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Deadlift Regressed on 5/3/1, WTF?

Well, today was my deadlift day for Week 3/ Cycle 2. I decided to add in an extra set and go for a heavy double. So here’s how it went down:

135 x 5
185 x 3
205 x 1
255 x 5
285 x 3
320 x 1
355 x 0

This frustrated the hell out of me; I should be able to own this weight! My max should be in the neighborhood of about 380 IMO.

I think that the factors that caused me to do so shitty are:

  1. I’m improving my form.
  2. I’m getting used to lifting in Chucks (I was originally lifting barefoot, stupid gym management >:( ).
  3. I’ve been doing higher reps lately, like around 4-10, since the weight is lighter on 5/3/1.

What I plan on doing to correct this:

  1. Improve my form (obviously).
  2. Not go over 5 reps, and if it’s a fairly light set, then focus on speed and technique. Maybe add in an extra heavy set or two to get more work in.
  3. Incorporate deadlift specific assistance work to help with off the floor (my weak point).

I’ll be preparing for a max attempt in my 4th cycle, we’ll see what happens.

If anyone has tips, I’m all ears.

This is my generic advice for 5/3/1 deadlifts… if you missed it off the floor, and you do touch and go deadlift, try resetting with every rep. I had a similar problem in that I was weak off the floor, and when doing deadlifts for reps, I believe this helped, as now my sticking point is the more typical around the knee spot.

Furthermore, from my experience with 5/3/1, I’ve found that my estimated max didn’t line up very well with my actual max. I would wager that because you’re repping out with weights, your body isn’t quite used to straining for singles.

And remember, estimated max is still just an estimate… it’s not set in stone.

[quote]A Ninny Mouse wrote:
This is my generic advice for 5/3/1 deadlifts… if you missed it off the floor, and you do touch and go deadlift, try resetting with every rep. I had a similar problem in that I was weak off the floor, and when doing deadlifts for reps, I believe this helped, as now my sticking point is the more typical around the knee spot.

Furthermore, from my experience with 5/3/1, I’ve found that my estimated max didn’t line up very well with my actual max. I would wager that because you’re repping out with weights, your body isn’t quite used to straining for singles.

And remember, estimated max is still just an estimate… it’s not set in stone.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice. I do deadstop.

As for the max…I hear ya. Although I wish it was set in stone. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been doing the triumvirate method, but I’m thinking about incorporating BBB for my deadlift day and doing tri on my other days. You think this would work out fine?

IIRC, the triumvirate was just limiting your assistance to 3 movements, or 3 movements total in a session. I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’re talking about the sample program from an article on here a while back.

Anyways, I really can’t say which is better or not… I personally am not that experienced, and I really don’t know what works for you. For myself, I’ve found that doing heavy sets (<=5 reps) helps my deadlift the most.

But anyways I’m dancing around the root of the problem. It sounds to me like you had one ‘meh’ session and you didn’t do quite as well as you wantd to… if your deadlift (or est max) is consistently going up I don’t think there’s a problem. Just keep chugging along and you should be fine.

[quote]A Ninny Mouse wrote:
IIRC, the triumvirate was just limiting your assistance to 3 movements, or 3 movements total in a session. I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’re talking about the sample program from an article on here a while back.

Anyways, I really can’t say which is better or not… I personally am not that experienced, and I really don’t know what works for you. For myself, I’ve found that doing heavy sets (<=5 reps) helps my deadlift the most.

But anyways I’m dancing around the root of the problem. It sounds to me like you had one ‘meh’ session and you didn’t do quite as well as you wantd to… if your deadlift (or est max) is consistently going up I don’t think there’s a problem. Just keep chugging along and you should be fine.[/quote]

I also benefit most from heavy work. The thing is I can’t accurately gauge my limit strength progress at this point since I’ve been doing fairly high reps, but things are going to change next cycle. Thanks.

If you lift sumo, angle your feet outward more. Makes the start much easier, and the lock out only a tad harder.

how did the rest of your training week(s) look? did you increase your low back work recently? did you hit a max pr in another lift the workout before? look at the big picture of your training.

also, how did you come up with the number for your max?

[quote]xjusticex2013x wrote:
My max should be in the neighborhood of about 380 IMO.
If anyone has tips, I’m all ears.[/quote]

3 things…

You probably just had a bad day, you’ll get it next time…

Often times _ reps X _ weight does not equate to a _ 1rm…

you tried to max AFTER your work sets. Maybe next time cut back a bit to leave a little in the tank for the ‘extra’ stuff you decide to throw in.

[quote]matsm21 wrote:
how did the rest of your training week(s) look? did you increase your low back work recently? did you hit a max pr in another lift the workout before? look at the big picture of your training.

also, how did you come up with the number for your max?[/quote]

Well, I felt like shit last week (due to a separate issue), and the week before that felt fine I suppose; overall I’d say it was a below par cycle for my deadlift, although I set a few PRs on my other lifts. No extra low back work or max PRs.

As for my max number, well, it’s a theoretical max honestly, but I assume it’s somewhere around there.

Why are you trying to pull a max before you’ve even finished 2 cycles? Give it time to work man! Try doing 8 cycles and then pulling a max, if you really must.

Also, what your max is is not a matter of opinion. It is only 380 when you pull 380.

My advice would be to calm down, follow it as written, stop testing maxes every 5 minutes, stop worrying about what you “should” be able to lift, don’t fret the odd bad session. This thing is supposed to be fun.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Why are you trying to pull a max before you’ve even finished 2 cycles? Give it time to work man! Try doing 8 cycles and then pulling a max, if you really must.

Also, what your max is is not a matter of opinion. It is only 380 when you pull 380.

My advice would be to calm down, follow it as written, stop testing maxes every 5 minutes, stop worrying about what you “should” be able to lift, don’t fret the odd bad session. This thing is supposed to be fun.[/quote]

Okay, I’ll max every 2 minutes! Lol, jk. Thanks for the advice man.

Having had my deadlift regress as well, there were 2 things:

Wasn’t doing back squats/enough PC work
Wasn’t trying to hit the same number of reps cycle to cycle.
Aka, on your 5/3/1 day on the set of ‘1’, if you hit 5 reps on cycle one, cycle two you need to be aiming for 5 reps with the new weight. That’s where the progress is. The weight got heavier, do the same amount of reps. Or if you can, do more reps. As Jim says, pick and fight your battles, but focus on hitting those reps. Additionally, as long as you can do the prescribed reps, you’re progressing through cycles (although your max may not go up). So eventually you may have to drop the reps down one or 2, but then the next cycle try to get the same number of reps as that cycle.

[quote]TisDrew wrote:
Having had my deadlift regress as well, there were 2 things:

Wasn’t doing back squats/enough PC work

[/quote]

Yeah are you still squatting as well? The squat tends to have a good amount of carry-over to the DL, but not so much vice-versa.

One thing I’ve found (and this is not 5/3/1 blasphemy, so don’t even start to hatin’), is that sometimes you can’t approach the big three with the same set/rep scheme and expect a nice linear improvement across the board.

I experienced this both on 5/3/1 and Sheiko where one lift improved significantly, one modestly, and the final either stayed the same or lost some ground. Once I ‘individualized’ each lift, the gains were more predictable.

As an example, I need to have a ton of volume to see bench gains, whereas sq/dl does fine with low volume and lesser frequency. Also, this was after many, many cycles, so I rode those suckers into the ground before stagnation set in.

[quote]biglifter wrote:

As an example, I need to have a ton of volume to see bench gains, whereas sq/dl does fine with low volume and lesser frequency. .[/quote]

I’ve had similar results

[quote]biglifter wrote:

As an example, I need to have a ton of volume to see bench gains, whereas sq/dl does fine with low volume and lesser frequency. [/quote]

For bench I feel similar. With 5/3/1 I do BBB supersetted with 5x10 on seated rows. For me, Squats improves the best with low volume high frequency. I haven’t found the optimal method with deadlifting, but if squats go up then deadlift does too.

I wouldn’t blame 5 3 1, my son put on 100 pounds on his deadlift in app 3-4 months, going from 240 to 355. He’s fifteen and app 135 pounds.

Others here have given you some good advice on structuring your exercises, follow it.

Your only in cycle 2… is it possible you just had a bad day?

[quote]BlackLabel wrote:
Your only in cycle 2… is it possible you just had a bad day?[/quote]

Ah, didn’t catch it was cycle #2. If you’re missing deads 2 waves in, you

Botched the 90% of 1RM #'s
Got frisky and tried numbers above what you had planned
Had a really, and I mean really, bad day
Live in an area where gravity behaves differently

Maybe your grip strength is getting worn out because ( at least for me) high reps rape my grip strength faster than if i go under 5 reps.

And yes grip strength can affect your dead lifts that much.