Over the past 3 months, the combination of Sadiv and Speed sets have served me rather well.
Just this week, I decided to fly on and try for a new Deadlift 1RM and can quite happily report that I clocked 185kg, an extra 5kgs compared to my last 1RM attempt. However, the difference is that it shot up like a rocket and I gladly could’ve done more. Not only that, but I completed my Sadiv’s immediately afterwards. There’s much more to be lifted, so next week, I’ll be attempting this again.
This new 1RM has been gained practicing only once per week and never lifting over 170kg, just once about a month ago. The work has been stable since the start – 12 reps, 1 every 60 seconds starting at 60% 1RM and adding 2.5kgs every week. The focus was on applying as much force to the bar as possible, as should be the focus when attempting to improve your ability to improve force production. As standard, it’s about recruiting motor units maximally and as quickly as possible.
This regime has gone to show that for increases in 1RM, it is perhaps not necessary to operate at lifting %’s higher than 90% of your 1RM, given that you are applying force maximally at lower weights – perhaps a safer way to train!
Currently, I am at the stage where old 1RMs are being lifted as part of each Sadiv set. This is immensely satisfying given that these were previous maximal efforts requiring prolonged recovery, which now require a mere sixty seconds. In two weeks time, I should know a few more 1RMs, though I believe these will not be maximal as I do not plan on taking a complete week of recovery. However, this may not be the case if enough recovery time for each lift is given in its’ “speed” week.
It could well be that greater improvements will occur in lifts such as the bench/OHP compared to the Deadlift, as these were performed at a weight greater than 90% of the previous 1RM. Of course, it must be taken into account that these are less neurologically taxing lifts as they require less muscle mass to perform, therefore it may not have been possible to carry out Deadlifts at such a high percentage without causing detriment to other lifts. Time will tell!
I’d been frustrated with Deadlifting recently as something hadn’t been feeling right. The solution was simple = back to basics. I re-assessed my lift from bottom to top and discovered my foot position was a few inches closer to the bar than I had intended.
It was a pretty clear reminder that no matter how long you’ve been at it, you might see benefit from returning to square one, even if it’s just for a day.
Even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong, go have a re-check and you might surprise yourself.
My Deadlift technique checklist:
- Mid-foot under the bar (from heel to toe)
- Feet appropriate distance apart (I perform a vertical leap to determine this – you will automatically set your feet apart at a distance which allows for maximal force production)
- Hands on the bar (quick pull on each side to ensure each side will lift an equal amount of force – is your hand applying force symmetrically?)
- Shins to the bar
- Head up
- Chest up and forward
- Arms at 90 degree angle to the floor
- LEGS PUSH!
- Bar passes knees = HIPS FORWARD!
- Tall posture at top
I’ve fallen in love with squatting again. Recently, I’ve approach this lift simply:
10 reps at 50% projected 1RM
5 reps 15ks short of day’s maximum
3 reps 7.5kgs short of day’s maximum
1 rep of day’s maximum
10 rep Sadiv set
This is performed twice a week, with the weight increasing by 2.5kg on the second session.
This has now reached the point where I will lift more than my old 1RM of 140kg as part of a standard training session.
Again, before I sign off, I’ll echo the following:
The best lifting methods:
- Appropriate challenge (mental and physical)
- Appropriate recovery
- Gradual increases in resistance
This regime delivers all three, with enough practice to improve movement path efficiency and enough variety to prevent boredom.
Eventually, I’ll hit a lift I cannot complete. Quite simply, I’ll retry the following week and if it fails, I’ll scale it back 2.5kgs and smash it later. If that doesn’t help I’ll perhaps consider another lifting method. Until then – I’m loving this too much!
Go train, folks.