Failed training set - re-do or move on?

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by Sean M, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Sean M

    Sean M Helping Make Others Stronger

    This week Monday’s deadlift session of TSC Prep called for a set of 2, set of 1, set of 1 at near-max, but it was stuck to the floor and I couldn’t budge it.

    Should I re-try on the second DL day this week, or skip it and stick with what the plan calls for for day 2 (5,3,2 between 70-90%)?

    1RM going into TSC Prep was 270. Worked up from 5x5 @ 190 in week 1 to 2x2 @ 255 last week. Monday was to be 2,1,1 @ 265. After the fail, I moved on to the swings and getups portion of the session (no problems).

    Compounding factors:
    - Lots of computer/chair time for 9 hours at work that day
    - Later evening training than usual
    - Fast food dinner on the go 2 hours prior to training

    So weak/stretched legs and caloric deficit for the day, and stressful commute/shuttling kids around and getting them fed, bathed, and to bed (not a strong headspace going into a near-max pull session).

    When I set my 270 PR, it was on a Saturday morning after a good breakfast (which thankfully is what the TSC will be too).

    Today’s session will be a better dinner, but still lots of chair time due to my office job.

    Was I right to stop any attempts, or should I have proceeded with less weight?

    Should I re-attempt today? Or stick with back-off sets session?
  2. Anna C

    Anna C Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum Certified Instructor

    There was a little section on "recasting" a failing cycle at the SFL. So I'll try to answer based on what I learned.

    If you were in an earlier phase of training and hypertrophy was your goal, you would lower the weight and keep the volume.

    Since you are in a peaking phase (close to the TSC event), you should do the opposite. Keep the weight and reduce the volume.

    But also keep in mind that Monday might have been a bad day for the reasons you stated, so in your upcoming session, use your warm-up sets to tell you if you still feel "off", or if you are back to normal and ready for the day as planned.

    As for Monday, since you couldn't budge the weight, you would have had to reduce the weight to do any lifting. I think I might have said drop the weight to 225 or 235, a weight that you are familiar enough with that you could judge more about what might be feeling off, and go from there to decide whether to complete the sets with it or just quit for the day. But since you got a rest day, maybe that will set you up better for today.

    Does that help?
    DavThew, Baker and kbell12 like this.
  3. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    The rule of thumb for me is:

    If you feel it was a technical failure take a longer rest, refocus and attempt again.

    If it was just too heavy drop the weight and do some backoff work and quality reps.

    If you feel burned out or fatigued call it after, or preferably before, your failed attempt.
    Baker, krg and kbell12 like this.
  4. Sean M

    Sean M Helping Make Others Stronger

    It does help, thanks! It was frustrating because I did 2x2 at 255 the week before (it was hard), but 265 wouldn’t go.

    Hadn’t read replies to this before my second DL session yesterday, so I just did a few reps at 80-85%.

    Hoping to get some pointers at the TSC during warmup that will help make my DL attempt as strong as it can be.
  5. Anna C

    Anna C Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum Certified Instructor

    One thing to remember with the heaviest weight is you have build max tension before you start the lift (that's any lift actually) and then give it many seconds before you give up. It feels longer than it actually is. It may take 3 to 5 seconds of grinding before it starts to leave the ground. Think of the space shuttle with the rocket engines blasting just before it leaves the ground. Stay with it, brace hard, grip hard, flex the triceps, lats, and abs, and then just stand up with the weight. It will move more slowly than less weight, but you have the strength to do it.
    Chrisdavisjr, LukeV and Steve Freides like this.
  6. Sean M

    Sean M Helping Make Others Stronger

    That’s been the biggest learning experience this cycle - more reps (percentage of total lifts for the cycle) at higher weight.

    Daily Dose Deadlift was only about 5% of lifts at 90%, while this cycle I calculate about 3 times that - and not singles either - and only about 50% of reps between 70-80% instead of ~85%.

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