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Barbell 175 to 435 lb Deadlift in 10 months

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
This is just an ordinary 40 year old... shared in a group on Facebook, but I wanted to re-share here because I think is a great illustration of what is possible with good progress and good programming. Sometimes we sell ourselves short on what we think we can do, or we put too many restrictions on ourselves such as "I want to be stronger but I don't want any bodyweight changes" or "I'm just going to stay at the same weight on the barbell until my technique is perfect." As you can see, the body changes as it gets stronger, and perfection is not necessary for progress. Significant strength increases are possible with good focus and consistent work.

 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
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That's a very solid effort. Any idea what programming he was following?
It was in a Barbell Medicine group so I'm sure it was their programming. Their templates are based on RPE which we don't talk much about in this forum. I'm a huge fan of their methods and information but I haven't followed their programming myself. In any case, I'm confident any good programming with consistent effort could accomplish similar good results. Of course, individual results will vary.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I think is a great illustration of what is possible with good progress and good programming. Sometimes we sell ourselves short on what we think we can do, or we put too many restrictions on ourselves such as "I want to be stronger but I don't want any bodyweight changes" or "I'm just going to stay at the same weight on the barbell until my technique is perfect." As you can see, the body changes as it gets stronger, and perfection is not necessary for progress. Significant strength increases are possible with good focus and consistent work.

Great points you make, @Anna C. Indeed, too many people second guess their coaches or themselves.

How do you feel about what his lumbar spine looks like? I ask because clearly it doesn't bother him and I know others who lift this way as well - a properly braced midsection can work with what, at least IMHO, is a slightly flex lumbar spine.

-S-
 

lais817

Level 5 Valued Member
It was in a Barbell Medicine group so I'm sure it was their programming. Their templates are based on RPE which we don't talk much about in this forum. I'm a huge fan of their methods and information but I haven't followed their programming myself. In any case, I'm confident any good programming with consistent effort could accomplish similar good results. Of course, individual results will vary.
Thanks Anna
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
How do you feel about what his lumbar spine looks like? I ask because clearly it doesn't bother him and I know others who lift this way as well - a properly braced midsection can work with what, at least IMHO, is a slightly flex lumbar spine.
I think it's OK. I've changed my opinion on that over the past few years. It's a big topic that Barbell Medicine spends a lot of time covering... In their view, there's actually not good evidence that lumbar flexion while lifting is harmful, and there is evidence that we all have some lumbar flexion whether we think we do or not. Instead, it's viewed as a performance consideration (i.e. you'll probably lift more with "good form") or preference, and that whatever you consistently do, your spine will be conditioned to handle. What you don't want to do is hold yourself to one standard (i.e. "flat back" always) and then significantly deviate from that in a 1RM attempt, which loading somewhere the tissues aren't used to handling. But some deviation or increased flexion from your "ideal" form is usually not a big deal, as with his final lift in that video. So that's kind of how I view it these days. I would certainly teach beginners to get in a position that's basically a "flat back", though, as their starting point and as they move up in weight. And I do myself, also. I hate the feeling of losing the back position during a deadlift and I'll usually abort an attempt if that happens. So... I guess my view is a bit mixed :)
 

3letterslong

Level 5 Valued Member
That's incredible! Good for him! He was really controlling those eccentrics in the beginning, which I wasn't really expecting because I'm pretty sure they were still 1RMs. That must have been intentional. He definitely wasn't doing that any more for the 425lbs.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I think it's OK. ... I guess my view is a bit mixed :)
It's an interesting subject. My understanding is that the more vertical our torso is, the less risk that "shear force" can cause harm if our spines not perfectly lined up. The physiques (pronounced "physics" :) ) of that makes sense to me. The question then becomes, "Can we adapt to shear forces on our spines" and the answer is clearly "Yes" for at least some of us.

-S-
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
I think it's OK. I've changed my opinion on that over the past few years. It's a big topic that Barbell Medicine spends a lot of time covering... In their view, there's actually not good evidence that lumbar flexion while lifting is harmful, and there is evidence that we all have some lumbar flexion whether we think we do or not. Instead, it's viewed as a performance consideration (i.e. you'll probably lift more with "good form") or preference, and that whatever you consistently do, your spine will be conditioned to handle. What you don't want to do is hold yourself to one standard (i.e. "flat back" always) and then significantly deviate from that in a 1RM attempt, which loading somewhere the tissues aren't used to handling. But some deviation or increased flexion from your "ideal" form is usually not a big deal, as with his final lift in that video. So that's kind of how I view it these days. I would certainly teach beginners to get in a position that's basically a "flat back", though, as their starting point and as they move up in weight. And I do myself, also. I hate the feeling of losing the back position during a deadlift and I'll usually abort an attempt if that happens. So... I guess my view is a bit mixed :)

I became so engrained to creating a solid back arch during training that it carried over into normal life and I've had to re-learn lumbar flexion and practice purposeful lumbar flexion exercises.

You know you've taken it too far when you find yourself doing a hip hinge to lift up a toilet seat.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
IMO lift heavy with a fairly neutral spine. Yes the lumbar actually flexes when we think we are staying nuetral, but I don't think that should be coached. I think we should move through the spine - "break the rules only after you master them" - but lift heavy with good posture. I believe it was Stu McGill who said when lifting A) neutral, B) flex and hold the flex, or C) you're in trouble.

A few things I worry about with a flexed spine:
- not holding the position (ie starting flexed, moving into extension rather than maintaining the beginning posture and finishing with hip extension like I noted above).
- flexing lumbar spine would alter pelvis and therefore rib cage-pelvic orientation. I may be off here, but I would say that is now out of the best stabilization position.

@Anna C is there a good podcast or article from that crowd that expands on their thoughts? Based on what you say I don't think I disagree all that much but I'd like to see/hear an elaboration.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
@Anna C is there a good podcast or article from that crowd that expands on their thoughts? Based on what you say I don't think I disagree all that much but I'd like to see/hear an elaboration.

 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I became so engrained to creating a solid back arch during training that it carried over into normal life and I've had to re-learn lumbar flexion and practice purposeful lumbar flexion exercises.

You know you've taken it too far when you find yourself doing a hip hinge to lift up a toilet seat.

Different strokes for different folks - I hip hinge, I don't bend my lumbar. I'll repeat something I've mentioned here before - I was 9 years post-injury before I did my first toe touches, and I still, now 25 years post-injury, don't flex my lumbar much when I do them now. I also use a McKenzie lumbar support roll when I drive and use a rolled up sweater around my waist when sitting anywhere else. Good to be able to flex your lumbar but certainly not necessary for all people and purposes. Note in Zercher DL video clip below, bending everywhere I can except my lumbar - shoulders below knees but still flat lumbar.



-S-
 

TedDK

Level 4 Valued Member
It was in a Barbell Medicine group so I'm sure it was their programming. Their templates are based on RPE which we don't talk much about in this forum. I'm a huge fan of their methods and information but I haven't followed their programming myself. In any case, I'm confident any good programming with consistent effort could accomplish similar good results. Of course, individual results will vary.
I total agree with you mentioning traing by RPE doesnt get much/enough atention in here.
I like RIR better though.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
I total agree with you mentioning traing by RPE doesnt get much/enough atention in here.
I like RIR better though.
What would you say is the difference? Most of the RPE "scales" I've seen are based on RIR. From this article:
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watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
Different strokes for different folks - I hip hinge, I don't bend my lumbar. I'll repeat something I've mentioned here before - I was 9 years post-injury before I did my first toe touches, and I still, now 25 years post-injury, don't flex my lumbar much when I do them now. I also use a McKenzie lumbar support roll when I drive and use a rolled up sweater around my waist when sitting anywhere else. Good to be able to flex your lumbar but certainly not necessary for all people and purposes. Note in Zercher DL video clip below, bending everywhere I can except my lumbar - shoulders below knees but still flat lumbar.



-S-

I thought you also did Jefferson curls, though?

Maybe I'm mis-remembering.
 
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Hung

Level 7 Valued Member
The biggest difference is that i believe thats its easier for most people to know when they reach fx RIR3 than RPE7. Most trainee should know to stop when having maybe 3reps back. But to stop when you reach RPE7 Can maybe be hard for many.
Thats my experience.
Greg Nuckol in his EliteFTS table talk mentioned briefly about this subject. He states that lifters in the past are familiar training to failure so when they use RIR it's more accuracy. Current generation lifters stay away from training to failure (which could be a good thing) but in that way they also unknown what's the true limit to use RIR.
 

TedDK

Level 4 Valued Member
Greg Nuckol in his EliteFTS table talk mentioned briefly about this subject. He states that lifters in the past are familiar training to failure so when they use RIR it's more accuracy. Current generation lifters stay away from training to failure (which could be a good thing) but in that way they also unknown what's the true limit to use RIR.
Totally agree. But its the same with RPE/RIR.

My point was thats its easier for most to train at RIR than RPE. Because if i told one to train to RPE 8 it can be pretty hard. But most know when to stop if you should stop a couple of reps from max RIR2 fx.
 
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