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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:55 am 
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Hey guys! I'm totaly new to this forum, joined literally 20 minutes ago, I had to know more about this post: "Deadlifts only once a week" by emil3m, which annoyingly I can't link to yet as a newbie to the forum.

Specificaly Kenny Croxdale's post on the lower back, and the link to no deadlift, deadlift training caught my attention and I just have to know more (my questions are below the quote)!
Quote:
The Lower Back

As Dr Tom McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Biomechanics) noted, the lower back is quickly and easily overtrained.

Preriperal Exercise

What many fail to realize is that the lower back (core) is involved standing exercises: Squats (heavy lower back involved), Overhead Press, Standing Curl, Bent Over Rows (Bent over with a barbell/dumbell), etc.

So, you end up working the lower back to some degree during the week. That means your lower back is getting more work than you probably realize.

"It Take More Than It Give Back."

In a converstaion with Louie Simmons (Westside Training), we discussing deadlifting. Simmons' stated that the deadlift is a draining movement.

That is why the deadlift is trained heavily infrequently (not as often). Most powerlifters train the deadlift once a week. Heavy deadlifts are about once every three to four weeks.

The NO 'Deadlift" Deadlift Program
-link was here, had to remove from quote so it would let me post-

I am a powerlifter who stopped training the deadlift back in 1998. I ended up replacing the deadlift with Heavy Good Mornings and Olympic pulls.

Heavy Good Mornings (for whatever reason) don't beat you lower back up that much. Your lower back recovers faster...meaning an increase in strength and some size.

Auxiliary Deadlift Movements

These movements are simlar to the deadlift but don't beat up you lower back to the same extent as the deadlift.

What is interesting is each of these has a different strength curve.

1) Good Mornings. This has an Ascending Strength Cuve, like the deadlift. It is hard at the beginning and then gets easier the higher you go.

The Good Morning strengthens you deadlift off the floor.

2) 45 Degree Back Raise. This as Bell Shaped Strength Curve. It is easy at the beginning, hard in the middle and easy at the end of the movement.

45 Degree Back Raises strengthen you deadlift in the knee area.

3) Horizonal Back Raise. This has a Descending Strength Curve. It is easy at the beginning and middle and hard at the end.

Horizonal Back Raises strengthen the finishing top part of you deadlift.

Ascending Strenth Curves and Variable Resistance

Attaching Chains, Bands and/or Bungees to Olympic Bars works for Ascending Strength Curve Exercises: Deadlifts, Stilff Leg (slight break in knees), and Good Mornings.

What I do is pefrom Good Mornings with chains, bands and/or bungees. By doing so, I work more the of muscle in the Good Morning from the low to top position.

Descending/Bell Shape Strength Curves

Attaching chains, bands and/or bungees to these strength curve movements is counter productive. The easy part of the movement remains easy with you make the harder part even harder.

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect." Lombardi

As Ocar states, to get good at deadlifting, you need to practice.

However, the key to getting good is pulling single repetitions with 85% plus of your 1 Repetition Max. Lower training percentages don't really help that much with technique.

The problem with using 85% of your 1RM with any movement is burn out. This is especially true with the lower back and deadlifting.

So, technique training need to be limited to allow for recovery.

5 X 5 Deadlifts

I agree with Jungledoc. That is a lot of volume for the lower back.

Ephs provides some good information. However, I wouldn't push the deadlift with heavy singles ever week.

Deadlift Training Alternative

If you simply want to use the deadlift to strengthen those muscle groups, the deadlift will work for you.

However, if you want to increase you deadift strength here's my recommendation.

Technique Training

One a week pull Deadlifts for single repetitions of 3-5 sets. Use progressive loading. Pull 70%, one week, then 80%, then 90%.

Drop with weight down the fourth week. /hen start over. Base you 70% on your new training max.

Strength Training

Use one of the auxiliary exerices above that replicates the deadlift movement. Train this exercise fairly hard.

Kenny Croxdale


If one doesn't deadlift, how does one know just how strong one is for competition?

The second question is more abstract and involved and will involve some background. I've never found the deadlift difficult. In the past, at a weight of 205lb I pulled 505 for a double in the gym. I then moved across the country about a month later, and as such was out of the gym for 3 months during the moving process. I also took up playing ultimate frisbee twice a week at my new job, AND unrelatedly I dropped down to a weight of 175lb cause I like how i look and feel at this weight a whole lot better. All of that happened in a 6 month window, and as you can imagine my deadlift went through the floor, down to about 375lb for a 5RM. I then spent from Nov to March building it back up to a healthy 455lb for a double that I pulled about three weeks ago now. I've never struggled with lockout, and until recently never understood lockout to be an issue, as it's the easiest part. I can rack pull and hold for time 525lb without to much issue (not to claim it's easy). Anything I can break off the floor I can lockout with.

I focused on my deadlifting and pretty much ignored squats since I moved because I've allays struggled with the dang things. So hard on the lower back, and so exhausting, and grow so dang slowly. My best ever was 405 for a single, and I'm not even sure I hit depth. My squat seamed to track back up with my deadlift progress, and it's up to 325lb for a 3RM, which is ok I guess. I've renewed my necessity, if not enthusiasm, for squats because I have my first powerlifting meet coming up on June 8th.

Thus my second question is this, given that I can't relate to the lower back issues with deadlift, have never had any issues with locking out, and generally love the deadlift, will i benefit at all from a no deadlift (or reduced deadlift) training plan?

I would also like to point out, that while the article referenced in the quote says Bill Star didn't train with deadlifts, this is untrue, and if you read his own words over on Starting strength he claims it's the best overall strength training exercise. This has added to my curiosity concerning the concept of no deadlift training for powerlifting.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:28 am 
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I'm sure Kenny'll chime in and explain, but I personally think the "no deadlift" thing only really applies to guys who are already very strong, lifting weights so heavy it's really taxing on their CNS. I think beginner - intermediates can deadlift once or twice a week just fine.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:35 am 
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Now that makes more sense to me...but to that point, getting into more nitty gritty details, I found that I was beginning to burn out lifting so close to my 1RM, even though it made for great initial gains. My current training is to aim for 6 sets of 3 reps at about 80% of my max. When I can complete all 6 sets in good form, I increase the wight next session. This has worked exceedingly well for my press, and so I decided to give it a go 8 weeks out from competition for all my lifts. I'm curious to see if it works as well for the other lifts. It's certainly far more enjoyable, and a lot less stressful. I don't' leave the gym feeling fried.

If it works, and continues to work, this could be an alternative for a big lifter. I can't claim credit, i got the idea from reading one of Bill Stars articles. The real test will be if this style of training does improve my 1RM, and I won't know that until meet day. I'll keep you guys posted, but yes, I'm really interested to hear what Kenny will say.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Here's a link to one of Kenny's articles on this:

http://www.liftinglarge.com/The-No-Deadlift-Deadlift-Program_ep_51-1.html

In case you think this is exclusively Kenny's crazy notion, other people have suggested similar ideas:

http://drsquat.com/content/add-50-lbs-your-deadlift-and-never-deadlift

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:18 pm 
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I think a lot of powerlifters tend to work higher volume when they are farther out from comp, then work closer to their 1RM as comp approaches. At any rate, you need both. If you hit 97% of your 1RM day in and day out, it would be pretty fatiguing. But working higher volume (like your 6x3@80%) can be fatiguing as well. If you are making clear progress and recovering well, don't tamper with it, but if not you may need some sort of periodization. There are hundreds of ways to do that, but something that gives heavy low-volume at times and lighter higher-volume at other times will probably work.

Here's one way to consider. In one session, work up to a "relative max"--do singles, working up to the heaviest you can go with good form. This is not a competition max. The next session take 90% of that weight, and do 6 to 10 singles. Next session, do 5 or 6 sets of 2 at the same weight. Next session do 4 or 5 sets of 3 at the same weight. Next session consider a deload. Then repeat, hopefully at slightly heavier loads. You don't necessarily have to repeat the relative max, you can go to the singles session with a slight increase over the last time around.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 7:43 am 
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My deadlift always gets worst when I train for it. I lay off of deadlifting for 3-4 weeks, it comes back.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:11 pm 
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Thank you Jungledoc for the links, and thank you Kenny who answered many of my questions in another topic.

Well, so far the 6 sets of 3 reps seams to work really well. The periodization is more natural because if I can't make all the sets with good form, or without going to failure, then I don't up the weight. I find in every case that I am able to perform all 6 sets (with good form, and never going to failure), adding weight the next time isn't an issue, but I won't make all the sets with 3 reps either.

Since I'm working towards a competition in 6 weeks, my deload week will be the one right before the meet, but otherwise I deload every 4th or 5th week regardless of my progress. This seams to keep the progress going.

Psychologicaly this method really works for me in the press. The poundages climb so slowly with pressing, when i cycled I would get frustrated because I would cycle back up only to find I was still moving the same weight, just a little easier, but no real measurable gain in poundage. It was at first frustrating, and eventually defeating.

With this 6x3 style I can see some progress, either in reps, another complete set, or increase in poundage. It's taking longer and longer to see gains in the press, which is to be expected, but I find this method to fit me psychologically more than anything because of the quantifiable progress of poundage, reps, and sets. I'm managing to improve SOMETHING each time, and that keeps me motivated.


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:44 pm 
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hoosegow, your body mechanics must also be taken into consideration. It's something that is critical to a lift, but I hear so few people talk about it. When I first tried my hand at deadlifting, having done nothing but bodyweight exercise and weighing some where in the neighborhood of 155lb i was able to pull 300lb for reps. I thought I was something special until I started training, and NONE of my other lifts started out like that. My squat started out AT body weight, and my press, dang, 115lbs was hard even though I could do hand stand pushups.

Years later I learned that my success at the deadlift had nothing more to it than my legs being significantly longer than my torso. This gives me a lot of leverage in the lift, but is detrimental to the squat. Thus I never had issue working the deadlift, it seamed to grow no matter what I did. However I can see that if your leverages are not advantageous to the deadlift, then it would make sense that training it wouldn't do you much good.

For me I got stuck at 505lbs, I've never pulled more than that...yet. Thus my interest in the "no deadlift" deadlift training. I want to break that 505 barrier and keep going!


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 3:24 pm 
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b-marz wrote:
hoosegow, your body mechanics must also be taken into consideration. It's something that is critical to a lift, but I hear so few people talk about it.


because there's nothing you can do to change it so it's not worth considering.


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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 7:17 am 
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robertscott wrote:
because there's nothing you can do to change it so it's not worth considering.


Come again? Understanding your unique leverages is key to maximizing your performance in a lift. Ignoring it because you can't change it is as foolish as ignoring your adaptive response and recovery propensities...unless your on the juice, you can't really change those either, yet ignoring it will lead you to over training, injury, and poor results.

For the deadlift and the Squat there are very specific body proportions that come into play that will make you better at one than the other, and determine your optimum form in both. Ignoring your body mechanics is foolishness, yet so few people even consider the fact that you might have to lift differently than some one else.

Why do you think some deadlift conventional, others sumo, others duck style, and some round back, some knees forward, some shins strait? That's just the variations for the deadlift, and only some of them. All of it is dependent on "personal preference" -translation: they found that a particular style worked best for their given leverages and mechanics.

Ignoring how your body is set up, just because you can't change it, makes no sense at all.


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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:09 am 
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Sorry for jumping in, I'm just going to throw out one thing on this.

When I finished my comp in November I did some deadlift training similar to how I would do squats or bench: heavy doubles and triples. Within six weeks I could barely make a single at 90%. It was definitely going down.

Then I switched to deadlifting every other week or so, with most of the work on variations like rack pulls or deficits, and it went back up.

Just throwing that out there.


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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:18 am 
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It seams to vary from individual to individual...i mean if training the deadlift didn't work, powerlifters wouldn't do it, so it clearly works for a lot of people. Again i think it comes to body mechanics. There was a reason that all the Russian powerlifters all looked like different sized versions of the same guy in the early years of powerlifting. The training style the Russians used favored a particular body layout, and anyone who deviated to far from that layout wouldn't gain, and would be discarded.

It will take some months to make a determination, but as of right now I'm using squats, goodmornings, and power cleans. If I'm pulling >500lb by christmas, it works, if not, it doesn't work for me.


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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:33 am 
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So you're saying that people with different proportions should train differently? Please explain.

I'm also a better DLer than squatter, but I don't think I train the DL any differently than I would if I were proportioned differently--I'd just be working in a different loading range.

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:45 am 
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b-marz wrote:
There was a reason that all the Russian powerlifters all looked like different sized versions of the same guy in the early years of powerlifting. The training style the Russians used favored a particular body layout, and anyone who deviated to far from that layout wouldn't gain, and would be discarded.

sounds like the story of all bulgarian olympic lifters replacing squats with step ups :grin: :grin:

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Well, for instance, if your disadvantaged in the squat then goodmornings, glute-ham-raises, and sumo deadlifts can be great at building up the squat. I found glute-ham-raises to be awesome, and I credit them with the one time i was able to squat 405lb. I then moved across the country and my current gym doesn't have an apparatus that allows me to adequately replicate the motion, so i've been relying on goodmornings, which seam to be affective thus far. Time will tell if they get me back to 405 though.

Heck for the last few months, until i came across the no deadlift idea, i had been doing deadlifts and good mornings, and testing my squat once a month, and the squat was coming along just fine. Now I've flipped it around and am doing the squat and goodmornings and have my fingers crossed that my deadlift will come along just fine.

If you were better at squat, sumo deadlifts would most likely come more naturally to you, and possibly be stronger for you than conventional. If you have a longer torso, rounded upper back can help you pull better in the conventional, if you don't' quite have the leverages to pull as much in sumo. Rounded upper back in general is stronger in the conventional pull, but not all athletes backs will allow this.

But if you are better at conventional dl than squatting, widening your stance can help tremendously as it shortens your femur length relative to the bar path. Goodmornings will probably be easier for you as well, and as said before, are great for the squat. Pause squats are also great because they teach the hardest part for us disadvantaged types: getting out of the hole.

For myself, I can lift a lot more with knees forward deadlifting than with vertical shins, and can't hardly budge the weight with sumo. I can also lift about 20 or so more pounds with goodmornings than i can squats. It just is all about leverages. We are all human, but we are not all that Leonardo sketch of the perfect man, so variations are necessary.

Muscles that have poor leverage in a lift are not recruited as powerfully, so if your leverages don't favor a given goal lift, your better doing an assistant lift that strengthens up the requisite muscles, and keep the goal lift as an occasional practice. Because you build up the muscles in a lift your strong in, the muscles will be recruited in your goal lift, even if they has poor leverages, because the nervous system has been trained to use them.

Now incorporating what I've learned from Kenny, at some point the stress is so great from the deadlift and the squat that training both can become detrimental for some athletes. At this point you have to pick one or the other. Squats and goodmornings are known to build the deadlift, but as I can attest, the deadlift doesn't do jack for the squat (see what i did there ;) ). When I got on the GHR and my squat broke the 400lb barrier, it was a month later that i pulled 505lb for a double. I didn't associate it at the time, but my best deadlift ever came after my best squat ever, and I had been specifically training for increasing my squat, I just decided to test my deadlift a month later to see where it was.

So to recap, it's what your good at in term of leverages, and then find the exercises that benefit your leverages the best to strengthen the muslces you need for the goal lifts.


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