Time for a change

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pdellorto
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Post by pdellorto » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:10 am

PNG? Ah, yeah, that would do it. Never been there but many of my foreign friends here in Japan have.


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stuward
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Post by stuward » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:24 am

A friend of mine was in Papua New Guinea a few years ago for an Eco-Chalenge race. Definated a rugged place.

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:10 pm

I've been into the new workout for about 2 weeks now, and I'm happy with it. My main concern has been back pain, but this has been limited to a bit of stiffness, and seems to be still improving.

Some of the published programs that I looked at in setting up what I'm doing now specify 3x5 or 5x5 for most of the lifts, but 1x5 for deadlifts. I'm starting with pretty light weights and going up fairly fast, but 1 set of DL just doesn't feel like anything has been challenged. Yesterday I went ahead and did 5x5 of deads, and I felt like I'd worked out. I think that it left my back a bit sore, but I don't think it did any harm. I'm thinking that I'll just do 5x5 like I'm doing for everything else, but thought I'd solicit some opinions here first. Why do some authors recommend limited sets for the DL? What do you all suggest?

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Post by scs217 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:26 pm

I recall reading in the Rippetoe Starting Strength Faq listed in the exercise routines sticky that the DL's are done after squats because you need your back for the squat form, but are still capable of DL's after, and not the other way around. It may be the same rationale at play with the number of sets, that you're already taxing those muscles with the squats. If you're still relatively new to the DL I'd give it some time to progress. I think that 1x5 is enough once you've progressed your ability pretty high.

What weights are you squatting and deadlifting by the way?

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Post by pdellorto » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:26 pm

Basically, heavy deadlifts put a lot of strain on your system. They use a vast amount of muscle, so you lift heavy, so they take a lot out of you. So a large volume of deadlifts on a regular basis can be a bad idea.

Take Starting Strength, which has you doing 1 x 5 deadlifts 3 times every two weeks (AB workout, 3 days a week). You're already squatting, which hits your legs and lower back. Then you do some warmup deadlifts and then a single set of 5 reps at a new 5 rep maximum. You'll go up in DLs fast on a program like that because of transfer from the squat and cleans (and pullups too). So you pull heavy, but you don't pull at a large volume so you don't push your body past its ability to recover before you pull again.

Personally, I love DLs, but I find them kind of insidious - I can pull hard for a while, but pulling every week once a week for 2 or 3 max sets of 5 would add up. Like I'd be at 100% the first week, at 95% the next week (but felt at 100%...), then 90% (again, felt fine)...I wouldn't recover fully, and each week I'd be pulling the same volume (say some light RDLs, then 3 warmup sets and 3 work sets) and at a higher and higher weight. So each week I'd strain harder, but I wouldn't give my body any more recovery time. So my next cycle of deadlifts will be shorter - 3 weeks of heavy pulling in a row, tops, before I cycle to something else.

Sometimes I'll do deadlifts in a metcon workout (5 reps of BW deadlifts, 10 pushups, max rounds in 20 minutes) but I'll avoid doing them anywhere near my limit (BW for me is 85kg, I'm still warming up 85kg in deadlifts, so lots of 5-rep sets are doable). Deadlifting heavy, often, at high volume, does seem to be a short route to pushing your back too hard and getting hurt.

In your case, you're doing deadlifts on one day, but not squatting. So maybe 3 x 5 or even 5 x 5 is doable. But I'd be careful because puts a large demand on your whole body and specifically on your lower back, and I know from my experience it's not always clear when you are pushing your back too hard.

That's just what I know. I'm sure the other guys will have different suggestions...I'm just drawing on my own experience doing a deadlift-heavy workout. But still...deadlifts are great. I love loading up a bar with more weight than any other exercise I do and then hauling it off the floor.

Peter


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Post by stuward » Thu May 01, 2008 6:48 am

I agree with Peter. Once you start deadlifting heavy, 1 set will be enough. If you are capable of doing 5 sets you're not doing them heavy enough. They take a lot out of you and you need to manage the fatique. The lower back gets a lot of work on this program so you do not want to burn it out. 1 set a week is enough but you have to make it as heavy as you can.

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 01, 2008 9:46 pm

Well, I'm not lifting heavy yet because I'm just starting. And yeah, the 5 sets Wed. left my low back pretty sore and achy. But not the kind of pain that I was having before, so I'm pretty confident that I didn't really hurt anything. I'll go back to 1 set, but I think I'm going to increase the weight faster than I had planned, maybe up by 20 lb. each time instead of 10.

I do think that I'm going to really like DL.

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Post by scs217 » Thu May 01, 2008 9:57 pm

If you don't mind my asking, what are you at with DL and squat right now?

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Post by pdellorto » Thu May 01, 2008 9:58 pm

20 pounds a session for a while is fine for the deadlift.

You can also ramp up the weight and ramp down the sets. If you want more than 5x5, do 3x5 for now, then as the weight gets heavier do 2x5 and then 1x5. But erring on the side of caution in terms of volume is probably smart.

I know what you mean about different pain - I've got an injured muscle in my back (not sure what happened, feels like my lower right trap and lat are hurt and tight). DLing makes it feel better. Like all that weight is pulling my body into the right spot and clearing up some of the tension.

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 01, 2008 10:05 pm

Scs, when I started again, I started with the empty bar, and am now at 75. I was up to 195 when I tweaked my back, and didn't feel like I was maxing out yet.

For DL, I started at 135 (the lowest I could with having to bother propping up the weights) and have gone up by 10 once, but I think I'll go up by 20s and either cut back to 1 set, or ramp them down like Peter suggests.

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Post by scs217 » Thu May 01, 2008 11:16 pm

Either case sounds pretty good. You're probably strong enough to do much more right now even, but there's something to be said for allowing your muscles to learn the exercise before piling on tons of weight. Tapering the volume down or adding weight faster would allow that to happen. You're doing right.

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Post by Jungledoc » Fri May 02, 2008 5:31 am

Thanks, guys. I'll let you know if a couple of weeks what comes of this.


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