I've been using a lifting program w/ a trainer at my gym, focusing almost exclusively on deadlifts. I have a 3 day/wk lifting schedule:
275lbs 10 sets/5 reps (currently only make 7 sets before losing form)
185lbs 10 x 5
225lbs 10 x 5
On all lifting days: finish w/ either flat BB press/incline press/or military press in the rack. Then any of various weighted/heavy ball abs excercises.
Is it a bad idea to focus so much on one lift?
I'm training for practical strength/core strength, speed and explosiveness (though gaining some size and looking intimidating is not a bad side-effect).
Any criticism/advice is welcome.
Back to back days is rough for me. After my DL day my body needs 1-2 days before I can even attempt them again.
Yeah, yesterday was tough. I shortened the rest period between sets to 30 seconds, and around set 7 I was really hurting (in the good, muscle way of course). That's why I've got light day in the middle like that.
I'm no personal trainer, however; I'd like to think I've learned more over the last couple of years than most trainers I've met. Here is what I think about the program you listed:
- Deadlifting to exhaustion two days in a row does not sound like a very bright idea. The CNS needs recouperation time, and few exercises tax it like a Deadlift can. Do you ever feel tired on Wednesday's workout?
- You are working exclusively on Deadlifts, which is awesome. The problem I see is that you never hit any heavy triples/doubles and even singles. Why? If all you are working on is Deadlifting, you should probably have a speed day and your maximum effort day (checkout the Westside method).
- Why do you have a static amount of weight you are lifting for a static amount of sets? this should vary or be a percentage of your 1RM. I'm assuming you probably already knew this...
- As you are aware, the Deadlift uses a ton of different muscles. By limiting your workouts to almost exclusively Deadlifts, you are training these muscles in one, linear fashion. Throw in some supplimental lifts for your upper/lower back, delts and more chest. Doesn't have to be a day dedicated to this crap, but at least hit a few sets of supplimental movements after you Deadlift.
- Along the same lines as just mentioned, make sure you are not always doing your deadlifts in the same fashion. Try doing them off a higher platform so the weight has to be pulled from a lower point. Try Rack Pulls, SLDLs, and other Deadlifts too.
- Overall, even if I focussed on Deadlifts exclusively, I'd really only hit them twice a week. Find something else to work on for that 3rd day (supplimental lifts?).
I don't really get too tired for the Wed workout, but my muscles definitely feel cooked afterwards.
I guess I should have clarified on the weight/reps. That is just my current weight, it does/has changed over time. They're based on percentages of my 1RM (which I haven't tested in awhile, but we're winging it). This program is the first time I've ever really done DLs, so I started out small @ 135 lbs as my heavy - and I've been working up. Once I can pull all 10 sets of 275 on Tue, I'll increase all weights.
I think I will add some more supplemental lifts in afterwards, like you suggest. And if I vary between regular deads, SLDL, etc. how would you recommend throwing that in? Once a month or so for one workout? Or do you mean more like mix it up every workout?
Thanks for your help...
Probably do one flavor of Deadlifting for 2-3 weeks and then switch it up again. Also, not to impede further on your workout, but why are you waiting to increase the weight until you reach 10 sets of 5 reps? What are your goals with Deadlifting?
Last edited by Kiaran; 03-23-2006 at 12:46 PM.
That way I have a short-term goal (ie. 275 for 10 x 5) to shoot for, while increasing my max. But I'm not really shooting for a certain max or anything. I just want to increase strength - along with physical endurance - as much as possible.
Every couple of weeks I'll max out just to gauge my light/medium/heavy percentages. So my last max day (sort of, I got 3 sets of 3 reps, so not really a 1RM) I was @ 315. Hence the estimated percentages (roughly 80%, 70%, 60%) for each day.
Do you think I should be increasing weight faster?
Increasing strength is really about time, patience and pushing the limits. I think all you are doing by waiting to increase weight until you've reached 10 sets, is slowing down your progress and burning calories. Your muscles probably got the point of the exercise somewhere between sets 1 and 3. So for those weeks you keep hitting them with the same weight, which you can already lift for many sets, you really aren't gaining anything in the strength department. Power Lifters will tell you that just because a guy can pull 5 reps of 405 lbs, does not mean he could pull more than the guy that only pulls 405 for 3 reps. The same goes for the number of sets performed. Point is, don't waste your time. If you want strength, then increase the weight when you can pull it off the floor with good form.
That really makes sense. What about the endurance factor though? Will the extra sets help train my muscles to be able to put up that extra effort? You know sort of a physiological 'brainwashing', for lack of a better word...
I think you're trying to do too much in one week. Consider scaling it back to 3x/2weeks or at least twice a week.
Just curious (not trying to be critical), but why are you focusing so much on DLs (and not doing squats)? Is there something magical about 10sets of 5reps?
A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
Most definitely it will train your muscles to put up the extra effort, if we are talking Volume (how much total weight you moved that session). If you want strength, extra (this is relative) sets and reps don't do a whole lot. The problem is that you cannot "brainwash" your muscles. The body is smart and does its best to become more efficient at whatever you are doing in order to minimalize stress. This is why routines go stale and many people get diminishing returns from doing their same workout over and over.
Nothing magical that I know of! I just really like deadlifts, and feel that they are about as close to a 'total body' excercise as you can get. And every couple of weeks I switch it up for a workout, and do some squats instead - just not on a regular basis.
Yeah, I get what you're saying. I think once I hit this goal, I'm going to switch it up to a different flavor of deadlift. Then when I cycle back to the regular DL, I'll try to go heavier, faster.
Thanks for all your help!
Last edited by solid; 03-23-2006 at 08:30 PM.