T Nation

DL Specialization w/ Russian Squat Routine


#1

Background: The last year was a disaster. Well, I find myself no where near what I expected 9 years ago. That applies to life and training. So I suppose the last 9 years have not been the greatest. The limiting factor in my training career has been consistency.

I allowed my health, sometimes injury, sometimes psychological, to undermine things I cared about. For most of my adult life I fought against myself, much of it ignorant of why I experienced great periods of intellectual and physical productivity often followed by dissolution into a dark impotent will. I consider the two pursuits symbiotic. Here I will detail the physical pursuit:

Training year: 09/14/09 to 07/24/10, culminating in a push-pull meet.
Objectives: (1) Deadlift 550, (2) Close-Grip Bench 410, (3) Competition Bench Single-Ply 473, (4), Front Squat 405 (5) Achieve ridiculous leanness.

I realize objective (5) may contradict objectives (1) - (4), but I have reconciled I am a push-pull competitor. From late September '08 to May '09, I lost 85 lbs on my deadlift and 100lbs on my bench. The last 4 months I have gained back 65 lbs on my deadlift and 70 lbs on my bench.

I chose the RSR for deadlifting because I want to push my deadlift during the early parts of the training year while I can manipulate leanness mostly through diet as well as to emphasize upper back development. Weeks 1 - 5 are an introductory phase to introduce the frequency and volume.

I based my max off a training max of 485. I hit it 2 weeks ago. I stopped even though it was easy because I was deloading for a meet last Saturday that I pulled out of after developing a migraine headache 3 hours after arriving. For context I picked an opener of 473 and then planned on 506 and a 528 third attempt.

Since I fucked my back in '05 when I saw my deadlift drop from 545 to 410 in 4 months, I have hit a best of 502, which was at a meet in August '08. For a year I called myself injured. The last 3 I just admit I am a puss.

Training Session 1 9/14/09
Static Stretching - piriformis, hip flexor, lats, and hips x 2 sets x 10
Mobility - leg swings lateral, leg swings forward, ankle mobilizations x 2 x 10, reverse lunges x 1 x 5
Activation - glute bridges, butt kicks x 1 x 10

Deadlift - 340 x 5 sets x 3 reps
Power Squats (wide-stance) 470 x 5, 560 x 5
Reverse Lunges (dumbbells) 30 x 3 x 5
Hanging Leg Raises x 3 x 10
Pull-ups x 5 x 10
Face Pulls Neutral Grip x 100 x 5 x 10

The deadlifts were easy except I do not like volume. I consider the pull-ups and face pulls accessory work and will incorporate them into every resistance training session. With 3 days/week deadlift and the frequent lat and upper back accessory work, I hope to significantly increase my upper back mass.

The key to my bench is upper back size and strength for stability. I hit a 395 close-grip and a month later a 425 2-board before things fell apart last September. I have hit 390+ 3 times ('04,'05, and '08) and each time my back was at its strongest.

I appreciate any comments or suggestions for how to organize my training or even other peoples' stories of how training has been a hammer to either mold or rebuild one's life.


#2

Session 2, 09/16/09

Static Stretching x hip flexor, piriformis, hip abduction, lats x 15 sec each
Mobility x Leg Swings Lateral & Forward, Ankle Mobilizations x 10 each, Reverse Lunges x 5
Activation x Bridges x 5, Butt Kicks x 5

Deadlifts x 340 x 5 sets x 5 reps
Shoulder Press x 110 x 5, 125 x 5, 145 x 9
Dumbbell Bench 4-sec Pause x 100 x 2 x 5
Biceps Curls x 85 x 5 x 10

Accessory work
Pull-ups x 5 x 10
Neutral Grip Face Pulls x 100 x 5 x 10


#3

Session 3, 09/18/09

Static Stretching x hip flexor, hip abduction, piriformis, lats x 10 each
Mobility x leg swings lateral & forward, ankle mobilizations x 10 each, reverse lunges x 5
Activation x glute bridges x 10

Deadlifts x 340 x 5 sets x 3 reps
Front Squats x 165 x 5, 190 x 5, 215 x 11
Walking Overhead Plate Lunges x 45 x 2 x 10
Planks x 3 x 30 sec

Accessory
Pull-ups x 5 x 10
Neutral-Grip Face Pulls x 100 x 5 x 10


#4

Session 4, 09/19/09

Static Stretching x pecs, posterior capsule, pec minor, and lats x 15 sec each
Mobility x push-ups, PNF diagonals, prone Ys, thoracic t-spine rotations x 10 each
Activation x YTWLs x 5 x 2 sets x 10 reps

Close-Grip Floor Press x 215 x 5, 250 x 5, 280 x 6, 165 x 5 x 10
Single-Arm Dumbbell Push Press x 60 x 2 x 5
Rope Pushdowns x 100 x 5 x 10
Biceps Curls x 90 x 5 x 10

Accessory
Pull-ups x 4 x 10
Neutral-Grip Face Pulls x 100 x 4 x 10


#5

Session 5, 09/21/09

Static Stretching x quads, piriformis, hip flexor, & hip abduction x 2 sets x 15 sec each
Mobility x Leg Swings lateral & ankle mobilizations x 2 sets x 10 reps each
Activation x too lazy

Deadlifts x 365 x 3 sets x 3 reps
Wide-Stance Power Squats x 580 x 5, 670 x 3
Reverse Dumbbell Lunges x 30 x 3 x 5
Hanging Straight Leg Raises x 3 x 10

Accessory:
Neutral-Grip, Pre-retraction Face Pulls x 110 x 5 x 10

Well, I should have known 200 reps of wide-width pull-ups + barbell overhead pressing in one week would mess my shoulder. Lately, I experience regression in my bench each time I incorporate barbell shoulder press b/c my left shoulder starts to feel very unstable. Why I continue to include them I do not know. So I will replace shoulder press with heavy dumbbell bench and eliminate the frequent pull-ups.

That makes 4 deadlift training sessions. 29 more to go. From Saturday night on I was looking forward to deadlifting again. However, I suspect that may not last when the intensity increases.


#6

how are you coping so far with the frequancy of pulling? I will be following I like the idea of pulling regularly and often


#7

The frequency seemed brutal having to deadlift two days after the first session. But Friday and last night the deadlifts were fine. I think the wide-stance power squats did as much as damage as the deadlifts early last week.

For the last few months I have deadlifted relatively heavy each week so I am accustomed to higher pulling frequency than many people. But I am aided in that I (1) front squat instead of back squat and (2) do not pull that much weight.

How often do you pull?


#8

Session 6, 09/23/09

I substituted dumbbell bench for military for the Wednesday training session. I need to train smarter to avoid the nagging injuries.

Static Stretch x same as always
Mobility x same as always
Activation x skipped again

Deadlifts x 340 x 5 sets x 3 reps
Dumbbell Bench Press x 80 x 3, 90 x 3, 105 x 9
Close-Grip Chin-ups x 220 x 3 x 10
JM Press x 135 x 3 x 10

Neutral-grip, pre-retraction face pulls x 110 x 5 x 10


#9

Impressive numbers over here, keep it up!


#10

I pull every week using a 6inch deficite using the % off the Coan/Philipi deadlift cycle and using the stiff leg deads frm it and do back work 3 days a week.

I think another DL training cyle after this using Oli Jacksons DL program and then I may give this a go


#11

Session 7, 09/25/09

Took my dogs to the gym tonight so I cut my warmup short since I was feeling limber and did not want to keep them tied up outside for too long.

Static stretch x none
Mobility x leg swings lateral, forward, and ankle mobilizations x 2 x 10 each
Activation x none

Deadlifts x 340 x 5 sets x 5 reps
Front Squats x 175 x 3, 200 x 3, 225 x 9
GHRs x 1 x 2, 4 x 1
Sit-ups x 3 x 10

Neutral-grip, pre-retraction face pulls x 120 x 5 x 10

We just picked up a GHR for the gym. What did I learn? My hamstrings are weak. I already knew they were weak. But I had no idea they were this weak. I am going to hit these hard over this deadlift training block. New things are nice. New things that will help are even nicer.

I am excited to start training in the 80% range next week. Normally I train 85 - 95% for singles or doubles on the heavy day and 50 - 70% for singles or doubles on technique/speed day. So not only has the frequency provided a new stimulus but so has the volume.


#12

Session 8, 09/26/09

Static stretching x pec major, pec minor, posterior capsule, lats x 2 x 10 each
Mobility x push-up plus, pnf diagonals, prone y, and thoracic spine rotations x 10 each
YTWLs x 5 x 1 set x 20 reps

Close-Grip Floor Press 230 x 3, 265 x 3, 300 x 4, 175 x 2 x 10, 1 x 7
Chin-ups x 220 x 3, 255 x 3, 270 x 3
Rope Pushdowns x 100 x 10, 110 x 10, 120 x 10, 130 x 10, 140 x 20
Dumbbell Curls x 20 x 10, 25 x 10, 30 x 10, 35 x 10, 40 x 20

Neutral Grip, Pre-Retraction Face Pulls x 120 x 5 x 10

The left shoulder was intensely inflamed by the end of the session. I think I am discontinuing barbell pressing and 2x week benching until i get A.R.T. on my shoulder. I cannot go more than 2 months without cleaning the subscap and infraspinatus out. It has been almost 5 months.


#13

Session 9, 09/28/09

Static Stretching x piriformis, hip flexor, quadriceps x 2 x 15 sec each
Mobility x leg swings lateral, forward x 2 x 10 each
No activation

Deadlifts x 365 x 5 sets x 3 reps
Wide Stance Power Squats x 670 x 3, 760 x 3
Hanging Straight Leg Raises x 2 x 10

Neutral-Grip Pre-Retraction Face Pulls x 120 x 5 x 10

I have been exhausted, hungry, and blah; but I have been still hitting the training sessions and feeling somewhat strong (not on bench though).


#14

Training Session 10, 09-30-09

Static Stretch x none
Mobility x leg swings lateral, forward/backward, ankle mobilizations x 2 sets x 10 each
Motor Control x hip corrections, quadruped butt kicks x 10 each

Deadlift x 390 x 3 sets x 3 reps

Exhausted. Took everything just to go to the gym. So I did my necessary work and left.


#15

Training Session 11, 10-01-09

Treadmill x 3.5 mph x 30 min x incline grade 8


#16

Training Session 12, 10-03-09

Static Stretch x none
Mobility x none
Motor Control x none

Deadlifts x 340 x 5 sets x 5 reps
Dumbbell Bench x 90 x 5, 100 x 3, 110 x 6

Felt horrible. Started feeling burned out.


#17

Training Session 13, 10-05-09

Stretch x piriformis, hip flexor, hip capsule, and lats x 2 sets x 15 sec
Mobility x leg swings lateral, forward/backward, ankle mobilizations x 2 x 10, reverse lunges x 10
Motor Control x none

Deadlifts x 415 x 5 sets x 3 reps
Power Squats x 380 x 2 x 5
Dumbbell Reverse Lunges x 30 x 3 x 5
Planks x 5 x 30 sec
Face Pulls x 130 x 5 x 10


#18

Training Session 14, 10-07-09

Static Stretch x piriformis, hip flexor, hip capsule x 2 sets x 20 sec
Mobility x leg swings lateral, forward/backward, ankle mobilizations x 1 x 10
Motor Control x none

Deadlift x 390 x 3 x 3
Close-Grip Floor Press x 250 x 5, 280 x 3, 315 x 2
Pull-ups x 230 x 3, 255 x 3, 280 x 3, 305x2/280x2/230x7 (strip-set)
Rope Pull-ups x 230 x 3 x 3
(a) Elbows Out Dumbbell Triceps Extensions x 20 x 5, 30 x 5, 40 x 5, 50 x 5
(b) Dumbbell JM Press x 20 x 5, 30 x 5, 40 x 5, 50 x 5
Triceps Pushdowns V-grip x 70 x 10, 100 x 10, 120 x 10, 140 x 10, (add 1 mini-band behind back) x 140 x 1, (add 2 mini-bands behind back) x 140 x 10


#19

Training Session 15, 10-09-09

Static stretching x this and that x 2 sets x 30 sec each
Mobility x this, this, over there x 2 sets x 10 reps each
Motor control x none

Deadlifts x 440 x 3 x 3

(Dead)