Deadlifting for practice. How light can you go?

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Toomuch4

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I'm doing lots of low bar squats and zercher squats. I just want to pull to keep the groove, and make use of the carryover. What percentage of my 1rm do you think I need to pull to keep my conventional deadlift moving along?
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
I'm doing lots of low bar squats and zercher squats. I just want to pull to keep the groove, and make use of the carryover. What percentage of my 1rm do you think I need to pull to keep my conventional deadlift moving along?
Technique Training

Technique Training needd to be with fairly heavy loads for maintaining and development.

While the same muscles are used in an exercise, the Muscle Firing Sequence, how the muscle are employed, is different with a lighter load compared to a heavier load.

Also, the Rate Coding is different with a lighter compared with a heavier loads. Another important determinant of force is the frequency with which the muscle fibers are stimulated..." Source: Motor unit recruitment - Wikipedia

The number of motor units recruited in a light load isn't the same as with a heavy load; "...The nervous system controls muscle force by varying both motor unit recruitment and rate coding." Source: Rate Coding and the Control of Muscle Force. - PubMed - NCBI

Hitting A Baseball Analogy

Think of maintaining or developing your lifting technique like hitting a baseball.

Practicing hitting a 60 mile per hour pitch is different hitting a 90 mile per hour pitch.

Learning to hit a 60 mile per hour pitch makes you good at hitting a 60 mile per hour pitch but does little to help you with hitting a 90 mile per hour pitch.

The most effective way to learn to hit a 90 mile per hour pitch is by practicing hitting a 90 mile per hour pitch.

It is the same with using lighter load to develop your lifting technique for a 1 Repetition Max.

Dr Tom McLaughlin PhD Exercise Bio-Mechanics, former Powerlifter) determined (along with others) that Technique Training is best developed with...

1) Performing single repetition with around 85% of your 1 Repetition Max

2) Rest periods between each single repetition must be long enough to ensure that each repetition is performed correctly.

3) Multiple singles are performed with Technique Training.

4) Once fatigue set in and technique deteriorates, you Technique Training for that exercise is over.

5) Technique must be trained at the beginning of an exercise program, when you are fresh.

Continuing in a fatigued state ensure poor Technique is developed.

Antti's 80 - 90%

The closer your Technique Training is to your 1 Repetition Max, the more optimal your Technique development is.

However, the intensity of using Technique Training with loads near your 1 Repetition Max limits the frequency of training in that zone.

Anna's 70 - 80%

While this load doesn't simulate the development of Technique for your 1 Repetition Max, the lower intensity allows you more practice/frequency with your Technique Training.

Summary

Both of these Technique Training Percentages will help you maintain and develop your Deadlift Technique; any lift for that matter.
 

GeoffreyLevens

> 1k Posts
Curious where this fits in:
=====================================================
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Jul 1; 121(1): 129–138.
Published online 2016 May 12. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00154.2016
PMCID: PMC4967245
PMID:
27174923
Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men
...Our data show that in resistance-trained individuals, load, when exercises are performed to volitional failure, does not dictate hypertrophy or, for the most part, strength gains.
=====================================================
Today, as experiment or start of 6-8 week experiment, did high rep on several exercises, about 50% of RM1. Silly easy at start of set but those last few seemed to require just as much focused attention and care about form as doing same movements with 80% RM1. Quite a different feeling post workout though
 

Garage Warrior

Double-Digit Post Count
I think Anna C's comment is right where you want to be cos when you start going over 80% you're starting to get into heavier loads and you can't grease the groove for practice of the movement as much with that kind of weight. You can do heavy singles but i wouldn't, not for working on technique.
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I think Anna C's comment is right where you want to be cos when you start going over 80% you're starting to get into heavier loads and you can't grease the groove for practice of the movement as much with that kind of weight. You can do heavy singles but i wouldn't, not for working on technique.
Yes, exactly... I meant 70-80% of 1RM for sets; probably 5s. I don't see that heavy singles are that relevant for "keeping the deadlift moving along" as OP wants to do. If the objective were to increase 1RM, or prep for a meet... sure. Heavy singles. Otherwise, I don't see much reason to do them.

So if OP's 1RM on conventional deadlift was 360 lbs, I'd recommend 1 or 2 sets of 5 reps in the range of 250 lbs - 290 lbs, just once per week in the context of also doing low bar squats and zercher squats as he described.

Curious where this fits in:
=====================================================
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Jul 1; 121(1): 129–138.
Published online 2016 May 12. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00154.2016
PMCID: PMC4967245
PMID:
27174923
Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men
...Our data show that in resistance-trained individuals, load, when exercises are performed to volitional failure, does not dictate hypertrophy or, for the most part, strength gains.
=====================================================
Today, as experiment or start of 6-8 week experiment, did high rep on several exercises, about 50% of RM1. Silly easy at start of set but those last few seemed to require just as much focused attention and care about form as doing same movements with 80% RM1. Quite a different feeling post workout though
Not sure of the reference or the context. Load obviously DOES matter.
 

Kettlebelephant

> 1k Posts
I know it's Pavels recommendation as addition to Q&D, but I don't see why the same principle shouldn't work with other programs that are not Q&D.
 

Timo Keskitalo

Triple-Digit Post Count
Curious where this fits in:
=====================================================
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Jul 1; 121(1): 129–138.
Published online 2016 May 12. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00154.2016
PMCID: PMC4967245
PMID:
27174923
Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men
...Our data show that in resistance-trained individuals, load, when exercises are performed to volitional failure, does not dictate hypertrophy or, for the most part, strength gains.
=====================================================
Today, as experiment or start of 6-8 week experiment, did high rep on several exercises, about 50% of RM1. Silly easy at start of set but those last few seemed to require just as much focused attention and care about form as doing same movements with 80% RM1. Quite a different feeling post workout though
Hasn't it been stated many times that doing sets to failure is not to train for strength. I'm pretty sure it's the same for hypertrophy also.

The last thing I read about hypertrophy was doing multiple three rep sets on 85%. That was to include all types of muscle cells into action.

If, and when, the aim is to get carryover to deadlift, while training squats, it seems logical to do those heavy singles. The sets of 5 will take energy from squatting.
 

GeoffreyLevens

> 1k Posts
Study I linked, I imagine they used "to volitional failure" in attempt to establish a more reproducible end point for each set. You could just as easily stop with a couple reps left in the tank. The point of the study was that all other things being equal, weight seemed to make very little difference in both hypertrophy and strength gains. And yes, this flies in the face of long held conventional wisdom
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Study I linked, I imagine they used "to volitional failure" in attempt to establish a more reproducible end point for each set. You could just as easily stop with a couple reps left in the tank. The point of the study was that all other things being equal, weight seemed to make very little difference in both hypertrophy and strength gains. And yes, this flies in the face of long held conventional wisdom
Hmm... Well, a few thoughts there.

In the study, they are using machine assisted movement (except for bench press). So volitional failure is a lot more viable option than it is with a barbell. I disagree that "you could just as easily stop with a couple reps left in the tank" and get the same results. The results in the study are specifically related to the fatiguing and recruitment of motor units. If you don't recruit them all and bring the muscle to a certain level of fatigue, you don't get the same stimulus.

Also, if you want a muscle to get strong, use a machine. If you want a movement to get strong, use a barbell. Effective set/rep and intensity ranges are fairly well established for big compound movements with the barbell, and load does matter.
 

GeoffreyLevens

> 1k Posts
The results in the study are specifically related to the fatiguing and recruitment of motor units. If you don't recruit them all and bring the muscle to a certain level of fatigue, you don't get the same stimulus.

Also, if you want a muscle to get strong, use a machine. If you want a movement to get strong, use a barbell. Effective set/rep and intensity ranges are fairly well established for big compound movements with the barbell, and load does matter.
Sorry for being obtuse but that makes no sense to me. As I said, they likely used volitional failure to standardize a level of fatigue. If you pay attention to how you feel, I would think you can judge a comparable level of fatigue to end a set whatever the weight, just a lot more reps to get there at lower weight

True, machine isolated muscle work does not train a movement, but a movement is a coordinated chain of muscles working together. It still makes sense to me, if that study is valid, that you would get same result if you replicated it only using compound barbell or dumbbell movements instead of machine isolated ones. This morning I did 3 movements that I have been doing sets of 5-8 at about 80%RM but instead did them in sets of about 20 reps at 50%. I actually felt the work and fatigue deeper into the muscles than I have been at the higher weight though it was a bit annoying to have to grind out so many reps at the end of the set as the fatigue really built up.

Think of "farmer strong". Typically they do occasionally lift heavy things, but mostly they do a lot of light to moderately weighted movements with lots of repetitions. And they get incredibly strong. True, not powerlifting strong but more than enough for most other sports or any other activity.
 
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Garage Warrior

Double-Digit Post Count
Yes, exactly... I meant 70-80% of 1RM for sets; probably 5s. I don't see that heavy singles are that relevant for "keeping the deadlift moving along" as OP wants to do. If the objective were to increase 1RM, or prep for a meet... sure. Heavy singles. Otherwise, I don't see much reason to do them.
Yeah from everything i've read or watched on YT for powerlifting singles are not used hardly at all until very close to a contest just so contest weight doesn't come as a shock to the system. But to be honest i don't think they'll help development that much. Better off with a lower % of max and doing more sets and reps. Heavy singles display strength but i don't think they build it as well as putting in more volume at a lighter intensity.
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
Yeah from everything i've read or watched on YT for powerlifting singles are not used hardly at all until very close to a contest just so contest weight doesn't come as a shock to the system. But to be honest i don't think they'll help development that much. Better off with a lower % of max and doing more sets and reps. Heavy singles display strength but i don't think they build it as well as putting in more volume at a lighter intensity.
If you want to lift a heavy single the heavy single is the absolute best thing you can do. It is "specific adaptation to imposed demand". Train what you want to do. No way around it.

The whole idea that singles don't develop strength is plain absurd. Period. Sorry.

The biggest obstacle to doing singles is that one can't do it for long. A time and place for every thing. Train the single when you want to do it. Before it, anticipating the plateau from just singles, train triples. Before it, anticipating the plateau from triples, train fives. That is pretty much it for the layman.
 

Garage Warrior

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If you want to lift a heavy single the heavy single is the absolute best thing you can do. It is "specific adaptation to imposed demand". Train what you want to do. No way around it.

The whole idea that singles don't develop strength is plain absurd. Period. Sorry.

The biggest obstacle to doing singles is that one can't do it for long. A time and place for every thing. Train the single when you want to do it. Before it, anticipating the plateau from just singles, train triples. Before it, anticipating the plateau from triples, train fives. That is pretty much it for the layman.
Well i disagree with almost all of that.
 

Garage Warrior

Double-Digit Post Count
I should add i'm not against heavy singles. They have their place. I just don't think they should make up a large part of training. Unless you just like doing them in that case i'd say keep on doing them. I do them now and then when i'm in the mood. But these are not true 1RM's. I'll do heavy singles with a weight that if pushed i could maybe lift 2 or 3 times.
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
As I said, they likely used volitional failure to standardize a level of fatigue.
I'm thinking that volitional failure creates a specific state of motor unit recruitment, fatigue, hormonal response, etc.... In other words, it's more than just "to standardize a level of fatigue".

But I admit this is beyond my current knowledge level. I need to go read the Stronger by Science web site, I think...

If you want to lift a heavy single the heavy single is the absolute best thing you can do. It is "specific adaptation to imposed demand". Train what you want to do. No way around it.
But OP didn't say he wanted to lift a heavy single. He said he wanted to "keep my conventional deadlift moving along". To me, that means get stronger in general in that movement, and I would still say (agreeing with @Garage Warrior) that heavy singles aren't the best way to do that, although they certainly work to some degree.
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
But OP didn't say he wanted to lift a heavy single. He said he wanted to "keep my conventional deadlift moving along". To me, that means get stronger in general in that movement, and I would still say (agreeing with @Garage Warrior) that heavy singles aren't the best way to do that, although they certainly work to some degree.
What did you think "moving along" meant, if it did not mean retaining the 1RM or improving on it? How does one get stronger in the deadlift without improving the 1RM?
 

Kettlebelephant

> 1k Posts
If you want to lift a heavy single the heavy single is the absolute best thing you can do. It is "specific adaptation to imposed demand". Train what you want to do. No way around it.

The whole idea that singles don't develop strength is plain absurd. Period. Sorry.

The biggest obstacle to doing singles is that one can't do it for long. A time and place for every thing. Train the single when you want to do it. Before it, anticipating the plateau from just singles, train triples. Before it, anticipating the plateau from triples, train fives. That is pretty much it for the layman.
This is absolutely right. Nothing builds pure strength better than really heavy singles.
It doesn't mean that it's the best way to do your general strength training, because of other factors (CNS-fatigue, injury risk, etc.), but heavy singles (95+% 1RM) are still the best for pure strength. There's a reason why strength athletes peak with doubles and singles and not sets of 8s or 5s.

I agree with @Anna C and @Garage Warrior though that they (-> really heavy singles) are not a good thing for OPs objective. Lighter singles (75-85% 1RM) can still be effective for OP, because the DL with its dead start is different than other lifts. Personally I had much better results with the DL since I started using cluster sets instead of traditional sets.
In my Tactical Barbell template DLs are only used for one set of 5 per week (in my case a cluster set of 5 singles every 30sec) and together with back squats and pullups it's enough to very slowly increase it.
 
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Timo Keskitalo

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Now I read parts of it. The difference was found in bench press, the only "multi-joint" movement that was included in the study. For my eye there were more differences but I'm not a statistician.

Someone would have done a 8 rep set on 90% 1rm, really? Really?
 
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