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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:38 am 
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I was doing 5*5 (at the start of my workout after working up to my max weight) for a while but I started doing 8*3 (with the same warmup).

It's really exhausting me both during the workout and the DOMS that follows for a couple of days (much more sore than any other exercise) in my lower back, glutues and traps (I hope all good indicators of a good lift..)

Anyway, is this too much? Should I do less sets? I like doing the triples (can lift more weight..) but maybe I should do more sets?

Also, I do this same rep scheme (at least 3 days apart) for squats but don't get nearly as sore or as exhausted but that could just be due to the lighter weights used. Would it be good to continue the same reps?

Thanks a lot for any thoughts.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:56 am 
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I think 8x3 is too much for deadlifts. I also think 5x5 is too much. I don't think you need more than 1 heavy set. Get your volume in your warmups. Here's an example of a "high volume" deadlift program. Note that the weight is relatively low except for 1 heavy rep/week.
http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/ar ... korte3.htm

I expect on your program, your going as heavy as you can on each set. You will burn out training that way for too long.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:04 am 
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I have to disagree. But this kind of discussion is more dependent on diet, over all training approach, lifestyle (sleep, stress etc) and experience than anything else.

5x5=25 reps, 8x3 = 24. If 5x5 was ok, I honestly don't see why 8x3 would be too much. When you change rep range and subsequently load, then your body will be shocked, and you'll experience DOMS. Remember DOMS really just means 'something new'.

I know that for me personally, it's not too much. I love 8 x 3. And I work up to near 3RM for my first working set and keep it as heavy as possible with good form for the rest of the sets. But I've got a reasonably consistent diet and life style, I periodise the big lifts, I 'fluctuate training volume', which gives me a deload every 4th week, where volume (not intensity) is reduced... My 'work capacity' has increased steadily over the last year or so, because it's been progressed. If I done the volume I do now 9 months ago, I would probably sleep for 2 weeks...

In short - 'It depends'.

KPj


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:59 am 
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If you're trying to build up work capacity and using an appropriate lower intensity, it's OK. My impression was that he was trying to go full tilt, which could be around 90% of max. Doing 5x5 would normally be at 80-85% intnsity. If you use that same weight for the 8x3, or even 10x3, you would be OK. Even then you need to cycle the volume so you get a break from it.

I did 50 reps of trapbar deadlifts this morning but it was at about 70% intensity. I'll do deadlifts again on Monday but it will be warmups and 1 heavy set. Doing high volume and high intensity at the same time is a recipe for overtraining. It's just that deadlifts are so hard on the CNS. It's not DOMS I'm concerned about.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:57 pm 
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My issue with '5x5' and the likes is that to a lot of people '5 x 5' means '3 warm up sets, 1 heavy set, and a set for 'form check'. I don't feel it gets done justice on this principle, personally, but again, there's so many variables to consider that it makes me dizzy thinking about it. With 5 x 5, you're only really lifting ~85% for a couple of sets even if you are going all out. In my opinion, it JUST crosses over to the 'strength' side of things. 8 x 3 is the same, but you start with a higher %1RM, so you end with a higher percentage, assuming all sets are high intensity... And again, relatively speaking, depending on your training experience, it may not be that important to get lots of reps in close to 90%1RM, since the less experience you have, the lower % you can gain strength with... And vice versa

My goal when doing these is to lift as close to maximal for as many reps as possible. But I also train one rep shy of 'technical failure', which a lot people don't agree with, but it's something that I feel makes a significant difference. I don't count my rest, I wait until I feel ok, then I add 30 secs (for the CNS), I also feel that this 'counts'. The 'technical failure' thing never get's taken seriously, but I really do keep my form practically inch perfect.

Obviously, I can't lift the same on the last 3 sets as I do on the first 3 sets, but I do lift as much as I possibly can with good form. So bodybuilers might call this some kind of reverse pyramid system or something, if it was looked at from that perspective (since the weight gets lower as the sets go on). After this, i'm pretty much spent, and the rest of my program reflects that, so it's in a higher rep range, assistance stuff, still high intensity, though.

I agree that there's correlation between increased weight and decreased volume, but personally, I only really decrease volume significantly when I go below 3 reps. But for me, 3-5 reps is the norm... So again, it's relative..

A good middleground in all this, for anyone that's made it this far in the post, is doing 3x3, then 3 x 5. or 4 x 2, then 2 x 6 i.e. a few low sets, a few high sets instead of trying to get everything the same.

Also, I feel people take overtraining too seriously. I'm not saying the OP will definitely get away with 8 x 3 or 5 x 5. I do feel that if the OP has been doing 5 x 5 and not experiences any overtraining effects, then 8 x 3 won't be much of a step up from that. I think that i wouldn't do many people any harm if they consciously increase volume just to see what happens. Overtraining kicks in gradually anyway, you'll get fed up, more tired, lack motivation, become an a$$hole, gains will slow - in my opinon, if you REALLY want to know what stress you can handle, then you need to dabble beyond the limit, but be conscious enough to pull things back and recover... For example, to know what your car can REALLY do, you need to come close to losing control, without crashing. Kick the back end out a little, see what it takes. Or you need to lose control but be lucky enough not to crash (not sure you have as many country roads across the pond!), . You only know what your car can really do when you've pushed it too far. Luckily, there's less danger involved with our bodies, so we can control it more. Give a little push, just don't crash. If you do, be prepared, your girl friend might start hating you, your mother might stop loving you, or your boss might fire you, so look for the signs early on, and adjust your training accordingly (and eat like hell, too, that always helps).


KPj


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:30 pm 
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KPj wrote:
...Also, I feel people take overtraining too seriously. ...KPj


I probably take it seriously because I've experienced it too many times. As you get older it's easier to do too much and the negative impact can wipe out several weeks of work. Young guys can get away with a lot more. But you're right, you have to keep looking for the edge. That's where progress is made.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:30 pm 
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As long as your form doesn't break down (rounded back etc) when going through the sets then you should be ok.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Thanks everyone,

Stu: you were right, I was definitely headed towards overtraining. I was in fact going all out on those sets week after week and it was beginning to wear me down. I couldn't understand why I'd feel drained by the end of the week..

As per KPj's advice and reading Eric Cressey's ebook on deloading, I'm going to start doing this every month (keeping the same lifts and intensity but only 1/2 the volume).

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:10 am 
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Deloading, well, 'fluctuating training stress', is an amazing tool. Deloading is even better when you've got chronic injuries to think about, since you can - in very simple terms - train like a normal person for 3 weeks, and train like an injured person for one week. Your 'issues' depend on how often you're deload needs to be a - as Cressey calls it - Prehab Deload. And the strategic overreaching on the week before the deload generally means you can always get away with less of, well, anything on the 4th / deload.

Not to mention, your 'very high' week can be ridiculously high. I've done 10-12 sets of 2-4 reps on this before. My last 'week 3' actually, was 10 x 3, conventional DL on the first lower body day (Monday), then on the second (thursday), I done 6 x 6, snatch grip rack pulls. But it's only one week, and the surrounding weeks are less, so you get away with it... If i done that on a basic linear progression, I doubt I would handle it for more than a few weeks.

KPj


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:22 am 
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Some of the beginning 5x5 programs specify only 1x5 for DL. This seemed pretty wimpy as I was starting, so I did 5x5. As the weight went up I decided that 3x5 was plenty, and in a couple of more weeks, I decided that the people who designed the programs were pretty smart after all. But remember that I'm 55 and have only been lifting for 2 years.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:59 am 
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It's an art and a science, in my opinion.

When I started this set up, my first strength / priority exercise went like this over 4 weeks.

Rack pulls from knee caps with tempo.

week 1 - '5x5', week 2 - '4x5', week 3 - '6 x 3', and week 4 - '3 x 3'.

Oh, and my big 'priority' exercise on my first upper body was... wait for it... "push up iso holds". My upper body days were pretty easy going.

By the time I got the the 4th (deload) week, I was burnt out - good for nothing. Straight away, I increased my calories by 1000 / per day and things changed in a matter of days. I could of mistakenly believed that I was doing too much but the fact was - my diet was crap.

Just an example of how there are other variables to consider, outside of the actual training program when it comes to recovery....

KPj


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:50 am 
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Quote:
Here's an example of a "high volume" deadlift program. Note that the weight is relatively low except for 1 heavy rep/week.
http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/ar ... korte3.htm


I am UNDER impressed with Korte's program.

"If you train the deadlift three times per week there is no room for assistance exercises."

Deadlifting three times a week is insane. If your squatting during the week it's even more insane.

The lower back is easliy overtrained.

"...whatever you do, DON'T OVER TRAIN THE LOWER BACK. These muscles fatigue faster than almost any other muscle group in the body and also take more time to recover." Dr Tom McLaughlin/Powerlifting USA, July 1981.

"Why do an exercise (the deadlift) that takes more than it gives bac?" Louie Simmons

"Heavy deadlifts fatigue the lower back and require longer recovery times." Bill Starr/A Different Approach To Improving The Deadlift/Muscular Development/ September 1969

Even high volume/low intensity deadlifts performed too often are going to tax your lower back.

As yoiu noted in another post,
Quote:
It's just that deadlifts are so hard on the CNS.


Quote:
Doing high volume and high intensity at the same time is a recipe for overtraining.


Someone else once put it this way, "You can train hard or long but NOT both."

Kenny Croxdale


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:08 am 
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I agree Kenny, I wasn't recommending it, just using it as an example of a high volume program.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:14 am 
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Kenny, surely these recommendations are referring to BIG deadlifters. The Elite, infact. For example, I would imagine a typical westside lifters deadlift is far more taxing than my dead lift. And my dead lift is blatantly far more taxing now than it was one year ago, for example.

I know I can deadlift frequently (not 3 times per week!), and for me, as far as I can tell, it gives far more than it takes. And coming away from the strength thing, the DL is a great rehab tool.

Also, most advanced - elite powerlifters are posterior chain dominant, so they don't get the benefit of training a neglected muscles group, either. However, most beginner to intermediate lifters, and non powerlifters generally would really benefit from more posterior chain work.

I know this will probably pi$$ off the older lifters, but i never intentionally do any rounded back lifting, hyper extension etc which I feel contributes a lot to lower back stress. I know they don't buy all this 'no flexion' stuff at Westside, for example. Maybe they've changed they're tune now but from reading all the material published a few years ago on westside and Dave Tates site, that's the impression I get.

I'm not really on either bandwagon here. My opinion is, "it depends".

KPj


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Quote:
KPj wrote:
Kenny, surely these recommendations are referring to BIG deadlifters. The Elite, infact. For example, I would imagine a typical westside lifters deadlift is far more taxing than my dead lift. And my dead lift is blatantly far more taxing now than it was one year ago, for example.


KJp,

I pretty much agree with most of you post.

I agree that"it depends".

If you can deadlift three times a week, fine. However, I doubt that most can get away with that.

Quote:
hyper extension etc which I feel contributes a lot to lower back stress.


I personally don't like hyperextensions. However, one of the best deadlifters of the 1970s was Byron Benoitt, 132 lb class. He was pulling about 520 lbs.

Byron's deadlift program was hyperextensions, that was it. So, like you said "it depends"...do what works.

Kenny Croxdale


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