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BendtheBar 04-04-2011 09:08 AM

My Deadlift Program
I spent the last 6 months training deadlift a bit differently. By no means take this as a "real approach". It just goes to show that if you listen to your body you can overcome stalls despite minor injuries, and that you can make gains without ramming it full throttle all year round.

--I trained primarily sumo, and rarely over 405. (This was a weak movement for me)
--I dropped RDLs as they were starting to bother my hip.
--I dropped all lower back intense work, including good mornings, front squats, zerchers, rack pulls, etc.
--I performed quite a few high rep deadlift sets with 15-20 reps.
--I dropped heavy squats and performed mostly high rep squat work.
--I focused on heavy rows...including barbell and dumbbell rows.
--I focused on heavy abs work.

The result was a 20 pound PR. Not a bad 6 months. At my old age, and my strength levels...I will take 40 pounds a year on any big lift.

What it really taught me was that I can take a period of time and train moderate with the big lifts while pushing for improved strength on certain bodyparts, and it can pay off.

My upper back was very strong, but now I can strict barbell row 315x5. My abs strength really improved as well. So while I was training moderate on squats and deads, I was improving relevant bodypart strength and healing injuries by avoiding bothersome exercises.

Lerho 04-04-2011 12:50 PM

Great result after all those training years!

That is intelligent, rational way to train. By "listening" your body and training within your limits not trying to force things, can produce very good outcome. Many people just train without analyzing anything and just wondering why they dont get better even with all of the hard work.

I have a little similar "story". My training partner had stalled for 220kg deadlift for quite a while. We videotaped his lifts and the thing was that if he just got the weight up for the first 30cm, the rest was easy. He has a great upperback strength, but leg power has always been his weak point.

So (not counting light weeks) he concentrated almost solely to improved his squatting. Doing back and front squats for three times a week (only deadlift training was speed deadlift doing 6-10x2 with a 60% and some Good Mornings).

Here is the percentages (b workout was front squat) for his program:

1a 6*4*75
1b 3*4*65, 3*3*70
1c 4*5*80

2a 4*6*70
2b 8*2*75
2c 6*5*80

3a 6*4*75
3b 3*4*65, 3*3*70
3c 8*5*80

4a 4*6*70
4b 8*2*75
4c 3*6*60

5a 6*4*80
5b 3*4*65, 3*3*70
5c 4*5*85

6a 4*6*75
6b 8*2*80
6c 6*5*85

7a 6*4*80
7b 3*4*65, 3*3*70
7c 8*5*85

8a 4*6*75
8b 8*2*80
8c 3*6*60

After that was a max (peaking) period (doing just back squats):

1a 2*3*80, 2*2*85, 1*90
1b 3*3*65, 3*2*70
1c 2*(3*80, 2*85, 1*90), 3*75

2a 3*(2*80, 2*65)
2b 2*2*85, 2*2*90, 3*75
2c 3*3*70, 3*2*75

3a 2*(3*85, 2*90, 1*95), 3*75
3b 3*(2*70, 2*75)
3c 2*80, 1*95, 2*80, 1*95, 2*80

4a 2*3*65, 2*2*70, 2*3*65
4b 7*1*90
4c 2*3*60, 3*2*65

5a 2*3*60, 3*2*65
5b 2*2*85, 2*1*90, 1*95, 1*97 1*100-105
5c 4*1*80

6a --
6b 3*2*50
6c max test 1*97, 102, 110...

His deep back squat (raw) went from 150kg to 182.5kg, front squat raw from 120kg to 150kg... Then it was time to go back to the deadlift... Weight "exploded" of the ground and he made a record after record, finally ending with 260kg deadlift. In all this took some 20 weeks and resulted 32.5kg improvement in back squat and whopping 40kg in deadlift. Amazing!! Of course he has trained only 3-4 years and that made it possible, but still a huge improvement.

But lesson for this story is to analyze the weak points and really work to make it better because it might make a huge difference.

LtL 04-04-2011 01:06 PM

Awesome work Steve. I have isolated my weak points and am working on a similar basis: combining conventional and sumos, heavy block pulls, speed pulls and heavy upper back work (shrugs, rows).


BendtheBar 04-04-2011 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by Lerho (Post 127006)

But lesson for this story is to analyze the weak points and really work to make it better because it might make a huge difference.

Great story. That is a monster improvement.


Lerho 04-04-2011 01:52 PM


Originally Posted by BendtheBar (Post 127011)
Great story. That is a monster improvement.


Yes it is... Also considering that he is 40 year old and begun lifting at a relatively late at age 37. Im happy for him but envious at the same time because I fall more behind him and I would hope that opposite would happen...:p

But his father deadlifted 380kg about 20 years ago, so he obviously is gifted for this sport also.

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