12 Weeks out, Day 2, Deadlift and Bench Press

Since I'm alternating heavy pulls from the floor with necessarily lighter snatch grip stiff-legged deadlifts, last week's heavy pulls meant this week was snatch grip SLDL day.  In addition to the SLDL's, I added in a new movement which for lack of a better name, I'll call end-range hip lifts.  Basically it's a rack deadlift set up about 2" above the knees and the movement I was going after was a hip hinge with speed.  Like a super heavy, short ROM Dimel deadlift.  The point of the movement is to keep the torso rigid and to get a fast 'hip pop'.  It's a heavily loaded speed movement.

I learned of the movement from Dr. Michael Mangan, the veteran lifter I run into occasionally at the gym. He routinely does sets of 10 with 945!  I had no illusions I would come close to that kind of loading, especially the first time trying them but I thought they would be a perfect compliment to the snatch grip SLDL's since they hit the end range of the hip hinge hard and would place a ton of stress on the upper back.

The snatch grip SLDL's went well, I tried to do 3 sets of 6 with my top weight of 365 but I only got 5 reps on the third set.  After those I set up for the hip pop rack deadlifts.  495x5 was pretty easy, 585x5 was harder but manageable and my final set with 675 was good for 4 reps.  I had more in my hips but I was losing tightness in the upper body.  This was the first time I can remember actually handling weights in excess of my 1 RM in the deadlift.  I have handled supra-maximal weights in the squat and routinely handle them in the bench press but this was the first time I've done it with a deadlift.

The only other time I can remember handling supra-maximal weights in a deadlift type movement was when I entered a novice strongman competition about 5 yrs ago.  One of the events was a wheelbarrow deadlift and I think I tapped out at somewhere around 700--most of the top guys in my weight class got into the 800's.  Anyways, my memories of that were that the weight was crushing and I tweaked something in my back.  Maybe that's why I hadn't programmed them into my training since.

Anyways, the set with 675 went fine and my back felt strong.  My hip pop was fast but what gave out was my core.  After the 4th rep, I could feel my chest start to sag into my belt and I knew my core was out of gas.  There's no point in doing this particular movement if torso integrity is lost since the idea is to transfer as much speed from the hip lockout to bar movement.

After trying the movement tonight, I think it's a keeper at least for a while. I could definitely feel my hips working hard but more importantly, the extra stress of holding the weight really hit areas that are lacking.  As my core builds the strength to handle heavier weights, I'll be able to really load the movement to hit the hips hard.  As an added benefit, everything from the ears down gets hit hard.  The extra torso rigidity that will develop should carryover nicely to both my deadlift and my squat.

After the deadlift movements, I was pretty gassed but I had bench presses to do.  My full ROM work would be 5 sets of 3 paused reps with 245 (1" rest between sets) and my end range work would be Titan Ram presses.  Like Tuesday, I was out of gas and couldn't hit the heaviest set very well.  I'm pretty sure it was due to the fatigue from the pulling.  I'll add a third day to the weekly schedule when I start to stagnate on this 2 workouts and a day of golf weekly schedule but for now, I'm still making nice progress both in weights handled and in session density.

Snatch Grip Stiff-legged Deadlift:  135x5, 225x5, 315x5, 365x6, 365x6, 365x5

Rack Deadlifts:  495x5, 585x5, 675x4

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x10, 185x5, 245x3x5 sets

Titan Ram bench press:  add wrist wraps, 275x3, 315x3, 365x1 (failed on rep 2)

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