week of rest, I'll start up something new. Let me come up with a rough plan and then see if I should change anything.
     
  17. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Unless you have really heavy dumbells I would suggest barbell. Your bent over row should be about the same or more than your bench. In your case, dumbell rows would be 100# or heavier.

    Weighted chins with underhand grip will substitute fine for the underhand lat pulldowns.
     
  18. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I've thought that before, but this might be the first case I've seen where it could be a big enough issue to put me off it.
     
  19. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    I can make them as heavy as needed, mine use olympic plates.

    Edit: Alright, two issues. First one, I can't do pullups, let alone weighted pullups. I weight 240lbs, and my back isn't even close to up to the task. I'll have to find a way to do lat pulldowns. Secondly, apparently my back is mind-boggling weak. 100lbs dumbell rows are not happening. I was, at this point, doing three sets of five with 70lbs. I can up that, sure, but not by 30lbs.

    Edit again: Well, considering recent developments, I'm putting off my bench and squat goals for a while. At least until my back is up to where it should be, which is probably going to be a while. Crap.
     
    #19 Dalton, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  20. Dalton

    Dalton Active Member

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    Well, I think I'll do a 3x5 program, I like it more than 5x5 or 3x8 or what-have-you. I'll make it a three day a week program, with deadlifts every day, and then I'll alternate between other lifts (A lift and B lift). Bench press and squat I'll do a single set of 5, one on A day one on B day, and always with my five rep max respectively. On days when I do the five reps with squat, I'll do rowing stuff: Barbell or dumbell rows, lat pulls (I might just affix heavy duty pulleys to my cage), and also I'll do military press on these days (my shoulders are fine, so I'll do three sets of five with them). On days when I bench press, I'll do good mornings, shrugs, and...I'll think of something else. Every week, I'll switch up the days I do A and B. For example, week 1:

    Monday - A: Deadlifts, squat, barbell or dumbell rows, lat pulls, military press

    Wednesday - B: Deadlifts, bench press, good mornings, shrugs, something else

    Friday - A: Deadlifts, squat, barbell or dumbell rows, lat pulls, military press

    For week 2, however, I'll switch it up.

    Monday - B

    Wednesday - A

    Friday - B

    Now, I don't know how heavy I'll be doing any of these, or what kind of progression I'll use, but I think that is the basic set up I'll use. Any suggestions?
     

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