Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by vagrant, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. vagrant

    vagrant New Member

    I love to deadlift.  Real deadlifts - bar on floor, butt down, grip the bar, pulling all the weight possible until standing correctly.

    I believe it is the best exercise in the world because it works the entire body to some degree.

    I don't see much of this in the various HST routines I've looked at.  There are lots of leg curls and SLDL.

    My hamstrings are small and weak so I'm currently doing SLDL for my deadlifts to work them more directly but I do miss my conventional deadlifts.

    A powerlifting friend told me to alternate them, but being new to HST I don't want to mess with it too much until I know how I'm going to respond to it - no need to mess up a good thing that's working.

    I do an AM/PM workout - my real work is in the morning, my assistance work is in the evening.


    Leg Extension
    Good Morning
    Calf Raise
    Skull Crusher

    I would like to add the CDL to the evening workout to add to the "full body" aspect of it.

    However Squats, SLDL, and CDL all in the same day, three times a week - would probably be too much.

    How does this sound to add them?  

    1 or 2 days/week, done kind of HST style, still using the 15s, 10s, 5s, and so on - whatever I'm using for my other work at the time.  Weight progression would be done in 2 or 3 steps instead of 6 for each 2 week block.

    Using 10's for an example:
    Instead of:  240,245,250,255,260,265
    Do:  245, 255, 265.  Next time do 255, 265, 275.

    Or:  255, 265.  Then next time on the 10s do 265,275.

    Or just do them on the 2nd part of the daily workout since we aren't working with maximum weights anyway?
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Assuming you workout on Mon, Wed and Fri, simply replace Squats and SLDL with Deadlifts on Weds, keep Squats on Mon and Fri. Personally, I've been focusing more on Deads lately and have gone to squatting only once a week and deadlifting multiple times a week.

    Yes, you will be working submax most of the week, but I think once your deadlift and squat greatly exceed your bodyweight, doing them in the same day is too much.
  3. vagrant

    vagrant New Member

    Thanks, that sounds like a good idea. When you do that you end up skipping a day of squats.

    So If I'm doing 5lb increments. Say for example doing 200 on M, 205 on W, 210 on F...would I then just squat on M with 200 and again on F with 210 - or just with 205?

    And with the deadlift increments - from the ways I descibed doing them - which would you choose? Or do you have a better way?

    Just do this maybe?

    2 weeks 5RM = 210 week 1 do 200, week 2 do 210?

    I've avoid "tweaking" too much because I'm new at HST and don't want to get the progression wrong.

    Oh yeah, I used to squat a little over my BW - max was 250, my weight was 185. Then I got injured, sick, lost to 173, during my many visits and lab tests with the doc abnormally low test levels were found. Plus we learned that I need 4500 calories/day if I'm going to work out instead of 3000.

    Now with TRT, combined with HST, I'm up to I was only squatting with 195 - doing the 5's over again and still working to get my strength back.

    I don't think I'll ever be one who squats 3xBW or benches 2XBW and really don't care as long as I get as strong as this old body will allow and tolerate.
  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    5 lb increments is probably not optimal with squats. I would use at least 10 lb if not 20 lb increments with squats. Same with deadlifts. I use at least 20 lb increments with deads, but other than that, I do it like you described, only incrementing once.
  5. vagrant

    vagrant New Member

    (Totentanz @ Sep. 13 2006,23:08)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">5 lb increments is probably not optimal with squats.  I would use at least 10 lb if not 20 lb increments with squats.  Same with deadlifts.  I use at least 20 lb increments with deads, but other than that, I do it like you described, only incrementing once.</div>
    I agree that they are not optimal.  However, I'm small and weak.  

    Lets use the squat again for an example.  If I do 10lb increments I would start the 5's at 150lbs.  If I do 20lb increments I would start the 5's at 90lbs.

    That's why when I set up my first HST training cycle I only used 5lb increments.

    Considering my lack of strength would it be as effective if I did it the way you've described - starting with such small weights?

    Sorry to seem stupid, but as I've said before I'm totally new at this style of training.

    I am really afraid of going backwards and losing what I've gained so far.

    My past history is the reason for this.

    Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was 17 years old.

    Trained back then and did pretty well - doing everything wrong.  You know the old way of long cardio sessions then one set of each nautilus machine in the fitness center.

    Went to college-got lazy, started my career-no time to train, married and raised a family-other priorities than training.

    Then 8 years ago the MS started worsening and they told me I'd be in a wheelchair within 5 years.

    3 years ago, I couldn't walk without assistance because my legs had gotten too weak to carry my 300 pound bulk.  Started training again - the most serious training of my life.

    Ended up at [email protected]% bf then started trying to gain.  Never did better than [email protected]% bf. Then back down to 173 after a bout with pneumonia along with a new exacerbation of the SI injury.

    Now, after treatment for low test levels, using HST to recover from frequent SI injuries (a problem since childhood that I got while breaking a horse - thrown into a tree) I'm at 200lbs and 10% bf and 37 years old.  And unbelievably, in the best shape and conditioning of my life.

    Considering these things - will doing the larger increments be a)safe and b)effective?

    I do have a tendancy to push too hard and sometimes it works well - 27lb gain in 8 weeks by eating really big and clean for the first time ever, having a normal test level for the first time in years, and lifting light enough to not hurt my back every workout (except today - those dynamic rows tweaked it a bit).  Sometimes though - it bites me in the butt and I'd like to get this HST thing right now that I've seen how truly effective it is.

    Thanks for your suggestions so far.  I'm just about there with my understanding until I think of more stuff I don't know.
  6. style

    style New Member

    Wow, you've definitely overcome some problems. I think your fine with 5lb increments until your strength gets back up.
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Rather than starting with such light weights, you can repeat a weight now and then to make it easier to increment. I wouldn't go any lower than 60-70% of your RM for each phase, preferrably 70%. So for the 5s, I would go 150 170 170 190 190 210 or something along those lines. It's okay to repeat a weight for a workout or two, it won't mess up your progression. When you are in the 5s, any particular weight you are using will probably be effective for at least a couple weeks, so using it once, twice or even three times won't hurt you, and it makes progression easier.
    So if you only squat four times and deadlift twice, then you could do 170 190 190 210 or 150 170 190 210, either way would be fine.

    Larger increments should be okay, provided: you warm up properly AND you make sure you use proper form, staying away from failure. I think it would actually be better, since the smaller increments would keep you closer to your max, while larger increments gives you a slightly wider progression.
  8. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Bump to tot. I routinely hit the edge of failure, and repeat that weight for that exersize if I do, and it is always easier the next time, proving that the strength has come up. Great story too; I can relate. Thanx for your info on the HRT too; I'm definitely going for it soon as some deadbeats pay me, and I'll get into my gym with the attitude that I'm only as old as I feel. (&quot;I'M JUST HERE TO KICK MY BUTT!!!&quot;)
  9. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well done Vagrant. You have certainly succeeded in the face of adversity.

    I don't think I saw it mentioned, but be sure to go as deep as you can in your squats because a) you will benefit from the greater range of motion and b) you will have to use slightly lighter weights thus keeping the exercise as safe as possible. NB.: You must make sure your form is good first before pushing up the poundages.

    I think a lot of us here would agree with you about deadlifts. They are often recommended as part of an HST routine. I do SLDLs during 15s and 10s and only start doing normal deads during 5s, just once a week on Wednesdays. I keep my cycle going with them until I have, hopefully, reached a new PB. Because I am only doing them once a week I make the increments 20lbs each time. I hope to get 6 weeks each cycle (I do at least 6 weeks of 5s) to push the weight up, so that would be a possible additional 120lb over the starting weight.

    I would like to deadlift twice a week but I find that with squatting Mon and Fri it is too much for my lower back. I am still suffering today (Fri) from my deads on Wednesday and I have to squat later on.  [​IMG]

    I might try dead'ing twice a week and squatting just the once next cycle, as Tot suggested.
  10. stevejones

    stevejones Member

    I don't believe that squatting ATG is nearly as taxing on the CNS as deadlifting is.  Squatting only parallel might be just as taxing, because you have to boost the weight up.  I never deadlift more than once per week.  However, I don't just increase the load by one increment.  I do it it like this:
    starting weight on monday: 40 lbs ---skip
    wed. 80 lbs. ---skip
    Fri.  120 lbs --- lift
    mon 160 lbs --skip
    wed 200 lbs --skip
    fri   240 lbs ---lift
    I only squat twice per week, but boost the weights accordingly.
  11. vagrant

    vagrant New Member

    Hey guys, thanks for the great info. Very helpful stuff here.

    When I started I couldn't squat bodyweight only - no bar or anything without tipping over. I eventually worked up to 136lbs but wasn't getting past a 1/4 squat.

    Then I got me a box (really an old bench that I cut the legs off of to put it below paralell. Started with a bar only and did box squats to help my weak glutes and hams. I made it to a 1RM of 245 (tried 250, got stuck on the box and had to dump the bar, bending it when it hit my bench/box behind me). Cool to have a bent bar in the gym, embarrassing how it got bent.

    Now doing submaximal weights, I'm obviously using much less. But I have been able to improve it a little more. I'm doing olympic squats for 1/2 my squat workout then wide stance power squats for the other 1/2 - this lets me keep going after I tire (I get tired easy) without having to drop the weight. Results from the deeper squats are visible and my flexibility is improving.

    And - I haven't tipped over backwards while squatting in a long time now.

    Thank you all - I'll use your progression advice when I get over my most recent stupidity related injury. I'm out of the gym for probably about a week. Yep, I deserved this one. Nature has a way of slapping us upside the head when we get dumb and careless, especially when we already know better.
  12. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Good to hear from you, vagrant.

    You proved to all of us once again that &quot;your past does not define your future!&quot;

    I just read this thread and wanted to drop a line to welcome you, congratulate you, and commend you.

    As for your increment, if this still counts even though it is delayed, I would go with repeating weights before incrementing. I do that all the time because I want to stretch my cycle (I increment only once a week).

    So if you are having trouble incrementing, instead of using small increments you can do:
    WO1: 90
    WO2: 90
    WO3: 100
    WO 4: 100
    WO5: 110
    WO6: 110
    (simply put, that's: 90, 90, 100, 100, 110, 110)
    Instead of: 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110.

  13. vagrant

    vagrant New Member

    And the good info keeps coming. Thanks guys.

    The way you have given possible options then explained how to implement them is way better than the &quot;train my way or go away&quot; attitude that so many have when someone is looking for information.

    I think when I start over after my time off I'll do it the way you have described. The 5lb increments just had me working too heavy and when I got to the extended 5's, it was simply too much.

    Even though I love training at max capacity, working to failure, and getting stronger each time this time, that's just bad for me.

    The injury was a blessing in disguise because I learned a new way to train looking for a lighter weight recovery routine. I didn't totally understand HST being my first time through it, but I'm learning more. The re-injury - I'll just have to turn that into a blessing too - by getting a better understanding of HST and making it work better for me. I was afraid of the big increments and worked too I'll use them and work lighter for most of the training cycle.

    Thanks guys - you've been a big help.
  14. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Aha! Life just got better. I've been reading some of the links posted from some of you for deadlifting and today I tried the Olympic style deads, even though I'm well into the 5x5 program. I was scheduled to hit 375 for reps, which I did, but felt so good I just slammed 8 plates on there and did a 400x1rm...and felt like I coulda done two, but stopped for safety's sake! Not too shabby since I've done 1 dead workout a week for 7 weeks now.
    I think with my 5'11&quot; frame, I was bent over too far in the standard deadlift, causing me to use too much back. I found the Oly style quite comfortable, and I initiate the lift much straighter in the spine. As the articles state, you have to try and find out what works better for you; I'm just surprised at how much stronger I was in it.
    Vagrant, you're such an inspiration! The numbers don't matter when the heart is that big!!!
  15. robefc

    robefc New Member

    (quadancer @ Feb. 01 2007,23:01)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I've been reading some of the links posted from some of you for deadlifting and today I tried the Olympic style deads, even though I'm well into the 5x5 program.</div>
    Quad - when you refer to olympic style deads are you simply differentiating them from SL Deads or is this another variation on the conventional/sum methods of picking a bar off the floor?! I tried a search but couldn't find anything.

    Incidentally nice work on the pr!


  16. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Oh, I should have been more descriptive. I was talking just about stance. The difference between a natural foot placement with the hands outside of the legs, just brushing the knees...and the Oly stance, where you put the feet wide and the arms hang straight down from the shoulders. At this weight I'm using straps and pronated grip for both hands.
    One thing I'm not sure of was an article that said your stance was too wide if your feet were outside your knees I think. Well, my knees are somewhere over my ankles. I guess that's allright; I don't really know, but it feels right.

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