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Barbell Heavy deadlift singles for maintaining strength and muscle mass

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Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
Being 'in between programs' and having made less time to train recently, I've been seizing opportunities to do GTG sets of pull-ups and heavy deadlift singles (typically about 5 or 6) when I get the chance (usually every three days or so) and I'm wondering if performing occasional heavy deadlifts for single repetitions is a decent method to ensure strength and muscle maintenance given that the intensity is very high.

If the aim is not to get stronger but just not to get weaker, would this be a suitable approach or is there something else I could/should be doing as well/instead?

I'd be interested to hear everyone's thoughts.
 

ShawnM

Level 8 Valued Member
I think that could work out fine, and if programs right you can still make slow gains. Vodka and Pickles is based on just doing singles on the deadlifts a few days a week. Starting at 15 singles and dropping singles each session while adding weight each session. 3 sessions a week. Swings and squats are listed as assistance work but you could get a way without them.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
After a few years of S&S I started to also do deadlifts and I found I could eventually lift 370 lbs for "heavy" singles. I did this, much like you mentioned, for 3-6 singles, several times a week. I certainly did maintain that strength, no question. However, I don't plan on going back to this any time soon. Why? Endurance counts in the real world. I'd rather do 2-5 sets of 5 reps with lighter weight, even if it's just once a week, than just lift heavy singles. I'd rather be a lightbulb than a firework, if you get my meaning.
 

Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
After a few years of S&S I started to also do deadlifts and I found I could eventually lift 370 lbs for "heavy" singles. I did this, much like you mentioned, for 3-6 singles, several times a week. I certainly did maintain that strength, no question. However, I don't plan on going back to this any time soon. Why? Endurance counts in the real world. I'd rather do 2-5 sets of 5 reps with lighter weight, even if it's just once a week, than just lift heavy singles. I'd rather be a lightbulb than a firework, if you get my meaning.

Heavy Deadlifting Several Times A Week

As Louie Simmon said about the Deadlift, "Why do something that take more than it give back?"

As Tom McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Biomechanics/Former Powerlifter) noted in a series of Deadlift Training article years ago in Powerlifting USA, "The lower back is quickly and easily overtrained."

Powerlifting programs traditionally limit the Deadlift to once a week. That due to the fact that lower back recovery is takes longer than with Squat and the Bench Press.

With that in mind, "Less is definitely more" with the Deadlift.

Auxiliary Exercises

Exercises that have the same Ascending Strength Curve carry over to the Deadlift, produce less trauma on the lower back; which mean they allow for faster recovery.

Some of the best exercises are...

1) Good Mornings

2) 45 Degree Back Raise/Hip Extension

3) 90 Degree Back Raise/Hip Extension

Are All Hip Extension Exercises Created Equal? (Biomechanics of 3 Hip Extension Exercises)

Dr Bret Contreras' provides some training information comparisons on the Good Morning, 45 Degree Back Extension/Hip Extension and 90 Degree Back Extension/Hip Extension.

They are equivalent to preforming a Bench Press, Incline Press, and Decline Press (a Dip is the ultimate Decline Press).

The same muscle groups are worked. However, varying the angle shift the loading on the muscles involved.

Research has demonstrated that one of the keys for increasing strength and hypertrophy is to work the the muscles involved from different angles, i.e. different exercises.

Power Rules In The Real World

Strength Endurance plays a role in some sports to some degree.

However, the majority of sports (Judo being one) relies on Power.

Lighter Deadlift Sets

Cluster Set allow you to maintain strength and improve endurance.

Power Deadlifts (Speed Deadlifts is a misnomer) performed in Clusters produce an effect that is similar to High Intensity Interval Cardio Training; aka High Intensity Resistance Interval Training.

TFW Sadiv Set for Deadlift


This is an example of Explosive Cluster Set Deadlift Training.

Sadiv's pulling a single in the Deadlift around every 20 seconds for a total of 10 Cluster Sets. This method is somewhat in the same vein as the Tabata Protocol.

Sadiv is performing the Cluster Deadlift with 405 lbs, approximately 60% of his 1 Repetition Max.

Cluster Set allow you to increase Power Output and blow your heart rate through the roof.

"I'd rather be a lightbulb than a firework, if you get my meaning."

No, I don't get it.

Yes, Strength Endurance is necessary in Judo.

However, in Power Sports, more than anything else, you want to be a "Lightening Bolt"; throwing your opponent like a rag doll.

Kenny Croxdale
 
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Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Heavy Deadlifting Several Times A Week

As Louie Simmon said about the Deadlift, "Why do something that take more than it give back?"

As Tom McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Biomechanics/Former Powerlifter) noted in a series of Deadlift Training article years ago in Powerlifting USA, "The lower back is quickly and easily overtrained."

Powerlifting programs traditionally limit the Deadlift to once a week. That due to the fact that lower back recovery is takes longer than with Squat and the Bench Press.

With that in mind, "Less is definitely more" with the Deadlift.

Auxiliary Exercises

Exercises that have the same Ascending Strength Curve carry over to the Deadlift, produce less trauma on the lower back; which mean they allow for faster recovery.

Some of the best exercises are...

1) Good Mornings

2) 45 Degree Back Raise/Hip Extension

3) 90 Degree Back Raise/Hip Extension

Are All Hip Extension Exercises Created Equal? (Biomechanics of 3 Hip Extension Exercises)

Dr Bret Contreras' provides some training information comparisons on the Good Morning, 45 Degree Back Extension/Hip Extension and 90 Degree Back Extension/Hip Extension.

They are equivalent to preforming a Bench Press, Incline Press, and Decline Press (a Dip is the ultimate Decline Press).

The same muscle groups are worked. However, varying the angle shift the loading on the muscles involved.

Research has demonstrated that one of the keys for increasing strength and hypertrophy is to work the the muscles involved from different angles, i.e. different exercises.

Power Rules In The Real World

Strength Endurance plays a role in some sports to some degree.

However, the majority of sports (Judo being one) relies on Power.

Lighter Deadlift Sets

Cluster Set allow you to maintain strength and improve endurance.

Power Deadlifts (Speed Deadlifts is a misnomer) performed in Clusters produce an effect that is similar to High Intensity Interval Cardio Training; aka High Intensity Resistance Interval Training.

TFW Sadiv Set for Deadlift


This is an example of Explosive Cluster Set Deadlift Training.

Sadiv's pulling a single in the Deadlift around every 20 seconds for a total of 10 Cluster Sets. This method is somewhat in the same vein as the Tabata Protocol.

Sadiv is performing the Cluster Deadlift with 405 lbs, approximately 60% of his 1 Repetition Max.

Cluster Set allow you to increase Power Output and blow your heart rate through the roof.

"I'd rather be a lightbulb than a firework, if you get my meaning."

No, I don't get it.

Yes, Strength Endurance is necessary in Judo.

However, in Power Sports, more than anything else, you want to be a "Lightening Bolt"; throwing your opponent like a rag doll.

Kenny Croxdale
Okay. Thank you again for setting me back towards the right track.

The problem with me is I keep trying new things but I don't understand what new things I should be doing because I don't understand the science nor do I have any base knowledge to cut through all the fake stuff online.

If I am understanding your advice in these forums correctly, if we're talking judo, the kettlebell swings are a very good choice, and pushing up maximum strength through things like the barbell deadlift and military press lifts is also beneficial, but the most sport-specific training is for power.
 
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Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
The problem with me is I keep trying new things

"Research is what I am doing, when I don't know what I am doing." Einstein

Experimentation is part of the learning process.

I don't understand the science nor do I have any base knowledge to cut through all the fake stuff online.

"No one every got dumbber from reading a book." Cosgrve


The more you read, the more you grow.

If I am understanding your advice in these forums correctly, if we're talking judo, the kettlebell swings are a very good choice, and pushing up maximum strength through things like the barbell deadlift and military press lifts is also beneficial, but the most sport-specific training is for power.

Yes

1) The Foundation of Power is built on Limit Strength, 1 RM Training with Deadlifts, Presses, etc.

2) Incorporating Power Training, like Kettlebell Swing (Conjugate Training) increase your ability to produce force.

Kenny Croxdale
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
"Research is what I am doing, when I don't know what I am doing." Einstein

Experimentation is part of the learning process.



"No one every got dumbber from reading a book." Cosgrve


The more you read, the more you grow.



Yes

1) The Foundation of Power is built on Limit Strength, 1 RM Training with Deadlifts, Presses, etc.

2) Incorporating Power Training, like Kettlebell Swing (Conjugate Training) increase your ability to produce force.

Kenny Croxdale
Got it I think!

So, heavy lifting gives me the foundation to build power on.

Do you mean training towards 1RM, or training at the 1RM? If it's training at the 1RM then Reload isn't really the ideal for my goals, which would rather be to do 1RM training with deadlifts and presses, and then lots of S&S for power.

Regarding books : you're my book. :)
 

Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
So, heavy lifting gives me the foundation to build power on.

Yes.

Do you mean training towards 1RM, or training at the 1RM? If it's training at the 1RM then Reload isn't really the ideal for my goals,

Limit Strength Training

Sets of 1 -5 Repetition, working up to 85% or more of 1RM with Rest Periods between sets of 3 minutes or longer fall into Limit Strength Training.

Periodization Training

A well written and executed Training Program need to incorporate progressive overload followed by a period of lowing the training load/volume that allows recovery; then progressively increasing the load each week until you push it the last week of the Training Program.

Example

1) Week 1: Easy

2) Week 2: Moderate

3) Week 3: Fairly Hard

4) Week 4: Near Max or Maxing out.

5) Week 5: This becomes Week 1; dramatically dropping the load and/or changing the exercise and gradually ramping the weight back up to a Near Max in Week 4.

This 4 Week Cycle is an example. The number of week can be varied.

...you're my book.

In the long run, it in your/everyone's best interest to make investment in researching information.

It amount to story of giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish. You need become more self reliant rather than dependent on someone else.

Kenny Croxdale
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Yes.



Limit Strength Training

Sets of 1 -5 Repetition, working up to 85% or more of 1RM with Rest Periods between sets of 3 minutes or longer fall into Limit Strength Training.

Periodization Training

A well written and executed Training Program need to incorporate progressive overload followed by a period of lowing the training load/volume that allows recovery; then progressively increasing the load each week until you push it the last week of the Training Program.

Example

1) Week 1: Easy

2) Week 2: Moderate

3) Week 3: Fairly Hard

4) Week 4: Near Max or Maxing out.

5) Week 5: This becomes Week 1; dramatically dropping the load and/or changing the exercise and gradually ramping the weight back up to a Near Max in Week 4.

This 4 Week Cycle is an example. The number of week can be varied.



In the long run, it in your/everyone's best interest to make investment in researching information.

It amount to story of giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish. You need become more self reliant rather than dependent on someone else.

Kenny Croxdale
True but it's me relying on myself who is making all the errors! :)

I still feel like a beginner at judo after 31 years. I guess I'm a slow learner!

So, Reload is indeed limit strength training, and apparently ideal. I'll continue with both it and S&S. Good. I think that's settled then!
 

Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
Reload is indeed limit strength training, and apparently ideal.

Deload and Reload

Whoever came up with these terms need to have their head examined.

The issue is in the belief that if you have one or two training session in which you regress, lift less or for fewer repetition, backing off for one workout will fix it.

That amount to having let's say the flu, felling better and going back to your normal routine when you haven't fully recovered and regressing.

Periodization Training

This is the foundation on which good training program are built.

A Training Cycle of a number of week are chosen.

You start off with an easy load. Then progressively increase the load until in the final week, you are pushing/pulling with a max or near max effort in the exercise.

The final week of pushing/pulling with a near max or max effort in an exercise if follow the next week by starting over with a light load. Then progressively increasing the load, with the final week being a max or near max effort.

"People don't plan to fail they fail to plan."

Periodization Training Plans are a vital component of all training programs: Endurance, Hypertrophy, Power, Speed, and Limit Strength. So, ...

"Plan your work, work your plan."

Active Recovery

Decreasing the load and starting over every few weeks with the same exercise or a new one is Active Recovery. It allows the muscles, central nervous system and your mind to recover from your all out max or near max effort.

Recovery is the key to gaining strength and size. Failing to provide recovery in a training program ensure less progress and most of the times going backwards.

"Freaking Your Mind Out"

As Albert Beckles (one of the great bodybuilders) said, "Training hard too long freaks you mind out"; you mentally burn out and cannot push yourself.

Kenny Croxdale
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Deload and Reload

Whoever came up with these terms need to have their head examined.

The issue is in the belief that if you have one or two training session in which you regress, lift less or for fewer repetition, backing off for one workout will fix it.

That amount to having let's say the flu, felling better and going back to your normal routine when you haven't fully recovered and regressing.

Periodization Training

This is the foundation on which good training program are built.

A Training Cycle of a number of week are chosen.

You start off with an easy load. Then progressively increase the load until in the final week, you are pushing/pulling with a max or near max effort in the exercise.

The final week of pushing/pulling with a near max or max effort in an exercise if follow the next week by starting over with a light load. Then progressively increasing the load, with the final week being a max or near max effort.

"People don't plan to fail they fail to plan."

Periodization Training Plans are a vital component of all training programs: Endurance, Hypertrophy, Power, Speed, and Limit Strength. So, ...

"Plan your work, work your plan."

Active Recovery

Decreasing the load and starting over every few weeks with the same exercise or a new one is Active Recovery. It allows the muscles, central nervous system and your mind to recover from your all out max or near max effort.

Recovery is the key to gaining strength and size. Failing to provide recovery in a training program ensure less progress and most of the times going backwards.

"Freaking Your Mind Out"

As Albert Beckles (one of the great bodybuilders) said, "Training hard too long freaks you mind out"; you mentally burn out and cannot push yourself.

Kenny Croxdale
Which would explain why spending a few years just picking up the 340-370lbs bar all the time did not increase my strength.

I hope "Reload" works so I can break past this very low weight for a deadlift for someone my size.
 
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