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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
Chris Girgis
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Should I reset/deload my DL?

Some background...I'm 38, 5'10", 170-175lbs, about 21-22% BF. My main goal is to decrease body fat while maintaining strength and lean mass as much as possible. I'm currently on my second round of Wendler + 2 met-con WODs per week -- nothing longer than 20 minutes if I can avoid it.

My current true 1RMs are:
Press: 130
Bench: 200
Squat: 255
Deadlift: 315

My 90% training maxes are factored off true 1RMs on everything except squat -- have tested everything else between 1st and 2nd round but squat is just up 10# from round 1.

Anyhow, I performed the 5xDL workout two Fridays back. Work sets were 5x185, 5x215, 7x240. Assistance work was Good Mornings (5x10xcan't remember but it was light -- maybe just the bar.) I was working out away from my home box and the bar was slightly fatter and chromed and I noticed I was struggling with my grip on the last set -- overhand BTW. Come Saturday evening, I felt some mild soreness in my lower back but nothing out of the ordinary.

That following Monday, I was doing 3xPress and on my last set apparently my brain didn't like where my right foot was and I instinctively (idiotically?) moved it while pressing overhead. Nothing acute occured right then but when doing 5x10 pullups and dips as assistance work I felt my right lower back starting to tighten up. By the time I was cooling down and stretching, it was almost unbearable to go either into lumbar extension or flexion. A couple hours later I had to roll onto my hands and knees to get out of bed.

48 hours of ice, some ibuprofen, a good massage therapist, and taking the rest of the week off got me feeling normal again. I've decided to start the Wendler round over from week 1 but I still can't help but wonder if the culprit was the preceding DL workout.

I also have something an instuctor said stuck in my head that "If your lower back is sore after DLs then either your form is bad or the weight is too much." That seems like an overly-general statement but I've always been "self-conscious" and overly critical about my DL form and even though another instructor at our box said my 315 was a "good pull" I can't help but feel I should maybe deload my DL 10-20% for the cycle. (BTW, my lower back was mildly sore after the 1RM as well and I have a mild L4/L5 bulge and L5/S1 narrowing if it makes any difference).

I don't have a recent video for a from critique but was hoping for some input based on the above info.

Thoughts? TIA

Last edited by Chris Girgis : 02-14-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:58 AM   #2
Graeme Moore
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Re: Should I reset/deload my DL?

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Originally Posted by Chris Girgis View Post
"If your lower back is sore after DLs then either your form is bad or the weight is too much"
Depends on whether he meant sore or in pain. I'd say if it's sore you probably just trained heavy deadlifts, which is the whole point. Just my opinion though.

Can't help at all with your problem though, sorry.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
Collin Thompson
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Re: Should I reset/deload my DL?

Considering where your maxes are it may not be a bad idea to swap over to a linear progression template. It sounds like you may have compressed a spinal joint. Resting for the rest of the week was the best decision you could have made. Have you read Starting Strength? And I wouldn't necessarily blame the injury on the deadlifts, rather it sounds like being sloppy while sore.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:40 PM   #4
Jared Ashley
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Re: Should I reset/deload my DL?

With deadlifts in particular, higher reps (even 5's) just don't seem to work for me. They would leave me sore and I wouldn't make much progress, basically hovering between a max of 295 and 315 for a couple years, even as I made progress on other lifts.

I finally went to a westside-based system and am making good progress. I only do traditional deadlifts as heavy singles about once a month, but I've been setting PR's every time (most recent 340 at 145 BW), and I'm much less sore afterward. The rest of my deadlift work is variations at lighter weights (defecit, sumo, stiff-leg, good mornings, ect), usually something like 8x1 at 80% or 2x10 at a relatively light weight.

Other lifts are making progress too, but I've noticed the most improvement in the deadlift. It just seems to respond better to low-volume training.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:32 PM   #5
Chris Girgis
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Re: Should I reset/deload my DL?

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Originally Posted by Collin Thompson View Post
Considering where your maxes are it may not be a bad idea to swap over to a linear progression template. It sounds like you may have compressed a spinal joint. Resting for the rest of the week was the best decision you could have made. Have you read Starting Strength? And I wouldn't necessarily blame the injury on the deadlifts, rather it sounds like being sloppy while sore.
I actually did about a year of Starting Strength-esque LP and switched to Wendler, after a couple months of straight CF, when I hit 1.5xBW squat and was stalling out on a regular basis. I know my lifts aren't great by any means but quite frankly, I just wasn't recovering very well and it seemed like the volume and overall template with 531 would be more ideal. I was also struggling to eat enough at the time as well...which is still a bit of an issue primarily due to my work schedule and access to food.

I've made decent gains on most of the lifts and also gained about 5lbs since starting CF and in the 1st round of 531.

Thanks to both of you guys for some input.

Last edited by Chris Girgis : 02-15-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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