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Old 05-04-2011, 08:53 AM   #1
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Default Heavy Deadlift Training and Ramping

In the context of this post, very heavy deadlift training is 90% + and heavy deadlift training is 80% +.

Very heavy deadlift training requires a longer recovery period, generally two weeks (or more). Don't overkill 90%+ training.

When ramping for heavy singles, doubles and triples you have to keep 2 things in mind:

1) You are not just warming up muscles - you are also waking up your CNS (central nervous system). An aroused (you like that word, don't you) CNS allows you to recruit more muscle fibers, making a weight feel lighter. It will also lessen the likelihood of injury when ramming heavy weight.

2) You need to track your total reps over 80 and 90%, even if you don't consider them working sets. They are.

To prime the CNS properly, I recommend some form of ramping. My general guideline is to ramp by 30 pounds, maybe as high as 40 if you are a 600 + pound deadlifter. I am not so I stick to 30 pound ramps. If your deadlift is in the low to mid 200's, it's probably better to ramp by 20 pounds at a time.

If you don't ramp and take big jumps, your CNS isn't prepped (as good as it could be), your muscles are not locked and loaded to fire, and once again. it's a good recipe for injury. Not to mention a recipe for piss poor performance, which is all we care about anyway.

Let's say you are ramming up to a max double. Your current 1RM is 415 pounds on deadlift. Your warmup and ramp sets might look something like this:

Bar x 15
135 x 5-10
225 x 3-5
275 x 1-2 - Last "warm up"
315 x 2 (76% - first double)
340 x 2 (82%)
370 x 2 (91%)
400 x 2 (96% and new PR)

You have performed 4 reps at 90%+. This is where you stop, even if your brain is telling you to try 405 or 410. Don't. You might be tempted to count only the reps with 400 as working sets, but you would be wrong to look at things that way.

Dave Tate recommends that you make 4 reps your max volume at 90% + for a given workout, and I agree. Well, mine is actually lower (3 reps), but I am no Dave Tate. 4 does max sense when ramming doubles, but if doing singles it might be better to limit yourself to 3 reps. Younger lifters with a relatively weaker deadlift (in the 200's) can go as high as about 6 reps.

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Last edited by BendtheBar; 05-04-2011 at 04:37 PM.
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