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Old 04-09-2009, 10:42 AM   #1
Garrett Smith
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Default Post-DL question...

OK, I'm new to DL "heavy" (for me) on a regular basis--1x/week.

So I did my workout yesterday, 4 sets of DLs (3reps, then 2-2-2) at 280#, each set followed by some mild plyos, 5 min. rest between sets.

Holy cow...ever since then (I'm talking like within an hour after the workout) I've been moving around like an old arthritic--groans and everything--the muscles of my general low lower back and sacral region are something very much like soreness and stiff as all get out.

I would not call any of this "pain" per se.

Is this a normal feeling for someone just getting into multiple 85%+ DLs?

If DLs are done relatively intensely, where should be the focal point of post-workout soreness/fatigue? Is it where I'm describing?

I don't sense that anything is "wrong", just wanted to get some feedback from those who have DLed a lot more weight and more regularly than I ever have.

Side note--I felt this last week on a same workout, less intensely (it was less weight by 10# on the last three sets). I was nowhere near this stiff.

Full squatting position (relaxed at the bottom), once I get down there, feels really good.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:22 AM   #2
Dave Van Skike
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Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
OK, I'm new to DL "heavy" (for me) on a regular basis--1x/week.

So I did my workout yesterday, 4 sets of DLs (3reps, then 2-2-2) at 280#, each set followed by some mild plyos, 5 min. rest between sets.

Holy cow...ever since then (I'm talking like within an hour after the workout) I've been moving around like an old arthritic--groans and everything--the muscles of my general low lower back and sacral region are something very much like soreness and stiff as all get out.

I would not call any of this "pain" per se.

Is this a normal feeling for someone just getting into multiple 85%+ DLs?

If DLs are done relatively intensely, where should be the focal point of post-workout soreness/fatigue? Is it where I'm describing?

I don't sense that anything is "wrong", just wanted to get some feedback from those who have DLed a lot more weight and more regularly than I ever have.

Side note--I felt this last week on a same workout, less intensely (it was less weight by 10# on the last three sets). I was nowhere near this stiff.

Full squatting position (relaxed at the bottom), once I get down there, feels really good.
A couple ideas to kick around. plyos...No.


you'll be fatigued where you're weak or where you're shifitng the load because you're weak: calves, hamstrings, low back, upper back, neck and forearms are good candiadates.

Heavy pulling takes some conditioning,

start with fewer sets and work up. don't be afraid of the occasional gut buster 10-12 reps set of pulls or rdl's or sldl's to condition yourself. heavy heavy pullign is not olympic lifting and it's not squatting...(it's way better of course but that's not the point.) those are much easier to recover from.

if you are pulling heavy (85%plus) every week:

Limit it to one big work set. know your number going in to the session. get your number and move on. This is sort of the SS model.

So, warm up to whatever, let's say your'e goal for the session is to pull 315 for 5, I'd go, whatever olympic liftign jiggery pockery you have planned for teh day as a warmup and then sumpin' like:

135x5, 185x3, 225x1, 275x1 then go after 315x5 or whatever you can get.

A good twist is this, on the last set go for max reps, If you're doing this, base your percentages off 90% of max so If you're true max were 405, you'd use 365 as a training max so that your 85% for 5 set is 310 (365*.85).

This is the wendler 5-3-1 thing a lot of people have rediscovered. it will enable you to make some progress every week on you're big money sets. it will also limit your workload.

Second model, this one will leave you sore but you'll have time to recover before pulling.

pull every other week in the 5x5 manner or 3x3, then once you're done with your 3 tops work sets, you'll follow up with some higher reps work for your weak points. .hint, it's always hamstrings and upper back so GHR, BB rows, RDL's and box squats will nearly always help out.


In this way you'll be crippled only for a couple days. My Dl is very responsive to recupertive methods, light front squats, sled, bands, hanging leg raises, stretch, foam roller, most useful...long walk/light cardio.

Most important!

Remember, never talk about the CNS and deadlifting. Every time you use those two words together, 5 pounds drops off your max pull. If you complain about your CNS you'll eventually end up weak, depleted and unable to use the potty alone.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:23 AM   #3
Alan O'Donnell
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Yeah... I have no idea how the bearpowered people do it - I find even fairly light DLs to be extremely draining, so I've decided to play around with some of Barry Ross's stuff using weighted pullups and front squats instead. If I can make some nice gains following his basic template, 3-5 lifting sessions per week, 85% 1RM+, 3-5 sets etc. then I'll suck it up and try it with DLs.

But as to your question, yes, my lower back can get quite sore after even a single set of heavy DLs. I'm pretty sure that my form is off in some way, but everyone says it looks good... so I don't know. I'm curious to see if you'll get used to the training or if it's just inherently very tough.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:48 AM   #4
Gant Grimes
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DVS has good advice as always.

Please note that DL + plyo is not inherently bad. You just have to have specific goals and know what you're doing (speed pulls w/<40-50% 1RM and 1-3 high box or broad jumps).

It takes about a month to go from regular deadlifting to heavy pulling. There's probably scientific name for the crap your body has to go through to get prepared for this. If you want to play it safe, just use the 1x5 work set Rip uses in SS. Start 40 pounds below your 5RM and ramp up from there.

I don't much to add except that extra recovery might be in order on heavy deadlift days. What sets me right is a few sets on the reverse hyper, a contrast shower, and a double quarter pounder and large milkshake from McD's.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:52 PM   #5
Garrett Smith
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Dave, thanks, lots to think about there. I'm not doing any OL stuff on my DL days, just some deadhang pullups and ring pushups beforehand, some abs afterwards. Definitely going to do my long walks this weekend! If I didn't have to go to family get-togethers last night and tonight, it wouldn't be as big of a deal...I just don't want to look like the guy who made exercising "dangerous".

Alan, thanks for relating your experience. I've found the concentric-only DLs in the BearPowered program to be much less draining than the full ones.

Gant, what's the difference between "regular DLing" and "heavy pulling", in terms of the transition period you're describing? I may have to try the extra recovery measures, but I think I'll use In 'N Out Burger instead...

I have a hunch that the plyos played a big role, which is hard for me as they are simply these 4-way box plyos to a 12" box...

I failed to detail this part. In my first workout of this type (last week) I didn't look at the 4-way box plyo description closely enough prior to doing them and basically did 4-way depth jumps from a 12" box, limiting myself to one time around the box per set.

This recent workout I did the 4-way box plyos as described on that page, going three times around the box per set (the standard Rx for the BearPowered program). So, in a manner, I tripled the plyo volume while also adding weight on the DLs, AND still being new to this type of training. That could have caused some issues, I think... :-P

I was also trying to sit back more on the DLs, based on my digital coaching advice from here, so there were likely some different motor patterns going on.

DLs and plyos, once completed, were followed by L-sits.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:51 PM   #6
Dave Van Skike
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I'll admit to total retardation when it comes to plyometrics. Explosive jumping for distance and height I've done as well as many hours of gawdawful dan jansen inspired stair bounding...but plyo's are well outside my wheelhouse.

Garrett, if you think it's helpful here, I'd be interested in having Gant respond here as to how he would set up a plyos or box jump as adjunct with heavy pulls, especially where recovery is an issue. any type of speed work where i'm not olympic lifting is interesting to me.

re: speed deads.. speed stuff is wildly erratic for me. I've had no real luck with them on pulling....progressive pulls yes, and hi heaves for sure but speed stuff even with bands and chains usually descends into jackassery where we're loading it at like 185 on the floor and something ridiculous at lockout thus totally defeating the purpose. now I just stay away of from it and do the basic shit.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post

Remember, never talk about the CNS and deadlifting. Every time you use those two words together, 5 pounds drops off your max pull. If you complain about your CNS you'll eventually end up weak, depleted and unable to use the potty alone.
As always spot on with your stuff Dave. That's worthy of a sigline right there.

I have nothing else to add.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #8
Garrett Smith
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Thanks again for the input...~20 hours after the initial wave, I'm now 80% improved, and that's without any laser treatment (I had planned on it but never got to it).

Dave, the program I'm following has 3-5 sets of DLs of 1-5 reps above 85%, followed immediately by some mild plyometrics (like on the link, nothing crazy at all) and 5 minutes rest between plyos and the next DL set. Oh yes, with dropping the weight once the concentric DL portion has been completed and re-setting for the next rep. It's an interesting program, sort of a "minimalist" approach to strength training for sprinters/runners...I'm trying to improve my DL while preparing for the future when I'll want to start training my short & middle distance running.

I think I'm just not used to being so stiff down there, as I'd like to keep my back as well-kept as possible for the rest of my days, it simply concerned me more than, let's say, bicep soreness after way too many pull-ups....
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