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Barbell PTTP: Zercher Squats instead of Deadlifts?

James1520

Level 2 Valued Member
Hey All,

Just wondering your thoughts about replacing the DL’s in PTTP with Zercher Squats?

Goals are GPP with the plan to compete in the spring and fall TSC’s as a way to monitor progress.
I have decided to follow Brett Jones article
“To Every Season: A simple way to Structure A Year of Training”
Block 1: Q&D + Minimalist DL’s - Snatch Only
3x wk w/ pull-ups 2x week (FPP - spread out)
Block 2: Kettlebell STRONG: Clean & Press 3x wk
Block 3: PTTP: Zercher SQ & Bench Press (Swiss bar - friendlier on my shoulders) 3x wk
Block 4: Simple & Sinister 5x wk

With a variety of low volume swings, TGU’s, goblet squats and rucking mainly filling in my “off days”.

I’m not against deadlifting, I just figured with all the swings/snatches/cleans I was getting a lot of hip-hinge movements while the squat pattern is almost non-existent.
The Zercher should still have good carry-over when I go to do my TSC deadlift without demolishing myself with 3 months of deadlifting prior to.
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
Just wondering your thoughts about replacing the DL’s in PTTP with Zercher Squats?
I took a linear cycle of zercher, and I think I was doing 10 jumps from 135, to around 215. When I do that again, I'm going to take 5 lbs jumps especially since I feel like I'm still learning the lift. I took that 1 cycle and moved to deadlifts right after.

In any event, it made my thighs grow way more than I wanted, and I had to buy a new set of pants for work.

I found PTTP with zercher squats to be very profitable.
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
I think the zercher squat is a great, great exercise and I think your reasoning is sound.

However, de-emphasizing the negative on the deadlift likely makes it easier to recover from than the zercher squat and thus perhaps a better choice for high frequency and volume of PTTP.
 

James1520

Level 2 Valued Member
I took a linear cycle of zercher, and I think I was doing 10 jumps from 135, to around 215. When I do that again, I'm going to take 5 lbs jumps especially since I feel like I'm still learning the lift. I took that 1 cycle and moved to deadlifts right after.

In any event, it made my thighs grow way more than I wanted, and I had to buy a new set of pants for work.

I found PTTP with zercher squats to be very profitable.
Thanks, I just realized it was one of your older posts that gave me the idea to swap the DL for the Zercher in the first place.
 

James1520

Level 2 Valued Member
I think the zercher squat is a great, great exercise and I think your reasoning is sound.

However, de-emphasizing the negative on the deadlift likely makes it easier to recover from than the zercher squat and thus perhaps a better choice for high frequency and volume of PTTP.
Good point, I think that’s part of Pavel’s instruction for the lift as well - Plus if I start changing the program/lifts then I’m not actually doing the program.
I just watched a video Steve F had recommended from Gray Cook (FMS) and it shed a new light on the subject for me as well - I’ll stick with the DL’s and just use goblet squats to maintain the movement pattern.
Thanks!
 

Manuel Fortin

Level 6 Valued Member
I've been doing PTTP Zerchers for 3 months now (alternating 2 weeks block of PTTP Zerchers+TGUs and A+A snatching + pushups - more to report on this in a few months), and I really like it. What I found though, is that for me, when I got above body weight in my first set, sets of 5 were taking a lot out of me. However, I do much more than just Zerchers. I also do daily TGUs and about 2 hours of zone 2 running a week, plus some tennis-related drills that involve jumps. Also, I'm 50 with a family and a business, so my recovery is not what it used to be.

In any case, I just switched to sets of 3 instead of 5. So, instead of 10 squats a day 5 times a week I now do 6 squats a day 5 times a week. We'll see if I keep on progressing. I have no idea if this will work or not as I switched 2 days ago. All I can say is that I feel much fresher.
 

Manuel Fortin

Level 6 Valued Member
I took a linear cycle of zercher, and I think I was doing 10 jumps from 135, to around 215. When I do that again, I'm going to take 5 lbs jumps especially since I feel like I'm still learning the lift. I took that 1 cycle and moved to deadlifts right after.
I really like waving the load in PTTP (that's hidden somewhere in the book). For example, the weight of my first set would look like this (each number is one day of training, the second set is 10% less):
145;165;185;155;175;195;165;185;205...

Each new max is only 10 pounds heavier than the previous one, but done with 2 days of lighter loads in between, with sometimes two rest days inserted over the weekend. As a plus, when your "mini-cycle" gets to the point where your "easy" day is your previous max, from some time ago, you really get that you are progressing. This is a huge reward.
 
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