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Regaining lost strength: Worth using Deficit DL/RDL?

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  • Regaining lost strength: Worth using Deficit DL/RDL?

    Due to a tumultuous 18 months--new baby, bad sleep, bad case of gastroenteritis, et al.--I've had to rebuild strength I lost. I've been making reasonable progress on squat, but my DL is in a weird place. I'm down from a 380x5 5RM PR to 330x5, but I've found that I have trouble even getting 335 off the floor *once*. Is it worth considering assistance exercises?

    39/M/5'10"/165-170 lbs
    275x5 squat, currently, down from 310x5
    330x5 DL currently, down from 380x5

  • #2
    There aren't going to be any magical assistance exercises for getting your strength back up, but you may indeed need to deadlift more. You could certainly use deficits, paused deadlifts, block pulls, or any other pulling variant to get more deadlifting in, but unless you've developed major technical inefficiencies, this sounds like a strength/skill issue that just needs training.
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      I appreciate the response. Some clarifying questions so I don't screw this up:
      1. Regarding deadlifting more: If my goal is to get stronger on the first part of the DL, is one way better than another, in terms of more reps of conventional DLs versus DL variants?
      2. At this point, would it be prudent to stop lifting heavy in order to get more volume in?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Brahms View Post
        I appreciate the response. Some clarifying questions so I don't screw this up:
        1. Regarding deadlifting more: If my goal is to get stronger on the first part of the DL, is one way better than another, in terms of more reps of conventional DLs versus DL variants?
        2. At this point, would it be prudent to stop lifting heavy in order to get more volume in?
        1) Why would your goal be to get stronger on just the first half of the DL? I'm not sure that makes sense unless you're training for a non-deadlift task...

        2) We probably would not recommend to stop lifting "heavy", but it sounds like you're running TM, LP or similar and those programs would not be our go-to choices because of the lack of volume, hyper-specificity, and lack of autoregulation.
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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        • #5
          1. Ha. Yes, this was initially my reasoning as well--but it seemed odd to me that I'd go from 330x5 to 335x0 the following week, so I thought maybe the issue was that I sucked at the first pull. Googled around and saw some sources mentioning DL assistance lifts. (I reattempted 335 later, and still couldn't get it off the ground. I seem to have little issue getting it off of pins set a few inches off the ground.)

          2. I'm running HLM (Madcow 5x5, intermediate). What program would you recommend?

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          • #6
            Yea, I'd just have you run The Bridge at this point- https://www.barbellmedicine.com/the-bridge/
            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
            ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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