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View Full Version : 2X BW DL W/O Heavy Deadlifts


R. Alan Hester
07-28-2007, 07:50 PM
Can one pull a double bodyweight deadlift without doing heavy deads, instead doing fast pulls and KB swings. Mark Twight raised that issue on his website some time back when he questioned the conventional approach to building deadlift strength. . Also, Mike Mahler, who has not touched a barbell in years, recently started doing barbell deadlifts after years of KB swings, snatches, and C&P and he is pulling 2XBW out of the gate.

How is this? Is it that fast, explosive movements recruit more motor units, thereby allowing one to call on those when attempting a max effort? If so, why do we labor under heavy weight?

Mark Twight’s link:
http://www.gymjones.com/schedule.php?date=20070711

Mike Mahler’s workout log:
http://www.irongarmx.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=321&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=325&sid=1d9b23270a086fd745a72518a673e9c3

Steven Low
07-28-2007, 09:30 PM
Yes. High level (male) gymnasts tend to be able to as well through training of high plyometric moments in vault, tumbling and rings. I started out around 1.5x bodyweight and worked my way up to 2x bodyweight in about 5 or so DL workouts so it's not that bad.

And yes, fast explosive movements basically adapt your body to quickly recruit your high threshold motor units and then most likely preferentially cause those to hypertrophy as well.

I see no problem with laboring under heavy weight and actually like it. Nothing like the accomplishment of pulling heavy deads off the floor or other heavy weighted exercises. Although it is easier to get injured under those conditions I guess.

David Aguasca
07-29-2007, 12:17 PM
i don't know, but i'll let you know if it works for me.

i haven't been doing any fast pulls, but i have been doing litvinovs with double KB swings.

i DLed 235lbs, or 1.59x BW, in the first week of June. i'm trying to get to a 600lb CFT by the end of the year, so in about another month or two i'm going to start DLing again. hopefully there'll be a significant change in my 5RM at that time. i'm going to test my CFT near the end of december.

Robb Wolf
07-30-2007, 09:40 AM
What is the DL world record right now? I know some of the better Ol'ers are up in the 850-900 range, certainly knocking on that top end.

Some of my best and easiest DL'ing was on the heals of a lot of OL. I had an easy 2.5xbw...but this is from a base of PL years ago when I was at a 3.1xBW.

I think Josh Everett is at like a 3.15xBW and is "just" an Olifter.

Interesting stuff to be sure although Mark Twights comment on the development of the DL sounds a lot like some material that people have crucified Glassman about...

Dave Van Skike
07-30-2007, 02:06 PM
What is the DL world record right now? I know some of the better Ol'ers are up in the 850-900 range, certainly knocking on that top end.

Some of my best and easiest DL'ing was on the heals of a lot of OL. I had an easy 2.5xbw...but this is from a base of PL years ago when I was at a 3.1xBW.

I think Josh Everett is at like a 3.15xBW and is "just" an Olifter.

Interesting stuff to be sure although Mark Twights comment on the development of the DL sounds a lot like some material that people have crucified Glassman about...


Here's my meta take on the whole to DL or not Dl, .... Dl is a simple lift, not super technical and an excellent measure of all around strength. That said, physiologically it's freakishly complex with almost every flexor and extensor in the body being asked to work in a coordinated fashion at close to peak output. I think that is why you consistently hear from high level deadlifters that it is draining on the CNS....

Now, some people can DL often and to great effect, others need to use assistance exercises in lieu of the DL,

some have claimed that they can train someone into a 500 plus pound DL, lifting only a couple times a year. Others have claimed that high rep KB swings will do the trick.....

dubious claims both. it's not that it can't happen, it's that I'd take even money or worse odds that you can't replicate this success across a broad population. of otherwise "normal" people.

Mark seems to be saying....

"One of our seminar students pulled a 450# Deadlift at a bodyweight of 160#. His DL training diet consisted of a high volume of fast pulls at an average of 135# with his heaviest lifts done at 185#. Quite an interesting result, which causes one to ask a few questions about what works and why."

Bingo....We're not sure why it works, but it seems like it does.....call it the "WTH effect", the black box or deadlift voodoo....

For my money, I'd look at what has consistently produced results that we can understand.

Deadlifting to get better at Deadlifting. makes sense.

Deadlifting less frequently with focus on assistance exercises to build weak points.

OL lifting.. it's a hard dynamic pull using all the same muscles and many of the same neural pathways....makes sense.

Don't do DL, focus on hi pulls and heavy swings.......maybe but I'd bet on the other three if I wanted a big DL. If i didn't care one way or the other, then no harm no foul....do what you like and test DL from time to time...but don't pull a Waterbury and claim you discovered a new system of DL training. Not that Mark is doing this, he seems to be making a fairly common observation.

Steve Shafley
07-30-2007, 06:11 PM
Deadlifts can go up from overall strengthening to a point. Then it's specialized strengthening, based on shoring up the weak points of the lift.

It's not one, or the other, it's both, plus a whole bunch of other crap.

William Hunter
07-30-2007, 06:43 PM
I believe the DL record is just over 1000 lbs

John Alston
07-31-2007, 07:57 AM
Also, Mike Mahler, who has not touched a barbell in years, recently started doing barbell deadlifts after years of KB swings, snatches, and C&P and he is pulling 2XBW out of the gate.


Let's remember that Mahler put in the years a while back so his "right out of the gate" is already built on a serious, long term platform higher than most people will ever have.

James R. Climer
07-31-2007, 01:59 PM
I never tried to DL more than 265 in my
life before starting CF in Aug. 2004

By October 04 I had 400 lbs @ BW 205
with no specific training beyond the WOD,
and I haven't budged my squat above
315 in all that time. The deadlift just
seems to feel more natural to me.

James R. Climer
07-31-2007, 02:03 PM
BTW, Anyone here ever try to run the mile
in sub-5 minutes and get a 2.5x BW DL
on the same day?

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/25/44989.html

Sam Cannons
07-31-2007, 02:23 PM
I went from a rather crap DL of 110kg to 140kg with only kettlebells and an olympic bar with two 10kg plates.

I am a bit off both but i have only just (yesturday) pull a 2xBW that was 160kg @ 80kg BW and can do a 6min mile. So how about this one for the less advanced athletes..... 2xBW DL and a 6Min Mile.

Robb Wolf
07-31-2007, 03:05 PM
Any distance longer than 100m seems too far to me...not fond of running!

Just as a point of clarification: The original statement from Coach Glassman was (paraphrasing here) hitting the DL~1x/week amidst general training, typically at high heart rate and only pulling max efforts a few times each year.

He provided a bracket of 500-750 lbs which has caused some incredulity among many folks. On that topic I saw a specific individual pull a 695x2 DL like it had helium in it. This guy is not your average schlep...but that is where THAT claim came from.

I have certainly benefited from high rep OL's, can't say I've seen direct effects of KB's although I've never delved into them exclusively for that long.

Interesting topic.

Allen Yeh
08-01-2007, 04:44 AM
BTW, Anyone here ever try to run the mile
in sub-5 minutes and get a 2.5x BW DL
on the same day?

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/25/44989.html

I can't even run a sub 5 minute mile in my dreams.

Steve Shafley
08-01-2007, 06:16 AM
2x bw DL is where things start to get interesting. In fact, my DL generally sits right here until I start doing things with it, but then again, I'm running 265# or so.

I really think that the vast majority of folks can get here in a reasonable amount of time. And I also think that for many it's an unconscious fear of the weight that keeps them beneath it.

Those with power-biased athletic backgrounds tend to be less afraid of the heavy weight, and will get there more quickly.

DLing around 405, if you've never been there, can get a bit scary. I remember that from my own ascent.

For the record, it took me 6 weeks to go from 315 to 405. 2 weeks to go from 405 to 445, and maybe 6 months after that to go to the big 495 (5 plates a side). Then it took me 2 years to get to 570, and that's as far as I got. I sit at right around 535 until I push it. I really need to improve this lift.

You need to practice the lift itself, but you also need solid, grinding posterior chain building exercises like the GM, SLDL, and RDL, and getting the quick lifts up (PC, PS, HPs) is a nice trick too.

Daniel Myers
08-01-2007, 06:24 AM
The difficulty of 2xBW depends a lot on the bodyweight. I'd definitely believe a lightweight guy could pull 300-350 with only general strengthening and a little technical practice. I don't remember exact numbers, but I lifted close to 1.5xBW the first time I really tried, and I hadn't done any serious leg or back work before then. That jives with what was said earlier in the thread.

I'd be surprised if kettlebells (or light fast pulls) alone could reliably get the average person over 500.

-Ross Hunt
08-01-2007, 12:39 PM
My DL sits a bit over double right now from just oly lifting with no deadlifting whatsoever (180 kilos @ ~85-90 post-workout). But I am built to pull.

Just oly lifting means doing clean pulls w/ up to 140 sometimes, though, overloading the bottom end of the DL through leg training, and overloading the top end through power and pull work... So this does not really answer your question about light KB and barbell work.

John Alston
08-01-2007, 01:23 PM
This thread is really making me want to test my dead again soon. My best clean is 105kg (231lbs) at around 80kg bdywt, best power clean is 100kg, and best DL is 315#, which seems low in relation. I have done DLs once in the last year or so, when I got the 315#, aboud 45lb short of 2*bw. Maybe next weekend, during the team retreat/outdoor lifting camp...

Rob, agreement on running more than 100m.

Dave Van Skike
08-01-2007, 01:36 PM
This thread is really making me want to test my dead again soon. My best clean is 105kg (231lbs) at around 80kg bdywt, best power clean is 100kg, and best DL is 315#, which seems low in relation. I have done DLs once in the last year or so, when I got the 315#, aboud 45lb short of 2*bw. Maybe next weekend, during the team retreat/outdoor lifting camp...

Rob, agreement on running more than 100m.

Ha. You have 160k in you right now. Easy.

Russell Greene
08-01-2007, 11:58 PM
That mile and dead challenge would be right up my alley. I've already done a 5:12 mile and pulled 395 at 175. Forty odd pounds on the dead and 13 seconds on the mile seems pretty doable within 8 months to a year.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
08-02-2007, 10:03 AM
Yes it is possible. IN an old article Bill Starr wrote how he managed to pull 600+ without deadlifting until the meet.

Another way to increase your deadlift without deadlifting heavy is using a CAT type program or EDT

Steve Shafley
08-02-2007, 10:09 AM
Here's the ORIGINAL BILL STARR NO DEADLIFT ROUTINE, archived from the now defunct APLE site.

http://web.archive.org/web/20031026023702/http://www.americanpowerliftevolution.net/New+Folder+1969/dlapproach1.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20060214162543/www.americanpowerliftevolution.net/New+Folder+1969/dlapproach2.html

Mark Joseph Limbaga
08-02-2007, 10:25 AM
Here's the ORIGINAL BILL STARR NO DEADLIFT ROUTINE, archived from the now defunct APLE site.

http://web.archive.org/web/20031026023702/http://www.americanpowerliftevolution.net/New+Folder+1969/dlapproach1.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20060214162543/www.americanpowerliftevolution.net/New+Folder+1969/dlapproach2.html


Steve, can you by any chance find the Bill Starr article showing how to improve your bench without bnching that much?

Steve Shafley
08-02-2007, 10:45 AM
I really don't think there was one.

Let me do a quick look, though.

Allen Yeh
08-03-2007, 08:17 PM
Thanks for the article Steve I may have to try that some time this winter...since my deadlift is stuck under 400. Going heavy on deads (for me) always ends up getting me injured it seems like.

The only thing in the article I'm hesitant about is the super heavy good mornings and making sure you round your back? That seems in my mind to be like a bad idea?

From the article he is saying this right?

2x's a week for 6 weeks
5 x 5 power cleans progressing to your max for 5
5 x 5 shrugs (seems to be more like a high rack pull?) working up to 50-100 + best deadlift ( the last 2 sets are 3?)
5 x 5 clean grip high pulls - progressing to your clean max ( the last 2 sets are for 3 reps?)
5 x 5 good mornings

Anton Emery
11-07-2007, 09:36 AM
This is a good discussion. As for as deadlifting without specifically training for it Ross Enamait recently pulled 495lbs.

http://rosstraining.com/blog/?p=190

He is obviously very string, snatching a 125lb dumbell, doing glute ham raises with multiple weight vests, pistols with additional weight.

I recently finished three weeks of heavy (for me) deadlifting, maxing out at 270lbs x 2 at a BW of 160lbs. I know its not much weight, but its the most i have ever done. I have trained the lift sporadically here and there, but never with much consistency. Before this i was doing Ross's 50 day program from Infinite Intensity. I am going to switch out my max effort exercise to something else for a few weeks, but i think i can hit double bodyweight by early next year. At 270lbs one of the limiting factors seemed to be my grip.

Anton

Mike ODonnell
11-07-2007, 10:43 AM
Try doing some snatch grip deadlifts while standing on an elevated platform. Much like a box squat it will teach you how to explode out of the "hole" while also attacking the most weak area for the most part. No need to go heavy, maybe work from 50-75% 1RM, but you will not be able to pull heavy from that depth anyways.

Anton Emery
12-18-2007, 12:28 PM
For the past few weeks i have been trying to add weight to my deadlift every strength workout. I have just been doing a simple strength routine once a week similar to what Robb Wolf talks about when training Glen Cordoza. I figured i would try something like this once a week and see how it meshed with my grappling training and conditioning.

3-5x3 deadlifts
3-5x3 weighted chins
3-5x3 weighted dips

Since i am leaving for the holidays tonight i wanted to test my max deadlift before taking a break. Managed to pull 300 for one rep. I realize my previous max of 270 could have been heavier. 300 was a total different kind of effort, i was straining so hard on the way up i couldn't really see to well. Grip also seemed to be a limiting factor, i didnt mix grip it. I was going to try, but it felt kind of wierd. I should work on that with lower weights. At 168lbs i think double BW is doable fairly soon, especially if i drop these few pounds of holiday food.

After the break i will switch it up for a different movement, perhaps squats or snatch grip DL's, then retest later.



Anton