T Nation

DE Only Deadlift Cycle


#1

So just want some opinions as I start to write out my training for the next month or so, not competing again until December so I have time to work on weak areas and train in different variations. Im switching from sumo to conventional pulling, both numbers are pretty close to each other(sumo:700, conv:675) its mainly to alleviate stress on my hips.

My plan is to focus more on my squat the next 5-6 weeks by adding another day for them, and dialing back the intensity on DL by only doing a DE approach. My squat has been more up and down due to hip problems (which have cleared up) I squat in the low 600s with wraps currently.

Basically what I'm asking if anyone has experience training this way. The DE work would help me keep form in check and be fresh with the movement, in the past where I only squatted during smolov I noticed an increase in my DL afterwards.

EDIT: Guess I should include a brief breakdown of my training in the past
Day1: squat (heavy or light) + DL variation
Day2: bench
Day3: DL (heavy or Light) + squat variation
Day4: bench variations + accessory

I occasionally would pull off a low block, never really used bands or chains as im starting to now.


#2

It looks reasonable. It doesn’t take much deadlift work to maintain it when focusing more on squat.

When running smolov for squat, the best approach that worked for me was to do a bit of posterior chain work most days. I usually work a squat variation that emphasizes the anterior chain a bit more since that has been my weakness. If I ran smolov for comp squat, my posterior chain would get more work so I would probably do less accessory work for it. I typically did this:

Day 1: Squat 4x9; Standing Good Morning 4x10 (light)
Day 2: Squat 5x7; RDL 3x8 (med)
Day 3: Squat 7x5
Day 4: Squat 5x3; Heavy mat pulls, pause DL or deficit using sumo stance

I basically did a Sheiko DL day with half the volume on day 4. It doesn’t seem absolutely necessary to maintain high volume (10x3) for squat on the 4th day - I thought just feeling some heavy weight for a handful of sets was enough. If I ever felt too tired after squatting, a couple heavy DL sets was enough. I plan to mix it up with conventional DL next time since I haven’t trained it heavy in a long time.

I plan to run this again after my meet. I’ve been overhauling my technique for awhile now and I think the gains will be sweet the next time since everything feels more dialed in. Adding in the posterior chain work felt like it kept everything balanced and it was never enough to affect my squatting performance. Six weeks is enough time for the smolov base cycle if you’re considering this, lol.


#3

[quote]lift206 wrote:
It looks reasonable. It doesn’t take much deadlift work to maintain it when focusing more on squat.

When running smolov for squat, the best approach that worked for me was to do a bit of posterior chain work most days. I usually work a squat variation that emphasizes the anterior chain a bit more since that has been my weakness. If I ran smolov for comp squat, my posterior chain would get more work so I would probably do less accessory work for it. I typically did this:

Day 1: Squat 4x9; Standing Good Morning 4x10 (light)
Day 2: Squat 5x7; RDL 3x8 (med)
Day 3: Squat 7x5
Day 4: Squat 5x3; Heavy mat pulls, pause DL or deficit using sumo stance

I basically did a Sheiko DL day with half the volume on day 4. It doesn’t seem absolutely necessary to maintain high volume (10x3) for squat on the 4th day - I thought just feeling some heavy weight for a handful of sets was enough. If I ever felt too tired after squatting, a couple heavy DL sets was enough. I plan to mix it up with conventional DL next time since I haven’t trained it heavy in a long time.

I plan to run this again after my meet. I’ve been overhauling my technique for awhile now and I think the gains will be sweet the next time since everything feels more dialed in. Adding in the posterior chain work felt like it kept everything balanced and it was never enough to affect my squatting performance. Six weeks is enough time for the smolov base cycle if you’re considering this, lol.[/quote]

I probably should have clarified a little that I wont be doing something as intense as smolov as I want to stay on top of recovery, though your layout looks pretty solid. More to the effect of one main squat day, a front squat day, and to do a squat variation after my DE deadlift. I think keeping the intensity lower and really focusing on technique for a 4-5 week period could see some improvement on both lifts.


#4

[quote]cparker wrote:
So just want some opinions as I start to write out my training for the next month or so, not competing again until December so I have time to work on weak areas and train in different variations. Im switching from sumo to conventional pulling, both numbers are pretty close to each other(sumo:700, conv:675) its mainly to alleviate stress on my hips.

My plan is to focus more on my squat the next 5-6 weeks by adding another day for them, and dialing back the intensity on DL by only doing a DE approach. My squat has been more up and down due to hip problems (which have cleared up) I squat in the low 600s with wraps currently.

Basically what I’m asking if anyone has experience training this way. The DE work would help me keep form in check and be fresh with the movement, in the past where I only squatted during smolov I noticed an increase in my DL afterwards.

EDIT: Guess I should include a brief breakdown of my training in the past
Day1: squat (heavy or light) + DL variation
Day2: bench
Day3: DL (heavy or Light) + squat variation
Day4: bench variations + accessory

I occasionally would pull off a low block, never really used bands or chains as im starting to now.[/quote]

Personally, I wouldn’t up the squat frequency if you’ve had hip issues and being this far out from a meet. If you do up the frequency, wait until you get 3-4 weeks out from the meet and keep the reps very low and intensity high. Better to keep yourself healthy adding a little at a time leading up to the meet (3-4 weeks out) then up the intensity and keep the reps and volume super low. Seems to me most injuries occur more than 4 weeks out from a meet going too heavy too often.

You have some big numbers from the looks of things. You are probably at that stage where you need much less intensity and frequency and keep the volume in the 60-80% range so you can continue to build and condition your body.

One thing that has worked for upping my lifts before a meet is high frequency, high intensity and very very very low volume 3-4 weeks out from a meet. You might find you’ll peak better there since the previous weeks will be used to condition your muscles for the upcoming changes in intensity. 3-4 weeks of heavy non-grinders will get the CNS ready for some big lifts come meet day.

But then again, you can lift more than me…so take what I say as something that has worked for me. I know the more advanced lifters like yourself have learned to back down the intensity in the offseason only going heavy once every 4-5 weeks or so just to keep the body awake to the heavier weight.

I’ve learned that to have a good meet, I have to stay healthy before I get there.


#5

[quote]cparker wrote:
I probably should have clarified a little that I wont be doing something as intense as smolov as I want to stay on top of recovery, though your layout looks pretty solid. More to the effect of one main squat day, a front squat day, and to do a squat variation after my DE deadlift. I think keeping the intensity lower and really focusing on technique for a 4-5 week period could see some improvement on both lifts.[/quote]

Fair enough. Doing DE deadlift will be fine. Adding an extra accessory lift would help if it isn’t enough. And I agree that focusing on technique could help both.


#6

Thanks for the input guys. Osu you bring up some valid points and things I’d considered. I think me switching the dl stance to conventional would save some stress on the hips, which arent actually a lifting related injury but from getting being in the army 4 years. In the past I would do only 1-2 top sets and usually go heavier than necessary. Now especially being far from a meet im sticking in the 5-10 rep range and training with a few more variations and stimuli. I think I’ll give it a shot for a couple weeks and see how I respond, my deadlift numbers should at worst stay the same I would think.


#7

You can use a combination of weight on the bar, and band resistance. Set the bands so you get a little tension at the bottom. This way you’ll get more band tension at the knees, and way more tension at the lockout. Personally, this makes me really strong/smooth around the knees, and the band tension makes it really natural to round the upper back. As soon as the bar passes the knees, my hips come forward. It almost feels like I’m wedging myself under the bar, and cutting inches off of the top of my pull.

As far as I know, the sumo style kind of de-emphasises getting the bar around your knees and rounding the upper back, just by the way you line up. Pulling conventional, against the bands will almost be the “opposite” of what you’ve been doing.

A strong dude like you could probably use “green” or “average” bands. And around 50-60% straight weight on the bar. The weights are light at the bottom, so you don’t get beat up. But at the top, you’re still handling 70-80%, enough to maintain, or even build strength.


#8

An old Westside dynamic deadlift cycle…

Week 1- 15 singles at 65%
Week 2- 12 singles at 70%
Week 3- 10 singles at 75%
Week 4- 8 singles at 80%
Week 5- 6 singles at 85%

-A Highland games world champion named Kip Miller used to recommend this cycle all the time on another message board. He loved it.

Those percentages represent bar weight, plus band weight at the top. So if you used green bands, and get about 180 pounds of tension (25% of your deadlift) at the top, you don’t need much more than 315 or 365 straight weight on the bar.


#9

Check out the articles “DON’T DEADLIFT” and “Let’s Deadlift” by Louie, from this year. They have the most up to date info.


#10

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
An old Westside dynamic deadlift cycle…

Week 1- 15 singles at 65%
Week 2- 12 singles at 70%
Week 3- 10 singles at 75%
Week 4- 8 singles at 80%
Week 5- 6 singles at 85%

-A Highland games world champion named Kip Miller used to recommend this cycle all the time on another message board. He loved it.

Those percentages represent bar weight, plus band weight at the top. So if you used green bands, and get about 180 pounds of tension (25% of your deadlift) at the top, you don’t need much more than 315 or 365 straight weight on the bar.[/quote]

Thanks for all the input, ill map out that program and see how it looks. And have a look at those articles, just need to figure out a good way to setup a band DL at my gym as they don’t really have anything designated for that. I guess weighing them down across 4 big DB’s could work, I could use the conditioning carting them around


#11

If you have a “classic” power rack, with a horizontal beam at the bottom that doesn’t touch the floor, you’re golden.

Loop the band around the bar, then run it under the rack, back up over the bar, down under the rack and looped over the bar again.

You can also stand on the bands or whatever.

There is no good way to set them up. If you use a Jumpstretch platform, the bar always rolls crooked. If you use a power rack with band pegs at the bottom you have to pull off of the pins. If you step on the bands it feels weird. Quadrupling the bands under the rack and over the bar is a pain in the ass.

But it’s totally worth it.


#12

I’ll have to get creative with this, atleast we have a good supply of chain weight too if I cant get it setup right.


#13

As long as it goes from lighter at the bottom to OH SHIT! after the knees, you’ll be OK.