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Struggling with DL, Any Advice?

Back in June my DL was on fire. I hit 355 x 10, 385 x 10, 405 x 9 in three consecutive weeks. Since then I’ve been off my game.

Here’s a video from this morning where I’m lifting 405. I have a cut on my hand, so I already know about the grip and tilt at the top. Please let me know what you see that I can improve on.

Thanks

What does your program look like?

5-3-1

Here’s my log

I have been doing the following template:

Monday: Squat 5-3-1, max effort squat (good mornings) assistance
Tuesday: OHP 5-3-1, max effort bench (pin press or board press)
Thursday: DL 5-3-1, speed squat (box x2, 6 sets on the minute)
Friday: Bench 5-3-1, speed bench (paused 3 reps with press command, 6 sets on the minute)

Other assistance is in there, too, but that’s the main programming.

As far as the video goes, you never really get an arch in your set up. You go from rounded to less rounded. I would recommend you try squeezing your chest up more before you pull.
As far as your programming, I’ve found you have to choose your battles carefully in the DL with 5/3/1. If I try to do max reps on the DL every week, I start regressing after about 2 weeks. I’m also not crazy about adding max effort and speed work to the 5/3/1 program, especially if you push the reps on your main exercises.

Maybe it’s been OK for you, but there’s no way I could recover from that sort of set-up. I would recommend picking your battles and not going for max reps every week and also doing the assistance work as originally intended for the program (i.e. moderate weigths meant to add some volume and build some muscle).

Where are you failing in the lift, not getting it off the floor, mid way, or lockout?

I personally hate doing anything over 3-5 reps for deadlifts bc it fries my lower back too much. Once every 3 weeks I’ll do higher reps like last week I did 505x9 but now this week I’ll back off both squat and deads.

@SRS2000

I was getting nowhere on 5-3-1 on Bench and Squat, but adding the Max/Speed shot both up quickly. I don’t really go for max reps every time on 5-3-1, rather just set a target (usually higher than prescribed reps) and try to hit that. If I don’t think I can get the next rep, I don’t attempt it unless I’m below my target. My recovery has been pretty good with the split between legs and arms and the rest days.

@CrewPierce

I’m failing getting it off the ground.

It sounds odd but something that helps me to get the weight off the floor are the Olympic lifts. They teach you to be explosive and that translates into better starts on the deadlift.

You can also try deadlifting with 35 pound plates so when you move back to the larger 45 pound plates it’s easier to get the weight moving (higher starting height)

[quote]JLD2k3 wrote:
@CrewPierce

I’m failing getting it off the ground.

[/quote]

Try deadlifting from a deficit, stand on two plates while you lift.

I am sure you know but people often forget (I did too) that you want to be pushing your feet through the floor rather than standing up. It is easy to do. You walk up to the bar, think about lifting it up and that is what you try to do. Next time make an effort to remember to push through your heels through the floor.

Cool, I’ve reintroduced power cleans to my assistance. Hopefully that will help. Unfortunately, my gym has these stupid rubber coated weights with built-in handles and the 25, 35, and 45 are all the same diameter.

[quote]JLD2k3 wrote:
Cool, I’ve reintroduced power cleans to my assistance. Hopefully that will help. Unfortunately, my gym has these stupid rubber coated weights with built-in handles and the 25, 35, and 45 are all the same diameter.[/quote]
I feel your pain with those dumbass rubber coated plates my new gym has those too.

Power cleans are what took me from 550 to a 600 pound deadlift, I love them!

If your particular assistance work has helped, then that’s fine. I would still recommend you only hit the prescribed reps on some days, especially for the DL. I had issues with full recovery on 5/3/1 when I was trying to do it 4 days per week. I had a similar experience myself with the DL on the program and I asked Wendler himself about it over at the elitefts Q&A.

He basically said I needed to choose my battles more carefully and only go above the prescribed reps on 1-2 exercises per week. He also said he has found the more advanced a trainee is, the less often they should go for rep maxes. I would try a cycle or two where you only go above the prescribed reps on the DL one time per cycle and see if that helps refresh things a bit.

I’m also assuming nothing else has changed that would affect recovery (diet changes, less sleep, more life stress, weight loss, etc…).

OP, give sumo deadlifting a shot. Start out light, and gradually work your way up in weight. Within a few weeks, you may never want to go back to conventional pulling.

I’m no expert, and cannot deadlift as much as you can, but it looks to me like you’re not getting your legs into the lift enough. Have you tried bending more at the knees so that you get more leg strength into it? Especially if the problem is getting it off the floor (as opposed to lockout) that might help.

I’m also doing the 5/3/1 program, and I do 5x10 DLs as my assistance exercises, where I see you are doing squats twice a week for assistance. I have no idea if the extra volume helps, but I’m certainly wiped by the time I’m done.

[quote]hungry4more wrote:
OP, give sumo deadlifting a shot. Start out light, and gradually work your way up in weight. Within a few weeks, you may never want to go back to conventional pulling. [/quote]

You are so gud at corrupting people

Since your already doing speed work on squats maybe just consider switching to a westside style program for lower body only, still do 5/3/1 for upper if its working. Alternate weeks for Squat/DL and speed work for both. This would not be much different than what your already doing if your doing max DL reps every other week. One problem with 5/3/1 is as the weights go up the minimum reps are not far from your all out max, so by taking it easy 1 week and only doing the min reps you really aren’t getting much of a break at all.

I am doing minimum reps on DL until I can get my form corrected, maybe dropping the weight as well.

What’s the problem? You obviously arent stalling. just stick with it. You don’t have to hit PRs every week.

When that started happening with me I started backing off on the 3x5 and 3x3 weeks and then going all out on the 5/3/1 week. I’m back to hitting pr’s pretty regularly now. I personally can’t push it every week. Some times it’s best just to get the prescribed reps.

I used to have no power off the floor, I worked with 70% for awhile using low reps doing 6x2 every other week working on lifting the weight as fast as possible, I found this helped me develop power allot too. The other weeks, I went moderately heavy.  
I didn't have much success with 5/3/1 my lifts actually got lower and slower, although that may be because I pushed went all out each week, although I did leave a rep in the tank each time. 

Update, here’s yesterday at 395

vid