T Nation

Quest for 500lb Deadlift!


I am starting this log after coming off of a bodybuilder style routine previously to put on size. I am 220 lbs at 6'2". I want to be 230 lbs by May, and I want to have a 500 lb dead lift if at all possible.

I am switching from a Bodybuilding routine to another cycle of 5/3/1.

I am in a deload week, but I am starting up next week with the following:


5 90
5 105
5+ 120

Assistance of:

Incline Bench 5 x 10
Machine Row 5 x 10
Arm Curl 5 x 10
Tricep Pushdown 5 x 10


5 210
5 245
5+ 275

Assistance of:

Snatch Grip RDL 5 x 10
Machine "trap" bar dead lift 5 x 10


5 115
5 135
5+ 155

Assistance of:

DB Bench 5 x 10
DB Row 5 x 10, top set of 20.
Arm Curl 5 x 10
Tricep Pushdown 5 x 10

Squat (front):

5 115
5 135
5+ 155

Assistance of:

Back Squat 5 x 10
Ab Circuit 5 x 10

I know I am ambitious with the dead lift numbers, but I marked my maxes pretty conservatively in this cycle.

Let me know of any criticism you guys may have; I would appreciate it!


Monday's Workout:

Overhead Press - Max Set for 8 reps


Machine Row: 5 x 10 x 160
DB Bench: 5 x 10 x 60's

DB Arm Curl/Skull Crusher 5 x 10 x 30's

Workout felt great. The hammer strength high row is awesome; really feel it in the lats. Originally the OHP was going to be push press, but I changed it to Strict OHP and used the same weight; felt great.

Also, Monday is my protein pulse day.


Today's Workout

DL top set: 8 reps


Snatch Grip RDL: 5 x 10 x 205 (got really good depth, about mid shin)

Trap Bar DL: 5 x 10 x 315 (really burns the quads on me)

finished with stretching.


Today's Workout

I changed from bench to pull-down as my main exercise. I am using bench only as an accessory exercise.

That being said, I used the same weight I would have used for the bench.

Pull-down top set: 11 reps


DB Incline Bench: 5 x 10 x 50's
DB Row: 5 x 10 x 60's

BB Arm Curl & Skull Crusher: 5 x 10 x 70


Didn't do my workout today. I won't up this morning and my hamstrings are still killing. I am going to do them tomorrow morning so that I don't fall off my schedule. Hamstrings for me always take a long time to heal. I am going to be doing so ART tonight, hopefully (from my brother).


What kind of pulldown? And why are you switching it with bench?!


I am just doing machine pull down. I find that I am really weak in that work. I know it isn't normal, but I want to experiment with making bench only an accessory work. At least doing it for 2 or 3 cycles and then test my bench again, maybe on another style routine to see how it responded.

Plus, the 5/3/1 doesn't seem like it has enough work for the back in it (yes I know that DLs hit them pretty good)



Overhead Press

5 x 55lbs
5 x 70lbs
3 x 85lbs
3 x 95lbs
3 x 110lbs
7 x 120lbs

DB Overhead Press 5 x 10 x 40's
Hammer Strength High Pull Down 5 x 10 x 160
DB Arm Curls 5 x 10 x 35's
DB Tricep Skull Crushers 5 x 10 x 30's

Notes: Today is the protein pulse day. I had energy this workout, but it was sub-par. I didn't sleep a ton this weekend and was doing some construction work to help my brother. I ate really bad and didn't eat enough, so I am happy with this workout.


Why is front squat your main "squat" and not back squat? Back squats are going to have more carry over to deadlift and if you are like most people and are weak in the upper back, glutes, and hams why not more work there?

Suggestions: Rack Pulls, Heavy DB Rows (Kroc Rows), Band Pull-Aparts, GHRs, Good Mornings, Barbell Hip Thrusts, Lunges.

What is your max deadlift right now?

Where do you fail on deadlift?


Thanks for following along. I chose the front squat as the main squat because my quads are horribly weak (you will see that this friday). I am naturally stronger in the posterior chain it seems.

I noticed the hip thrust and the good mornings in your plan. The purpose to target glute activation and lockout? My weakpoint is the ground. Once I can get it off the ground an inch, I can always lock it out, conventional or sumo. Based on my numbers I have put up, do you think I am just weak all over, or do you see specific weaknesses i should focus on?



Deadlift (Conventional)
5 x 135
5 x 165
3 x 195
3 x 225
3 x 265
8 x 290

Snatch Grip RDL 5 x 10 x 205 <--- Very hard. Hamstrings were burned from DLs

Trap Bar DL 5 x 10 x 315 <----still fried from original DL. Took my time on these.

Overall, I was more tired than last week, but my Deadlift went from 275 to 290 with the same reps. I am just getting used to the form again, because I haven't done conventional DL in over 6 months.

Finished with ~20 minutes of stretching.


Well, I guess I couldn't say what to work on without seeing what it looks like when you pull. I just took a wild stab at weak posterior chain and I guess I was wrong. We are similar height and weight (6 2 and 210 here), but I guess we've got different leverages. If you are failing off the floor I would suggest you try to really work on that part of the lift especially if lockout isn't an issue.

Maybe something like low box squats (narrow stance if you pull mostly conventional and wider if you are better at sumo) with the safety bar if you have access to one. Deficit pulls could be good also (standing on a plate/plates). Could be your form though (this can never be too good). Post a video if you can.



Conditioning Day

Foaming rolling of legs and warm-up

4 sets of the following complex:
Sled Drag with 200lbs
10 KB snatches/arm
20 Getups w/ jump @ the end
20 Mountain Climbers
10 KB front squats to overhead press

Total of each cycle takes about 2:30, with my record being 2:02.

These are totally draining.


On the up side, I am no where near as sore as I was from DLs as I was last week. I just needed to get used to the exercise since I hadn't done it in a long time. Mid back is where I feel all the soreness (plus glutes and hammies, of course). I take this as a sign that I have good form because my lower back isn't getting sore. The conditioning did loosen me up, though.


I appreciate the input! I am going to focus for now on staying as true to the program as I can, at least until I am repping in the 400's. Then maybe a specialization to get me to the 500 mark.



Machine Pull Down

5 x 70
5 x 90
3 x 110
3 x 125
3 x 145
11 x 160

Incline DB Bench 5 x 10 x 55's
DB Rows 5 x 10 x 60's
EZ-Bar Arm Curls 4 x 10 x 80; 6 x 90
EZ-Bar Skull Crushers 4 x 10 x 80; 6 x 90
~10 minutes of stretching for pecs, lats and forearms.


Tired this morning, but still think that I did an OK job. My weight is at 215, so I have lost a little, but I am hoping it is fat. I am going to up my calories, because I want to be back at 220 by the end of November, fat or muscle. Happy with the pulldown total though.



Full Front Squat

5 x 95
5 x 120
3 x 135
3 x 155
15 x 160

A1 Sidebends 5 x 10 x 120
A2 Pull Crunch 5 x 12 x 120

Back Squat 5 x 10 x 135

~20 minutes of stretching. I am working on doing the side splits during this time as well.


I was running off of four hours of sleep. I really try to justify staying in bed this morning, but I am glad that I went through with it, because the workout turned out pretty decent. My Quads were fried by the time that I got to the back squat, which are also done Olympic style.

Starting next week, the week were I do the final tough week in 5/3/1, I am going to list what my estimated 1RM would be, and also how much of a PR that would be compared to the numbers that I put as my max. That will keep me motivated, knowing that I am making progress. I can already feel the progress in the lifts.



Standing Overhead Press

5 x 55
5 x 70
5 x 85
5 x 105
3 x 120
5 x 130 <----not showing an increase at all. Very weird.

Hammer High Pull Down 5 x 10 x 180 <---20 lb increase
DB OH Press 5 x 10 x 40's
Arm Curls 5 x 10 x 35's
Skull Crushers 5 x 10 x 35's <----5 lb increase (per 'bell)

Notes: I had to workout in the afternoon, because I didn't set my alarm and got up at 6:30a. I also chose to fast yesterday, and all day, all I had was 1 protein shake and no water. It was weird. I didn't feel like having anything else. I can't believe how many "douchey" people there are at the gym. I mean, there were people talking on the phone during sets, text messaging, you name it. And I never really got that whole "Monday is bench day" until today. ALL the benches were taken, and then all the DB's were being used for some variation of bench. I felt out of place, which felt good. :slightly_smiling:


good luck buddy, i myself also questing for the magic 500, or 501/227.5kg because i'll likely try it with kilo plates at powerlifting gym. i'm around 50lbs away, and straight linear progression seems to be working well.



Conventional Deadlift

5 x 135
5 x 160
3 x 195
5 x 245
3 x 275
6 x 315


Snatch Grip RDL 3 x 10 x 205; 1 x 5 x 225; 1 x 10 x 225
~20 minutes of stretching

Notes: After the conventional pull I was really tired, so instead of doing the trap bar, I just put a little extra weight on the RDL and then did my stretching and called it a day. My back is pretty well fried. This was the first day of using a belt. I used it on the 275 and the top set. It is hard to say if it did much, but I do know that the extra tension on the midsection helps me focus on the pull more....did I just answer my own question?

On another note, I am thinking of skipping my deload week. I am not stressed right now, and I think I could keep going. What I am thinking about doing, though, to keep with the program, is to go with sets of 20 for my main lifts. Get that higher volume in, and keep the weight down. I will do the deload week next month, I think. Thoughts?


Thanks for the support man! I am so excited to hit that long term goal. I figure 5/3/1 is the best way of getting there. What does your workout schedule look like? Do you have a log?