Graduated Deadlift Struggle Sets w/ VIDEO (07 Aug 2015)

Posted on 08 Aug 2015 10:36


Deadlift Struggle Sets and Regular Deadlifts to work through sticking points.

Before I get into this workout I want to mention something that I am pondering about right now. I have been a deadlift only strength guy for a long time now - since January 2008 to be specific. I don't intend on ever changing that but I feel like improving my pressing ability as well - and I mean that from a maximal strength standpoint. I've been gradually racking up the volume and building my neglected muscles for a few short months now. I am debating on altering my workout template a bit based on this new goal of being a better press guy. I this is what the overall template will look like:

  • DL Main Workout
  • Press Main Workout
  • DL Second Workout (today's Struggle sets)
  • Back & Biceps
  • Squats & Biceps
  • Press Workout 2

These are six workouts in a ten day rotation. Also, this is still tentative. Once I finalize everything I will make a fresh post about it. Alright, enough about macro-level issues. Time to get down to Deadlifts & Struggle Sets.

Okay there are quite a few things I want to discuss about this workout. To begin with, if you are curious to know why I am doing these odd-looking Graduated Struggle Sets please read up on my last workout which has the detailed explanation by Clicking Here. The basic gist is that these struggle sets help me grind through sticking points - it builds grinding endurance.

Now, keeping that in mind, I mentioned this in my previous workout video as well: as I move closer to using maximal end weights and weights closer and closer to my 1RM of 230 kgs I will end up cutting down the struggle time per set. I won't be surprised if at the really heavy weights I am able to hold the position at the shins for just a second or two. So you can imagine just how challenging this is. I need to keep my core braced really tight throughout the lift. Well, speaking of keeping my core tight, I think this workout was a huge flop in that regard: I was so extraordinarily bloated I just couldn't engage my core without farting. Yes, I sound like Mark Bell with his toiler humor but this is the uncomfortable and unfortunate truth about being bloated and doing a deadlift workout.

I did 6 sets of struggle sets and instead of doing my usual 3 x 3 regular deadlifts I ended up doing 2 SUPER heavy singles with 215 kgs 474 lbs because my training partner was working with much heavier weights and I was tired of changing plates. Yes, laziness is my reason for lifting more weight. Ironic.

Next week I will be doing all 6 struggle sets with 200 kgs. And after that I will do 3 x 3 with 200 kgs on regular deadlifts. Check out the workout below and I have inserted an audio commentary into the training video.


Deadlifts & Struggle Sets

Graduated Struggle Sets:

195 kgs = 430 lbs @ 85% of 230 kgs 1RM
200 kgs = 441 lbs @ 87% of 230 kgs 1RM
215 kgs = 474 lbs @ 93% of 230 kgs 1RM
125 kgs = 275 lbs
Pre-Lockout: PL
Knees: K
Shins: S
seconds: s

195 @ 16s @ PL
195 @ 12s @ K
195 @ 6s @ S
200 @ 12s @ PL
200 @ 10s @ K
200 @ 6s @ S

Regular Deadlifts:

215 x 1
215 x 1
125 x 12 wide grip

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