The Deadlift Challenge: Week 4

Fitness. Diving. Lifestyle.

The Deadlift Challenge: Week 4

Max as tested on 10/01/2015- 220 kgs

Week 4: 80% of max (180 kgs) 3 sets of 5 reps

Week 4 is the start of the second cycle, which means that we are dropping the weight down a little but increasing the reps.

So last week I did 190 kgs for 4 sets of 2, this week I am going down to 180 kgs and doing 3 sets of 5 reps.

In week 2 I did 4 sets of 3 reps with 180 kgs, so this week is a little test of how I’m adapting- if I can handle 5 reps in one set over 3 then it means I am getting stronger and hopefully pushing up my 1 rep max.

I said at the start of this process that over 10 weeks it may not be possible to be fresh and well-rested for each session, due to work, travel and general life getting in the way.

This session was a case in point, since I have just spent a week away and so I haven’t had the optimum amounts of rest or even done any training the past week leading up to this workout.

I also slightly tweaked my shoulder from crashing while snowboarding so I was considering giving this session a miss.  But I decided I needed to try and stay on track, so I gave it a good go.

Here’s the video of set 1, 180 kgs for 5 reps.

This set was a real struggle because I was tired, but I pushed through and got it.

However on my second set I realised I didn’t have enough in the tank to do all 3 sets safely: my body was sore from snowboarding all week and I just wasn’t fresh enough.

Like I said, these types of session happen.  

Deadlifting in the 80% range of your 1 rep max for reps is extremely taxing: my CNS just wasn’t up to it.  But rather than waste the session I decided to still give myself a workout, but modify my original plan a little.

Here’s what I came up with:

What I’m doing is known as a deficit deadlift.  By standing on the plates I am increasing the range of motion as the bar now needs to travel two inches more.  

Doesn’t sound a lot but it makes a considerable difference: it also makes breaking the weight of the ground harder.  

I worked up to doing singles of 180 kg at this weight for 5 reps, to count as my third set.  Since I couldn’t handle reps today I just made the lift slightly harder but kept the sets to single reps with time in between to recuperate.

I finished off with some pull-ups and supported rows.

This was the first session where I missed reps and deviated from the plan, but I made it work.  If your regular schedule changes then you never know how well you are going to be able to perform, so plan for it and adapt and adjust if you can.

The important point is to make sure you still get in there and do some quality work– if you’re really tired then just lower the weight and do more reps.  Or do what I did and change the exercise slightly but in a way that it still exerts the desired training effect.

Almost at the halfway point!

Next week: 190 kgs 3 sets of 3 reps


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