T Nation

20 Reps of Deads

Okay, yeah. I’m going for it. My hat’s in the ring and all that. I’ve decided to give a solid 6-week run of Deads & Milk, starting tomorrow and going until the week before Christmas. I train at home with no squat rack (and no room for it anyhow), so deadlifts are the best substitution I could figure. I didn’t want to be limited by my clean for front squats.

I’ll probably pick up a genuine copy of Super Squats somewhere along the way, but until then I’ve frankensteined together a general weekly outline.

I had some minor lower back surgery about 2 years ago, and I haven’t been able to get a really great ab or chest workout since then. Also, squatting-type movements have been iffy, but it’s mainly in my head. Point being, I lost a boatload of strength and I’m still working to get it back. (That was my get-it-out-of-the-way catchall excuse for being stupendously weaker than I should be, at the moment.)

So, here’s the plan:
Monday
Deadlift 1x20
Flat bench BB pullover 1x20
1-arm DB Row 4x6
Barbell curl 4x8

Wednesday
Deadlift 1x20
Flat bench BB pullover 1x20
Low incline DB bench press 4x6
Hanging leg raise 3x12

Friday
Deadlift 1x20
Flat bench BB pullover 1x20
Standing military press 4x6
Overhead extension 4x8

I’m thinking of trying to maintain a hold on the bar the entire time, standing in the lockout position for the breaths, to increase the body’s time under tension. This may prove to be A. stupid or B. impractical.

I’ll have a better idea by the end of tomorrow. I found some grip chalk that I’ll use liberally, but if need be, I’ll toss on straps for the last few reps only.

Food Plan:
Bunches o’ food + Half gallon of 2% milk per day. I’m too close to squishy gut syndrome to be messing with the full gallon of whole milk. So I’ll compromise with the classic plan, and deal with “only” the extra 960 calories, instead of the 2,400 in a gallon of whole milk. But I’ll play it by ear. If I seem to need more, I’ll tweak it as needed.

Enough talk. Sleep now…train later. See ya.

I’d recommend finding a squat rack and doing 20-rep squats. One of the best things about 20 rep squats is that when you are ‘resting’ and breathing between reps, you still have the load on your back.

I suppose you could rest in the standing position of the dl and not stop at the floor, but this is certainly going to lead to bouncing the weight off the floor, not a good idea for anyone, let alone someone with a previous injury.

Sounds ok to me. Might have to drop the weight back a little so you can lower with more cantrol and not bounce the weight or go heavy and when you lower release the bar for a sec or two then pull again.

Good luck! I don’t know how that chalk is going to work out – the TUT is going to be long as hell and your grip endurance is going to have to be phenomenal. I’d probably pansy out and go with the straps from the get-go.

This is awesome timely as well as I got a hair up mt butt yesterday to throw on 55% and see if I could get 20 with it on DL got 315 for 21 (lost count and partner was a bit slow telling me to stop). But it was nice could have etched a few more but was brutal and my butt and hams are feeling it today.

Few things I can think of that may help.

BREAT brother. Im so used to never pulling over 5 I found myself not breathing LOL most of my pulls consisting of singles and doubles.

Straps I think is a great idea will allow greater load but something I thought may be good is do day 1 and three with straps and the high load day 2 with no straps and let the grip be the limiter this doing two things working and bringing grip up as well as being a deload of sorts for you man DLing is taxing as hell your pretty nuts to even think of this.

Hack squats. Maybe a good idea to cycle the two DL and hack squats the hack squats not being such a load on the lower back and giving more qaud work.

vary your stance. maybe three stances and grips for the three DL days each giving a slight variance.

Have fun bro this should be interesting to watch.

Phill

I have used 20 rep snatch grip deads in the past, to get ready for a strongman contest. They will only make you good at 20 rep lifts (ie they dont convert to a 1rm) or else I could SNGDL 580lbs hahahah
Good luck
Will42

Be careful. Think about form before every lift.

I always end up hurting myself when I go into the higher rep range with DLs.

can somebody elaborate on how to do a 20-rep exercise please? do you just do a weight you can lift for example 12 reps with, and then just rest in between until you can do another rep, rest and then another rep etc?
Thanks in advance

However you decide to do it I strongly suggest you start with a light enough weight to let you easily complete the 20 reps…

If you have never done 20 reppers they will put a lot of pressure on your traps and however you grab the bar your forearms will be the limiting factor (unless you have a vise-like grip).

After the 1st week you can increase in 5kg increments until you reach the top weight you can handle for 20reps without letting go of the bar. Then add the milk and all the extra food. Otherwise much of it will be wasted in the run up…

Make a log and we can all chime in!!

J

Just in case anyone needs some info here is a site that describes the 20 rep plan for both squats and deads.

http://bulkingup.moonfruit.com/

[quote]ironbax wrote:
can somebody elaborate on how to do a 20-rep exercise please? do you just do a weight you can lift for example 12 reps with, and then just rest in between until you can do another rep, rest and then another rep etc?
Thanks in advance[/quote]

Pretty much. Super Squats actually recommends your usual 10-rep load. Also, you don’t really rest, i.e. you never rack the bar, you sit there with the load on your back and take as many deeps breaths as you need before you do another rep.

Alrighty…first session was done about an hour ago.

Warm-up: 3 minutes light kickboxing. Used all sorts of kicks, knees, and light punches to loosen everything up. Then hit the deadlift 2x5, 1x2 (45, 135, 205)

Deadlift 1x20 (205)
Went with conventional style, mixed grip. I’ll probably stick with this stance and switch the supinated/pronated hand each session. I figure I’ll exploit the holy hell out of this one version, then not touch it for quite a while. I actually prefer sumo style, but went conventional because I’d been ignoring it a bit.

I chalked up and went for it. In my head, I thought of it as a series of singles. Didn’t really seem killer until after #16. I ended up taking several breaths in the bottom position, but then I tried to “buy back” the rest time by holding the lockout for just as many breaths. The whole thing took a hair over three minutes. Felt lightheaded as soon as I finished. Wonderful.

Flat bench BB pullover 1x20 (30)
Nothing special about these…at all. They’re in simply as an homage to Dr. Strossen. :wink:

Low incline DB bench press 4x6 (30, 45, 55, 55)
Nowhere near failure, resting only as long as it took to change weights (using adjustable Oly handles) and grab a drink of water.

Hanging leg raise 3x12
I didn’t like doing these so much. Didn’t realize how much my grip was severely fried, since I was doing them hanging from a rafter in the garage. Might swap it out for decline crunches or something.

Now if you’ll excuse me…I have milk and turkey tacos waiting.

[quote]Will42 wrote:
I have used 20 rep snatch grip deads in the past, to get ready for a strongman contest. They will only make you good at 20 rep lifts (ie they dont convert to a 1rm) or else I could SNGDL 580lbs hahahah
Good luck
Will42[/quote]

theoretically wouldn’t 20-rep dl add a massive amount of…well, mass? That’s what 20-rep squat does and both exercises utilize many muscles in the body. How did your 1RM dl change progressively after you changed from 20rep to low-reps?

Was it the same as your normal 1RM gains before 20reps? Did you experience a lot of hypertrophy? My squat had rapid gains after coming off the super squats.

Just a suggestion,
You can get a couple sawhorses pretty cheap (like 20 bucks i thinks) that can hold upwards of a ton. Use some cinderblocks to elevate them to where you need and you’ve got yourself an improvised squat rack. Might not be the prettiest thing around but it would get the job done.
but if its more that you don’t want the weight on your back, good luck with the deads

My friend:

20-rep deads are not a smart plan for ANYONE, especially someone who’s had “minor” back surgery. Assuming you haven’t hurt yourself yet, I’d suggest reconsidering your program…

[quote]Colucci wrote:
Okay, yeah. I’m going for it. My hat’s in the ring and all that. I’ve decided to give a solid 6-week run of Deads & Milk, starting tomorrow and going until the week before Christmas. I train at home with no squat rack (and no room for it anyhow), so deadlifts are the best substitution I could figure. I didn’t want to be limited by my clean for front squats.

I’ll probably pick up a genuine copy of Super Squats somewhere along the way, but until then I’ve frankensteined together a general weekly outline.

I had some minor lower back surgery about 2 years ago, and I haven’t been able to get a really great ab or chest workout since then. Also, squatting-type movements have been iffy, but it’s mainly in my head. Point being, I lost a boatload of strength and I’m still working to get it back. (That was my get-it-out-of-the-way catchall excuse for being stupendously weaker than I should be, at the moment.)

So, here’s the plan:
Monday
Deadlift 1x20
Flat bench BB pullover 1x20
1-arm DB Row 4x6
Barbell curl 4x8

Wednesday
Deadlift 1x20
Flat bench BB pullover 1x20
Low incline DB bench press 4x6
Hanging leg raise 3x12

Friday
Deadlift 1x20
Flat bench BB pullover 1x20
Standing military press 4x6
Overhead extension 4x8

I’m thinking of trying to maintain a hold on the bar the entire time, standing in the lockout position for the breaths, to increase the body’s time under tension. This may prove to be A. stupid or B. impractical.

I’ll have a better idea by the end of tomorrow. I found some grip chalk that I’ll use liberally, but if need be, I’ll toss on straps for the last few reps only.

Food Plan:
Bunches o’ food + Half gallon of 2% milk per day. I’m too close to squishy gut syndrome to be messing with the full gallon of whole milk. So I’ll compromise with the classic plan, and deal with “only” the extra 960 calories, instead of the 2,400 in a gallon of whole milk. But I’ll play it by ear. If I seem to need more, I’ll tweak it as needed.

Enough talk. Sleep now…train later. See ya.[/quote]

[quote]Charles Staley wrote:
My friend:

20-rep deads are not a smart plan for ANYONE, especially someone who’s had “minor” back surgery. Assuming you haven’t hurt yourself yet, I’d suggest reconsidering your program…[/quote]

Nooooooooo. Coach Staley’s giving my program the kiss of death. And I had such high hopes. Well…seemed like a good idea at the time. :wink:

To clarify, my surgery was on the tailbone, not the lumbar spinal area, so I may have been misleading in that regard. I just prefer to call it lower back surgery, instead of upper ass surgery. (Did I mention that November is National Too-Much-Information month?)

Is it just a matter of risk/benefit? I had figured, given the equipment present, deads would be an adequate substitute and like I said, during my first session I treated them essentially as a series of singles done in succession.

Would there be any way to make the concept work, or just scrap the whole idea?

P.S. - Thank you for the feedback, disheartening as it was. :slight_smile:

OK, thanks for the clarification on the surgery. BUT, even assuming your back is fine, 20-rep deads are a problem, because as fatigue accumulates, you’ll lose your ability to hold your low back in a safe position.

The Staley “mantra” is “Focus on performance, not pain,” and here’s how it applies to you:

Consciously or unconsciously, you figured that the only thing more painful than deads is high-rep deads (Note: by “pain” I mean the broad definition, including the burn, soreness, fatigue, etc). So by focusing on pain, you made a decision that has a high risk of low back injury. Then you’ll have NO CHOICE but to focus on pain!

So instead, focus on performance.

Look, Andy Bolton just deadlifted 1003 pounds. I don’t know Andy, but he’s a BIG, STRONG man, and I’d be shocked if he ever pulled anything over 5 reps.

Stick with proven programs and work hard on them. The answer isn’t a novel program, it’s a “novel” work-ethic. Meaning, bust your hump on a consistent basis using a sound, proven program approach.

Hope that helps to provide clarity…

[quote]Colucci wrote:
Charles Staley wrote:
My friend:

20-rep deads are not a smart plan for ANYONE, especially someone who’s had “minor” back surgery. Assuming you haven’t hurt yourself yet, I’d suggest reconsidering your program…

Nooooooooo. Coach Staley’s giving my program the kiss of death. And I had such high hopes. Well…seemed like a good idea at the time. :wink:

To clarify, my surgery was on the tailbone, not the lumbar spinal area, so I may have been misleading in that regard. I just prefer to call it lower back surgery, instead of upper ass surgery. (Did I mention that November is National Too-Much-Information month?)

Is it just a matter of risk/benefit? I had figured, given the equipment present, deads would be an adequate substitute and like I said, during my first session I treated them essentially as a series of singles done in succession.

Would there be any way to make the concept work, or just scrap the whole idea?

P.S. - Thank you for the feedback, disheartening as it was. :)[/quote]

I do hear you and get what you’re saying. It’s definitely something I’ll be chewing on tonight. Thanks again for your time.

Good work. BTW here’s another way to think about it:

I think you said you pulled 205x20.

That’s 4100 pounds of volume at 205 pounds of load.

If instead you opted for 4 sets of 5, I’d bet you could use maybe 245 pounds. That would total 4900 pounds of volume at 245 pounds of load. And, you’ll be safer. It’s a far better plan.

[quote]Colucci wrote:
I do hear you and get what you’re saying. It’s definitely something I’ll be chewing on tonight. Thanks again for your time.[/quote]

[quote]Colucci wrote:
I do hear you and get what you’re saying. It’s definitely something I’ll be chewing on tonight. Thanks again for your time.[/quote]

I couldn’t agree more with CS. Don’t let your enthusiasm override your good sense. Don’t hurt yourself.