T Nation

Single Event Competition (Deadlift)


#1

Jo Jim,
i've read through all your three books and started 531. Got some good gains and strength progression.

In about 6 months i want to enter a deadlift meet. Meet goal is around 484lbs.

Due to family, work and other important aspects of life i just have the time two hit the gym twice a week, but it makes good progress. At home i'm able to to lighter things like Pullups and i've got a barbell with around 150Lbs of plates.

So in your powerlifting book you lied out a good pre meet and meet preparation plan. Seems sound for me so i want to give it a try.

I mapped the road out until Competition.

Until mid of december i used the two day template with BBB. I'm getting stronger and bigger.

from mid of december till end of january i use BBB for upper body lifts and 3x5xFSL for lower body lifts. Then i deload.

Premeet starts on 8th of february:
On deadlifts and Squats i follow the sheme you layed out:

w1: 3x3+ 1*85/92,5%
w2: 3x5
w3: 531 + 1*85/95%

without a deload* i continue with the meet preparation plan:
w1: 3x3 + 1*85* (opener)
w2: 3x5
w3: 531
w4: deload/meet on Saturday

Now my questions:
1. You stated that there is no need for a deload if training two times a week. So maybe it's okay two skip it between pre meet and meet preparation?
2. As i just compete in the deadlift i thought to just continue maxreps and BBB on upper body lifts (except on the w3 of meet preparation.
3. I train the squat as if i would squat on the meet, too. I thought that would distribute to my deadlift strength as it did before. Stupid idea?

I've got some experience in meet preparation and i did some meets in the past, but i think my way (heavy singles still in the last week) wasn't that good.

Greets
Lifter17


#2

I’ve had success at meets without the exact de-load. On the 3/5/1 split, the 5’s week with no extra reps or sets serves as a decent unload, and since your body is in the routine of giving a 95%+ effort the following week, you’ll be primed for the meet.

The plan you have laid out looks just fine, though, and you know your body better than anyone else might as far as whether or not you need the extra deload week.

Good luck at the meet


#3

Thanks for the reply. I think you’re right. Good to get advice from someone with experience in competing.

Six months to go. Actual i pulled last week (1+) 330x9 and today (5+) 308x11, whats far better than my 5+ on the last cycle (297x10). So i’m optimistic my numbers will increase.

I just mapped every cycle of the following six month out, what gives me a good overview and chance to plan whicht battles to choose and some motivation to take every single workout.


#4
  1. You stated that there is no need for a deload if training two times a week. So maybe it’s okay two skip it between pre meet and meet preparation? You’ve got experience with this so you need to use it. We have been training athletes for past 5 years here and haven’t been using PL stuff at all.

  2. As i just compete in the deadlift i thought to just continue maxreps and BBB on upper body lifts (except on the w3 of meet preparation.

Personally, I wouldn’t do that at all. Why use energy and recovery on a lift you aren’t doing in competition? Makes ZERO sense to me, but perhaps it does to you.

  1. I train the squat as if i would squat on the meet, too. I thought that would distribute to my deadlift strength as it did before. Stupid idea?

Strong is strong. People who divide this up into lifts are fools. Get strong as hell in all areas and watch it pay off in the long run.


#5

Thanks for answering Jim!

  1. I understand what you mean with using my experience. So i’ll do it and gain more experience. But i don’t get the point with your second set? Do you mean i’m not ready for this type of training?

  2. There are two reasons why i thought to continue on the other lifts. First, i love Training with 5/3/1. It’s a good resource to get strong and self-confident through the daily stresses and so on. Second i never felt upper body training that stressful. I’ve got an athletic background and think my recovery on the upper body works very effective. But i should overthink this when the meet gets nearer and nearer.

  3. Got this point.


#6

Although everything is working as planned - except one ‘less stellar day’ i’m not that sure about my routine.

I want to keep it basic and not major the minors, so it looks like that:

A)

  1. Squat 531 + BBB 5*10
  2. Benchpress 531 + 5*10
  3. Latpulldowns 5*15
  4. Tricepextension 5*15

B)

  1. Deadlift 531 + BBB RDL 3*10
  2. Press 531 + BBB 5*10
  3. Dips 3*10
  4. BB-Curls 3*12

On the first workout i would like to replace the pulldowns with pulp variations between the sets of bench and squat. But will that let my upper back and lats grow if i’m doing maybe 10 Sets of 3 and working up the volume step by step?
Would it be possible to put the Dips in between the BBB RDL sets?

Don’t get me wrong. I strongly believe in 531 system. I personally think for me this is the best way to incorporate my training in daily schedule. Aside the training think (getting stronger and bigger) it allows me to push myself which builds persistence for all of life’s struggles and battles and it gives a good compensation to all the stressors.
I also think that the concept of BBB is one of the best thinks invented in training systems. It does not need millions of studies to prove you are in the right zone for hypertrophy and so on. It should delivers the volume you need to grow. It saves one from bullshitting around with hundreds of other unimportant things. Just the thing i need.
Just after rereading my text i think my questions answer themselves. I’ll just put in the Pullup and Dipwork between the sets of the others. It’ll save me time and more time is good.

I just read about an optional C) workout for the ones that are busy. Maybe i’ll give it a shot when time allows. Thank you Jim for sharing good Ideas and systems for strength training that don’t overcomplicate the simple necessary aspects. Can’t wait to read your next books.


#7

[quote]Lifter17 wrote:
Thanks for answering Jim!

  1. I understand what you mean with using my experience. So i’ll do it and gain more experience. But i don’t get the point with your second set? Do you mean i’m not ready for this type of training?

  2. There are two reasons why i thought to continue on the other lifts. First, i love Training with 5/3/1. It’s a good resource to get strong and self-confident through the daily stresses and so on. Second i never felt upper body training that stressful. I’ve got an athletic background and think my recovery on the upper body works very effective. But i should overthink this when the meet gets nearer and nearer.

  3. Got this point.

[/quote]

  1. No I meant that you have some real world (not internet) experience preparing for meets. You need to use that experience.

  2. Keep training all your lifts but don’t overload the non-competitive lifts with higher volume.


#8

Thanks, i really appreciate your input (of course the input from the other guys, too).

By the way, just finished my last cycle on thursday. Pulled 341 for 9 reps. The last wasn’t beautiful but still solid i’d say. i started this year with 531 and pulled just 270 for 8 reps. The press and benchpress didn’t go up that much. Got some elbow issues and i’m not blessed with good pressing proportions (thin ripcage and long thin arms). But also these numbers will increase sooner or later. BBB puts on some serious muscle mass on my chest what will shorten the range of motion. All in all i’ll just continue, work hard with patience and earn the results.

Best regards


#9

I started the new cycle this week. The whole BBB thing puts on some serious mass. Measurements got up by 2cm on the lower quads where i was very thin (big adductors and hams, puny quads) thanks to 5x10xSQ. Also i got 3-4cm more circumference on the chest. So there is nothing big to change. I just added Some Curls here and threw dips out to get close grip benches in. I Also added Hypers 5x10 what really feels great after Squatting and seems to have a undeniable impact on my posture.

After many years of thinking about what is the best thing to get stronger and muscular i did not see, what really matters. I think i just follow the program and maybe sometimes i need to make some minor changes (switching supplemental exc. or so). But the whole program will stay the same, because it works. It also teaches me patience.

At the moment there is only one thing i’m not sure about:
How far to push the deadlift topset. Until now i really pushed it until i recognized the form would breakdown at the next rep. After that i did 3-5x10 RDL. Back, glutes and hams has gotten bigger and thicker and lower back (not spine) was sore. By only training two times a week (3rd workout for Abs) and doing two cycles in a row without deloading i just thought about doing only the prescribed reps maybe on the 5s week. Until now i’ve got no recovery issues but maybe for longtime success it could be smart just two push 2 out of 3 deadlift workouts:

5 - only prescribed
3+
1+
5 - only prescribed
3+
1+
deload

i’m looking forward to your next book, jim. Always great to read from you.

regards.


#10

Jim, do you have a recommendation for using bands as a raw lifter for bench pressing?

I figured out that i’m strong off the chest, but as the barbell goes up i hit a sticking point what is quite uncommon for a raw lifter. I blame my long thin arms for this weakness. For deadlifting they’re a bless. But when it comes to benching they are really hart to deal with, but i keep going on. They also didn’t want to grow, but that is another story…

My idea was to integrate the bench on press day as assistance using 5x10 with an added band (2-16kgs). I try to keep it simple:

Day one

  1. Squats 531 + BBB
  2. Benchpress 531 + BBB
  3. Pullups 8-15 Sets done between other sets
  4. Pushdown 5x15
  5. Hypers 5x15-10

Day two

  1. Deadlifts 531 + RDL 3x10
  2. Press 531 + BBB
  3. Benchpress with bands 5x10
  4. Hammerwurfs 5x10
  5. Facepulls 5x20-15

I also do tons of pullaparts during the week.

Beside everything is on track. Tomorrow another cycle ends and i’m looking forward the crush some PRs.


#11

Hi,
i just finished six or seven cycles of 5/3/1 an BBB this year. I got some really big gains on legs, glutes, back and chest. Lower body gains are quite more massiv than the upper body gains. I put on 8kgs and about 6cm on my legs and 8cm on my chest without gaining much bellyfat. Strength also increased quite good although BBB focuses on putting on mass. For example i liftet 320 for seven reps in septembre and last week i hit 363 for seven solid reps on a less stellar day (maybe some incoming infection oder something like that).

5/3/1 is the program. Should have followed it for years and i would be much stronger now.

But now my lower body really matches out my upper body.

The only areas which didn’t get any muscle mass are arms and shoulders. I don’t care about bodybuilding aesthetic standards and dominating big legs are always a win for me, but i would be really happy to get some gains on shoulders an arms and on the upper body as a whole.
During this year i also figured out, that my lower body needs less volume to get stronger and to grow than my upper body. Putting one and one together i though about the routine to look like that:

A)

  1. Squat 5/3/1 + FSL
  2. Benchpress 5/3/1 + BBB
  3. Pullups between the sets (i cycle them so that the reps go up and up)
  4. Dips 3x15-10 supersetted with
  5. Hammercurls 3x15-10

B)

  1. Deadlift 5/3/1 + FSL
  2. Press 5/3/1 + BBB
  3. Bench with Bands 5’s progression (bands really helped me to use the triceps better during the motion)
  4. Tricepextensions 5x10
  5. ???

So my questions:

  1. I think this could work. The basics are still basic and i now they work. To repeat, i could bite myself in the ass i didn’t start earlier with 5/3/1. Or does this routine look stupid for you guys?

  2. In Workout B) the fifth exercise. Any suggestions? Some rowing variation oder some lower body movement? I. e. my squats week point is about the half rep. The speed decreases after i start strong out of the hole and increases after i’ve passed about 100 degrees.

The competition is still my goal. Im now aiming for at least 484. But to be honest i aim to break 500 pounds.


#12

Hey Guys,
just completed more cycles. It’s quite impressive what gains in strength 531 allows.
Last November i finished the 531 week benching only prescribed reps (220x1). A few days ago i benched 225,4x4 (got a rep left in the tank).

Now the last ‘normal’ 531 cycle comes to an end. Just the 531 week ahead. After that the pre-meet phase begins. Looking forward to crush some PRs in the meet. After some difficulties in programming (or: the stupid believe something could be programmed better blablabla) i exactly know what to do.

IN the future i’will design my offseason to build muscle and strength. I’ve got a skinny physique. My torso and arms are slim but progressing to get more solid. Found out BBB gives this extra volume needed. So i’m almost clear how to program. I made the experience that BBB with short rests is the best way to get some extra pounds on my torso. Just doing quality reps, get a pump and watch the muscles grow. Also i do not need much conditioning while using BBB.

I also figured out that my triceps and Quads were the weakest part. So i’ll dedicate the offseason to get this parts to come close.

A)

  1. SQ 531 + BBB
  2. BP + BBB
  3. Pullups 5-8x10-?
  4. Closegrip incline benchpress 5x10
  5. Curlvariation 5x10

B)

  1. DL 531 + BBB(Snatchgripdeadlifts)
  2. Press 531
    **3. Bench w/bands ***
    **4. Legpress ***
  3. Tricep 3-5x10

*** don’t know what to do here. 5’s pro or BBB. Tend to BBB because main goal is putting on mass. But as the goal was to improve triceps and quads maybe 5’s pro would be the way to go.**

You may notice that on press i just do the press without anything else. I figured out that extra volume doesn’t give me anything i couldn’t get with benching. Also the press did not help me improving the benchpress. BUT i like the press. And i get stronger just do the press (sometimes with only prescribed reps). Just to a sudden my strength here increases as i dropped the volume on this by doing just prescribed reps and cutting out extra volume.

I plan to spend some months on this until a new meet is upcoming. Then i’ll switch to 531 + FSL for 2 to 3 cycles before starting pre meet programming.


#13

Follow your own advice!!


#14

I’ll do and maybe this question majors the minors but i’m unsure about this. And maybe it just doesn’t matter because the whole program is solid.

Using BBB on this two lifts will put on more mass. Using 5’s pro would stressing the “strength-aspect”, but with the whole program, the hypertrophy won’t come too short. Both has his pros and cons. Maybe that is the problem.


#15

That’s why we do one. And then the other. You do know you don’t have to pick just one. It’s very clear in my books.


#16

Thanks. Short helpful statement. It is just that i’m surprised what gains i make with 5/3/1.
So after competition i will take 3 steps back and begin with BBB at a low percentage. I would still hitting heavy weights that take care of getting stronger.
And by the end of the year i’ll be stronger than now.

When do you plan to release your next book?


#17

5/3/1 Week, was a success. I hit PR on every lift compared with my whole training career.

i benched a weight that was my 1Rm (236.5) a year ago for 3 solid reps (a fourth was possible i think) with more work done before (5x75% and 3x85%).

i deadlifted 396 for 5 reps (on the fifth rep one inch was missing to complete the lockout, but i could have locked it out, just didn’t realize it was that close so i thought it could get me to failure half way up). The best result with 396lbs was 3 reps without working sets before.

on presses i easily got 143 for one rep with some space to get more reps, but on press i decided to do just prescribed reps. Im sure 154 would be possible to.

on squats i’m not able to tell comparable numbers because i backed down the loads to work on my technique. But now i’m able to get twice the reps as last year with better form on a given load. For example on highball squats 253 for five solid reps versus 253 for three ugly reps with much forward lean.

After this deload the pre meet begins and i’m sure i will get some good PRs on my lifts, when my body adapts to singles.

All in all i learned a lot about training, pushing myself (and when to do not).

In the future my programming will lead me to using 531 + BBB in the offseason to gain weight and using 531 + FSL + Premeet and meet preparation when a meet comes up. Easy as that.

In this i will throw conditioning and stretching complemented with some core and upper back training on the off days.

I also figured out, that the BBB template consumes much more energy that the FSL. Good to know.


#18

Just finished the first week of pre meet.
After some light squats for warmup i just fired the weights up. Hit the planned 300/345/390 for triples. After that i got 418 and 440 for a single (85% and 92.5%). Both were fast and smooth. The 440 felt more like a 85% effort. The video also told me this. So i considered to try 450, but during the setup someone ran right into me. So focus was lost. Not amused. All in all i think i got potential for 460 that day.

So everything went as planned. I also got bigger. Thank you Jim for all the energy you put in your work. It really helped me to overcome the circle of too much thinking about unnecessary thinks and giving me the tools to get bigger and stronger.


#19

I also forgot to mention that i plan to compete at Squat and Bench too. Although the numbers won’t be good i think it is a good chance to establish some meet PRs and breaking them later. And i think it is always good to confrontative the own weaknesses.