T Nation

Deadlift Specialist - First Meet


#1

First post from a long time lurker.

Was hoping to reach out to the infinite wisdom of the powerlifting forum for some help with my first deadlift-only meet. I plan on entering the 165 Junior division for an upcoming meet on December 15th. This gives me 7 weeks to prepare for the meet.

My main concern is programming. I'm currently on my 11th cycle of 5/3/1 (massive shoutout to Wendler) which has brought my deadlift up to 395x5 (possibly 1-2 in the tank on that set). Hoping to pull roughly 460-470.

Should I continue with two more cycles of 5/3/1 (skipping a deload to fit the time span) or look into a peaking cycle? Any help much appreciated, I'm beyond amped for this meet.

Jon


#2

Seeing as it’s your first meet and you seem to be getting great results from 5/3/1, I’d stick with 5/3/1 as you laid out above (6 weeks w/o a deload, then using the 7th week to taper for the meet).

Good luck and let us know how it goes. Make sure to get plenty of fuel and sleep in the days leading up to it.


#3

Also, in Beyond 5-3-1 Wendler laid out a 5-3-1 program tailored to a PL athlete getting ready for a meet. It’s a 12 week program that is geared toward increasing your 1RM and finishing with a meet at the end. Too late to run the whole program now, but something to keep in mind for the future and there may also be some solid ideas in there for you as you head into a meet 7 weeks from now.


#4

I agree with the comments above which I feel are very obvious. If you’re making progress, why would you even think about switching?

In 7 weeks you’re not going to get a whole lot stronger. If it were me, I would do the following in order of importance:

  1. Take a video of my form of a relatively heavy weight (90%+). I would get all kinds of feedback on it. If you have experienced lifters that you can ask – ask them. Otherwise you can get form advice / critique here or on EliteFTS. 7 week is enough time to practice subtle changes to your form that could be the difference between a PR and a mediocre pull. Post a video and listen to what the strong people say.

  2. Plan out your attempts before the meet. This may sound obvious but a lot of people are idiots and/or let their emotions take over. Your first attempt should be easy. Your 2nd attempt should be challenging. And your third you already have planned (sounds like 470 to me). From the numbers you listed I would go 425-ish / 450-ish / 470-ish.

  3. You may have enough time to address any glaring weaknesses. Without a video I can’t suggest what to do, but if it were me I’d be doing a LOT of upper back work (rows, pulldowns, shrugs), a LOT of ab / lower back work (abs, hypers & reverse hypers). I would probably do abs & grip work everyday. This leads me to:

  4. Understand that if you’re doing a deadlift-only meet you should prioritize your deadlift workouts. This is a good time to just get the required reps on your bench, OHP & squat days and really save your nuts for deadlift days. It’s VERY hard to make progress on all 3 lifts at once but typically you can move 1 and sometimes 2 at the same time.

Good luck, FartBoy.


#5

You’ve done well with 531, and you trust it, and jim. Why not ask this question on the Jim Wendler form, he’s been answering questions himself lately, just a thought, but I know I’d be interested to here what he has to say. Nice lifting by the way, how old are you to be competing in the junior division, just wondering. goodluck


#6

First and foremost - thanks for all the input! To answer a few questions:

I was thinking of possibly straying from 5/3/1 thinking that a peaking routine may have a few benefits: getting heavier weight in my hands, perfecting technique with a higher % of my 1rm than 5/3/1 would allow and potentially maximizing my performance at the meet in ways 5/3/1 couldn’t.

Although I have had awesome success from the program, I would most likely have to deviate from it’s core principles given my time frame (as mentioned above with the 6 weeks w/o a deload, etc.) - hence why I did not feel it was appropriate to post in the 5/3/1 forum.

To respond more directly:

Frankjl - thanks for your post - you clearly put some serious effort into it. Fantastic ideas - I’ve already planned out my attempts (405, 460, 475); I may alter them to fit more closely to yours once I have a chance to mull it over a bit more. Will get a video up asap and will definitely be implementing your suggests re: daily grip and ab work. Ab strength is something I need to prioritize.

Rock978 - will check out the Wendler peaking plan, thanks!

AnytimeJake - thanks man. Pleasantly surprised to see a compliment about my deadlift, especially here. I’m 22, living in NYC right now and training at my old college gym.


#7

First and foremost - thanks for all the input! To answer a few questions:

I was thinking of possibly straying from 5/3/1 thinking that a peaking routine may have a few benefits: getting heavier weight in my hands, perfecting technique with a higher % of my 1rm than 5/3/1 would allow and potentially maximizing my performance at the meet in ways 5/3/1 couldn’t.

Although I have had awesome success from the program, I would most likely have to deviate from it’s core principles given my time frame (as mentioned above with the 6 weeks w/o a deload, etc.) - hence why I did not feel it was appropriate to post in the 5/3/1 forum.

To respond more directly:

Frankjl - thanks for your post - you clearly put some serious effort into it. Fantastic ideas - I’ve already planned out my attempts (405, 460, 475); I may alter them to fit more closely to yours once I have a chance to mull it over a bit more. Will get a video up asap and will definitely be implementing your suggests re: daily grip and ab work. Ab strength is something I need to prioritize.

Rock978 - will check out the Wendler peaking plan, thanks!

AnytimeJake - thanks man. Pleasantly surprised to see a compliment about my deadlift, especially here. I’m 22, living in NYC right now and training at my old college gym.


#8

[quote]FartBoy wrote:
395x5 (possibly 1-2 in the tank on that set). Hoping to pull roughly 460-470.
Jon[/quote]

Whatever you do, I think you need to pull some heavy singles between now and then at some point and figure out where you are actually at. For me at least deadlifts are the most difficult to predict based on a rep max. I’ve been able to hit 405 for ten and still missed 475 the next week when I tried to max out. Your milage may very, but I still think you need to find out for sure.


#9

Valid point - that was/is one of my primary concerns. As of now, I think I’m going to incorporate a modified 5/3/1 6 week cycle, hitting heavier singles every two weeks or so, after my AMRAP sets (a la Joker Sets). Will only shoot for minimum reps on squat, bench and press.

As per frankjl’s advice, I’ll be doing daily ab and grip work. Deloading this week and will be deloading the week before the comp.

Does this seem anti-retard?


#10

[quote]FartBoy wrote:
Valid point - that was/is one of my primary concerns. As of now, I think I’m going to incorporate a modified 5/3/1 6 week cycle, hitting heavier singles every two weeks or so, after my AMRAP sets (a la Joker Sets). Will only shoot for minimum reps on squat, bench and press.

As per frankjl’s advice, I’ll be doing daily ab and grip work. Deloading this week and will be deloading the week before the comp.

Does this seem anti-retard?[/quote]

This makes sense.

In beyond 5/3/1 Jim recommends hitting a heavy single some sessions in a bunch of the variations he puts out there. The PL variation has a bunch of heavy singles programmed in as well. Over the next 6 weeks I think it makes sense to work up to a near-max single in the deadlift a couple of the weeks. On the days you do that, just hit the prescribed reps for the deadlift (no AMRAP on the last set) then after keep adding weight and hitting singles.

For abs/obliques, Jim is spot on in his love for hanging leg raises. They have great carry-over for the deadlift. Front squat holds and side bends are also excellent. Some core work can and should be done every session.


#11

I think I may pick up 5/3/1 for PL to check out his specific programming recommendations., as of now all my training has been based off the 2nd edition. Would love to know exactly how he fits in his singles. Great point on now going for AMRAP on the heavy singles days.

Truthfully, abs are my least favorite body part to train, but leg raises do put a real hurt on my core. Thanks for the advice.