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Where the Hell Did My DL Go?

Hi guys

Something very weird is going on with my deadlifts…

I have been using 531 for the last 18 months with great gains…I’ve continually hit PRs of some sort every week.

I use a 4 day training program with a 4th week deload

Mon - Deadlift
Wed - Bench
Fri - Squat
Sun - Overhead press

Rarely would any of my lifts regress at all. Yes I have off days but usually these are only a rep or so off my previous best…so it’s nearly continually improvement right across the board.

Except for my deadlifts.

For example yesterday was deadlift day and in my last set I was only able to manage 1 rep in my last set @ 165kg, (should have been 3 or more reps) despite my actual max being 205kg.

This has happened me 3 times this year where my deadlift day has resulted in a dramatic loss of strength (not able to lift around 80% of my actual max)…yet all my other lifts are fine. I have never failed to hit required reps in squat, bench or overhead pressd

How is this possible?

I had thought it might be CNS based but this surely can’t be it as my other lifts are fine and my most recent deload was just 2 weeks ago!

It also can be lack of deadlifting as I haven’t missed a deadlift day in over a year.

Any ideas?

I find if my nutrition sleep and hydration are not spot on i have trouble with the deadlift that day.

Also the deadlift isnt like any other lift. You have to be metally prepared. I think everyone has days like this on the deadlift if they say they dont they are full of shit!

I wouldnt worry to much but if you keep missing reps all the time and it becomes a problem just take a deload week and reset back 2 cycles. Trust me reseting works wonders. Best of luck to you -jkon

Thanks jkon

My eating and hydration are great at the moment and I feel great.

Went into tonight’s workout confident of hitting around 8-10 reps @ 165kg so you can imagine that it’s a massive shock to just do one!

It just seems really strange that only my deadlift seems to have these off days whilst being fine the rest of the year.

All my other workouts last week have been great and I’ve been feeling really strong.

B

I don’t know, not every session is going to be a PR session or even feel good; some are going to suck and that’s just the way it is sometimes. Maybe it’s time to take a step back by re-calculating your 1RM and setting a new TM, take a step or two back to keep moving forward. Definitely make sure your nutrition is in order.

Thanks jaynick

I know what you mean…it’s just really weird to me that my off days only occur in the deadlift…know what I mean?

My actual maxes and estimated maxes for the deadlift are accurate as most of the time I’m hitting PRs so I’m hesitant to recalculate my maxes.

My last competition was just a month ago and I hit 205kg very comfortably.

It’s a strange one! Lol!

Will see how I go next week.

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
I use a 4 day training program with a 4th week deload

Mon - Deadlift
Wed - Bench
Fri - Squat
Sun - Overhead press
Any ideas?
[/quote]

I can’t deadlift for shit if my upper back is beat to hell from pressing. Also makes holding onto the bar harder for me. Maybe try switching up your Squat and deadlift days? IE Mon -Sq, Fri - Dead.
Some say the order of the days don’t matter. For me it makes worlds of difference. I train OPTIMALLY with the Squat, Bench, Dead, Press order. YMMV.

Well worth a try strengthdawg!

I might do that as I’m out of ideas! Diet, sleep and hydration are good and overall I feel great, so it could be something like that which is causing it. I did set a very good rep PR (13 reps in last set - week1) in my overhead press day on Saturday so perhaps that affected it.

I’m curious if anyone else has encountered this also

I just saw what strengthdawg said and that seems like a very very good idea. Switch it up. OHP is very hard on your core and whole upper body so switching that up may leave you fresher for deadlifts. Just think Ohp is straining your core traps upper back tris bis lats well alot some of which are main components of having strength and staying tight in the deadlift

3 times is hardly anything to worry about.

Wait until you’ve been training hard for 15 years - shit happens.

I know what you are saying jim, it’s just that I felt it was strange that my deadlift dropped so dramatically during those days whilst all other lifts rarely if ever declined.

Not being able to hit 150-160kg when your actual max is around 200kg is very strange to me…it’s not like I’m only hitting 90% of my max…it’s a huge drop.

I’ve found my deadlift is most affected by sleep and nutrition. I can train deadlift with a sore upper back without much issue, but if I’ve had a shitty sleep or are a little short on food that day (happens when you don’t have a set work schedule day in and day out) it definitely affects my performance. There was one or two times where my last set came short of required, but I’ve always bounced back the next week to come close to a PR or set a PR.

I wouldn’t worry unless it was happening on every cycle. Sometimes when it rains, it pours. Hope this was helpful, best of luck in your training.

Are you de-loading? Sometimes lifts just need a jumpstart. Hit it first out of the gate after a week off. I also agree and disagree with “jkondash89.” The deadlift for me is 100% attitude so from that aspect I agree - however for me it is also the lift I can do in the face of adversity because it is such an attitude lift. In other words - I am tired, hungry, stressed, all of it - and that is exactly why I will PR today. I can’t always do that with the squat or bench. Speed work also helps jumpstart my dead. I often follow the programming in “Beyond” and use the elite fts short bands for 5x2 etc…Pretty soon it’s breaking the floor again.

Cheers littlebones and Rave2.0

Will see how I go next Monday when I deadlift again!

Incidentally I set a rep PB on my bench day yesterday.

:slight_smile:

If you’re able to do 1x165 that means your “actual” max is NOT 205. In case you use “actual” properly.

My actual max is 205kg.

I’ve hit it throughout the last 3 months and again in competition just a month ago.

Also My “normal” deadlift workouts result in reps @ weights which exceed this. Usually around 210kg+

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
My actual max is 205kg.

Also My “normal” deadlift workouts result in reps @ weights which exceed this. Usually around 210kg+[/quote]

Am I missing something with this metric shit? Please explain how it is that you are doing 5/3/1 with weight MORE than your Actual max?

Your training max should be around 185 Kilo assuming your max is 205k as you wrote above. Repping 210k as you said would be 114% of your TM. You talking about Jokers?

Yeah, my reps on my last set were always approaching double figures and had an estimated max of 210kg+

I had also hit over 200kg in competitions and also by doing heavy singles at the end of my prescribed sets, although at the time I wasn’t aware of “jokers”. It was just something I did to try and push myself.

Hope that clarifies!

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
Well worth a try strengthdawg!

I might do that as I’m out of ideas! Diet, sleep and hydration are good and overall I feel great, so it could be something like that which is causing it. I did set a very good rep PR (13 reps in last set - week1) in my overhead press day on Saturday so perhaps that affected it.

I’m curious if anyone else has encountered this also[/quote]

I second strengthdawg’s suggestions and I’d even go as far as programming this:
mon - DL
tue - bench
thurs - squat
fri - press

To me the deadlift is the most sensitive to overall systemic stress. I could bench just fine the day after deadlfting but not vice versa. I always avoid training the day before deadlifting and I prefer having the whole weekend off to be fresh for deadlifts

Thanks facepalm, that looks like a good idea having the extra time to prepare and recover for deadlifts!

your training max can be higher than your 1RM max, as you’ve been ramping up the TM each cycle… let say after 9 cycles, it could be heavier, and as you keep on being able to lift for the prescribed reps or even new PR’s in reps, it could. And cause your 5-3-1 week is at 95% for 1 rep, it could be less than your tru 1RM, even if your TM is higher…
I’m right there actualy, and barely do the prescribed reps… I don’t manage new rep and estimated best anymore, guess cause the sets before are more exhausting. I’ll ramp back to new 1RM and take 90% of it again and start back all the way up from bottom, for cycle 10.
I might do a 6 week of something different than Wendler’s 5-3-1 for a little change first, though.
Happy training 2014, Phil.