Double bodyweight deadlift

Abdul-Rasheed

Level 6 Valued Member
@Steve Freides Smooth. I can't stop watching it. The second rep was much better?

I have seen your strength in person. I have seen you doing Ab roller all the way down to the floor and back up. It looked to me that the core strength that you employed in either cases is palpably same.

The idea of deadlifting twice the bodyweight would for me remain just that - an idea/dream. I don't see myself pulling 400lbs (My b/w is ~200lbs). My goal like Anna C is 300lb one of these days. I would be happy to achieve 315lbs one day, like you did here, with three 45lb plates on each side.
 

guardian7

Level 6 Valued Member
A few hours ago, 315 lbs. x 2, double overhand, paused touch and go. Bodyweight was 151 lbs. this morning, so about 2.1 times bw.


-S-
If we are not competing in powerlifting, then I think sticking with whatever max you can handle with a double overhand grip seems like a good strategy. It demands patience but our grip/tendons will adapt better to match our muscular/skeletal strength in the long run wouldn't they.

When I do a mixed grip the natural tendency is to add "arm" and lose a little bit of form when it gets heavy. I can use an overhand grip up to around 85% of rep max, which is more than enough for working weight sets of 70 to 80 %, so I don't use a mixed grip unless I want to test my rep max, which I am rethinking since I met my double bodyweight goal. In addition, once we have our double bodyweight goal, it may make more sense to work up to doing that for a double or triple, as you seem to be doing, before trying to increase 1 RM max. Of course, going for a new rep max is more fun and controlling the ego is often the game isn't it. Thoughts?

Nice total slow, mindful control on the lift.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Smooth. I can't stop watching it.
You are very kind, @Abdul.

The second rep was much better?
The light touch-and-go deadlift is, for those who are able to handle it, an interesting training option. One of the benefits of it, provided you keep the touch light, is increased time under tension. But perhaps the best benefit of it - credit to Marty Gallagher for this - is how every rep after the first one seems to be in one's perfect deadlift position. The bar is on the ground but, unlike a true "dead" start, your body has no choice but to have everything already tight before you pull. I must repeat my caution - this isn't for everyone, and no one trying it for the first time should go heavy or even moderate but rather practice it, and feeling what it needs to feel like on the way down, with a very light, and only gradually heavier, weight.

That's why the second rep looks better.

I have seen your strength in person. I have seen you doing Ab roller all the way down to the floor and back up. It looked to me that the core strength that you employed in either cases is palpably same.
You betcha! I've told this story before, including in a 2012 blog here, but I'll repeat it briefly now: when I was recovering from my back injury, and first tried running again, I noticed that if I didn't keep a certain pressure in my belly, my back hurt. I got instant feedback - if I didn't keep a certain pressure in my midsection, my back hurt and, because of my injury, it meant I had to stop running and switch to walking right then and there. So I learned, early and before I started lifting heavy things, the importance of the proverbial "core" and that lesson has never left me. Working up to a standing ab roller - I enjoyed that journey, and I continue to enjoy the results.

The idea of deadlifting twice the bodyweight would for me remain just that - an idea/dream. I don't see myself pulling 400lbs (My b/w is ~200lbs).
Never say "never."

Every time I tell someone I am a competing powerlifter, their first response is always, "You don't like like a powerlifter ..." and then they sort of puff themselves up to show me what they think a powerlifter looks like. Strength can improve through the improvement of skill, and I approach it just like I approach my music, just on the other side of the muscle tension continuum - when I am practicing a musical instrument, I am always looking for any tension and trying to release it; when I lift, I am always looking for any looseness, any leakage, and trying to tighten it. But, that important difference aside, my approach is the same. I didn't learn to play the piano as a child, and when I started it as an adult, I didn't learn it in a few years but rather in a few decades - powerlifting can be like that for anyone. Practice, get better, keep your eye on the prize and keep your training focused.

And if you drop 25 lbs., your double bw deadlift goes down by 50. :) That, too, can be accomplished with diligence.

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I can use an overhand grip up to around 85% of rep max, which is more than enough for working weight sets of 70 to 80 %, so I don't use a mixed grip unless I want to test my rep max ...
That seems a good approach to me. When I'm not directly preparing for a competition, I often to exactly that - double overhand DL only.

... once we have our double bodyweight goal, it may make more sense to work up to doing that for a double or triple, as you seem to be doing, before trying to increase 1 RM max.
Another sensible idea, @guardian7. It fits right in with the idea of owning a weight before moving up. It's a safe approach to going heavier.

I'm not sure how well it would actually work in the deadlift, however, since one doesn't often work up to a new RM on singles or doubles or triples, however. That will depend on how you train your deadlift. But if you're sticking to double overhand, then it might work out OK.

-S-
 

Abdul-Rasheed

Level 6 Valued Member
when I am practicing a musical instrument, I am always looking for any tension and trying to release it; when I lift, I am always looking for any looseness, any leakage, and trying to tighten
(y)

Never say "never."
We shall see :)

And if you drop 25 lbs
Yeah, we shall see. Taking Marty Gallaghar's advice of seasonally appropriate training and nutrition next few months I am trying to lean/cut. So we shall see.
 

Andrew Soderstrom

Level 1 Valued Member
I am going to go out and say it is not too hard to coach an adult male to a 2x BW deadlift. If you get an athlete that is relatively height:weight proportional (really we are just concerned about their body getting in the way of a correct starting position) on a solid program who is willing to work--I have yet to find someone who cant. There are a few things to consider however. If a 2x BW DL is the goal, there is accessory work that needs to be done--particularly on the grip and the erectors of the back--to handle loads. Grip and back strength, coupled with some good technique.. give it a year, you will get there. If 2x is not the goal, then by all means, continue on with a double overhand, no hook grip which will provide many benefits for overall health. My grip is a weak point of mine so my double overhand, no hook PR is 80% of that with a hook grip, and only 70% of my mixed grip... I bet you can guess where I am focusing my training at..
 

Abdul-Rasheed

Level 6 Valued Member
we are just concerned about their body getting in the way of a correct starting position
I like the way the correct starting position is singled out. I think this could take months or years (even with coaching). The coach can't lift for the trainee. It is something the trainee has to figure it out (ideally with ample inputs, feedbacks from the coach) by himself, yes? Anyways, this begs the question, is it possible that the trainee ever fails to find this 'correct starting position'? Where, could we say, things went wrong if that happened?

accessory work that needs to be done--particularly on the grip and the erectors of the back--to handle loads
What could be some of them? I also wonder if assisance could ever be included in PTTP programming.

Thanks.
 

jca17

Level 6 Valued Member
I think it should not take years to figure out the correct starting position. With a StrongFirst coach and a kettlebell, you can likely get more than half of people into the basic pattern in under an hour. If not, its probably a matter of working on movement patterns/mobility/flexibility. A few weeks, maybe months if its been long standing restrictions, should be able to get them to where they can correctly sumo deadlift any kettlebell you put in front of them.

Then you can move that to the bar.
If its taking months or years, that's a case for a physical therapist and not a strength coach.

That was me with overhead pressing. The issue was not something for a strength coach to correct with cues and examples. My physical therapist, over the course of months, was able to get my shoulder to the correct overhead position without just compensating with my lumbar spine. At that point, a correct, safe technique is learnable in hours. Months, years of mastery yes, but learning the correct positions to be safe to train is doable. Years later you might actually find a more optimal starting position, digging into the fine details of technique, but at that point you're probably training with a double bodyweight load, not one rep maxing with it.
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
I don't think the average male needs to do any accessory work to hit double bodyweight. Just the main lift on its own will do. Of course, it doesn't mean that the accessory work or squats wouldn't be helpful or make the process faster. And of course, we may have a different idea of the average male.

When it comes to the correct starting position, there are people with awful mobility or too much residual tightness. Some of them shouldn't do the regular deadlift. If someone asked me about it at the gym, I would likely recommend some bodyweight mobility/strength training and deadlifts with as much ROM as possible with good form, so block/rack pulls, trying to get lower and lower and eventually to the floor.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I also wonder if assisance could ever be included in PTTP programming.
The essence of PTTP is to just deadlift and overhead press, and focus on the skill of performing those lifts. While one could add assistance, the program starts to become something else if you do. A bit of ab work after the main lifts should be OK in any strength program, including this one, and some conditioning could be added if you wish, but I wouldn't do more than that and still call it PTTP.

@Abdul Rasheed, my suggestion is to try to add some ab work to what you're doing and see what that does for you.

-S-
 

Andrew Soderstrom

Level 1 Valued Member
I like the way the correct starting position is singled out. I think this could take months or years (even with coaching). The coach can't lift for the trainee. It is something the trainee has to figure it out (ideally with ample inputs, feedbacks from the coach) by himself, yes? Anyways, this begs the question, is it possible that the trainee ever fails to find this 'correct starting position'? Where, could we say, things went wrong if that happened?


What could be some of them? I also wonder if assisance could ever be included in PTTP programming.

Thanks.
I agree that the average male shouldn't need a lot of accessory work to get to 2x BW... but Antii is right--it will make it happen faster.

Some accessory stuff I like for grip are farmer carries (heavy... 20(ish)m intervals), using fat grips, high volume/moderate weight KB snatching, wrist rollers, pinch carries, double overhand/no hook deadlifts with a pause on top, etc. All these things will help develop the grip--a phase I use often "if you cannot manage to hold onto it, how do you expect to move it?"

For erectors--many people suggest good mornings which will help, but it depends on where the break down is. Good mornings, while a great exercise for hip extensors, is predominately hip driven. As simple as it is, Stuart McGill suggests doing isometric holds (I use a GHD machine and just plank out). He has some data supporting how long someone should be able to hold that position and I am not even close. Remember, the erectors are stabalizers, not movers, and they are predominately oxidative muscles--they will not respond well to short bursts of heavy load for long. I have found a lot of success by simply doing static holds and some low bar back squatting.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I would like to weigh-in on the subject of assistance work. Please read Pavel’s description of Faleev for one approach. Another, simple thought - why do assistance exercise if you don’t know yourself well enough to what you’re weak points are? You need technical competency, then you need to know what weak points to address, then you need to know how to address them effectively.

OTOH, most people just need to learn to get tighter. Do that and your deadlifts become both stronger _and_ safer.

-S-
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I"m not following PTTP exactly because it says to take 20% of the weight off the bar for the second 5 reps. I just keep it the same all the time. Right now I'm at 350lbs and I'm handling it very well. My bodyweight is 220lbs. 350lbs is 50lbs heavier than when I started deadlifting (at first only intermittently) about 6 months ago. I can feel big muscles through my body and especially my upper back growing from this exercise. I fully expect them to keep growing and for me to have to keep upping the weight.

The strength the deadlift is granting me is ridiculous! Yesterday at judo I picked up a guy only a little smaller than me who was laying on the mat by the belt with my right hand and lifted him clean off the mat and swung him around in the air and walked around with him like he was a suitcase! All in good fun of course! I certainly could not do that before training deadlifts and believe me I tried! I could barely do it with two hands before starting deadlifts, and only for an instant or two!

I'm thinking that deadlifts are the single best strength exercise hands-down! Kettlebell presses and ring dips fill in the gaps of asymmetrical pressing strength and bodyweight mastery.
 

Doug Drinen

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I am way late to this thread, but it hits home for me big time. First, I just want to say to @bigwood177 , you are not alone!

I'm just over 6' 1" tall, weigh between 225-230 lbs and consider my strength to be average.
I added deadlifts to my work-outs about 2 years ago and my PR is 300 lbs, about 1 -1/3 body weight.
I would be thrilled to lift 337 (1.5 body weight), I find it hard to believe that 2X body weight is achievable for the average guy.
My stats are pretty close to yours. And comments like this following one, which seem to be the unquestioned conventional wisdom, frustrate me A LOT.

I coached my friend, an average middle aged man with zero strength training experience before, to a double bodyweight deadlift in about a couple of months, it not a week or two more. I think he made good progress, but nothing special.
Either the friend is not actually average (he's above), or I am not average (way below). I'll spare y'all my story because I don't want to turn this into a therapy session. I'll just say this: when I read something like, "with X amount of months, you should be able to get from point Y to point Z in your kettlebell training," that matches my experience pretty well. I do appear to be "average" when it comes to kettlebells. Same with running, back when I used to spend a lot of time running. "Follow this running schedule and get these results." Yep. That's me. But with squats and deadlifts, it feels like I'm not even close.

But wait! Just yesterday, I went to an SFL one-day course. As with anything StrongFirst, it was a great experience and I met some really cool and super knowledgeable people. The coach, @Travis Jewett , looked at my deadlift setup, then told me to move my knees back about half an inch, thereby changing the angle of my shins by about, I don't know, 1 degree. The resulting pull, and subsequent ones, felt SO much stronger. Half an inch! One degree! At that point, it was the end of a long day of lifting and I didn't want to do something stupid and go for a true max, so I can't tell you exactly how many pounds it added, but it gives me hope. My next block of training will focus on getting stronger in the deadlift, and we'll see how it goes.

Moral of the story? Yet to be written. But I promise to report back to this thread in a couple of months.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

Level 6 Valued Member
The answer will be different for everyone. There's a fellow at my gym who's very built and strong. At roughly 5 ft he's a buck seventy five, and benches 4 plates. However, he cannot deadlift this amount. He has the prototypical bench body. Big torso, short bazooka like arms and short legs. His press looks a mere 5 inches. However, when it comes to picking up a barbell off the ground, he has to reach low...way down there where his alligator arms and legs and long torso are more burdened to reach the barbell then Odysseus trying to reach Ithica. Meanwhile, there's myself, who can scratch his knee without bending over who couldn't press his warmup curls, can easily bend and pick up his failed max benches off his chest with no assistance. However, that being said, I've found the deadlift to be the easiest lift to improve relative to your weight. My deadlift shot up hundreds of pounds with very little, ( I mean 1-2 lbs) of bw being added. Power to the People is an excellent program to develop it, as long as you learn HOW to practice the deadlift. Pavel has many great resources for this, and if it's your goal, depending on your injury/training history/age/health, it is a good goal to put a focus on. The length of time will vary with each individual, but start where you are, learn to focus on that goal, have patience and perfect practice and you'll reach it before you know it.
 
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