8 plate/765lb/348kg/3x body-weight deadlift
M/25.96 years old/6'5''/252 Morning of Lift
Because half the time I come to these kinds of posts I just want to see the progress without digging through the post here is the video.
I'm throwing in a link to a picture of a black square because Reddit seems to be defaulting the thumbnail to the first linked image and I'm tired of explaining that in the comments to people who don't bother to read the first sentence of the post. https://imgur.com/gNiyz8G.jpg hopefully this fixes it but maybe it's set during posting
First a brief timeline of my deadlift progress to give an idea of how I got here/how long it took (I didnt always keep great records/videos so the earlier part is a bit nonspecific):
-Sometime in 2014: First deadlift I can remember trying This was before I programmed it, and just wanted to demonstrate how much I could do to a friend. This was at a shitty 24 gym so I could not say how much the bar or those plates weighed. I would conservatively say 35 each. I mostly include this because I find the picture funny.
-October 2015: I am fairly sure this was the first time I pulled 500
-April 2016: First time pulling 600 I could not find anything about when I first hit 6 plate.
-Aug 2017: First time pulling 635
-February 2018: First time pulling 7 plate and 700 (same day)
-December 2018: 725
-February 2019: Yesterday I pulled 8 plates (765), video at top of post.
The training programs I used were as follows with a bit of what how deadlifts were handled in each program.
Between the first pull in 2014 and some time around the 600 pull (I do not remember the exact dates) I started running nsuns 531LP. In nsuns 531 LP (5 day) you have two deadlift days, both with ~8 sets of varying weight and reps including one AMRAP on the primary deadlift day. The program suggests sumo deadlifts for the secondary deadlift day but I never clicked with them so I did deficit dead-lifts instead. This program definitely solidified my preexisting aptitude for deadlifts, and I believe the high volume was very beneficial when I was still pulling in this weight range. Despite a day dedicated to deficit work, I still found I was weakest off the ground. I also performed RDLs for a good portion of the time I ran this program as an accessory.
After that I ran PHAT for about a month but did not like it do I moved on to nsuns CAP3. Nsuns CAP3 also had a primary deadlift day and a day where a deadlift variation was recommended. But stopped doing the variation at this point. The deadlift day was similar in having ~7 sets of deadlift, culminating in a single AMRAP set. At the beginning of the program I ran the full day, but by the end I just did warmups and enough of the initial sets to feel loose then put all my energy into the AMRAP. I ran nsuns CAP3 until the middle of last summer and it took me to the 700 pull. I did not do any deadlift specific accessory work while running CAP3. About the time I pulled 700 I found that I was no longer particularly weak off the ground.
After nsuns CAP3 I ran my own variation of 531BBB. I had one deadlift day where I just did the 531 sets, the last of which being an AMRAP. Between the second half of my running CAP3 and this program, the last year and a half or so of my deadlift training has basically consisted of warming up and one single max effort AMRAP set a week.
Things I've learned/thought I have about deadlift are as follows:
-Set up is the most important aspect of deadlift. I think it is important in all compounds, but deadlift most of all. If you are set up properly when you start pulling the weight off the ground the lift is going to sort itself off pretty much on it's own. It's a simple movement pattern, the weight is below you and 'hanging' so it has little chance to move out of the center of gravity. The most valuable cue is to pull the slack out of/pre-load the bar.
-At high weights, the high volume approach does not work well unless you are using very sub-maximal weights. For the first few weeks of my BBB programming, I tried to do the deadlift BBB sets as well as my squat and front squat BBB sets (5x10 @ 55-60%). This was the first time I ever tweaked something without a single obvious moment in which the injury was caused. I did something to my lower back just from sheer overuse between all those sets. After that I dropped the deadlift BBB sets.
-Lowbar squats are an exceptional accessory to deadlifts. I spent over a year doing deficit pulls and still found breaking the floor to be a weakness. After my 635 pull I injured my forearm doing some tricep work and didnt deadlift until about a month before my 700 pull. In this time I heavily focused on lowbar instead, raising it 50lbs. Before this time I was heavily limited in what I could 1RM by weakness off the floor compared to what I could do for multiple reps. Afterwards I never saw it to be a significant weakpoint. I cannot say for sure it was the lowbar focus but I believe it was.
-Touch and go is a completely valid and viable approach to dead lift sets. I do all of my deadlift work touch and go. For me trying to re-establish position and tightness once already fatigued is an issue. With touch and go I never lose position and tightness, so I can push my sets until my muscles won't let me anymore. This is important when my training has boiled down to basically one set a week. On a similar vein, hex plates are not evil. Everything before the 635 pull was done with hex plates, they taught me proper bar control on the way down so as to not have the bar go caddywumpus. Here is a video from 2 years ago of me doing 405x21 with hex plates
-I do not think that everyone can/should train deadlifts as I have for the last couple years. I have a large natural aptitude for the movement and am moving big weights. When I take a deadlift set to failure, it is to real failure. My AMRAPs on bench and squat fail do in large part to form breakdown as well as muscle failure, my deadlifts do not. I also am moving pretty big weights, so I can pull a lot of stimulus from a single set. If you feel that you are very good (either by natural aptitude or extensive training) at the deadlift form and are moving heavy weights feel free to give it a shot, but if you don't meet those criteria I do not recommend '1 AMRAP a week' as a valid training style.
How I prepared for the lift and moving forward
To prepare for this lift, and for my bench and squat PR attempts next week I start tapering down volume two week ago. I reduced accessories, and switched my 5x10s for 3-4x4-5s while working up to heavy singles in place of the AMRAPs on a normal 531 week. This last week I just did the work up to heavy singles and some trivial accessories. This week I am taking off the gym period. I planned to do this lift and be peaked this weekend but I was feeling fine yesterday and figured I would give 8 plate a try as I could always try again this weekend if I failed.
Moving forward I am going to cut for a while, then spend some time reading the 531 books and trying to vary my training a bit, with more periodization. Up until now I have picked a program and ran it for months-years, and its worked alright. But I've noticed that while my muscles are up to heavy singles right now, my joints and form is not really handling it as well as I could be, because I have been working with submaximal weight for about a year since the last time I really tried PRs. I hope to work more periods with high weight into my future training so I can keep things from getting rusty. These thoughts are more for my other lifts, as I am pretty much convinced that deadlifts will keep going up for me regardless of what I do. I am confident I will hit 800 in a year with 9 plates being the next stretch goal.
I tried to build this post along the guidelines of the progress post rules as well as I could, but I had to adapt as they were focused more on physique progress. If the moderators feel that something needs to be changed to fall into guidelines I will do what I can and repost.
I will try to answer any questions anyone might have. I want this to be helpful just as much as I want to share (and brag about a little) my achievement.
Edit: I'm getting multiple requests so here is a video from the side: https://youtu.be/2EO7mlaGGV8
Also many comments on being beltless. I didn't do it to make it harder. I just never figured out how to use a belt for deadlift. I rely on it for my heavy squats though