Navigating the Barry Ross Deadlift protocol (weight, sets, reps).

Tom87

Double-Digit Post Count
Hi :)

I'm 32, 75kg, 181cm, serious amator badminton player (about 2 to 3 training sessions a week for the last 20 years).

I'm looking to improve my deadlift. I'm ok to take in some reasonnable fatigue and not be 100% in my sport for the next 6 months, but not go extreme either. I'm quite seduced by the idea of focusing on this strong lift and keep the other exercises minimal. At least until I'm stronger.
My deadlift max is about 145kg at the moment. I'm pulling (half-)sumo.

After reading a lot about it, I really want to give this Barry Ross protocol a try.

"Deadlift every session, 2-3 sets of 2-3 reps @ 85-95% 1RM, TIMED
  1. Plyometrics at the end of each set, within 1 minute of set completion
    1. Usually depth jumps from varying heights but occasionally used stand triple jump or long jump, generally 6 jumps or less. The focus is on delivering maximum strength in minimum time."
From what I've read on the subject, Barry recommend that every lift should be heavy but easy, with steady speed and without any significant sticking point. I understand that minimal instructions similar to some of Pavel's are so for a reason. But I may use a little more guidance. My hope is that some of you have been riding this program and can tell me about how you did it :).

I've started doing 3*3 at 120kg (about 83% of 145) for the first 3 sessions (+ some plyometrics as instructed). The second session felt 100% clean reps (That's how it felt for the not perfect at all lifter that I am, off course), then on the third session I just kept the same weight and felt more like 90% clean...
Which makes me come here for these questions :
- Is it how the program should be and thus I should keep at it until it feels easier, and then go up by 2.5kg ? Or said otherwise, Is 90% clean form ok, or should it be totally avoided ?
- Have I begun too high and maybe should start back at like 110 or 115kg, in a more "easy strength" fashion, favoring very clean reps ?



Also, the program doesn't give precise sets and reps, I'm going for 3*3 for now. I've been thinking maybe alternating 3*3 at 120kg, 4*2 at 125kg, 6*1 at 130 could be a good idea...
I am doing some careful low volume plyometrics following sets, as said.

I plan to deadlift 2 to 3 times per week, with 3*3 clean and jerk, and light core work.
On off days (no badminton nor deadlift), I'll do light swings (10*6 on the minute interpersed with light core work, progressing slowly in an easy strength non-struggling fashion).

Let me know what you think, and if you did it I'll be very interested to read about your experience ! :)
Thanks.

Tom
 
Last edited:

jonnyt

Second Post
Hi :)

I'm 32, 75kg, 181cm, serious amator badminton player (about 2 to 3 training sessions a week for the last 20 years).

I'm looking to improve my deadlift. I'm ok to take in some reasonnable fatigue and not be 100% in my sport for the next 6 months, but not go extreme either. I'm quite seduced by the idea of focusing on this strong lift and keep the other exercises minimal. At least until I'm stronger.
My deadlift max is about 145kg at the moment. I'm pulling (half-)sumo.

After reading a lot about it, I really want to give this Barry Ross protocol a try.

"Deadlift every session, 2-3 sets of 2-3 reps @ 85-95% 1RM, TIMED
  1. Plyometrics at the end of each set, within 1 minute of set completion
    1. Usually depth jumps from varying heights but occasionally used stand triple jump or long jump, generally 6 jumps or less. The focus is on delivering maximum strength in minimum time."
From what I've read on the subject, Barry recommend that every lift should be heavy but easy, with steady speed and without any significant sticking point. I understand that minimal instructions similar to some of Pavel's are so for a reason. But I may use a little more guidance. My hope is that some of you have been riding this program and can tell me about how you did it :).

I've started doing 3*3 at 120kg (about 83% of 145) for the first 3 sessions (+ some plyometrics as instructed). The second session felt 100% clean reps (That's how it felt for the not perfect at all lifter that I am, off course), then on the third session I just kept the same weight and felt more like 90% clean...
Which makes me come here for these questions :
- Is it how the program should be and thus I should keep at it until it feels easier, and then go up by 2.5kg ? Or said otherwise, Is 90% clean form ok, or should it be totally avoided ?
- Have I begun too high and maybe should start back at like 110 or 115kg, in a more "easy strength" fashion, favoring very clean reps ?



Also, the program doesn't give precise sets and reps, I'm going for 3*3 for now. I've been thinking maybe alternating 3*3 at 120kg, 4*2 at 125kg, 6*1 at 130 could be a good idea...
I am doing some careful low volume plyometrics following sets, as said.

I plan to deadlift 2 to 3 times per week, with 3*3 clean and jerk, and light core work.
On off days (no badminton nor deadlift), I'll do light swings (10*6 on the minute interpersed with light core work, progressing slowly in an easy strength non-struggling fashion).

Let me know what you think, and if you did it I'll be very interested to read about your experience ! :)
Thanks.

Tom
He changed the protocol after this article was written. The plyometric sessions were ditched. The revisions can be found in his book, "Underground Secrets for Faster Running." You can also find info on his Bearpowered Training site: Bearpowered.com - Bearpowered Training.

Ross retired some years ago, but his site is still being run by one of his associates. The plan was basically designed for high school athletes in-season work, which does not imply it won't work for you, especially since you have just begun training. For an experienced deadlifter, however, the percentages are too high imho.
 

Tom87

Double-Digit Post Count
Thank you :). I went through a lot of posts of the forum you're talking about, and indeed read that he stopped doing plyos...
I thought I'm not having all the explosive training as the athletes he were training (IE it makes sense that sprinters wouldn't need as much jumping as the sprinting they already do is considered the most demanding of all plyo training), I may benefit from keeping the plyometrics..?
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
3*3 will work at 85% but it is a lot of work at 90%. Not to say 2*2 at 95%.

For a basic idea of set/rep schemes have a look at the Prilepin's chart. For grinds I would say less reps is usually better. But it also depends on training frequency.

But I would suspect that a program like this is meant for a specific short term strength block in the off season for young athletes. Not a long term plan, and the demographic may also influence the program.
 

Tom87

Double-Digit Post Count
You're very right when you say the percentage as written must be too high. It's used all season and not short term, but not in a forceful manner as I had written above :

Barry Ross used to work according to a virtual max. As it was estimated based on the number of reps successfully done at a given weight (2 reps=95%, 3-4 reps=90%, 5-7 reps=85%), AND all reps were supposed to feel "confortably heavy but easy, without any significant sticking point", I guess the Vmax was in fact largely smaller than a "competition max" and was maybe closer to a "very clean daily max"...I overlooked that parameter and now understand why the percentage I was working with didn't seem to match the "easy strength" philosophy that Barry Ross used for that program. That's why I couldn't see how 3x3 at 85% was harder for me than it was supposed to according to the program.

I am concluding this program is to be used in an easy strength manner, take a confortably heavy weight for 3x3 that feels "easy and clean", work with that until it feels even easier, only then add some weight (which should be easy too at this point). I'm going to ditch percentages, go back to 115kg which always feels good for me, for 3x3, and only go up as it starts feeling easier. It should be better :).

Thank you.

Thomas
 

Alan Mackey

More than 300 posts
3*3 will work at 85% but it is a lot of work at 90%. Not to say 2*2 at 95%.

For a basic idea of set/rep schemes have a look at the Prilepin's chart. For grinds I would say less reps is usually better. But it also depends on training frequency.

But I would suspect that a program like this is meant for a specific short term strength block in the off season for young athletes. Not a long term plan, and the demographic may also influence the program.
My current routine kind of uses Barry Ross' program as a base template... but using wave loading.
 
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