T Nation

Achieved Two of My First Goals


Not exactly sure if this is where this belongs but the beginners area seemed best as it involves my initial goals I set for myself.

Yesterday I finally got my DL over 400. In doing so I also got my 3 major lifts total above 1000 (Bench-275; Squat-355, Deads-410). I'm happy with this so far since 14 months ago I was 152lbs (currently 192.5) and I didn't squat or do deadlifts. My new goals I've set for b/s/d are 3/4/500 although I'm not too sure how realistic this is.

I do have a few questions that I was hoping could get cleared up. If I am looking to keep increasing these numbers is there an optimal % of max that would be best to lift or is the thought of lifting the max your body can handle for a given rep count better?

Also I have a very deep muscle aches in my butt and hammies. Is it safe to assume that this is from the DL's since this is the only thing I lifted heavy yesterday? And the last thing that I can think of that I wanted to ask was, what does everyone use when DLing? I'm only using chalk which I just started using about 2 months ago after I ripped off 3 callouses on my palm when the bar slipped. Should I be also using a belt? I was told that I can seriously injure my back if I don't but I've never had back pain when DLing other than those first 2 months after I first started.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


Nice job breaking your goals!

I wouldn't hit the max all the time.

the only things I use during deadlifts is wrist straps, to take the pressure off my fore arms and focus things more on my back/legs. I also use a belt, some would argue that not using one can up your core strength, but I would prefer no chances in hurting myself.

Im D/Lin about 380 nowadays.


nice job on hitting your goals, especially at that body weight.

belt or not belt

I personally only use a belt when using max weights of 90% and above. That's only because my core is just not strong enough. There's really nothing better than your natural belt.

I would not recommend lifting maximum weights every week. I'm not sure what you're doing right now, but Westside or 5/3/1 are great programs that help to continually increase your strength.

I use a belt and/or straps when deadlifting if necessary. I don't use chalk, but I don't think my 'fitness center' would allow it either.