T Nation

Need Help with DE Lower

I was really happy, because last week I hit a 30lb deadlift PR, but was very dissapointed after todays DE workout. Let me explain.

I was planning on doing box jumps as my De movement, 15 sets of 1, starting from a seated position, standing for a second, and then jump. The only problem, is the highest thing my gym has to jump onto is a bench, which is way too low. I try to make myself jump higher, but I cant force myself to jump higher then I need to. So, I need some advice on what to do to replace these.

After these weren’t working, I went to do speed deads, and did 8 sets of 1 with about 60% of my max. These felt pretty good, but I dont think I need much work on speed deads.

Then we proceeded to front squats, where I did 5x5. This went well, but Im trying to switch to the olympic grip so because I think it will be good in the long run, but i have some flexibility issues with this grip.

After that, I had no clue what to do. I ended back at deadlifts, and did some rack pulls 3 x 3 with 95% of my max.

I then finished off with some static holds with about 75% with double overhand grip. On one of the sets, as I built up tension in my legs to lift the weight, I heard a pop in my left knee toward the rear. There was no pain at all, and this has happened a few times in my other knee. Does this mean anything, or is it similar to when your knuckles, or shoulders crack?

I really didn’t like that nothing was planned during this workout, and I was just kinda wandering trying to figure what to do. All in all though, I feel i got a good ab/core workout, and grip workout, and my lats felt good after the rack pulls, because I never do these.


So enough of a rant about my crappy workout, I have a few questions.

1.) Whats a good DE lower exercise, in my situation where there is nothing high to jump onto?

2.) Is the pop in my knee anything to worry about, or what is just air escaping or a clicking bone?

3.) I primarily train deadlift, because I was always better at it, and recently started training front squats, and zercher squats, and saw a good increase in my deads. Currently I can deadlift 335+ sumo, and although I dont know my squat maxs, I imagine I can front squat close to 200.

Should I continue working front squats with 5x5 and try to increase my deadlifts to 400+, or worry less about deadlifts, and try to bring my squat numbers up more, with something like 10x3?

Any other advise is greatly appreciated.

Sonnds like you answered your own question–nothing was planned out. You need a plan, and you need contingencies in case anything goes wrong.

  1. jump squats @20%, box squats wide or conventional, olympic squats, or turn it into a repetition day. I don’t suggest jump squats or seated box jump training as your main DE movement if your goal is to up your squat and deadlift. Reason being is that it doesn’t offer enough load. Use it in addition to your DE movement beforehand perhaps, or drop it. If you’re using Defranco’s training as an athlete, then follow his lead and use an exercise alternative from his list.

  2. no clue. I’ve had stuff happen and if it doesn’t hurt, I generally don’t pay attention to it. Your mileage may vary though. Beware.

  3. Train your weaknesses. It isn’t your deadlift. Front squats will help you squat more conventionally unless you are much much stronger back squatting. And they seem to help your DL so that’s doubly good. I would not do a 10x3 scheme to end your DE day. That kind of scheme is meant for the beginning of a workout. I would suggest doing some weak muscle group training to end the day instead of heavy deadlifting for general purposes, although I’ve used them as finishers before too.

typical DE day:

DE movement
Optional 2nd DE movement (ie–speed DL)
Assistance movement focused on weak muscles
weak group training
weak group training/abs

The optional movement it optional for a reason–if you don’t need much help with dl speed, it’s not going to do you much good.

Let me clarify–you need a plan both for the session you’re about to do, and an overall plan of progression for the next month or two.

Ok, so maybe I’d be well off chaning my whole workout, and focusing less on deadlift.

So how about this

Box back squats (speed)8x3 or 10x2
Close stance deadlifts 5x5
Front squat 3x8

Or should I just not worry about speed as much,

Front squat or Back squat 10x3
Deadlift sumo 5x5
Reverse hyper 2 sets for 30 seconds

Or something like that?

Broad jumps or jump squats is the way to go.

I never progressed from DE for my squat/DL which may be because I’m mad weak but… If you find you don’t either Use one day to train the squat and the other to train the deadlift. That worked much better for me.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

  1. jump squats @20%, box squats wide or conventional, olympic squats, or turn it into a repetition day. I don’t suggest jump squats or seated box jump training as your main DE movement if your goal is to up your squat and deadlift. Reason being is that it doesn’t offer enough load. Use it in addition to your DE movement beforehand perhaps, or drop it. If you’re using Defranco’s training as an athlete, then follow his lead and use an exercise alternative from his list.

[/quote]

I’ve been really digging the box squats into box jumps for my DE work these past few weeks. I feel like I really have to accelerate thru the movement to even go anywhere. I guess we’ll find out if it helped any when I head to ME lower day this week.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
I never progressed from DE for my squat/DL which may be because I’m mad weak but… If you find you don’t either Use one day to train the squat and the other to train the deadlift. That worked much better for me.[/quote]

Are you training squat and dead heavy each day? What does your assistance work look like?

[quote]boyscout wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
I never progressed from DE for my squat/DL which may be because I’m mad weak but… If you find you don’t either Use one day to train the squat and the other to train the deadlift. That worked much better for me.

Are you training squat and dead heavy each day? What does your assistance work look like?[/quote]

I’m on a totally different routine now but it looked like:

squat day:
back normal/boxsquat
up to a max triple double or single
GHR
decline weighted situps
Calves

Deadlift day:
deads to a max
GHR
decline weighted situps
calves

I’m also a young guy without much muscle on me total. But it made me stronger.

[quote]boyscout wrote:
Aragorn wrote:

  1. jump squats @20%, box squats wide or conventional, olympic squats, or turn it into a repetition day. I don’t suggest jump squats or seated box jump training as your main DE movement if your goal is to up your squat and deadlift. Reason being is that it doesn’t offer enough load. Use it in addition to your DE movement beforehand perhaps, or drop it. If you’re using Defranco’s training as an athlete, then follow his lead and use an exercise alternative from his list.

I’ve been really digging the box squats into box jumps for my DE work these past few weeks. I feel like I really have to accelerate thru the movement to even go anywhere. I guess we’ll find out if it helped any when I head to ME lower day this week.

[/quote]

Yeah, I guess that could work too. I usually go in the order – explosive–> strength—>hypertrophy—>endurance. So plyos go first, then max strength or speed-speed strength, then accessory stuff, then high rep stuff. Just personal preference.

[quote]dankid wrote:
Ok, so maybe I’d be well off chaning my whole workout, and focusing less on deadlift.

So how about this

Box back squats (speed)8x3 or 10x2
Close stance deadlifts 5x5
Front squat 3x8

Or should I just not worry about speed as much,

Front squat or Back squat 10x3
Deadlift sumo 5x5
Reverse hyper 2 sets for 30 seconds

Or something like that?[/quote]

Either could work. depends on how much you get out of speed work. If you don’t know yet, stay with speed work or rep work. If you get good results from DE stuff stay with speed work, if you feel it’s time for a change, then you can go heavy. But I wouldn’t do it for too long. Personally I’m partial to the first option, but without the front squats and substituting 2 accessory exercises for weak muscle groups (GHRs, pull throughs, lunges, hyperextensions, etc), then add in ab work.