T Nation

Temporarily Skipping DL for a Couple Cycles


First of all, thank you for the books and this forum. It's taken a long time to need to ask anything on here, as the wealth of information here is a pretty amazing supplement to both books.

I have a weird strain just under my clavicle from trying to push deadlifts forward to clear my knees as I squat the deadlifts down due to crappy form. My deadlift shot up with 5/3/1, and I didn't keep track of form properly along the way to keep up with it. I can basically do all the other lifts and assistance lifts, but it seems to get minorly strained every time I pick up my daughter, so I think I may need more time than usual to let it clear up. I'm definitely not ready to give up on deadlifts completely, just need to let the clavicle thing clear up and then start ultra light on 5's progression for a while.

Background: I've been lifting every other day, so I guess a 3.5 day/wk plan, with one day per major lift. Assistance work has been BBB opposite lifts, with some chins, pullups, and rows thrown in for balance. Started with a couple months on starting strength, then about 4 months 5/3/1. Rep maxes are at kind of low at 227 bench, 293 squat, 146 press, 340 deadlift. 30 years old, 6' 185lb.

I don't want to just skip the deadlift day and end up with 2/3 upper body days, but with there being no legitimate deadlift replacement, deadlift day has turned into awkward assistance day. So far I've tried altering the squat day to 5/3/1, then 5xFSL paused squats (need help in the hole), and then for the deadlift substitute day 5x5 BBB 80% squat, good mornings, rows, kroc rows.

I'm trying to hit the muscles a deadlift would to keep them going, and hoping that the good morning practice will help get the hip-hinge movement more ingrained. I thought about trying the full-body 3 day routine, but that may be even harder to mutilate into something w/o deadlifts, as it's even more designed around the major lifts. Sorry for the length, thanks for any advice on this.


Kettlebell swings will help with those muscles as well as hip/hinge.

Don’t worry about not doing deadlifts. Seriously, heal first. In the big picture, is it really going to affect your body if you can’t do them? Do what you can, show up and give your best effort. with what you can do.


Why don’t you just squat again? Your rows, back raises and ab work should keep you “in the game” for your deadlift. You’ll be fine as long as you believe in what you are doing.


BCFlynn, completely agree on the big picture/healing thing, thanks.

Jim, sounds great, always nice to get more squats in. Thanks for your time.