Minimal time in the gym to keep strength?

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Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:58 am

You're supposed to go lighter on Romainian/Straight-leg deadlifts. Also, you shouldn't lock your knees on this lift, but rather keep them very slightly bent from start to finish.

I've never tried going for a 1RM on Straight-leg Deadlifts. I do sets of 5 or more on this lift and lower reps on Standard Deadlifts.


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Post by pdellorto » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:24 am

I just re-read the 5/3/1 manual, and it's got a once-a-week workout in there. I remember Stuart McRobert talking about someone training once every 10 days, too. But neither is optimal, and you can't afford to miss a workout.

I would say, as someone who trains 2x a week, is that you don't want to be afraid to push hard. Especially if you're pretty sure you will miss a workout or have to postpone one. The less times you workout, the more important they are, so make sure they count.

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Post by ninjackn » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:34 pm

Ironman wrote:I do 2 30 minute workouts per week to maintain. You need a little more than that to make gains.
But for some reason i'm under the impression you're something around twice as big as most people people on this forum. :green:

pdellorto wrote:I just re-read the 5/3/1 manual, and it's got a once-a-week workout in there. I remember Stuart McRobert talking about someone training once every 10 days, too. But neither is optimal, and you can't afford to miss a workout.

I would say, as someone who trains 2x a week, is that you don't want to be afraid to push hard. Especially if you're pretty sure you will miss a workout or have to postpone one. The less times you workout, the more important they are, so make sure they count.
It sounds like 2 times a week is the sweet spot. I really like 3 to 4 but I think in terms of over head (time going to the gym, changing cloths, etc. etc.) it adds up to a little too much for someone with a tight schedule.

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Post by caangelxox » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:30 pm

Matt Z wrote:You're supposed to go lighter on Romainian/Straight-leg deadlifts. Also, you shouldn't lock your knees on this lift, but rather keep them very slightly bent from start to finish.

I've never tried going for a 1RM on Straight-leg Deadlifts. I do sets of 5 or more on this lift and lower reps on Standard Deadlifts.
oh okay, I will do that next time. how much lighter should I go on the RDL? If my 1rm deadlift is 135, what weight should I lift for my RDL to make my hamstrings work and not be too light or too heavy?

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Post by Matt Z » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:36 pm

Hard to say exactly. Start light and work up. Try to improve on both lifts since increasing one will likely cause the other to go up.


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Post by caangelxox » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:35 pm

okay thank you. This article forgot to mention what weight the RDL should be if the deadlift is the main lift. I follow this % for all of my lifts with the deadlift the main, but it says nothing about RDL %. One Legged RDL % is 37% of 1RM Deadlift (my 1rm is 135 for deadlift), so my one legged rdl should be 17 lbs 1RM. I would do one legged RDL if my body would listen to me and let me have good balance so it can be done correctly. My back leg wants to bend on 1 leg RDL like a king deadlift or I will have trouble with the balance. I am still trying to practice one legged RDLs without any weight until my balance gets right. The ankles need more stability is probably why. I know its the ankles because they wiggle on 1 foot and then lose balance when shifted too far outside of the foot or too far inside of the foot.


oh and according to this website here (found the link through google search), http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewt ... 95&start=0 someone recommend 30% of 1rm Deadlift. so 30% of 1 RM Deadlift is 40lbs. If thats 40lbs, innacurate because I know I can at least do a RDL at 60lbs

oh and I think someone recommending 80-90% of 1rm deadlift for a snatch is inaccurate because you have to have the strength to be able to lift the bar overhead, which I cant even military press a 45lb bar, which I dont want anything to do with those upper trapz (dont want them tighter than they already are). When I was a member at velocity sports performance and was doing snatches, I remember my 5x5 was like 30lbs or so at the most or less and had to use the womens bar. my wrists are also not flexible enough to bend back all the way to my shoulders and I could never do a power clean correctly. I would love to do power cleans, but cant unless I figure out a way to get them flexible.

I really want to do 1 legged RDLs, but my ankles need to stay still and not rock and make me lose my balance. When my ankles rock, my upper body rocks and there goes my balance. Maybe its lack of hamstring flexibility causing me the problem on 1 legged rdls? My back should be like a table and my leg that goes up too (all form a table), but it doesnt at all even on a rep where I dont lose my balance.

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Post by stuward » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:30 am

Don't stick to a ratio. They're only guides. Everybody is different. Use progressively heavier weights on each exercise. Duilding a stronger RDL will likely lead to higher deadlifts and back squats but if the RDL addresses your weak link better than the others, holding back on it may be holding back your progress on all your lifts. For what it's worth, my RDL is almost as high as my deadlift and higher than my back squat. I usually do around 8 reps. I don't think you should try for a 1RM. For the single leg, just practice and eventually your balance will improve. Having something nearby that you can rest a finger on is helpful.

If you practice the snatch, it will qiuckly exceed your military press, although still be less tha your jerk. I don't believe anyone has a snatch 80-90% of their deadlift.

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Post by KPj » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:04 am

caangelxox wrote: I really want to do 1 legged RDLs, but my ankles need to stay still and not rock and make me lose my balance. When my ankles rock, my upper body rocks and there goes my balance. Maybe its lack of hamstring flexibility causing me the problem on 1 legged rdls? My back should be like a table and my leg that goes up too (all form a table), but it doesnt at all even on a rep where I dont lose my balance.
Do them in your warm up for a while until you get good at it with just your body weight. When they feel good, make them one of the last exercises and add alittle load. When you get competent with load, start prioritising it. Learning an exercise doesn't need to conflict with the rest of your workout. One leg RDL 'walks' are a staple in my own warm ups. I have a general rule that every warm up should include atleast one "single leg unsupported" movement (single leg unsupported just means the 'off leg' is not supported on anything). Typically I do RDL walks and Bowler squats.

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Post by caangelxox » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:33 pm

stuward wrote:Don't stick to a ratio. They're only guides. Everybody is different. Use progressively heavier weights on each exercise. Duilding a stronger RDL will likely lead to higher deadlifts and back squats but if the RDL addresses your weak link better than the others, holding back on it may be holding back your progress on all your lifts. For what it's worth, my RDL is almost as high as my deadlift and higher than my back squat. I usually do around 8 reps. I don't think you should try for a 1RM. For the single leg, just practice and eventually your balance will improve. Having something nearby that you can rest a finger on is helpful.

If you practice the snatch, it will qiuckly exceed your military press, although still be less tha your jerk. I don't believe anyone has a snatch 80-90% of their deadlift.
yeah and it would be a lot easier to keep good form on my deadlifts as well if my RDLs can go up in weight more.

On my deadlift videos, I notice that with heavy weight, my legs start bending as the weight is coming down (after standing straight up) instead of staying straight until the bar reaches my knees like in a lot of good deadlift form videos I have seen. like this one of eric cressey doing the 1rm deadlift at 600. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQVMqE3Wb3g It looks like his hamstrings are really strong, which my legs are not straight or even slightly bent once the bar reaches my knees.

is this a good thing or a bad thing and should I hold off on the deadlifts until my RDL improves a bit so that I make sure I use my whole posterior chain in the deadlift. I also feel my quads a bit trying to take over my hamstrings in the deadlift as well. Form is good, but I dont think my hamstrings are strong enough to continue with my deadlift yet and because of that, quads want to take over. thats how I feel when I am using heavy weight. lower back and glutes are strong. hamstrings are lacking and I feel the quads trying to take over.

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Post by frogbyte » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:40 pm

His form looks odd to me... his knees start off fairly straight for some reason and most of the lift is done with the hips/back it seems?

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Post by stuward » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:51 pm

You should probably alternate conventional deadlifts with RDLs. You might try lower body workouts like:

A1: Front Squats (or lunges)
A2: Deadlifts
A3: Single leg

B1: Back Squats
B2: RDLs
B3: Single leg

Try them for 4-6 cycles and you will probably see all of your lifts go up.

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Post by Ironman » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:11 pm

ninjackn wrote:
Ironman wrote:I do 2 30 minute workouts per week to maintain. You need a little more than that to make gains.
But for some reason i'm under the impression you're something around twice as big as most people people on this forum. :green:

pdellorto wrote:I just re-read the 5/3/1 manual, and it's got a once-a-week workout in there. I remember Stuart McRobert talking about someone training once every 10 days, too. But neither is optimal, and you can't afford to miss a workout.

I would say, as someone who trains 2x a week, is that you don't want to be afraid to push hard. Especially if you're pretty sure you will miss a workout or have to postpone one. The less times you workout, the more important they are, so make sure they count.
It sounds like 2 times a week is the sweet spot. I really like 3 to 4 but I think in terms of over head (time going to the gym, changing cloths, etc. etc.) it adds up to a little too much for someone with a tight schedule.

Yea, I probably am. I'm not the biggest though. Matt, Hoosegow and Halfbreed are bigger than me for sure.

I'm 5' 9" and fluctuate between 216 and 220, my bodyfat is in the upper teens though. But other than my wide chest cavity, I am fairly small framed. For example my ring size is 8 and my wrists are just under 6 inches.

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Post by caangelxox » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:31 am

stuward wrote:You should probably alternate conventional deadlifts with RDLs. You might try lower body workouts like:

A1: Front Squats (or lunges)
A2: Deadlifts
A3: Single leg

B1: Back Squats
B2: RDLs
B3: Single leg

Try them for 4-6 cycles and you will probably see all of your lifts go up.
I dont want to attempt front squats or back squats yet until my anterior pelvic tilt is gone completly. I know I need to improve my posterior chain more to make my pelvis neutral. My glutes activate well, but my hamstrings are lacking and that is probably why my pelvis is not neutral yet. I also need to strengthen my reverse crunch muscles! I should be able to do reverse crunches without holding onto anything.

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Post by KPj » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:28 am

Squatting with anterior tilt is fine. Anterior tilt can just limit how far you can go down without rounding. You can still squat to whatever depth you can get to without rounding. Just put a box or step down just above the point that this happens and that will ensure you stay out of the danger zone. Also spread the floor apart to activate the glutes more as you squat.

I think you're far too paranoid and need to just start lifting heavy things. stuward gave you a great example of a routine that would really focus on your posterior chain. If you make the single leg exercises glute/ham dominant then it's even more emphasis.

With regards to DL's and the quads 'taking over'. If this happens your weight will shift forward onto the front of you feet. It's that simple. Just make sure your weight is on your heels and you'll be fine.

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Post by KPj » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:40 am

frogbyte wrote:His form looks odd to me... his knees start off fairly straight for some reason and most of the lift is done with the hips/back it seems?
I DL with the hips high too. Infact i've never seen a strong conventional deadlifter start with the hips low...

Your statement reminded of a recent conversation between a guy I train with and a trainer who doesn't train. He does kind of train but your as well a saying he doesn't. Anyway, the lifter in question has a 620lbs DL. He lifts with a rounded back conventional style - the lower back is neutral, the upper back is rounded.

The trainer said, "I don't think you're using propper form there. You're rounding your back, and you're practically straight leg-ing it?".

The response was priceless. "oh... well.... How much are YOU deadlifting???"

Silence.....

He then said, "but that's not the point, I don't train the same as you"

The lifter said, "exactly. Pull 280(KG) with text book form and i'll see your point..."

My point is, he's (cressey) Deadlifting 600 at a b/w of 180-ish, give the guy a break :smile:

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