T Nation

Variations to the Big Lifts


#1

I do regular Squats and Deadlift and even Power Cleans. I know there are alternatives like Box Squats, Stiff Leg Deadlifts, and Hanging Cleans. I don't know where those alternatives fall in. Particularly because the Deadlift variations both Sumo and Stiff Leg work the legs a lot more should they be done on the day I do squats or the day I do Deadlifts?

I've read a lot about the variations but I haven't found any great articles on when in a routine to use them as far as the same day as the regular version or different day. Or maybe should it be alternate and 1 week do regular deadlifts then the following week do sumo deadlifts?

Thanks.


#2

Personally, I'd have one hell of a time trying to incorporate heavy/intense back squats and deadlifts on the same day. Same goes for cleans and deadlifts. I do find that front squats/deadlifts can be done, and cleans/squats are challenging, but possible. Mix it up as much as possible, so long as you're making progress. Not only is variety fun, but it can really help your lifts overall.

As far as your question about when to do what, it really depends on your training methodology/programming, but a good litmus test should be if you're way too tired to approach your normal max or speed on a lift after doing a similar one, you shouldn't be doing it so soon.

Some weeks I do more deadlifting than squatting, and vice versa; I go by feel and whether one needs more attention or not. Experiment, we're all different!


#3

Seeing as you've posted this in the Powerlifting forum I'm going to assume you are training for strength within the framework of this sport?

Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell maintains that you can keep somewhere near your peak by switching lifts about every three weeks. Some people have good success using his methods, but I would suggest you lift with someone else who has had success using his methods before you decide to adopt that approach.

Other coaches, such as Sheiko, advocate an approach where the main competitive lifts are used frequently and that variations should only be used when required. His english translations aren't too specific about what this means, but it would be reasonable to use variations for cycles to bring up weaknesses, or if you are feeling burned out either psychologically or physically (including injury).

An honest assessment of your weaknesses can sometimes suggest that a particular lift variation or accessory exercise would benefit you. If you can find an experienced lifter to observe, or post vids of your lifts here you can start to form a picture.


#4

There are two different approaches here.

You can use the variations as accessory movements (additional training, typically lower intensity and lower volume) or you can work up to max effort sets in these other movements to help boost your "big three".

I have found that relatively heavy front squats and deficit / romanian deadlifts have really helped my speed off the floor.

Are you currently doing any type of progressive (rep/intensity) program right now? Such as 5/3/1?


#5

I get to the gym as of now 3 days a week. This past week was my first time getting to go 3 times a week but that will continue until December and then I'll have the potential to go every day but will probably aim for 3 or 4 days a week still.

I attempted with moderate success to do Deadlift & Bench & a few complimentary movements on Tuesday. Squats and Standing Shoulder Press on Friday with a few complimentary movements. On Saturday the hope was to do lower weight higher rep conditioning work involving namely Dips, Pullups, Powercleans, Clean and Jerk with a trap bar, and Pushups.

It went so so partially because I ended up sparring earlier in the day on Saturday and between that and the shoulder work on Friday my shoulders were dead. Likewise on Sunday I'm supposed to run for 30 minutes and there's no way thats happening. I usually make Monday my off day but I think I'll have to switch my longer run to Mondays for the sake my legs.

As far as rep & sets I really don't have a protocol established yet but generally 2 light sets and 2 heavy sets is what I did.

I posted in the powerlifting forum because I figured that would be the best place for a question about their main movements. Right now I'm training just to get stronger and I prefer a powerlifting/strongman protocol but I only have access to basic gym equipment hence I felt adding the powercleans and clean and jerks with a trap bar would be a good way to simulate.

I'm currently overseas by the way.


#6

I would love to see this.


#7

On Saturday the hope was to do lower weight higher rep conditioning work involving namely Dips, Pullups, Powercleans, CLEAN AND JERK WITH TRAP BAR, and Pushups.

It went so so partially because I ended up sparring earlier in the day on Saturday and between that and the shoulder work on Friday my shoulders were dead.... Also I'd lost all my teeth on my Clean and Jerk's. Could have kept going but ambulance driving was having none of that. Next time I'm taking a cab to the hospital. Way cheaper.

Fixed.