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5/3/1 Deadlift Question

Hey guys,

Currently in my third 5/3/1 cycle. Prior to 5/3/1, I hadn’t deadlifted in over a year due to a back injury. Once I got back into it, my ability to deadlift quickly surpassed what it used to be, and now I’m able to pull weights much heavier than 5/3/1 has me progressing. My issue is that at the rate I’m progressing (+10 pounds per cycle), to keep my estimated 1-RM up, or increasing, I have to pull high reps. I almost always go for max reps, not settling for the “mandatory” reps (1-2 shy of failure).

Example: this week was 240x3, I pulled 240x10. To keep my 1-RM the same (or increasing), I need 250x8 this week (1-week), and then 235x12 for the 5-week of the next cycle.

Thoughts on what I should do? I see a few possible options: 1) drop the extra reps and just get 1, 3, or 5 reps each week; eventually it will be difficult. 2) reset with a higher deadlift TM so that I’m lifting in the 1-5 rep range. 3) don’t worry about it and just keep doing high rep deadlifts, adding weight to the bar each week/cycle.

B

What are your goals? Do you feel like you are moving towards your goals? Do you feel like you are risking injury with the high rep deadlift sets?

Answer those questions and the answer to your other questions will probably become obvious.

They say your first 3 cycles you should get way more than the required reps, and I consider this to be why I injured my lower back+bad flexability. So now I keep it all under 10 for the 5’s week, 7-8 for the 3’s and 5 for the 1’s.

[quote]Silyak wrote:
What are your goals? Do you feel like you are moving towards your goals? Do you feel like you are risking injury with the high rep deadlift sets?

Answer those questions and the answer to your other questions will probably become obvious. [/quote]

Getting stronger and gaining muscle at a slow but reasonable rate. yes I feel like I’m moving towards my goals as my deadlift is getting better and better, but at the same time, yes, I feel like the potential for injury is higher. I always lift with a partner so I have them tell me immediately if my form breaks down, but even one heavy rep could be disastrous.

As far as I know, most people avoid high-rep deadlifts. As long as form remains solid and no injuries are appearing, is working with a deadlift in the 8-12 rep range good for strength or mass?

I don’t know of too many powerlifters who do deadlifts over 5 reps. Actually I can’t think of one.
After 5 reps your form usually starts to deteriorate increasing the risk of injury.

I got tendonitis in both forearms from about ~6 months of 8-12 range DL work. I was doing 4 sets once or twice a week.

[quote]baugust wrote:
Hey guys,

Currently in my third 5/3/1 cycle. Prior to 5/3/1, I hadn’t deadlifted in over a year due to a back injury. Once I got back into it, my ability to deadlift quickly surpassed what it used to be, and now I’m able to pull weights much heavier than 5/3/1 has me progressing. My issue is that at the rate I’m progressing (+10 pounds per cycle), to keep my estimated 1-RM up, or increasing, I have to pull high reps. I almost always go for max reps, not settling for the “mandatory” reps (1-2 shy of failure).

Example: this week was 240x3, I pulled 240x10. To keep my 1-RM the same (or increasing), I need 250x8 this week (1-week), and then 235x12 for the 5-week of the next cycle.

Thoughts on what I should do? I see a few possible options: 1) drop the extra reps and just get 1, 3, or 5 reps each week; eventually it will be difficult. 2) reset with a higher deadlift TM so that I’m lifting in the 1-5 rep range. 3) don’t worry about it and just keep doing high rep deadlifts, adding weight to the bar each week/cycle.

B[/quote]

My opinion on your ideas:

  1. Not a horrible thing to do. This is probably my favourite of what you’ve suggested.
  2. Bad idea imo. That’s really changing how the program was written, which is a big no-no in my books, especially in a % based program like 5/3/1. Eventually it’ll catch up with you and you’ll be struggling to make the prescribed reps at all.
  3. Not a bad idea either, but with your injury history, I think I’d prefer 1 to this.

So 1, 3, 2. Just let it ride out, focus on your assistance exercises and other lifts until the deadlifting gets strenuous.

You’re doing exactly what 5/3/1 is meant to do-lift weights that are light for you so that you can do them with good form. The only hard sets on 5/3/1 are supposed to be the last sets, and particularly the “1” set.

As long as form is good, then do as many reps as you want.

[quote]magick wrote:
You’re doing exactly what 5/3/1 is meant to do-lift weights that are light for you so that you can do them with good form. The only hard sets on 5/3/1 are supposed to be the last sets, and particularly the “1” set.

As long as form is good, then do as many reps as you want.[/quote]

ding ding ding, we have a winner!

OP did you read the book? This is exactly what Jim prescribes.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]magick wrote:
You’re doing exactly what 5/3/1 is meant to do-lift weights that are light for you so that you can do them with good form. The only hard sets on 5/3/1 are supposed to be the last sets, and particularly the “1” set.

As long as form is good, then do as many reps as you want.[/quote]

ding ding ding, we have a winner!

OP did you read the book? This is exactly what Jim prescribes.
[/quote]

I did, yes. I only asked out of curiosity. Just wanted to see how others would approach this situation given my history of back injury. I believe my form is solid, and I don’t think my spotters would let me down in that aspect.

Also, I asked because, as you may have seen above, a few people mentioned some negative side effects of the high-rep heavy-DL, like elbow pain. Again, just curiosity.

I agree with magick and testy1 I’ve been doing 5/3/1 for about 6 months and some times still get 12 or 10 reps in the 5 week. Follow the program and keep uping the weight every month.

lol@ people being so steadfast in “zomg you have to follow EXACTLY as in the book” that they completely ignore the whole “HISTORY OF BACK INJURY” part of OP.

And I would imagine that he recovered from said injury; otherwise he shouldn’t/wouldn’t be lifting.

Unless it’s an injury that involves the spines in some form or a horrendous muscle tear that never healed properly, why would it be particularly relevant now that a year has passed?

People get injured all the time. And they recover.

[quote]magick wrote:
And I would imagine that he recovered from said injury; otherwise he shouldn’t/wouldn’t be lifting.

Unless it’s an injury that involves the spines in some form or a horrendous muscle tear that never healed properly, why would it be particularly relevant now that a year has passed?

People get injured all the time. And they recover.[/quote]

All past injuries are relevant. OP would be much better off hitting 1 top set of 5 week 1, 2-3 triples week 2, and 3-5 singles week 3 IMO.

What I would do is put your deadlift on linear progression.

Next week add 10lbs and work up to one heavy top set of 5 reps.

The following week, add 10 more pounds and work up to a top set of 5 reps.

Keep adding 10lbs a week until you stall.

Once you stall, put your deadlift back on a 5/3/1 cycle.