The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Dead Lift Variations

    I recently hit a new PR of 405x3 on the DL... My goal to hit by the end of this year is at least 500x1.

    I am a smaller guy, 5'7'' - 180lbs. And I do not want to put on much mass unless it is lean. I know I am slowing down my progress, however for marketing purposes (i am a trainer) I need maintain the abz especially during beach season.

    In the past I've experienced burn out from DLing heavy and frequently which led to an acute injury. So now I recognize the benefits of using DL variations to promote adaptation and strength gains, yet keep the CNS from getting fried.

    I am thinking of programming my DL training this way... 1 week of halting dead lifts, 1 week of rack pulls, 1 week of heavy DLing (testing my progress), then a deload week using light speed pulls. I've heard good things about using the good morning, but haven't figured out a good way to add it to my program.

    I currently train the lower body 2 days a week... 1 day is DL/Hip focused, the other is Squat/quad focused. I do variations of each lift both days though.

    Please guide me in my quest for a 500lb DL and also share some of the more successful DL variations.
    My 10 week cut results

    "Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."

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  3. #2
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    Take a look at Nickaus's log. He is deadlifting pretty often. I share a similar goal with you and am currently at around 435x1. My grip and upper back is my weakness though.

    For me, im deadlifting often from different block heights, adding in bands to be able to go lighter, and then going to do a lot of front squats and farmer's walks.

    Good luck.

  4. #3
    Resolute -JM-'s Avatar
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    TBH, 531 will get you a 500lb DL and more. I am living proof. No frills, just plain old pulling from the ground and some sensible accessory such as SLDLs, GMs, Back raises, Weighted hypers, reverse hypers etc.

    Take a look at Nickaus's log. He is deadlifting pretty often
    I am not sure Nick's programming is suited for mere mortals. Nick is insane. Hey Nick
    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy - George Bernard Shaw

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinMcK View Post

    I am not sure Nick's programming is suited for mere mortals. Nick is insane. Hey Nick
    True, but if you are going to try to deadlift often, changing up the movement is necessary.

  6. #5
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Identify where you are weakest at and make that your highest priority.
    Drop the high rep sets and include more sets at high intensity. Waving HP, RP, normal pulls, speed pulls each week is not enough to build on. Say you are weak at lockout for example...
    On your hip day or whatever, do low rep sets, 80%+ DL followed by block pulls for volume which help with the movement. Wave the volume over a few weeks and deload.
    As an accessory after your squats on squat day, do high rep RDLs, SLDLs, or partial DLs. This will build the muscles you need for a bigger DL.

    Halting pulls are great and all, but unless you are weak midrange, there's no real reason to be doing them. Same thing with benching if you are lifting raw. Focusing on lockout work when you suck off the chest is not going to fix the issue.
    Trample the weak, hurdle the dead
    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=132318

    Satisfaction is the Death of Desire...

  7. #6
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the guidance!

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    Identify where you are weakest at and make that your highest priority.
    Drop the high rep sets and include more sets at high intensity. Waving HP, RP, normal pulls, speed pulls each week is not enough to build on. Say you are weak at lockout for example...
    On your hip day or whatever, do low rep sets, 80%+ DL followed by block pulls for volume which help with the movement. Wave the volume over a few weeks and deload.
    As an accessory after your squats on squat day, do high rep RDLs, SLDLs, or partial DLs. This will build the muscles you need for a bigger DL.

    Halting pulls are great and all, but unless you are weak midrange, there's no real reason to be doing them. Same thing with benching if you are lifting raw. Focusing on lockout work when you suck off the chest is not going to fix the issue.
    My weakest point seems to be off the floor and mid-range. Lock out has never been an issue. The weak link seems to be my lower back (I injured this a year ago DLing). I am thinking halting DL's on my squat day may be a good idea. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Last edited by Raleighwood; 03-02-2011 at 08:36 AM.
    My 10 week cut results

    "Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."

  8. #7
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Weak off the floor. Then I'd make your main DL sets single reps. This will make you work the hardest portion of the lift. Or if you do higher rep sets or follow a 5/3/1 plan or something, don't bounce reps. Reset. If you only do 3 sets, by bouncing you only essentially work your weakest area for 3 total reps. By doing more sets of singles, you work through this several more times. I'd also maybe consider doing deficit pulls as your main sets.

    Mid-range is a combination of keeping a good arch and staying tight (strong erectors and abs) before hip extension. Halting pulls or isometric pulls will fix this. Pull to a certain point (below knee, above knee, thigh) and hold an arch for 3 seconds. Whether you lock it out or not is up to you.

    Good accessory work would be deep Oly squats or deep SSB or normal bar box squats. Front Squats can also be used. Dead stop leg presses too. This will help your quad drive off the floor.

    Just because you might not fail at lockout doesn't mean you still don't do exercises to work on it. Hip extension stuff like GMs, GHRs, and pull throughs should still be done.

    A sample plan could be Deficit Pulls (singles), Deep Oly squats, GHRs, lat work, abs and on the 2nd day squats, halting pulls, squat assistance work, rev. hypers or hyperextensions, abs.

    Depending on your level of fitness, that may be too much or too little. But use appropriate volume, wave the main exercises and deload when it's needed. The accessory stuff can be switched (like deep oly squats for a cycle, deep box squats for a cycle, etc) as well.

    And if you injured your lower back, work your abs hard. Weighted Abs, ab wheel, hanging raises, side bends, etc.
    Last edited by BloodandThunder; 03-02-2011 at 08:52 AM.
    Trample the weak, hurdle the dead
    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=132318

    Satisfaction is the Death of Desire...

  9. #8
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    Weak off the floor. Then I'd make your main DL sets single reps. This will make you work the hardest portion of the lift. Or if you do higher rep sets or follow a 5/3/1 plan or something, don't bounce reps. Reset. If you only do 3 sets, by bouncing you only essentially work your weakest area for 3 total reps. By doing more sets of singles, you work through this several more times. I'd also maybe consider doing deficit pulls as your main sets.

    Mid-range is a combination of keeping a good arch and staying tight (strong erectors and abs) before hip extension. Halting pulls or isometric pulls will fix this. Pull to a certain point (below knee, above knee, thigh) and hold an arch for 3 seconds. Whether you lock it out or not is up to you.

    Good accessory work would be deep Oly squats or deep SSB or normal bar box squats. Front Squats can also be used. Dead stop leg presses too. This will help your quad drive off the floor.

    Just because you might not fail at lockout doesn't mean you still don't do exercises to work on it. Hip extension stuff like GMs, GHRs, and pull throughs should still be done.

    A sample plan could be Deficit Pulls (singles), Deep Oly squats, GHRs, lat work, abs and on the 2nd day squats, halting pulls, squat assistance work, rev. hypers or hyperextensions, abs.

    Depending on your level of fitness, that may be too much or too little. But use appropriate volume, wave the main exercises and deload when it's needed. The accessory stuff can be switched (like deep oly squats for a cycle, deep box squats for a cycle, etc) as well.

    And if you injured your lower back, work your abs hard. Weighted Abs, ab wheel, hanging raises, side bends, etc.
    Right on, that sounds pretty good.

    This is what I have been doing for my lower body/posterior chain...

    Tuesday:
    Dead lift 5/3/1 programming
    Front Squats 5/3/1 programming
    Super set: Calves + shrugs
    Ab work

    Thursday:
    Squats 5/3/1 programming
    Power Cleans constantly pushing progress on sets of triples.
    Super set calves + shrugs
    Ab work.

    I may deload my dead lift, and add in singles from a deficit on my Tuesday.

    Thursday, I may keep power cleans but lower the intensity and replace with a rotation of GMs, SLDLs, and halting DLs.
    My 10 week cut results

    "Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."

  10. #9
    Senior Member thatNUCKOLSkid's Avatar
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    something i've found that's been helping me a TON is using straps for my heaviest sets, then doing grip work specifically 2-3 times a week on another day (usually an off day). i started training with straps because i broke my thumb but wanted to keep pulling, and found my recovery time significantly decreased and my CNS didn't feel fried the day after pulling. now that my thumb's better, i'm sticking with the straps just so i can pull more often. the specific grip work has improved my grip strength by 50 pounds (i use double overhand pulls without chalk as an indicator) without adversely affecting my CNS.
    21 years old, 242 pounds
    current: 750 squat, 445 bench, 725 deadlift
    goals: Total 2000+ raw in the next 18 months

  11. #10
    Dr. Subtotal
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    IF you want to use 5/3/1, maybe use a Deficit Pull Max and run a 5/3/1 cycle with that.
    Pull:
    5/3/1 Def. Pull
    Volume Front Squat
    GHR
    Abs

    Squat
    5/3/1 Squat
    GMs
    Rev Hyper/Hypers
    Abs

    5/3/1 is about simplicity so the above would be a good start. Instead of 5/3/1 FS maybe focus more on volume. The purpose of the FS is to build up leg drive for the DL, not necessarily to increase your FS max (which may happen as a result). Calves can be done any day of the week bc they generally take a short time to recover like the quads. Move shrugs to upper days. Gradually work up your ab volume too.
    Trample the weak, hurdle the dead
    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=132318

    Satisfaction is the Death of Desire...

  12. #11
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    Deficit pulls and SLDL/RDL FTW!!!!

    Blood, how are halting pulls best done?
    Do you just pull to that point and 'halt' or do you do it against a rack?
    And what would be a good weight to start with in comparision to ones 1RM?

    Also, how do these compare to just pulling from different block heights?
    And can something similar be done for bench if one is weak at mid point?

    Sorry for so many questions.

  13. #12
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    If your weak off the floor then I would suggest doing more deficit pulls.
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  14. #13
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Dan
    Haltings are done to work on keeping a hard arch and good position right before hip extension. Pulling against pins is more of an isometric pull. Bob Hoffman I believe was a proponent of them. Haltings are good if you are built like a T-rex and have terrible leverages. Don't make them your only DL work though. Start light and work up, but percentages 50-70% for up to triples I found work best. Youtube them and you'll find some examples. A deficit pull or a block pull are two completely different things and are also very different from haltings. Again, don't just do them for the sake of doing them.

    If you suck midrange, first examine your starting position and your leg drive off the ground. Then try doing high bar GMs to work on your arch. It's when your GM gets stronger with no carryover to the DL that you should consider Haltings because DL is still a skill (again this happens typically with bad leveraged lifters).

    Weak mid-range can be fixed by floor presses, 2-3 board for volume, not flareing too early, speed work, etc.
    Trample the weak, hurdle the dead
    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=132318

    Satisfaction is the Death of Desire...

  15. #14
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    You probably already do this, but just in case:
    CHALK CHALK CHALK haha

  16. #15
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    Deficit singles worked well for me in the past.

    They also sped up my pulls a little. With the longer ROM its harder to grind out a rep, so i wanted to get that bar moving and use momentum in my favor.

    Plus when you go back to pulling off the floor the ROM seems sooooo much shorter.
    Without progression, I am nothing.

  17. #16
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    I did ~4inch deficit DLs today @ 60% of my 3rm for 10 singles.

    Felt great and could really tell it was hitting low-mid back much harder than conventional DLs.

    Looking forward to developing this variation!
    My 10 week cut results

    "Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."

  18. #17
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    Wow, 4" deficit is alot. I usually only do a 2" deficit. I'll use our 4" block for SLDL. Cool that they worked out for you.
    My Training Log
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    Training by Tone Barbaccio
    New Dimensions Wellness & Education

    *************************
    Best geared meet @ 242
    1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
    665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
    700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total

    *************************
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  19. #18
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hopper View Post
    Wow, 4" deficit is alot. I usually only do a 2" deficit. I'll use our 4" block for SLDL. Cool that they worked out for you.
    It may have been less then that...

    I had to use one of those aerobic step platforms, that you can stack plastic feet under to make it higher.

    I wish my area had a hard core gym.
    My 10 week cut results

    "Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."

  20. #19
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    at your height and with a weak back maybe try sumo

    either way stay in your form doing all the variationsdoesnt always help maybe space your lifting where u dl every 10 days or so

    i have had my share of low back injuries in the past and now it is my strongest point i essentially do romanian dl but have a 529lb in competion raw and i always dl heavy but one thing i absolutely swear by is low back crunchs or supermans wahtever u call them i do 2 sets of 20 once a week now but u should start at 3x20 twice a week at the end of your back workout

  21. #20
    Resolute -JM-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goll65 View Post
    one thing i absolutely swear by is low back crunchs or supermans wahtever u call them i do 2 sets of 20 once a week now but u should start at 3x20 twice a week at the end of your back workout
    Hypers and Reverse Hypers. They really do keep your lower back in order.
    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy - George Bernard Shaw

  22. #21
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    I think alot of people overthink deadlift training. Get your back as strong as possible and the rest kind of works itself out. If you do that by doing good mornings, block pulls, pulls against bands or other methods it can all work. Just make sure things are progressing and your back is getting stronger.

    Size wise it doesn't make much difference for the pull, its the one lift that weight gain really doesn't help. When I was 30lbs heavier my pull was actually much worse.

    I guess in the end.. speed work, bands, chains, etc all are tools but in the end just get your back strong as **** and your pull will be good. Once I started taking this approach my deadlift starting improving rapidly.
    960/530/749 @ 242
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