Deadlift Frequency, rep ranges, progress, etc.

HIT4ME

HIT4ME

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Alright, so I've been working out for about 2 years, after taking more than 10 years off from it and gaining a ton of weight. I've made some good progress. I'm not trying to get anywhere overnight and if I hit my ultimate goal in 3 more years I am OK with that.

As my name implies, I am a big fan of HIT/Mentzer routines and I've had good success with this. I have tried different splits, volumes and frequencies, using the HIT principles as guidelines and I have found that my best results seem to come when I perform 2 sets/exercise and 2-3 exercises/body part, in general - and follow a 4 day split of:

Monday: Legs
Tuesday : Chest & Biceps
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Back
Friday: Shoulders & Triceps

My back workout is as follows:

Deadlifts: 1 warm-up set and 2 sets to failure, typically doing a drop set on the second set.
Pull Ups : 3 sets (I can only get 2-3 reps after deadlifts so I do extra sets)
Bent-Over Rows: 2 sets to failure
Under-Handed Pull Downs: 2 sets to failure.

So what is happening is that I was deadlifting about 415 pounds for 6-7 reps about 4-5 weeks ago. I increased the weight to 435 and I could get 3 reps. The following week I got 4 reps. Ever since, it's been declining. Last week I did 2 reps and this week I did 2 reps (although I almost got a 3rd) on the first set.

The thing is, I feel like I really had a great workout last week and expected to come back stronger. I did 2 reps, and then did drop sets all the way down to 335 pounds (3 drops). My back felt pumped for 2 days after.

My question is, how often do you guys train deadlifts? Do you think training this exercise with high intensity every week is too often? Have any of you dropped back to every 2 weeks and if so, did you notice improvement in just your deadlift, or did it maybe have an impact on your other muscle groups improving? And finally, I were to train them every other week, would you think doing deadlifts week one and doing NOTHING week 2 would be better than doing heavy, to failure deadlifts on week one, and then lower weight with higher volume week two?

One of my other thoughts is that my ego is just in the way, since I jumped the weight and the reps were slightly lower than I normally like. I am normally in the 4-10 rep range and this is obviously just below. On deads, I normally don't go above 8 reps...what rep ranges do you like to be in?
 
HIT4ME

HIT4ME

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You two probably hit the nail on the head. Over the past 2 years I've lost about 50 pounds and put on about 25 pounds of muscle I'd estimate, so about 75 pounds of fat loss. I probably have another 60 to go and my diet is nothing spectacular. I don't focus enough on it, and I am eating at a very slight deficit, so that was another thing I was thinking about....and my diet has sucked for the past 3 months in particular because I have had some big bills and a slow down in income at the same time, so I'm broke as anything...

Most of my other lifts are still increasing, even though their rate has slowed. I am sure eating more chicken, eggs, yogurt, spinach, broccoli, etc. would help me get stronger and leaner faster....
 
Abe Lincoln

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Clean up the diet and fix it up, from what I read you are still cutting even in a low deficient, you are doing pretty good. Stalls will happen on occasion if you aren't fueling the beast inside properly.
 
HIT4ME

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Yeah, I hope in another month or so I can afford better food again and get back on track.....
 
asooneyeonig

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diet could be the issue.

when was the last time you deloaded? are other lifts going down or up? where are your weak links in the deadlift? do you have any vids of 80+% effort deads?
 
CountryLiftin

CountryLiftin

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Deload and eat. 2 slightly weaker workouts do not mean you are declining. Come back next week and put the work in.
 

andrewski48

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Echoing the others diet may be a factor and a deload. If you normally deadlift with a regular stance you could always try sumo for a while or vice versa. I like switching up stances every so often just to keep things fresh and it doesn't eff with my head as much when I obviously pull less weight in the stance that is not my preferred stance.
 
HIT4ME

HIT4ME

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Hey thanks guys. I don't have any real deload periods in my routine per se, because my normal stance is that I would rather take time off all together than put in a workout that doesn't hit it as hard as I could. That may sound a little dumber than I want it to - I guess my feeling is that since I believe high intensity workouts are needed to maximize muscle growth, I have preferred to take time off altogether and maximize recovery instead of doing a workout that burns energy and doesn't maximize growth or recovery. I hope that makes sense. Having said that, I guess that is part of my questioning - maybe I am better off doing a lighter workout or taking every other week off from deads.

My other lifts are climbing slowly. I am gaining about 1 rep on each exercise per workout. Not across the board, and not every time, but relatively consistently. 1 rep a week isn't as fast as I was gaining a year ago, but I'm a bit stronger now and I guess I'm approaching intermediate strength levels, so I figured between my deficit dieting and my "level" advancement that was the reason for the slowing progress.

I'm 240 now (started around 290) and I would really like to hit about 190 and be about 10-12% bodyfat eventually. I know I'll probably have to drop about 70 pounds and then focus on gaining but I have no timeframe other than the rest of my life to be doing this, so I'm slowly recomping and it's been working....although not as fast as some people may expect. That has a lot to do with my dieting being not-so-strict.

I workout in a my parent's basement (sounds funny being 35 ...they live nearby and have a large basement), by myself so I've never taken videos. I may see if I can get my gf to take a couple videos so that I can at least see my form from another perspective and then get some opinions on it.

Thanks so much for the help and input guys. I want to get to that 500 mark!
 

kisaj

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I deadlift twice a week. Sumo one day and conventional the other. I do sumo on the same day I squat.
 
HIT4ME

HIT4ME

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I deadlift twice a week. Sumo one day and conventional the other. I do sumo on the same day I squat.
Do you take your deads to failure? Do you see constant progress? How many sets/reps? I can't imagine that because I am tired and hurting for 2 days after I squat on Monday, and then recovered for deads on Thursdays and then I'm tired until Saturday haha.
 

kisaj

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I do not go to failure and there is not constant progress as that is not a goal all the time. Here is what a week looks like:

Day 1
Conv DL
1 x 5 warm up
1 x 5 wu
1 x 3 wu
1 x 3 wu
10 x 1 rest pause working set (20 sec rest)
BO Row
4 x 8
Weighted pullups
4 x failure
Calves

Day 2
BB Bench
3 x 5 progressive wu
10 x 1 R/P working set (15 sec rest)
1 x 15 burn
Cable xover 4 x 10
Weighted dips 4 x failure
HIIT

Day 3 off

Day 4
Squat
4 x 5 wu progressive
10 x 1 R/P working set
Sumo DL
3 x 5 wu progressive
3 x 3 working set
Leg Press
Close stance 4 x 15 to target the quad head
Calves

Day 5
OHP
1 x 5 wu
1 x 5 wu
4 x 5 working set
Face pulls
4 x 15
SG High pull
3 x 5
Weighted pullups
4 x failure
HIIT

Every so often like 1 or 2x a month I switch out the sumos for SLDL.
 
herderdude

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You can eat as much as you want, (trust me, I've done it) but working to your balls-out max week after week in the same exercise will always result in a detraining effect. The prior posts covered what you need to do, vary or deload, I just wanted to interject that while your diet may not be perfect, it's your CNS that can't handle working with your 3RM or above for more than 3-4 weeks.
 
HIT4ME

HIT4ME

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Thanks guys. I think the elephant in the room is that my diet needs improvement, which will have to probably wait a month or two until I get some more money coming in and some bills caught up....right now I'm doing what I can but it isn't enough.

Kisaj - I like that workout setup. I thought you were more of a volume guy, but that workout actually seems to have settled on a similar volume/approach in some ways to the workouts I have found work well for me. I like your use of R/P there too.

Herderdude - That was my thinking too. I was asking about rep ranges/frequency for that reason. I am not intentionally hitting my 3RM every week though. I was doing 415 for 6-7 reps and that felt good, but just an additional 20 pounds dropped that down to 4 reps, then 3, now 2. I am thinking I may do something like 435 week 1, then on the next week drop to 385 and get higher reps, then back to 435 for week 3, etc. Or I may just do deads every other week.

To be honest, I hate that because I love deads, but I also fear them a little. They are just brutal. But maybe less will be more....
 

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