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View Full Version : Gary's Half-Hour Deadlift Challenge


Allen Yeh
02-01-2010, 04:25 AM
From this article by Dan John and Chris Shugart:
http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/test_your_grit_3_challenges

The second challenge comes by way of my brother, Gary: Load the bar to 315 pounds. In the next half-hour, deadlift it as many times as you can.

Gary, a 61 year-old thrower, did 60 reps during his last attempt. He does doubles on the minute. I suggested that to insure less soreness (as if this were possible) do one rep every thirty seconds and drop the bar at the "top" lockout position on every deadlift.

That's right, drop every deadlift. You'll experience far less soreness this way.

I think it goes without saying to keep good posture here. The upside of challenges like this is that your technique actually improves over the workout and your capacity to work increases.

Now, if you can't deadlift 315, well, maybe that's the problem you're having right there!

Allen Yeh
02-01-2010, 04:27 AM
I did this on Friday and man I wish I was able to drop the bar every lift.

I ended up at 57 reps using a trap bar (for the first time).

Here are my notes:

I started off really well on course the first 10 minutes I was already at like 25 reps and I just wanted to keep a pace of 1 DL every 30 seconds, at the halfway point I thought it'd be a good idea to put a belt on. After the 20th minute I felt like I hit a wall, I just could not keep up the pace and then I got behind. In the last 3 minutes I could only get 1 with many attempts at trying to get to 60. I think having the ability to drop the weight would make a huge difference as I was lowering each one.
-I did some hypers after to get some blood flowing because even during the 30 minutes I could feel myself starting to stiffen up. My back from the back of my knees to my traps has been sore. Friday wasn't too horrible except when doing anything that required me to use my back or hamstrings! Saturday was a little worse, when I woke up Sunday though just rolling out of bed was an effort. Today everything is sore but not quite as stiff as it has been.

Derek Simonds
02-01-2010, 07:30 AM
You are an animal!

Grissim Connery
02-01-2010, 08:20 AM
that's pretty legit

Sköld Oskar
02-01-2010, 10:33 AM
Hi guy! I thought this so totally awesome and in context I thought I'd share it with you. I found the link on startingstrength.com, a guy doing 36 deadlifts at 315 lb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVvomorysx4

Blair Lowe
02-01-2010, 03:12 PM
Rough but interesting. Proof that the eccentric is killer in the DL.

Gary John
02-02-2010, 12:23 PM
This is the IGX challenge, that is where I got it.

When I did it last, was cruising along with doubles every 30 seconds, then switched to doubles every minute. At rep 58, felt a little something in my back, so I just stopped at 60. I believe that was at the 20-minute mark.

Lately, just screwing around with all kinds of ways. The dropping after each rep just sucks, cuz you can't get them in fast enough.

Starting with 4 sets of 5 on the minute is fun, then swtiching to doubles on the 30-second is nice for training. I don't go over 40 reps.

My goal is to get 61, but I'm not going to predict. Yesterday's training with 40 was a joke. Felt easy. When I actually do the challenge, going to have s pit crew to count, call out the time and slap the plates back tight.

Steve Shafley
02-02-2010, 12:31 PM
My dry run was 95 in 23 minutes.

Geoffrey Thompson
02-02-2010, 01:08 PM
I'm going to do this some time before March 1st. 315 is significant percentage of my current 1RM on the deadlift (not sure what that is right now, I haven't tested for a while). I'll do 10 minutes tonight, I was supposed to do a heavy set of five with not much more weight but I might as well do something more fun instead. Thank you, IGX and the Johns.

Jay Ashman
02-02-2010, 01:58 PM
I'm going to give this a roll within the next week. It will be a challenge. I've already pulled 315 for 38 in 2 minutes at a contest once but over a 30 minute time frame I have to pace it better (obviously)...

going to be fun

Allen Yeh
02-02-2010, 03:57 PM
My dry run was 95 in 23 minutes.

Basterd! you were suppose to wait a few more posts before embaressing the heck out of me! I already feel bad enough that I didn't even reach 60!

Steven Low
02-02-2010, 05:02 PM
I'll be working up to 315. That's like around 2.3x bodyweight for me.

Knee is finally ready for some heavy lifting. :)

Gary John
02-02-2010, 05:34 PM
Allen,

Shaf is working on a 600# dead. This is right in his wheelhouse.

Dominic Sirianni
02-02-2010, 05:47 PM
Pretty sure it's actually an IGX chalenge.

Gary John
02-02-2010, 06:09 PM
No shit, I've only posted that 1,000 times.

Jay Ashman
02-02-2010, 06:24 PM
Pretty sure it's actually an IGX chalenge.

he already said that ha... doesn't matter where it came from, its a helluva challenge.

That and the "Valeria" workout from T-Nation are two I am going to do.

Jay Ashman
02-02-2010, 06:25 PM
luckily my gym has bumper plates to use for this... dropping 315# of iron for 30 minutes may not be acceptable.

Steve Shafley
02-02-2010, 07:03 PM
I plan on doing this again to try to hit last years record of 113.

I did sets of 5 on the minute for 20 minutes. This was unsustainable for much longer than this. My HR would reach ~175-185 about 15s after I put the bar down.

Then I just went as I could.

Sets of 3 are smooth. There isn't nearly the ramp up on the heart rate. PL54 on IGx noted this as well.

Grip was fine, I did chalk up though every so often. I didn't wear a belt.

The DOMS from this lasted about 5 days.

Jay Ashman
02-02-2010, 07:37 PM
I plan on doing this again to try to hit last years record of 113.

I did sets of 5 on the minute for 20 minutes. This was unsustainable for much longer than this. My HR would reach ~175-185 about 15s after I put the bar down.

Then I just went as I could.

Sets of 3 are smooth. There isn't nearly the ramp up on the heart rate. PL54 on IGx noted this as well.

Grip was fine, I did chalk up though every so often. I didn't wear a belt.

The DOMS from this lasted about 5 days.
nice work man... I was thinking about 5 per minute for as long as I can... I can imagine how this will make me feel.

Gary John
02-02-2010, 08:01 PM
triples, gonna do that next workout. No way I'm going to get much past 60, unless, it is one of those days.

Don Stevenson
02-03-2010, 12:35 AM
This sounds like the kind of thing I might be stupid enough to try.

Generally I'm ok with low rep stuff but die a bit with higher reps.

I'll give it a go this coming monday and report back

Allen Yeh
02-03-2010, 04:08 AM
I plan on doing this again to try to hit last years record of 113.

I did sets of 5 on the minute for 20 minutes. This was unsustainable for much longer than this. My HR would reach ~175-185 about 15s after I put the bar down.

Then I just went as I could.

Sets of 3 are smooth. There isn't nearly the ramp up on the heart rate. PL54 on IGx noted this as well.

Grip was fine, I did chalk up though every so often. I didn't wear a belt.

The DOMS from this lasted about 5 days.


113? Holy crap What was that guys DL max?

I just felt like I was starting to get stiff during the 30 minutes and then I knew I'd been standing around too long. Maybe next time I'll give it a double or triple at the top of the minute. Trying to do one ever 30 seconds started to get not fun after the first 15 minutes. I felt like by the time I put the bar down, stood up and took a few breaths it wsa time to get back in place an pull again.

Steve Shafley
02-03-2010, 06:13 AM
mid 5s, I think.

Mike ODonnell
02-03-2010, 07:44 AM
315DLs for time would break my wheelhouse.

Dominic Sirianni
02-03-2010, 08:21 AM
I'm going to try this once my back heals up a little more.

Gary John
02-03-2010, 08:22 AM
First time I did it, I just did it. Didn't really feel that hard and there wasn't much after effects.

What I like and glad my brother threw this into his article, this is a total STFU and do it kind of thing. So, now, we have lots of people giving it a shot.

Gonna watch the numbers. I hope I don't see too many x-fitters posting they did 200-300 reps and did muscle-ups while resting.

Jay Ashman
02-03-2010, 09:28 AM
make it into a 30 min metcon... 5 pulls on the minute, do muscle-ups until the next minute. you know damn well someone is going to try that. :D

Amy Carson
02-04-2010, 07:09 AM
At first I thought this sounded like a horrible idea......then I became intrigued by it. Now I have to try it.

Curious, how close is 315 to your 1RM? Obviously I have to use a much, much lower weight :)

Gary John
02-04-2010, 08:33 AM
Amy,

For me 75-80%. For some doing this, 40-50%.

Over at IGX, we are using 185 for women.

Gant Grimes
02-04-2010, 08:44 AM
make it into a 30 min metcon... 5 pulls on the minute, do muscle-ups until the next minute. you know damn well someone is going to try that. :D

Let's not Couch this up, shall we?

These challenges are good. The push press was a dandy. I just have to figure out where I'm going to fit this in the 531. Probably 1s week.

Gant Grimes
02-04-2010, 08:45 AM
At first I thought this sounded like a horrible idea......then I became intrigued by it. Now I have to try it.

Curious, how close is 315 to your 1RM? Obviously I have to use a much, much lower weight :)

Amy, women have the annoying ability to pull a greater %age of their 1RM for more reps than guys.

Jay Ashman
02-04-2010, 09:40 AM
Let's not Couch this up, shall we?

These challenges are good. The push press was a dandy. I just have to figure out where I'm going to fit this in the 531. Probably 1s week.

that is my biggest concern... I may just push this in instead of doing deads in the last week of Feb. As long as that isn't my deload week, if so I'll do it the week before.

I'll film it as well for the hell of it.

Geoffrey Thompson
02-04-2010, 09:45 AM
Let's not Couch this up, shall we?

These challenges are good. The push press was a dandy. I just have to figure out where I'm going to fit this in the 531. Probably 1s week.

What's the push press one?

Kevin Perry
02-04-2010, 10:20 AM
I must try this soon...

Amy Carson
02-04-2010, 10:22 AM
Over at IGX, we are using 185 for women.

Oh sweet jesus...my 1RM is only 215. I think 185 would be a wee bit much...

Amy, women have the annoying ability to pull a greater %age of their 1RM for more reps than guys.

Ah yes, Gant, something to our advantage ;)

Brian Stone
02-04-2010, 10:57 AM
Goddamnit - if everyone else is doing this I'm going to have to.

315 is pretty high for me, as my 5RM is about 335 or so. I may drop to about 295 or sack up and go 315 for the pain.

Allen Yeh
02-04-2010, 11:35 AM
Sack up.

My 1RM for DL right now is probably 380 something as I've been fairly inconsistent the last few months.

Brian Stone
02-13-2010, 10:56 AM
Did this today at prescribed weight Got 47 reps. I also had to do the eccentric phase as I have no bumpers at my gym.

The worst immediate result is the damage to my hands. I have a feeling my opinion on that matter will be different tomorrow.

Gary John
02-13-2010, 03:44 PM
Nice work. I need to do this fairly soon. Having meets every weekend messes doing this up.

Gary John
02-14-2010, 04:33 PM
89 reps. The challege ends this month, so I did it today.

Doubles on the 30 for first 10 minutes
On the minute, until time was running out and threw in triples until the end.

Hope to never do this again. It was easy, but I think tomorrow will not be pleasant.

Allen Yeh
02-15-2010, 06:28 AM
Nice job Brian.

Damn Gary that is nuts.

Mike Kerce
02-15-2010, 12:25 PM
this is an awesome challenge....can't wait to give it a try myself. have to wait to get my own weights, but, so goes it. i'm saving this one for a weekend crusher.

Brian Stone
02-15-2010, 03:18 PM
I'm considering the 5 min farmer's walk challenge from the same article w/' recommended 85# DB's, but I don't really have a practical place to do it, as the perimeter of my gym won't work too well.

Matthieu Hertilus
02-18-2010, 11:40 AM
I'll be doing Gary's Deadlifting Challenge with Power Cleans (probably 185#) as my GPP session tomorrow - I'm pretty excited

Allen Yeh
02-18-2010, 12:20 PM
So as many 315 DL's in half an hour + 185# power cleans?


Um.....bad idea? I thought that the DL's were plenty as gpp.

Derek Weaver
02-18-2010, 12:42 PM
I think he just means 185 lb power cleans in 30 minutes. At least, I hope so.

I still think it's a bad idea. No offense.

Patrick Donnelly
02-18-2010, 12:52 PM
So as many 315 DL's in half an hour + 185# power cleans?


Um.....bad idea? I thought that the DL's were plenty as gpp.
I think he means using power cleans instead of deadlifts, rather than in addition to deadlifts, though I guess it really isn't an important difference.

One is like doing Dan John's "One Lift a Day Program" with two lifts per day, the other is like doing the V-Diet with solid food - both are entirely and indescribably wrong (so the difference is minimal), but they do manage to do it in different ways.


(Derek posted while I was reading and replying to the thread.)

Matthieu Hertilus
02-18-2010, 06:25 PM
I think he means using power cleans instead of deadlifts, rather than in addition to deadlifts, though I guess it really isn't an important difference.

One is like doing Dan John's "One Lift a Day Program" with two lifts per day, the other is like doing the V-Diet with solid food - both are entirely and indescribably wrong (so the difference is minimal), but they do manage to do it in different ways.


(Derek posted while I was reading and replying to the thread.)

I did in fact mean instead of plus since this is for gpp, i dont see why it would be such a bad idea

Scott Kustes
02-19-2010, 08:07 AM
High-rep Oly lifts = fatigued Oly lifts = reinforcing bad form.

Matthieu Hertilus
02-19-2010, 09:13 AM
Couldn't that be argued for any compound lift? I understand the argument; however, the focus of the session isn't on technical proficiency as this does not coincide with my long-term goals. I'm not saying form doesn't matter, it matters in all lifts, but i ask how many technically proficient o'lifts does anyone see in a "metcon" session when the focus is on conditioning, not being a weightlifter

Scott Kustes
02-19-2010, 09:27 AM
I think you'll find that those of us commenting on this also don't agree with Oly lifts as metcons, for the same reason.

Alex Bond
02-19-2010, 10:39 AM
Couldn't that be argued for any compound lift? I understand the argument; however, the focus of the session isn't on technical proficiency as this does not coincide with my long-term goals. I'm not saying form doesn't matter, it matters in all lifts, but i ask how many technically proficient o'lifts does anyone see in a "metcon" session when the focus is on conditioning, not being a weightlifter

The reasoning we can get away with high-rep deadlifts and not high-rep olys is that deadlifts are much simpler than olys. A deadlift is pretty much grab the bar, set your back, and stand up. Pretty simple, the only way fatigue will make you mess up is if you get too tired/lazy to set your back properly. Even the simplest oly-type lift, the power clean, is much more complicated. As you get tired, you will start shooting your hips up, pulling with your arms, muscling the bar up at the top, etc - tons of bad habits. When you try to do the low-rep stuff, those bad habits will carry over. Technical proficiency may not be one of your goals, but that doesn't mean it can be ignored. And if all you care about is care about is conditioning, you can get conditioned by either doing deadlifts or power cleans, so why do the one that might develop bad habits?

Matthieu Hertilus
02-19-2010, 11:56 AM
Good points Alex. Perhaps I phrased the nature of my particular session incorrectly. It ended up being 30 Power Cleans (= to my bodyweight of 75kg) in 30 minutes. So it was basically performing a single every minute. Not terribly exausting, but still a great way to add an extra session to my program that would be challenging without impeding on my primary training goals. Since I do a lot of heavy lifting during my other sessions, this is actually a nice break for me while still having the added benefit of improving my general work capacity, or just keep me doing something in between sessions.

I have a friend of mine, who is a coach, watch me train to see if/when form becomes a major issue. I believe the ability to recover and manage fatigue is crucial. If one can recover faster (physically and mentally), high reps of technical lifts have their place. I wouldn't think there's a hard and fast rule against them. Lastly, I think there's the issue of the intensity of the movement. Power cleans equal to my bodyweight isn't very taxing for me, but might be for someone else where everyone's argument against them has more relevance.

My point was not to argue with people on this matter. I used this one time, and may or may not do it again. If it fits with my training goals, and the cost to benefit ratio works in my favor (i.e. risk of injury, overtraining) then it works for me. It may not work for anyone else here but that's why everyone here as individualized programs I'm assuming, not to conform to hard and fast rules but to take those "rules" and see how they apply to you, your goals, at this stage in your training experience.

Gary John
02-20-2010, 08:37 AM
I like dead cuz they are simple.

Being civil here is almost impossible, but I try.

March 1st deadline, quit analyzing and pull.

Using the word metcom is a hate crime against lifting.


89 baby.

Michael McKenna
02-21-2010, 04:07 PM
Did mine today. 115 in 30 minutes.

Gary John
02-21-2010, 05:07 PM
You post over at IGX with that? Nice work.

It isn't all that hard. Just have to be strong enough that 315# is light.
I won't ever do that one again, but when I do, I'm starting with triples for the first 60.

Michael McKenna
02-21-2010, 06:30 PM
Gary, yeah, I did. It's where I found out about the challenge in the first place. Amazingly, I feel better than I have in months. 315 isn't a lot of weight for me, but I thought my conditioning would be a factor. It wasn't too bad after I got into it.

Clay Jones
02-21-2010, 07:43 PM
Using the word metcom is a hate crime against lifting.


Hilarious.

I'm in. Won't get 315, but I'll see how close I can get.

Brandon Oto
02-24-2010, 02:02 PM
64. Conventional, no negatives, all overhand, hook grip after about halfway through, belt. Hmm.

Don Stevenson
02-24-2010, 10:48 PM
90 reps @ 143kg/315#

triples for the first 20 minutes on the minute, all hook grip

last 10 minutes tried to up the pace to doubles every 30 seconds but that didn't work and ended up with
3x2, 6x3 and then a 1x6 to finish right on the buzzer. Used straps for a few sets after I tore a callus and I wore a belt for the whole lot.

Conditioning wise I felt ok until right at the end but my lower back got pretty tight around the 20 minute mark.

videoed the whole thing too

Tom Vale
02-24-2010, 11:55 PM
videoed the whole thing too

Damn :mad: I was gunna be a smart arse and say "Vid or it didn't happen".

Don Stevenson
02-25-2010, 03:07 PM
And it's for exactly that reason that I did record it!

However if i put it up unedited it will be the most boring video you'll ever see

Gary John
02-25-2010, 03:56 PM
I saw that at IGX. Glad some of you jumped in. Utterly stupid challenge, but it does prove you can lift a few pounds a few times.

Don Stevenson
02-25-2010, 07:42 PM
I was expecting a killer case of soreness today but apart from a little lower back tightness I'm mostly ok.

The only bummer is the huge chunk i tore off my left hand which is going to make training for my strongman comp next weekend a bit tricky

Don Stevenson
02-26-2010, 12:16 AM
video

Edited down so that it's not 30 minutes of me sitting on a bench

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl4g0FVFmR0

Allen Yeh
02-26-2010, 04:01 AM
Damn I'm weak.

Good job Don!

Mike Kerce
03-07-2010, 11:17 AM
i know the challenge is over but i finally had some time (and no workout) to do this and just now finished! this was awesome. i actually feel great, and the only minor setback is one torn piece of skin on my left hand. i set out with a goal to get 60. i got 66! no drops...i don't have a platform and just some thin padding so i have to guide the bar down. i know this pales in comparison to alot of the results, but i'm about as happy with that effort as i can be. i did it without any specifics like 2 on the minute, just pulled when i was ready to pull...can't wait to try more of the challenges.

Ken Urakawa
03-12-2010, 07:55 PM
WAY late to the fun, but had a cancellation tonight that opened up about 45 minutes and this has been in the back of my head. 102 reps, probably could have squeezed a few more out--but not a whole lot more. Good fun! Thanks for throwing this out there Gary.



edit-- no belt, bit of chalk, @ around 175# bw.

Ryan Hagenbuch
03-18-2010, 11:02 AM
I'll be doing Gary's Deadlifting Challenge with Power Cleans (probably 185#) as my GPP session tomorrow - I'm pretty excited

There actually was an IGX challenge like this, but few people participated. It was 80% of bodywt for max reps in 30 minutes. Any type of clean was allowed (power, squat, continental, etc.). It was definitely a heart pumper.