McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
 
Order by Phone 1 (800) 899-5111
 
Close

That's our gift to you, when you sign up today for Dragon Door's essential newsletters:

Ride the Leader's Wave—
Be the first to KNOW, the first to BENEFIT, the first to SAVE on new releases, new workshops...
Join the Party—
CEO John Du Cane keeps you updated on the world's most dynamic fitness movement...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:

Your email is safe with us

 
Item Added to Cart
 
 
 
Share Print

You have not viewed any products recently.

 

News

 
 

A Power to the People! Style Deadlift Peaking Cycle

January 31, 2006 05:08 PM

After reading many 3-lift powerlifting routines and trying some of them, I came to the conclusion that if you don't squat, a lot of things may need to change. You may also have found that if you're an ordinary guy like me, some of the well-known routines don't quite work for you, usually because they feature a lot of volume.

This routine, like Pavel's basic 2 sets of 5 reps Power To The People! program, can be used for the deadlift alone or in combination with a press. (I always press first, then DL.) I've based my program on a PTP variation about which Pavel has written about (but not in the PTP book itself) called "54321."

How 54321 works

The numbers in "54321" refer to the repetitions and minutes of rest for each set ? perform a set of 5 reps, wait 5 minutes, a set of 4, wait 4 minutes, and so on, but instead of backing the weight down like you do for basic PTP, you increase it a little, ending with a relatively heavy single. For those of us who don't excel at one-repetition maximum efforts (hereafter referred to as "1RM"), including those of us with a background in endurance sports, 54321 can help a lot. (It's worth mentioning that for this and other pure strength routines, longer rests periods between sets are not only OK but encouraged.)

54321 totals 15 lifts per session in comparison to PTP's 10; for that reason it's usually only done 3 times per week instead of PTP's recommended Monday through Friday schedule - slightly less volume but slightly more intensity. If you don't like taking two days in a row off, you may do 54321 every other day or do an abbreviated fourth session each week. You may also choose to squat on Saturdays.

The Principle: Cycle Volume, Weight, and Platform Together

You will start with relatively high volume and relatively low weights on a 3-inch platform. As the cycle progress, you'll decrease the platform's height, lower the volume, and raise the weight. If the platform scares you, don't worry ? it's not a high platform and the 2-week prep cycle will get you ready.

In week 1, you will do an extended version of 54321, starting with a set of 6 reps, which we'll call 654321, while standing on a 3-inch platform. In week 2 you lift 54321 from a 2-inch platform, and in week 3, 4321 from a 1-inch platform. You then take a few days off and try for a new max from the floor during week 4.

4-Week Cycle Outline

Week 1: lift Mon/Wed/Fri

Monday, standing on a 3-inch platform: 654321, start with 70% 1RM and increasing by 10-15 lbs. per set for a 300 lbs. deadlifter. Repeat on Wednesday but raise all the weight 5 lbs. Repeat again on Friday with 5 lbs. more.

Week 2: lift Mon/Wed/Fri

Monday, standing on a 2-inch platform: 54321, start the set of 5 with the weight you used for last Friday's set of 4. Increase as in week 1, 10-15 lbs. per set, 5 lbs. per workout.

Week 3: lift Mon/Wed/Fri

Monday, standing on a 1-inch platform: 4321, start the set of 4 with the weight you used for the set of 3 last Friday. Increase as in the previous 2 weeks, 10-15 lbs. per set and 5 lbs. per workout.

Week 4: on Tue or Wed, a few singles up to a new max.


10 Tips For Success

1. Understand why and how to platform deadlift.


Louie Simmons in his article on deadlifting, recommends deadlifting from platforms between 1 and 4 inches. You should still be able to get your feet under the bar. The idea is to maintain something close to your normal deadlifting groove. Read Louie's article for an intelligent, practical discussion of platform and rack pin pulls for deadlifters.

As a narrow stance conventional deadlifter, 2-foot x 2-foot sheets of plywood are what I use for my platform. This makes it very easy to adjust. I didn't bother to try and locate 1-inch plywood, using 3/4 inch instead, so my platforms weren't actually 3, 2 and 1 inches, more like just over 2 inches at maximum. I'm planning on trying slightly larger next time. The precise heights of the platforms aren't important ? make due with what you have if you must but be sure your platform does not force you to alter your preferred stance. The only difference should be that you're reaching farther.

2. Pick the right weights.

The first few times I did this cycle I used 10 lb. jumps between sets except for the final single, when I jumped 15 lbs. The most recent time I did it, I jumped 15 lbs. for the last two sets. Obviously, the heavier the weights get overall, the more you'll want to increase the weight between sets, e.g., a 400 lb. deadlifter will jump 15 lbs. between most sets, and a 450 lb. deadlifter will jump 20 lbs. some of the time. I recommend you increase more when the reps are fewest at the end of the workout because it's safer and also better preparation for lifting a heavy single. If raising the weights more when they're already at their heaviest seems counterintuitive to you, I recommend you reread PTP's discussion of why lifting should be "heavy enough" to be safe.

I've given several sample cycles below, specifying weights for every lift of the cycle for 300, 350, 400, and 450 lb. 1RM lifters. The sample cycles should be close enough to your own current max DL that you can do exact math for yourself.

3. Go for two maxes during this cycle.

I recommend you calculate the weights so that you hit a small new max for the single lift of week 3 ? that's the final "1" in your final "4321" workout; perhaps 5-10 lbs. over your previous best. If you've picked your weights right so far, this should be a hard effort but still come up without hesitation. You'll hit an even bigger, "real" new max on max day in week 4.

This does not apply to advanced lifters who should only max at the meet.

4. Warm up only briefly.

I prefer a few singles at 70-80% 1RM on the 3-inch platform with a double overhand, non-hook grip. Standing on the 3-inch platform for warmups then lowering it for the work sets in weeks 2 and 3 feels good. Why? -See Power To The People! or The Russian Kettlebell Challenge.

5. Plan the max day.

For your max attempt do warmups similar to what you've been doing all along, then try a few singles with long rest intervals, much like you would at a meet. Make the first single something you know you will get, typically a weight you did for 2 or 3 reps during week 3. Make the second single just under your recently week 4 PR, and make the final single 10-20 lbs. over your pre-cycle PR (which would make it 5-15 lbs. over your recent PR).

6. The grip.

I recommend you do all the work sets either the over/under or the hook grip. If you lift over/under, I recommend you switch each set and switch the starting grip each workout. If, as most people do, you favor one over/under grip over the other, plan the final week to use your favorite grip for the heavy single in the Mon and Fri workouts and go the other way for Wednesday ? start with the heavy single and work backwards to figure out which you start each workout with. Week #1 will also feature your favorite over/under grip for the Mon and Fri final single, while in week #2 you'll have tough out the final single with the grip you like least.

If you really don't like using your non-favorite over/under grip, I would still recommend you use it during the lighter sets of each workout and switch to the grip you like best for the final few sets. Balance is important and we don't want you walking around twisted to one side all the time. ?

7. Preparing for push-pull meets.

I pressed every day while doing this DL cycle. I pressed first (kettlebell military press, kettlebell windmill, barbell overhead squat with light weights), then deadlifted, then did 1-leg, 2-kettlebell deadlifts on a 2-inch platform as "assistance" work, and finished with a few swings and snatches followed by some ab work. While I don't bench press, if you were preparing for a push-pull meet, you should have no problem doing your bench on whatever schedule you see fit and also doing this DL peaking cycle.

I haven't tried this cycle in the context of a 3-lift meet.

8. Which days of the week to lift.

Because I need to lift at my meet on a Friday, I didn't lift Monday, Wednesday, Friday as I've shown in all the examples here. I chose Thursday, Saturday, Monday instead in order to give myself 4 days between the final workout of week 3 and the meet. You should do the same ? decide how many days you want between the final workout of week 3 and your new max test then plan the lifting schedule backwards from there. I recommend 4 or 5 days with no deadlifting.

Lifting 3 times per week also allows you to shift the schedule by one day and not get behind, e.g., the first week of my most recent cycle, although I wanted to lift Thu, Sat, Mon, I couldn't make the time those days, so I lifted Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday, then picked up week 2 starting on Thursday. That gave me workouts in a row on an every other day schedule but the lack of a 2 day rest shouldn't be a problem on this plan.

If you look at my training log between October 28 and December 2, 2005, you'll see everything I did and how the cycle worked out for me.

9. Assistance exercises

If you have weaknesses in your DL technique, you may try to address them by doing some "assistance" exercises after your main DL sets are finished in each workout. I like the one-legged, two-kettlebell deadlift. I did mine inconsistently in my most recent cycle ? I skipped them sometimes because of lack of time and sometimes because I felt too tired from the main deadlifting itself ? but I feel they still helped. Again, details can be found in my workout log on the www.dragondoor.com forum for the above dates.

I also ended many of my workouts with kettlebell swings and then ab exercises. Both are things I do even when I'm not in a deadlift peaking cycle but I feel both also help my DL.

10. The 2-week prep cycle

Week 1:

Monday: warmup ? 1-3 reps @ 60-70% 1RM on 1-inch platform, same weight/reps on 2-inch platform, same weight/reps on a 3-inch platform. Work set: 3-inch platform, 6 reps @ 70%, 5 reps @ 70% + 10 lbs., e.g., 6 reps @ 245, 5 reps @ 255.

Wednesday: work set: warmup as needed, then 3-inch platform, 6, 5 as last workout but make the set of 5 another 5-10 lbs. heavier, e.g, 6 reps @ 245, 5 reps @ 260 or 265.

Friday: work set: warmup as needed, then 3-inch platform, 6, 5 as in workout 1, add set of 4 with additional 10 lbs., e.g., 6 reps @ 245, 5 reps @ 255, 4 reps @ 265.

Week 2: Lift Mon/Wed/Fri

Workout 1: 6543 continuing to add weight for each set as above.

Workout 2: 65432, as above

Workout 3: 654321, as above

You will then start the 4-week peaking cycle with exactly the same workout with which you finished the 2-week prep cycle.


Sample cycle for a 300 lb. deadlifter:

Week 1: 3" platform:

Mon ? 210 x 6, 220 x 5, 230 x 4, 240 x 3, 250 x 2, 260 x 1

Wed ? 215 x 6, 225 x 5, 235 x 4, 245 x 3, 255 x 2, 265 x 1

Fri ? 220 x 6, 230 x 5, 240 x 4, 250 x 3, 260 x 2, 270 x 1


Week 2: 2" platform:

Mon ? 240 x 5, 250 x 4, 260 x 3, 270 x 2, 280 x 1

Wed ? 245 x 5, 255 x 4, 265 x 3, 275 x 2, 285 x 1

Fri ? 250 x 5, 260 x 4, 270 x 3, 280 x 2, 290 x 1


Week 3: 1" platform:

Mon ? 270 x 4, 280 x 3, 290 x 2, 300 (old 1RM) x 1

Wed ? 275 x 4, 285 x 3, 295 x 2, 305 (new 1RM) x 1

Fri ? 280 x 4, 290 x 3, 300 x 2, 310 (new 1RM) x 1


Week 4: no platform

Tue - Warmup then 280 x 1, 300 x 1, 320 x 1


Sample cycle for a 350 lb. deadlifter:

Week 1: 3" platform:

Mon ? 245 x 6, 255 x 5, 265 x 4, 275 x 3, 290 x 2, 305 x 1

Wed ? 250 x 6, 260 x 5, 270 x 4, 280 x 3, 295 x 2, 310 x 1

Fri ? 255 x 6, 265 x 5, 275 x 4, 285 x 3, 300 x 2, 315 x 1


Week 2: 2" platform:

Mon ? 275 x 5, 285 x 4, 295 x 3, 310 x 2, 325 x 1

Wed ? 280 x 5, 290 x 4, 300 x 3, 315 x 2, 330 x 1

Fri ? 285 x 5, 295 x 4, 305 x 3, 320 x 2, 335 x 1


Week 3: 1" platform:

Mon ? 305 x 4, 315 x 3, 330 x 2, 345 x 1

Wed ? 310 x 4, 320 x 3, 335 x 2, 350 (old 1RM) x 1

Fri ? 315 x 4, 325 x 3, 340 x 2, 355 (new 1RM) x 1


Week 4: no platform

Tue - Warmup then 330 x 1, 350 x 1, 370 x 1


Sample cycle for a 400 lb. deadlifter:

Week 1: 3" platform:

Mon ? 285 x 6, 295 x 5, 305 x 4, 320 x 3, 335 x 2, 350 x 1

Wed ? 290 x 6, 300 x 5, 310 x 4, 325 x 3, 340 x 2, 355 x 1

Fri ? 295 x 6, 305 x 5, 315 x 4, 330 x 3, 345 x 2, 360 x 1


Week 2: 2" platform:

Mon ? 315 x 5, 325 x 4, 340 x 3, 355 x 2, 370 x 1

Wed ? 320 x 5, 330 x 4, 345 x 3, 360 x 2, 375 x 1

Fri ? 325 x 5, 335 x 4, 350 x 3, 365 x 2, 380 x 1


Week 3: 1" platform:

Mon ? 350 x 4, 365 x 3, 380 x 2, 395 x 1

Wed ? 355 x 4, 370 x 3, 385 x 2, 400 (old 1RM) x 1

Fri ? 360 x 4, 375 x 3, 390 x 2, 405 (new 1RM) x 1


Week 4: no platform

Tue - Warmup then 375 x 1, 400 x 1, 425 x 1


Sample cycle for a 450 lb. deadlifter:

Week 1: 3" platform:

Mon ? 315 x 6, 330 x 5, 345 x 4, 360 x 3, 380 x 2, 400 x 1

Wed ? 320 x 6, 335 x 5, 350 x 4, 365 x 3, 385 x 2, 405 x 1

Fri ? 325 x 6, 340 x 5, 355 x 4, 370 x 3, 390 x 2, 410 x 1


Week 2: 2" platform:

Mon ? 355 x 5, 370 x 4, 385 x 3, 405 x 2, 425 x 1

Wed ? 360 x 5, 375 x 4, 390 x 3, 410 x 2, 430 x 1

Fri ? 365 x 5, 380 x 4, 395 x 3, 415 x 2, 435 x 1


Week 3: 1" platform:

Mon ? 395 x 4, 410 x 3, 425 x 2, 445 x 1

Wed ? 400 x 4, 415 x 3, 430 x 2, 450 (old 1RM) x 1

Fri ? 405 x 4, 420 x 3, 435 x 2, 455 (new 1RM) x 1


Week 4: no platform

Tue - Warmup then 425 x 1, 450 x 1, 475 x 1



Steve Freides, RKC holds the AAU Raw and Raw Lifetime Drug Free World Records in the Deadlift for the Male, 50-54 years old, 148 lb. weight class: 364 lbs. (165 kg). He also set the M45-49 Raw Lifetime Deadlift record in 2004. He makes his living from computer consulting, music teaching, and occasional kettlebell training.
 

Back

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Close