How would you structure PTTP at a ~300lb 5RM?

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by freeflowme, Sep 12, 2019 at 11:16 PM.

  1. freeflowme

    freeflowme Triple-Digit Post Count

    Hey all,

    Try as I might, I can't seem to shake my love for the deadlift as my primary strength-building movement, and the press as it's compliment. To me, they form the ultimate full-body, high-tension combo, and what's really sealed the deal for me is that without training the squat or bench press my squat 5RM went up ~100lbs and my bench 5RM went up ~50lbs in ~3-4 months time. @Steve Freides, the longer I do this, the more I'm starting to believe you about not everyone needing to practice a loaded squat!

    That said, I seem to keep running into the fatigue wall hard, particularly with deadlifts. My last 4 cycles have been:

    May: 5:3 waves, 2x5 (2nd @ 90%) structure, 5lb jumps from 185x5 to 265x5, then needed 4-5 days to recover

    June: 5:3 waves, 2x5 (2nd @ 90%) structure, 15lb jumps from 185x5 to 275x5, then had a trip so could've conceivably started over again at 195-ish

    July 5:3 waves, 2x5 (2nd @ 90%) structure, 15lb jumps from 200x5 to 295x5, 300x3, then had another trip

    August: 4:3 waves, 5-3-2 structure, 10lb jumps from 200x5 to 250x5. The weights weren't heavy, but my lower back was absolutely killing me, and progressively more so every training session.

    One thing about doing 5:3 waves was that my heaviest day of the week was always Friday, which came on the heels of Monday - Thursday training. My CNS was working well at that point, but I had accumulated a lot of fatigue. Not sure whether it worked in my favor or not. I feel almost certain that 5-3-2 fatigued me a lot more than 2x5 (2nd a@ 90%).

    So, if you were me (or this was you), how would you set up your next PTTP cycle? Specific questions:
    • What weight would you start with? (I'm thinking 200)
    • What size jumps would you take? (15lb jumps seemed to work well for me. Every week you get a touch of ~70% and a touch of ~90% effort.)
    • Would you do 2x5 (2nd @ 90%), or 5-3-2? (I know 5-3-2 is the newfangled thing, but I really had my best success on 2x5 with the back-off set.)
    • How many days a week would you deadlift? Start out at 4-5 and go down to 2-3 as the weights increase? Or am I at a point where I should go full-on PTTP 2.0 (also here) and plan on 2 deadlift sessions a week with 2-3 additional back-off sets at 80%. I don't feel like the weights I'm moving are significant enough for that, but my body seems to be saying something needs to change. @Ryan Toshner, since you've shared the most that I could find about PTTP 2.0, maybe you could weigh in on whether someone who's worked up to a 300lb 5RM should be switching to PTTP 2.0 or whether it's better to still grind for a bit more on higher frequency.
    • If only deadlifting 2-3 days/week, would you do S&S swings or something similar on non-deadlift training days, or would you just rest the lower body?
    • How many days a week would you press? Do presses respond better than deadlifts to high frequency, even at relatively high intensity? (Press 5RM currently ~130, but was feeling the strongest it ever had towards the end of using 5-3-2 in August, training it 5 days/week)
    • How do you overcome stalls in your pressing progression? The only solution I've come across is from an article Pavel wrote in 2002 (quoted here) in which he describes using 1,2,3 ladders with your 5RM.
    • Would you do pull-ups? My shoulders have never felt better than since I started doing pull-ups in July, and my pull-up strength has really exploded, but I wonder if they contributed to overall systemic fatigue that saw me burn out in August? After all, adding them to PTTP increases your training volume by 50%.

    As you can see, I have a lot of questions. I do well when I'm able to outline a few weeks or months of a program that will work, and I appreciate your help in clarifying things.
  2. Tirofijo

    Tirofijo More than 500 posts

    Do you like deadlifting 5 x a week? Or better question, do you think your body responds well to it?

    The answer seems to be “no” based on what you wrote, but you are trying really hard to get to “yes”.

    I’ve mentioned this a few times and I don’t want to keep harping on it - but I mis-timed the reset when I did PTTP and did too much without a rest (reset) and ended up with a hurt back and generally felt run down. Totally my fault but PTTP isn’t fool-proof.

    I also did Easy Strength (but 4 times a week) and was never sure if I had the perceived effort right. I did get stronger but also “threw” out my back. May have been technique related but I’m not sure.

    However, I had excellent results on Daily Dose Deadlifts but there’s also zero uncertainty in that program. (So I couldn’t screw it up).

    I now prefer to deadlift 2 to 3 times a week.

    I know PTTP works and has worked for hundreds if not thousands of people. But don’t think it’s right for me at this time.

    Long story short - don’t be afraid to listen to your body and get away from a program if it’s not working for you.
  3. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement, SFB, Senior SFG Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @freeflowme, I'm very glad to hear about your progress!

    It sounds like it's time for a change of program for you. Consider another published program. Consider Reload, which costs $6 and has detailed instructions for determining your starting points and jumps. Consider a Custom Plan from our PlanStrong team. And consider backing off on things for a week or two - just lift less heavy, for less volume, and less often until you feel completely recharged. Consider working on some variations of your deadlift, e.g., with a 2" bar, or straddling the bar.

    Tirofijo and Discipulus like this.
  4. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @freeflowme Have you considered Wendler 5/3/1?

    I had great results after an extended period of building a base with Easy Strength/PTTP style programming.
  5. freeflowme

    freeflowme Triple-Digit Post Count

    Thanks, Steve. It struck me for the first time in August that maybe PTTP had run it's course for me, at least without switching to something else for a good while, and then switching back to PTTP once it's a fresh stimulus for my body again. The weights just felt different than they ever had - not heavy or hard to move, but just piling up fatigue day-to-day.

    At present, I've been using the Tactical Barbell "Operator" template, which has you train Mon / Wed / Fri, using their "Grunt" cluster, which has you train back squats, bench press, and weighted pullups. My plan was to see how a 6 week cycle of squats effected my deadlift - lose strength, maintain strength, or gain strength. If I were to start it over, I would've planned to use one of their methods for incorporating the deadlift - 1 set/day, or 1-3 sets on Fridays. I'm just super itchy about not training deadlifts - I feel like I'm losing hamstring, glute, and lower back strength and muscularity.

    I'll definitely give Reload or a custom plan some thought.

    I had briefly considered it, but didn't love the idea of only training each movement 1x/wk. It's tried and true, though, and generally a next step for people after Starting Strength or other linear progression style base building, so it would make sense.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement, SFB, Senior SFG Staff Member Senior Instructor

    My understanding is that many powerlifting greats competed twice a year, January and June roughly speaking, and would structure a 3-month (13 week) cycle leading up to each competition, and then do something different in the next 13 weeks so they didn't burn out on their competition-type programming.

    freeflowme likes this.

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