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Arien Malec
05-09-2008, 11:42 AM
Following on the recent dueling articles in PM and the CFJ on high bar vs low bar squats, I'd like to pose a question I've wondered about.

Rip and others argue for using max effort deadlifts to build a strength base which can be applied to speed-strength in the olympic lifts.

The weightlifting routines I've seen and been coached on prescribe clean and snatch deadlifts that

a) are only slightly in excess of the lifter's best clean/snatch
b) have movement patterns in line with the clean and snatch movements

I've got two basic questions:

1) What's the point of doing a clean deadlift at 105% of your clean vs. just doing clean pulls, which better mimic the movement patterns of the first and second pull, work directly on speed-strength, and have the same overload characteristics
2) What's so wrong with doing max effort, anything goes deadlifts to build basic strength?

John Alston
05-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Well, I'd say if it's 105%, pull it.
If you can pull it with form that mimics your clean well, then I'd say pull it.

If you can't, then make it a deadlift, because you don't want to slow down your cleaning. This aversion to slow "clean pulls" is I think what drives people to avoid pulling weights a lot more than they can clean, with good reason.

Honestly, I have used very little deadlifts in my oly focused training over the last couple years. Mostly because my pulling has been relatively stronger than my pressing or squatting.
When it comes to pull phase work, I like the RDL a lot, along with surgs. Maybe I'm not the best guy to answer since I actually don't like most pulls much at all. It usually feels wrong to pull hard and not clean/snatch it.

I can't say that too much is wrong with big ass DL work. It will get you strong for sure. From my limited experience in training, and low use of the DL, I'd keep them to low volume, making sure my cleans are still snappy and in proper form.

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-09-2008, 12:00 PM
Arien,
I'm a novice olympic lifter, but a very very seasoned deadlifter. In studying what I've studied since I got into oly lifting last Fall, my guess is that the answer to your first question is to "hit the groove" with slightly more than ME clean/snatch weights. More than that would slow the movement and not stimulate the neural pathways correct or not imprint the speed necessary to obtain the proper benefit from the movement.

That said, and an my novice weightlifter's take on your second question is, "go for it." I deadlift once a week and I meter/wave it with my dynamic movements. If I'm going over 75% with my dynamic movements, I dead light. If I'm under 75% with my dynamic movements, I dead heavy. I also never do the same type of dead (sumo, conventional, snatch grip, conventional clean grip, rack pull) from weekly session to weekly session to keep my body guessing on the stimulus. I have an idea when I go into the session (ie., the type of pull), but I don't really know until I get about 495 on the bar on how heavy or what rep scheme I'm going to implement that day. I never do anything less than 3 to 5 reps though. Age has brought some semblance of wisdom.

Don't know if that helps at all. But it's what I do. It's working pretty well, but I'll likely continue to lighten it up as the years go on and focus more on the technical aspect of the speed necessary for what I'm trying to accomplish.

All the best,
Arden

Following on the recent dueling articles in PM and the CFJ on high bar vs low bar squats, I'd like to pose a question I've wondered about.

Rip and others argue for using max effort deadlifts to build a strength base which can be applied to speed-strength in the olympic lifts.

The weightlifting routines I've seen and been coached on prescribe clean and snatch deadlifts that

a) are only slightly in excess of the lifter's best clean/snatch
b) have movement patterns in line with the clean and snatch movements

I've got two basic questions:

1) What's the point of doing a clean deadlift at 105% of your clean vs. just doing clean pulls, which better mimic the movement patterns of the first and second pull, work directly on speed-strength, and have the same overload characteristics
2) What's so wrong with doing max effort, anything goes deadlifts to build basic strength?

Dave Van Skike
05-09-2008, 12:11 PM
I've heard Rip extole the virtures of progressive pulls, which I have to admit I love. But I'm not a weightlifter,

I train with several guys that deadlift so explosively anything under 80% with a little shrug on it would be an above the navel hi-pull. For one of those guys in particular that's like 495-515.

John Alston
05-09-2008, 12:28 PM
Arden, I like your ideas. Since my planned training is/will be 2 days oly, one "other" I might do something like that, some low volume DL.
But I just love to squat.

Arien Malec
05-09-2008, 12:38 PM
Great responses.

Arden -- Since you are scary strong, I'd figure your goal is to keep your strength base and grow speed-strength and the neurological pathways to allow your weightlifting to catch up to your base strength. I'm in a different boat: I'm well below my basic strength potential, and deads are a great way of building basic strength.

John -- I'm similar to you in being stronger in the pull than in the squat (I'm an intermediate in rip's strength chart for the dead, but only a novice in the back squat and press), but not particularly strong in any.

So maybe I want to separate the question:

For someone who is lacking a strength base, is there anything wrong with adding max effort deads (doubles, triples, single sets of 5) as part of an overall weightlifting program?

I'm liking the answer "go for it" :-)

John Alston
05-09-2008, 12:46 PM
Right on.
Just curious about some of our numbers across lifts. I know Arden pulls big!

My best clean (missed the jerk) is 115kg (252#), best back squat (ATG upright high bar oly style) a 300lb single, but I don't think I've pulled more than 315# off the floor before, not having tried more than that one time. I've RDL'ed 255# for sets of 5 but that was a while ago. Actually, all these numbers are more than what I could do right now. Sigh...

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-09-2008, 12:47 PM
Arden, I like your ideas. Since my planned training is/will be 2 days oly, one "other" I might do something like that, some low volume DL.
But I just love to squat.


John,
I hear you on the squats. I'm growing very fond of them myself. Moreso than in the past.

My current program has me day 1 - block snatches, ohs, snatch pulls, kettle bell presses; day 2 - event training day; 3 - squat cleans, push presses, front squats, and clean pulls; day 4 - event training day; 5 - snatches, clean and jerks, back squats, then my deadlifts; day 6 -event training. Day 7 - off or light event training.

I had to back off in recent weeks because my event training sessions were taking a lot out of me. But I've grown to love doing three different squat workouts during a week long microcyle. In the past, I'd squat once a week; and dead once a week. Since I started doing it three times a week (granted it's all metered and waved), my knees, hips, etc. feel much better and I feel fresher going into each session. I think it also helps that I keep all my reps under 5. I no longer care about hypertrophy, but if there is some I really don't mind. At this stage, I'm happy to say there is no longer any semblance of cellulite anywhere below my glorious love handles. :o Middle age has not been kind to me.

Related to this thread, in times past I would not recommend pulling more than once a week; but, in reality, the programs I've followed the past eight months, I've been pulling 3 times a week also. Just differently and metered or waved. I wish I would have learned about training like this a long time ago. It's way more athletic and less mirror-letic. That's a good thing in my book.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-09-2008, 12:58 PM
Arien,
thanks so much f or you kind words. I'm far from scary strong, just lots of years in iron game under my belt. But you hit the nail on the head, I'm trying to grow speed strength or lessen my "speed strength deficit."

To answer your question, I think you've already answered it. Go for it. Just be mindful of the need for your body to get alternating stimulus - and not going to failure session after session. To be very frank, rack pulls, with straps, and holding the phucker for static holds is one of the best "strength potential" builders I've ever encountered. Same goes for 1/4 squats out of high pins. But only do them every two to three weeks because your body wasn't meant to undergo that much stress that often.

The big thing I've learned over the years is don't train to failure. Always leave something in the tank. And also remember to take the planned "few steps back" in order to make some gradual steps forward.

Good luck. Let us know how it works out.

All the best,
Arden

Great responses.

Arden -- Since you are scary strong, I'd figure your goal is to keep your strength base and grow speed-strength and the neurological pathways to allow your weightlifting to catch up to your base strength. I'm in a different boat: I'm well below my basic strength potential, and deads are a great way of building basic strength.

John -- I'm similar to you in being stronger in the pull than in the squat (I'm an intermediate in rip's strength chart for the dead, but only a novice in the back squat and press), but not particularly strong in any.

So maybe I want to separate the question:

For someone who is lacking a strength base, is there anything wrong with adding max effort deads (doubles, triples, single sets of 5) as part of an overall weightlifting program?

I'm liking the answer "go for it" :-)

John Alston
05-09-2008, 01:11 PM
THis is a good thread to read at the end of the week with a date with the iron only 2 hours away.

And yeah Arden, it might not be training for hypertrophy, but it's nice when it comes, and somehow, it's even better quality than the hypertrophy you get when you train for it.

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-09-2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks John,
I am a born puller who's very simian in appearance- long arms, short legs, and a short torso. I don't do low reps ME sets anymore. The last time I singled anything of significance was last February training with Phil when I stood up with 775. Since that time, per the insistence of my wife, I have not pulled anything over 625 (her exact words were "you're a lumberjack, not a strongman; if you get hemmorroids I don't wanna hear about it." :D ).

My best power clean starting last fall was 275. And boy was it a slow reverse curl. Right now, I reckon I could squat clean that pretty easy and probably power clean somewhere in the low 3s. I haven't gone anywhere near a max and played with 315 for a few reps back in December. I'm still learning to pull myself under the bar with weights that push me. Part of me wants to stick with the more comfortable weights until I get closer to mastering the technique.

I've ditched all supportive gear in the squats. I set a PR a few days ago in the front squat holding it in a rack position. I got 385. I can "cross your heart" a lot more than that, but I want to get the flexibility in my wrist and shoulders. I dumped 405 during the same session. I think my daughters and I are going to do a weighlifting comp at East Coast Gold in Moorestown this Fall. Oh boy.

On the back squats, I haven't gone over 455 in years. Could go calves on hammys for a few reps I reckon, but I don't know. It's been a while. I really don't know if I want to anymore.

All the best,
Arden

Right on.
Just curious about some of our numbers across lifts. I know Arden pulls big!

My best clean (missed the jerk) is 115kg (252#), best back squat (ATG upright high bar oly style) a 300lb single, but I don't think I've pulled more than 315# off the floor before, not having tried more than that one time. I've RDL'ed 255# for sets of 5 but that was a while ago. Actually, all these numbers are more than what I could do right now. Sigh...

John Alston
05-09-2008, 01:17 PM
Thanks John,

I've ditched all supportive gear in the squats. I set a PR a few days ago in the front squat holding it in a rack position. I got 385. I can "cross your heart" a lot more than that, but I want to get the flexibility in my wrist and shoulders. I dumped 405 during the same session. I think my daughters and I are going to do a weighlifting comp at East Coast Gold in Moorestown this Fall. Oh boy.


All the best,
Arden

Good lifts, man, inspiring stuff.
I am a NYC fellow but haven't made it out to a single Jersey meet yet. Will try to make that one. First oly comp? Comps are a blast. Shit, I been outta da loop too long...

Gant Grimes
05-09-2008, 01:37 PM
Good thread, guys. It also says something about sometimes over-emphasizing the things you like to do, and damn I love to deadlift and back squat.

Maybe that's why I can power clean 10kg more than I squat clean and power snatch about 20 kg more than I can OHS.

Gant Grimes
05-09-2008, 01:40 PM
The last time I singled anything of significance was last February training with Phil when I stood up with 775. Since that time, per the insistence of my wife, I have not pulled anything over 625 (her exact words were "you're a lumberjack, not a strongman; if you get hemmorroids I don't wanna hear about it." :D ).


My wife and I fight about the usual stupid things. Just once I wish I could come home and hear, "listen honey, I'm tired of you deadlifting damn near 800 pounds. If I catch you doing anything over 650 I'm out of here!"

Strong stuff, big man.

Arien Malec
05-09-2008, 01:43 PM
Right on.
Just curious about some of our numbers across lifts.

Best atg back squat is 230#, fs 195, best dl is 305 but tested a long time ago. Last time I tried, I had grip failure. Going to try for a single tomorrow...

Best clean is 150#, c&j, 145#.

RDL: never tried for a max -- did 195x8x3 a while ago

John Alston
05-09-2008, 02:03 PM
Word.
Yeah, RDL's I don't like for maxing, just a set of 3-5. I always throw in an equal number of power surgs after each set. Toe push and snap to the ears!

Yuen Sohn
05-10-2008, 04:00 PM
John -- I'm similar to you in being stronger in the pull than in the squat (I'm an intermediate in rip's strength chart for the dead, but only a novice in the back squat and press), but not particularly strong in any.

So maybe I want to separate the question:

For someone who is lacking a strength base, is there anything wrong with adding max effort deads (doubles, triples, single sets of 5) as part of an overall weightlifting program?

I'm liking the answer "go for it" :-)

I've had good experience incorporating clean/snatch deadlifts, but I've only ever gone up to ~110% of max clean/snatch. Great confidence builder if the 1st pulls tend to feel heavy.

You may have seen this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b_Eewz0DII) of Kendrick Farris snatch deadlifting 230kg for 5 which I think is about 150% of his best snatch. So I'd say there's definitely merit in going heavy, depending on the individual of course.

On the subject of relative numbers, you will all laugh at me, but the most I've ever pulled from the floor (about 2 years into strength/Oly training) is 120kg. My max clean is 110, clean and jerk is 108, front squat is 117.5. I haven't maxed out the back squat recently, but that has always been pretty close to my front squat. Could I benefit from a better strength base? Most definitely. I've spent a bit too much time thinking about technique/efficiency and not nearly enough on the strength component!

btw, here's another pretty extensive discussion of deadlifting as it applies to Olympic lifting:
http://goheavy.com/forums/olympic/index.cgi/read/64281

Arien Malec
05-10-2008, 05:27 PM
btw, here's another pretty extensive discussion of deadlifting as it applies to Olympic lifting:
http://goheavy.com/forums/olympic/index.cgi/read/64281

Interesting discussion -- seems like the gathering there go somewhere between fearing deads (trains slow) and using light deads (up to 120% of clean), but no consensus for heavy deads. I'm not sure I understand -- if you are going to do assistance training for strength, why not use the exercise that builds the most strength?

OTOH, I'm thinking Gant's ultimately right -- perhaps this is about doing what I'm good at rather than what is best for me.

Given that my back squat is about 70% of deadlift, that's the strength area I should be working on, and that's ultimately behind jerk technique, snatch technique, clean technique, and upper body strength (when I max on OHS, it's the shoulders and traps that limit me), in that order, as overall limits to my core lifts.

I had my gratifying max effort deadlift day today (PR by 15#s) so back to the much more frustrating grind of working the items above :)

Greg Everett
05-11-2008, 06:24 PM
Arien -

I've only skimmed this thread, so forgive me if I'm completely off target. What I would add is simply that there is a big difference between a max effort deadlift and a max effort clean deadlift (not to mention snatch DL). With the former, anything goes - leading with the hips, rounded back, whatever - essentially all that matters is getting the bar up. With a deadlift used specifically for weightlifting, positioning is critical, and loads that exceed your ability to maintain correct pulling posture (as defined for the clean and snatch, not DL) are defeating the purpose. It's surprisingly common to find people with 400+ lb deadlifts who can even clean 200 lbs, and often who can't even maintain back extension during the pull.

Additionally, the more advanced a weightlifter, the greater % of strength he or she will be able to apply to the lifts; that is, the gap between deadlift and clean/snatch will diminish. This is not an issue of less strength, but of better application. When technique is the limiting factor, the numbers can seem far off for strength work.

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-12-2008, 08:32 AM
Arien -
Additionally, the more advanced a weightlifter, the greater % of strength he or she will be able to apply to the lifts; that is, the gap between deadlift and clean/snatch will diminish. This is not an issue of less strength, but of better application. When technique is the limiting factor, the numbers can seem far off for strength work.

This soooooo sounds like me, but in the reverse. Can pull lots, but clean/snatch are way behind. Technique is completely the limiting factor. It's for that reason, I've dedicated to learning the movements from the top down and never going anywhere near my max until I'm more confident with the full movements.

As always, Greg's insite is unreal. I would so love to go to one of his seminars or getting a training session under his watchful eyes.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-12-2008, 08:36 AM
Arien -

I've only skimmed this thread, so forgive me if I'm completely off target. What I would add is simply that there is a big difference between a max effort deadlift and a max effort clean deadlift (not to mention snatch DL). With the former, anything goes - leading with the hips, rounded back, whatever - essentially all that matters is getting the bar up. With a deadlift used specifically for weightlifting, positioning is critical, and loads that exceed your ability to maintain correct pulling posture (as defined for the clean and snatch, not DL) are defeating the purpose. It's surprisingly common to find people with 400+ lb deadlifts who can even clean 200 lbs, and often who can't even maintain back extension during the pull.


Greg,
What does "who can't maintain back extension during the pull." I'm not quite grasping that concept. Do you mean that a 400+ dler can clean 200 while using the "things" (leading with the hips, rounded back) you mention above? When I think of "maintain back extension", I think of shoulders forward, back arched, lats tight, triceps tight (crushing the chip between arms and lats), hips and shoulders rising at the same time with shoulders in front of the bar, and pulling from the heels until in the scoop position. Am I close?

All the best,
Arden

Dave Van Skike
05-12-2008, 04:36 PM
I've had good experience incorporating clean/snatch deadlifts, but I've only ever gone up to ~110% of max clean/snatch. Great confidence builder if the 1st pulls tend to feel heavy.

You may have seen this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b_Eewz0DII) of Kendrick Farris snatch deadlifting 230kg for 5 which I think is about 150% of his best snatch. So I'd say there's definitely merit in going heavy, depending on the individual of course.

On the subject of relative numbers, you will all laugh at me, but the most I've ever pulled from the floor (about 2 years into strength/Oly training) is 120kg. My max clean is 110, clean and jerk is 108, front squat is 117.5. I haven't maxed out the back squat recently, but that has always been pretty close to my front squat. Could I benefit from a better strength base? Most definitely. I've spent a bit too much time thinking about technique/efficiency and not nearly enough on the strength component!

btw, here's another pretty extensive discussion of deadlifting as it applies to Olympic lifting:
http://goheavy.com/forums/olympic/index.cgi/read/64281


Nice link.

I have never had luck with my dead translating to any other bar movement...Nor have my power cleans translated to my dead ala Bill Starr.

Squats, mediumish bar placement, athletic stance (Rippatoe style) seem to translate to everyhting. If my back squat is moving up, so is my front squat and deadlift, so is are my RDL and hi pulls.

I am no olympic lifter and when I do variants it's always a power versions or a hi pulls, done really light (185-225) for explosion. These translate directly to weird stuff like keg loading, atlas stones and tire which are done with weights well in excess of what I can clean.

The thing about the deadlift..(I've been lifting and watching some good deadlifters) is that it requires lots of patience..I think to do it well, you have to be able to grind through the sticking points. I know those that espouse the dip and rip pull but I think it's more about individual morphology than anyhting else. most of us humans need to grind our deads. It sure seem that if you get a strong Oly lifter deadlifting 500 for a slow grindy triple, that's not going to help.

OTOH there's K. (My Way) Ferris doing nice smooth pulls in a snatch grip in that same neighborhood....I love watching that guy.