T Nation

Deadlift Question


Doing 5/3/1 but starting to get burnt out on pulling from the floor every week. Wanted to see how many people pull from the floor and who pull from the floor every few weeks and what do they do for their training if they don't pull from the floor everyweek. Thanks.


I pull from the floor but I'm a serious beginner; my current max working set on 5/3/1 day is 112 kg (aiming for 5 reps). I manage it by making sure that my assistance work is very light (e.g. single leg squats/single leg deadlifts, overhead shrugs/pallof presses), making sure that I'm not doing too many reps on the all out set to leave something in the tank, and putting it first day of the week. Oh and I always eat something at all costs before deadlifting.

I used to do chins 2 days every week as it's what I'm weakest at, with one of it on deadlifting day, but that really drained me during lectures (I'm still a student). Now that I can do 3 sets of 5 from none at all a year ago, I'm doing them only once a week which helped a lot to manage fatigue.


First, are you correctly doing the deload that is in the 5/3/1? Second, are you going for rep maxes everytime you pull or are you picking your battles like Jim says to? Third, are you eating and sleeping enough? Fourth, are you going majorly overboard on assistance lifts?


Lift three days a week, which will have you pulling ever other week.


I'm not doing 5/3/1, but I pull from the floor for all my sets once a week, just about every week. Listen to what your body is telling you. If you're getting burnt out you could not do deadlifts for a week, and then see how you feel. Or maybe supplement regular deadlifts for rack deads, or romanian deadlifts? Even just cutting the volume down a little might help; it all depends on what your body is saying.

BTW, your avatar is FUCKED.


I pull from the floor every week and go for PR's on each for the deadlifts. Call me stupid, overtraining, etc., but it is working wonders for me. It hurts, but I look forward to the deload where I will truly take it easy and then attack it again. Maybe it's because I'm 19, but I can pull very heavy for higher reps (5-10) and not get burnt out. By burnt out, what exactly do you mean also?


Ya I deload like he says. Assistance work is just good mornings and some form of split squat. I think I'm just wanting something a little different then pulling from the floor every week. But all the info out there is kinda confusing. Some guys say don't pull from the floor but every 3 to six weeks some say pull every week.


Just kinda bored looking for a different way of training the deads.


I think, that you just aren't eating and sleeping enough. I pull from the floor 3-5 times a week, and I can do something like 550@198 so I'm at a OK level, it's not because I can't put a load on my body. Generelly I think people whine way too much when it comes to deadlifting, often it's just dumb excuses. If you deload every 4th week, have that low volume og frequency and feel overtrained, then you're either whining, just not eating and sleeping enough or having some disease. I'm sorry to blame you, but i think working on you're workcapacity and restoring better would help you.


I have found that it depends a lot of the strength and skill of the person doing the lift. Beginners and earlier intermediates I think should pull once a week hard, whereas higher skilled lifters can get away with once every other week and sometimes even less than that. It also depends on how often (and how heavy) you are squatting, the more you are squatting (as it is close to the same muscles) the less you need to deadlift, the less you squat the more you need to deadlift.

The simplest suggestion that would cause the smallest change to your current program would be to do deads from the rack below your knees. Do that for one or two months and hopefully you find your desire to pull renewed and hopefully you have a stronger lockout to boot. I have found that I can rack pull more often without getting overtrained than I can pull from the floor, and it is fun lifting increased weight on the rack pulls.


Tim - of course it depends on the skill of the lifter, but very few people have great form on the deadlift, and alot of people will benefit from having a higher frequency. Although i deadlift 500+, a couple og days a week I do around 200 and try to adjust some flaws in my form.


There are many ways to set it up, but of the big 3 (squat, bench, deadlift) the deadlift is the least technical of the lifts and it is also improved heavily by another lift (the squat). You also use very large muscles and generally lift a lot of weight, at least compared to other exercises. So in my experience you can get away with a relatively low frequency on deads, especially once the form is good. Westside usually goes with this route, and Sheiko - a high frequency guy - only pulls once a week. I agree with you that if your form is poor incorporating higher frequency and/or lower intensity days can be of help. I do find that too much deadlifting is hard to incorporate into the overall scheme especially if you are squatting relatively heavy and doing any other assistance work at the same time. The erectors are generally considered the muscle group that has the longest recovery time. Ultimately a person must find what works for them and it sounds like you are making good gains with your current program. If you hit a plateau and your form is still good you might consider reducing the frequency and seeing how you respond to that.


I've never, EVER experienced this. It's the most annoying thing ever. I first pulled 250kg when I raw squatted around 190kg and equipped did 230kg. I've done 220kg raw and 305kg quite easily equipped, and STILL not pulled over 250, although that will hopefully change soon.

Serious consideration going to a high frequency DL approach for me for the next few months.


Hanley - that is annoying when one lift goes up and another related one stagnates. My main point is that if you take somebody that squats a lot, they will automatically have at least a decent deadlift even without specifically training that lift. For example almost everybody that squats 4 plates (honest depth) will pull 365+ and often much more, if they squat 495 they will pull 455+ even with almost no training.

But the reverse is not true, just because a person can deadlift 4 or 5 plates doesn't even mean that same person can squat 2 or 3 plates with honest depth with no training. It is possible that you increasing your squat helped in the beginning (say as you were taking your squat from 300 to 400 lbs but now that you are very good at squats the increase is no longer carrying over.

I would be curious to see how a high frequency pull program works for you, it is certainly an option to consider when a plateau is reached. Good luck with your lifting.


Tim - I know it has helped a lot of people. Generelly speaking young guys like myself, can handle a much higher total workload than older lifters, so of course it depends on the lifter. As I said, though, I know quite a lot og people, who has had great results with high frequency, some, clean, guys, who even train 9 times per week, of course not deadlift times.

Boris Sheiko only does the deadlift once per week, yes, but he does not incorporate DE either, and of course you can't pull heavy with great volume twice a week, it is meant to be concentraded loading, but to an extent people can handle. I think there is a higher frequency on some of the more advanced programs, though. When I've done sheiko cycles I've deadlifted twice a week.

Hanley - where/why do you fail on the deadlift? I don't get a lot og carryover from the squat either.