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Old 05-09-2008, 11:42 AM   #1
Arien Malec
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Default Deadlifts for weightlifting

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?
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
John Alston
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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.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
Arden Cogar Jr.
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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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arien Malec View Post
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?
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
Dave Van Skike
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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.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:28 PM   #5
John Alston
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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.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:47 PM   #6
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
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. 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
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
Arien Malec
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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" :-)
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:46 PM   #8
John Alston
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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...
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
Arden Cogar Jr.
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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." ).

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
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...
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:43 PM   #10
Arien Malec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
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
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