Workout Report: Deadlift Day 5/4/11

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Workout Reports

It was a good day for pulling. I was feeling strong and didn’t have any weird aches to speak of. It’s finally gotten warm enough in SLC to wear shorts to the gym, which I find to be a great boon, though there’s some serious pale leg action happening with me right now. More below the fold.

I started out with ten minutes on the bike, then did my typical leg curls and extensions for my sketchy knees. I’ve gone up again in weight for these exercises. 3×10 set/rep scheme remains. I think that we always go back to rep ranges from our early lifting days. For me, 3×10 was one of the first schemes I ever encountered, and I still think it’s a good, useful set/rep range for your assistance exercises.

I warmed up on the trap bar deadlift with 145 and 235, as per usual. I then jumped into my 5×5 and did 325, 345, 355, 375, 395. I ripped a callous on my left hand on the last set, but there was only a little blood. If you’ve never bled from deadlifts, you haven’t ever gone hard enough, in my opinion. You’ll notice that 395 for five is pretty darned adventurous for me, at least considering what’s been happening in the past. It was a little tough, but within my comfort zone.

From there, I dropped down to my 3×3, starting with 415 and working up to 425 on my last triple. That seemed to be enough volume for me at this point, and so I didn’t do any further singles. That, and I’d managed to keep the ripped callous from getting any worse. There’s a bit of a trick to holding heavy weight without massive carnage. Essentially, it’s holding the bar down at the crux of your hand/finger matrix, rather than up toward the middle of the palm, where it’s natural to grip. I’m still working on remembering to use the smart technique, so I bleed a bit more than is strictly necessary. I will also admit that, when the weight gets heavy, the knurling on the trap bar at the gym gets a little mean. I usually bring in a few microfiber shop cloths, like you’d get to dry your car at the self-serve spray wash. I wrap them around the handles of the trap bar on the heaviest sets, and that seems to help. I couldn’t get away with such things if I were stronger at pulling, because wrapping the grips effectively increases the diameter of the bar, thus making it harder to grip. Grip, thus far, has not been a limiting factor, at least on the trap bar.

My foray into overhead dumbbell presses was a wash. Even the 65s felt heavy today. I suspect that the increased weight over several sets of deadlift zapped my shoulders a bit. Rather than letting things slide, I supersetted front and side raises into my pulldown routine, 3×10 for each. I went with 6×6 for pulldowns, rather than 5×5, and it was good (same full stack as before). The front raises, as they often do, felt pretty good. Lateral raises, for the last many years, are tough for me. I renounced my ego for those exercises and I now use quite moderate weight. In truth, I haven’t done these exercises much in recent years, but I thought that they would be a good “shake up” exercise, since my presses were a bust.

I finished with some dips, followed by a little work on the elliptical machine. All in all, a good workout, and I’m pleased with the higher working weights I was able to use on the TBDL. Perhaps, if the stars align, I’ll go heavy next week and see what sort of big weights I can pull.

Happy Lifting!


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