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How Many Singles >90 for DL for Beginner


I'm doing 5/3/1...and since 5/3/1 for PLing isn't yet out, I've decided on doing 4-6 singles @90% real (estimated) 1RM /week on squat day (I do pistols throughout the week instead of weighted squats). (my 1RM moves slooow. My singles @90% moved sloooooow)

My DL: 15 more pounds and I hit 2x BW (310) (140 kg).

So, would 4 (or 6) singles @ 90% 1RM/week theoretically be too much?



You can try whatever you like. But you need to understand that you're not doing 5/3/1.


In an article here, Wendler did write down the basic template of 5/3/1 for PL.




Rhodes' version, if I remember correctly, has you doing 3 singles at 90% (your training max) on your 3x3 week, and 2 singles at 90% on your 5/3/1 week. It also has the monthly layout flipped around so you are doing 3x3, 3x5, 5/3/1.

The general rule of thumb on max effort work that I read in one of Louis Simmons' books was that you should shoot for around 3 sets at or above 90%. (I may have read this elsewhere, I don't remember for certain so don't kill me if I'm wrong about where I read it.)

Also, I wouldn't recommend pistols as a substitute for the back squat.


@OBoile : thank you for reminding me. Did you read that I'm also not doing squats? Yeah, I'm starting from a basic 5/3/1 template; I'm also a beginner (~3 years training), I noticed that my strength at high percentages starts to sukk and I need some real low rep work... I got 8 reps on the "5/3/1" day last time, and I hope to get about as many this cycle (having a cr@ppy DL and all).

Thanks for the answers so far; also, take note that I'm not squatting (practically; I'm taking a guess pistols are nowhere near back squats in terms of neural drain).


So why are you not doing squats?


Do squats. You are small and need to do squats.


Deadlifts are tough to compare reps vs. singles with respect to weight. Even if you don't bounce the weights, you still get a benefit on subsequent reps from the tension you've created in your body. For instance, last year I did 385x7 and then the next week got 430 only about 2" off the ground. However, I do think that the strength gained from doing reps can be transfered to 1rm performance if you do some singles work (I pulled 457 two months later). My question for you is: why do you want this? Are you doing a contest soon? If not, who cares what your 1rm is and just keep following the program.

The reason I said you are not doing 5/3/1 is BECAUSE you aren't doing squats. You've changed 25% of the program, hence it is now you're own custom program and not 5/3/1. Sometimes this can be good as you know your body best. Sometimes this can be bad as you likely don't know as much as Jim W. Sometimes this is necessary (maybe you don't have somewhere to squat safely or maybe you have an injury that has to be trained around).

I'll leave it for you to decide if a beginner removing the arguably best exercise from a successful program is a good idea or not.


-No squat rack
-Also, I think I have a congenital lack of mobility in the ankle... My knees can easily go two inches or more past my toes, but when I squat they never go past the toes => good-morning squat combo (as a note, I'm pretty flexible/mobile: I can go below 90 degrees in a standing toe touch with my back straight...I can do shoulder dislocates with a narrower-than-snatch grip, full squats with as$ touching heels, logically, my back rounds, but my heels stay on the ground. Also, my tibias are nearly vertical)
-I want to get a huge DL ASAP; as such I'd rather invest the resources for the squat day in some extra DL work.
-the DL is as good a strength/mass builder as the squat. Maybe better since it starts from a dead stop (see "Hardgainer mag". lol )
-as I said, going from ~85% real 1RM (the weight during the 5/3/1 day) to 90% real 1RM (singles) made a huge difference in difficulty and bar speed, and my predicted 1RM (with JW's formula- .0333x...) is 7% more than my real 1RM. Yet, adding even 1% made the bar feel bolted to the floor before I even began lifting. (weird; any ideas?)


You probably lack a significant amount of speed and explosiveness, possibly even lacking fast-twitch muscle fibers. The ankle thing doesn't really make sense. It seems like you may have a technique problem more than anything. You can always try front squats, just clean the weight up.


No, I don't understand this in the gym single shit. I watched some douche bag take 45 minutes to do 15 singles above "90%" because he was getting ready for a "meet." I'll post the fucking principles for 5/3/1 see if your 4-6 singles matches it:

* work up to a single, all out set in three or four key lifts
* only train that lift one time a week
* use primal periodization (preplanning)
* train in short, infrequent, manic training sessions

*  low rep sets predominated
* very few exercises
* most performed a single, all out top set
* some lifters might perform multiple top sets using a static poundage
* others might perform â??static weight back-off setsâ?? after the top set
* most performed some assistance exercises
* others avoided assistance work altogether
* perform each of the four core lifts once a week

Does 4-6 singles @ 90% sound like it fits this?


Your knees aren't suppose to go past your toes and stick your ass out and lock your upper back and your shit won't round.

Bull shit.

Guess what squats help, stop being a bitch.

You're not a fucking hard gainer you don't eat any fucking food. And, no deadlifts aren't as good as strength/mass builder as the squat.

Yeah, really who would have thought putting more weight on a fucking bar would affect the difficulty and bar speed. Now, eat some more fucking food and squat and before too long you'll think that weight is no longer difficult and it is no longer affecting bar speed.

Squats and Milk bitch, learn it.


A lack of squat rack does make it tough to do squats properly. IMO that is a legit reason not to squat, however you may want to consider finding a rack soon as squats really are king IMO. Having bad form isn't a good excuse, that can be fixed.

I wouldn't put to much faith in Jim's 1rm calculator. Especially with deadlifts. Reps vs. max just don't translate well for that lift.

In regards to Brother Chris' post: I don't think there is anything wrong with your knees moving forward in the squat - they really should a little. Jim's do here:

One thing you may to try is squatting with weightlifting shoes. These have a raise heel which will let your knees go futher forward and keep your back more upright.


I said move past your toe, not move forward. They will move forward, but should stay behind your toes. Which the kid said he's doing, so I was wondering how that was a problem.


@Brother Chris: - the knees aren't supposed to go past the toes during a powerlifting squat due to the wide stance; otherwise it's fine and good for the back

  • quoting "Hardgainer mag" (something old about which no one around here heard about - so even though it exists it was more of a joke) doesn't mean I think I'm a hardgainer

  • squats help, but, taking a wild guess, wouldn't DLs help more?

  • my 90% is much slower than my 85%. My 90% is probably as slow as Tom Martin's 1RM (at least the first half...). No, something's not alright. Also, 90% feels much heavier than 85%, and I think that's also not right, so I've got to get used to heavy weights.

  • so yeah, it's not 5/3/1. I've actually bought the book, so I know what it says. Ok, I'm using the periodization outlined in 5/3/1 and doing one max set/session, and assistance @~60% 1RM, not 5/3/1 itself. Better?

Ugh, please answer the question, don't tell me I should squat. Yeah, squats are great, I might actually squat if I'll decide to compete. Pistols are enough for now. But until now I've only one answer to the question of whether it looks like too much pulling in one week. Altough, I guess I can simply do this for a few months and see if my progress is better.


Stop quoting hardgainer mag and listen to these guys .

It sounds as if you're making a lot of excuses .


No, it's not. Having a wise stance has nothing to do with the knees, your knees moving forward has to do with not doing the movement properly.

Pistols are a waste of time, if you can't squat on two feet properly how are you going to dance on one leg properly? And, yes too much pulling and not enough squatting. Why would you only squat if you competed, that sounds dumb.


As said before don't trust rep calculators . Trust the reps you can do. Where they maybe useful is when you do say 300 x 5, the pull 325. You do 325 x 5 you probably will pull 350-355.


Whether the knee moves past the toe or not doesn't matter. There isn't some arbitrary line (based on foot size no less) that determines if the knee has moved too far forward or not.