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)!
If one doesn't deadlift, how does one know just how strong one is for competition?The Lower Back
As Dr Tom McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Biomechanics) noted, the lower back is quickly and easily overtrained.
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.
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.
Use one of the auxiliary exerices above that replicates the deadlift movement. Train this exercise fairly hard.
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.