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

It’s 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
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Deadlift Training - Frequency and Reps

    There is always a lot of controversy surrounding deadlift training. Some say that you should only do it every few weeks, all the way to some saying twice a week.

    Others say reps, some say only singles.

    Right now there seems to be a strong trend for guys adding rep work back into their deadlift training.

    What say you PL forum? Reps or no reps? If you like reps, how do you incorporate them into your training without going too far?

    Frequency - once a week, twice a week, every few weeks??


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  3. #2
    Senior Member gaz90's Avatar
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    ive spent nearly one year doing singles, pulling ME every second week, pulling DE every second week, , my deadlift hasnt progressed that well. last year i would do 2-3 sets of 3-5reps @ 80% ish, and made good progress.

    right now im doing back down sets after i hit 3reps at +90%...i take 20% off my best weight that day and bang out 2 sets of 3-5reps. being only 180, i think i could use the extra work. time will tell...
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  4. #3
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    Rep work for me. We start with sets of 8 and drop down to 3 over the course of the meet cycle. I only pull every other week though. If I go every week my pull goes to shit.
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  5. #4
    Train Hardcore!!! muscle_g's Avatar
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    I like to do a 3 week wave with my deads

    WK 1- Pulls off the floor for 1-3 reps
    WK 2- Rack or Block Pulls for 3-5 reps
    WK 3- Light Speed Pulls for 6-8 sets of 1 rep
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  6. #5
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    There is always a lot of controversy surrounding deadlift training. Some say that you should only do it every few weeks, all the way to some saying twice a week.

    Others say reps, some say only singles.

    Right now there seems to be a strong trend for guys adding rep work back into their deadlift training.

    What say you PL forum? Reps or no reps? If you like reps, how do you incorporate them into your training without going too far?

    Frequency - once a week, twice a week, every few weeks??
    There are a lot of variables. Here are just a few:

    - The lifter's unique anatomy and lifting technique. If a lifter tends to use more lower back when squatting then high volume and or frequency pulling can lean to overtraining.

    - Intensity is a huge variable. Intensity inversely correlates with training volume. You can train at a lower intensity with greater volume and intensity. Intensity is also affected by emotional state. If a lifter gets really amped for their everyday training sessions they are lifting at a higher intensity due to the increased emotional arousal allowing for greater weights to be lifted. So, proper volume and frequency depend a lot on how YOU train.

    - Total volume of other movements that stress the lower back.

    I think you get the point. What is best is dependent on many factors so there is no one right answer. You CAN have a right answer for a given template program with prescribed intensity etc.


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  7. #6
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Singles for me and for many of the reasons that Chris just mentioned above.

    I don't do well with heavy deads for multiple reps. It's always when repping that I manage to tweak something. Most likely my form breaking down. Whereas with a heavy single I can give it all my focus and nail it with less risk of injury.

    For me, ME singles on Westside has been working, getting me PRs on every lift for the last few weeks in a row. I see no reason to change, haha!
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  8. #7
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Doing a bit more reps than I had been lately, one time a week, right after squatting. Body feels better and seem to be making progress, but I had to take a few steps back recently.
    Last edited by joey54; 03-16-2013 at 12:54 PM.


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  9. #8
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    I like to alternate between speed and heavy although my 'heavy days' will always be reps: 5's and 3's. I agree with scott though, my pull also goes to shit if I try and deadlift heavy two weeks in succession and mines not elite at all, be interesting to see how it develops as I get stronger, wonder if I will have to go to 2 weeks speed, 1 Heavy or only heavy once a month at some point.
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  10. #9
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    I deadlift once every 10 days or so, i used to do only singles because i hated reps my knees always got in the way lol, Been doing sets of 4-5 now and deadlift has been going up very well, i feel like that wont last much longer though.

  11. #10
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    There are a lot of variables. Here are just a few:

    - The lifter's unique anatomy and lifting technique. If a lifter tends to use more lower back when squatting then high volume and or frequency pulling can lean to overtraining.

    - Intensity is a huge variable. Intensity inversely correlates with training volume. You can train at a lower intensity with greater volume and intensity. Intensity is also affected by emotional state. If a lifter gets really amped for their everyday training sessions they are lifting at a higher intensity due to the increased emotional arousal allowing for greater weights to be lifted. So, proper volume and frequency depend a lot on how YOU train.

    - Total volume of other movements that stress the lower back.

    I think you get the point. What is best is dependent on many factors so there is no one right answer. You CAN have a right answer for a given template program with prescribed intensity etc.
    You were actually one of the people I thought of when I started this thread. I'm curious as to how you structure your DL training?

    I agree, there isn't necessairly a specific route to go that will be perfect for everyone but wouldn't there be some principles that should apply fairly broadly?


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  12. #11
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottYard View Post
    Rep work for me. We start with sets of 8 and drop down to 3 over the course of the meet cycle. I only pull every other week though. If I go every week my pull goes to shit.
    8 reps! Wow that is dangerously close to cardio haha. Just kidding, but how do you maintain form for 8 reps? Mine would fall apart completely (hence why I'm bench only lol). Is it an 8 rep max or just a particular weight that makes you work for 8 reps?

    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    Doing a bit more reps than I had been lately, one time a week, right after squatting. Body feels better and seem to be making progress, but I had to take a few steps back recently.
    This does seem to be the popular trend right now. How many reps are you doing? How do you structure the reps as you get closer to a meet?


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  13. #12
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    I deadlift twice a week. I like to alternate sumo and conventional for DE. Lately, I mostly squat for ME (it needs more work), and I do a deadlift variation for reps (3x3 or 3x5) after. I've found rotating the deadlift and using straps keeps me from over training.

    Strongmen are usually much better conventional deadlifters than powerlifters are. They mostly use reps in training. Those guys all do reps with 800. How many powerlifters can do 800 for 1 conventional? I say conventional, because I know people getting 100-150 out of a suit sumo.
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  14. #13
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    I am by no means an expert or anything close to knowing as much as most of you do but figured I'd just chime in. When I first started lifting I did light deadlifts (since I was new) for 8-10 reps and eventually hit a wall. Over the past year I switched to 5/3/1, I wouldn't say I "rep" it out though since I reset after every rep, but still obviously I'm not doing just singles. I dead once a week. I think the biggest thing for me is that I reset after every rep. 99% of the time a week is all I need to get my mind and body back to normal before my next session. My gains have been FAR more than I expected.
    Last edited by langadang; 03-19-2013 at 06:54 AM.

  15. #14
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusWild View Post
    I deadlift twice a week. I like to alternate sumo and conventional for DE. Lately, I mostly squat for ME (it needs more work), and I do a deadlift variation for reps (3x3 or 3x5) after. I've found rotating the deadlift and using straps keeps me from over training.

    Strongmen are usually much better conventional deadlifters than powerlifters are. They mostly use reps in training. Those guys all do reps with 800. How many powerlifters can do 800 for 1 conventional? I say conventional, because I know people getting 100-150 out of a suit sumo.
    You also don't see many Strongmen that are shaped like T-Rexs haha. I'm no expert on strongman as a sport but it seems that as far as deadlifting capabilities are concerned, you need to be able to rack pull a ton of weight (tire DL-type events for single rep like at the Arnold Classic) or be able to pull for reps (car deadlift-type events). Benni seemed to follow a similar structure in his training (he pulled what like 400 kg for 5 or 6 in that one video prior to his 1015?) and he crosses over sports. It'd be interesting to see just how high the top strongman could pull with a classical taper on the competition deadlift.
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  16. #15
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    8 reps! Wow that is dangerously close to cardio haha. Just kidding, but how do you maintain form for 8 reps? Mine would fall apart completely (hence why I'm bench only lol). Is it an 8 rep max or just a particular weight that makes you work for 8 reps?



    This does seem to be the popular trend right now. How many reps are you doing? How do you structure the reps as you get closer to a meet?
    On the top set anywhere between 6-12 depending on the week I am on. With meets I usually taper off and maybe hit my opener two weeks out.


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  17. #16
    Senior Member UncleAl's Avatar
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    Most cycles, I deadlift every other week. Currently, however, I'm doing them every workout (MWF), mostly very light (<70%) with low volume (2 sets of 5). At the start, did a 5-3-2 once a week. (The 5 is with the 2x5 weight, the triple and double based on RPE.) After making the double with 80%, pushed the 5-3-2 to nine days. At 90%, I'll move it out to two weeks -- that is, five 2x5s and a 5-3-2. I know this looks lame, but progress has been very good.
    Last edited by UncleAl; 03-19-2013 at 02:05 PM.
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  18. #17
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    For me, pulling once a week is what's helped me pull over 700. My rep ranges were from 1-5 and the percents I was working with were no lower the 80% and as high as 95%. Right now my reps are a little higher, but I'm not training for a meet right now. I'm going to experiment with deadlifting from the floor every other week. I'm not sure what I'll do on the weeks I'm not pulling.
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  19. #18
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    for me to progress I have to do rep work, and I have to do it more frequently, maybe some form of deadlift at least once a week. the thing I can't do is overdo it, because then I'm taking weeks to recover. My deadlift at my last meet was a bit poor, but my frequency just wasn't sufficient enough. But it really is hard to fit in squat and deadlift. At least for upper body you only have one lift to worry about, sure you do other things to assist it, but it's not the same.

  20. #19
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    I deadlift after heavy squats every other day hahaha.

    Only thing holding me back is not having more weight....I'm getting bored man and I dont wanna do no 10 rep deadlifts.

    Sets of 5 and less have worked for me so far. My favourite method is to just work up to maxes every few sessions, but I doubt you lot lifting heavy would be able to get away with that.
    Last edited by KJDANEXT0; 03-20-2013 at 07:03 PM.
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