View Full Version : Peaking for a Deadlift only competition

07-14-2013, 06:10 PM
I'll be competing at a Deadlift only competition in six weeks time. I would like to hear what approach others have taken, and what your experiences have been when organising training to peak for such an occasion. Or even just what you do/used to do to peak for competition when you were at a similar level to where I am now.

A bit of background: I’ll be competing unequipped, at less than 90 kg. At the IDFPA National Championship in March this year I pulled 260 kg. It is my intent to add a few (or more than a few) kg’s to this number. I’m a Class III lifter according to the Russian Classification Chart (550 kg at last meet) and I’ve been trying to apply the RTS concepts for the last six months. As recommended in the RTS Manual, I’ve been applying some of the concepts and then applying more as I become used to them. I’m currently using Fatigue Stops and Unidirectional Loading.

I have just completed two Intensity weeks. My plan for the next six weeks leading into the competition is as follows:

Two Volume weeks

x3 - 4 @8.5 Deadlift Main/Specific (Deadlift w/ belt)
x3 - 4 @8-9 Deadlift Assistance/Special (Deadlift w/ chains. It has been Pause work for the last couple of months)
x6 - 10 @8-9 Deadlift Supplement (Snatch Grip DL)
Continue all Bench and Squat training as usual. I use a Bench, Squat, Bench, Deadlift split with all my squat movements trained the same day, and all my deadlift movements trained the same day (this is done due to a time limitation on the lifting platform at the gym which means I typically only deadlift on Saturday’s during the day).

Three Intensity Weeks
Week 1:

x1 @9.5 Deadlift Main. This will be my heaviest week before competition. I’ll take a weight that will approximately be my second lift at competition.
Continue Deadlift Assistance training; reduce/remove Deadlift Supplement training.
Reduce highest RPE work and volume a little on other lifts.

Week 2:

x1 @8.5 Deadlift Main. Approximately my opener.
Continue Deadlift Assistance training, remove Deadlift Supplement training.
Reduce volume on other lifts.

Week 3:

x1 @8 Deadlift Main. Approximately my last warm-up weight.
Continue Deadlift Assistance training, reduced volume.
Reduce volume on other lifts.

Week 4: (Competition Saturday)

Maybe some x2-3 @8-8.5 Bench and Squat Main/Assistance early in the week
Saturday: Break a PR!


Mike Tuchscherer
07-16-2013, 10:02 AM
I like the volume phase. I think things drop off too much in the intensity phase. You'll want to raise your intensity. Think of this as the average weight that you use. But you'll want to lower the volume only as much as necessary in order to prevent overreaching or injury. You're dropping tons of volume.

I would keep the supplemental work until week 3 at least. Maybe up until week 4. If you insist on using singles for the main work, that's fine, but get some rep work in after. See my training logs for details on how I use that method. That said, this probably isn't necessary for a Class 3 lifter. I would hold a mock meet on Week 2 and keep the rest of it normal training. Focus on 2 and 3 reps mostly for your main work. Focus on 3 and 4 reps for your assist work.

Hope that helps.

07-16-2013, 06:20 PM
Mike, thanks for the input. I guess what was driving this plan was my previous (limited) experience. That has involved easing off like this. I don't know if it did my performance any harm, but I hadn't thought that it did. I'm definitely interested in trying something new, otherwise I'll never find what might be optimal for me at the moment.

As suggested, I'll program the intensity phase essentially as I have been for the last few months but with the mock meet two weeks out. Here's to building momentum and expecting great gains (gainz!!) over the next six weeks.

08-25-2013, 06:27 AM
I competed at the deadlift competition yesterday and secured a 2.5 kg PR (and first place in the 90 kg weight class) with 262.5 kg.
As discussed above, I completed a mock meet (deadlift only) two weeks out from the competition. I did this on Thursday of the training week after having trained Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday also. It worked out like this:
Attempt 1: 225 kg - Good
Attempt 2: 245 kg - Good https://www.dropbox.com/s/dnnyunwfh3hnj1z/2013%20Week%2031%20Deadlift%20245%20kg%20x1%20%401 0.MOV
Attempt 3: 260 kg - Miss https://www.dropbox.com/s/vwso841er7ytwb5/2013%20Week%2031%20Deadlift%20260%20kg%20x0.MOV

Last Saturday (9 days after mock meet) I worked up to 200 kg x3 @8 and 215 kg x1 @7. I felt strong and the lifts were fast on this day.

Yesterday I didn't feel quite as strong as I had last weekend but I suppose the driving, unfamiliar surroundings, standing around, etc. that comes with competition day will play a role in that.
Attempt 1: 240 kg - Good
Attempt 2: 255 kg - Good
Attempt 3: 262.5 kg - Good https://www.dropbox.com/s/fmu4uhwnorkzyq5/trim.HA2Oqr.MOV

I changed my attempt selection strategy based on my miss of 260 kg in the gym to aim for the most I thought I would definitely get on my second and then to judge the PR attempt based on how that felt.

Mike Tuchscherer
08-27-2013, 04:15 AM
Nice work! Congrats on the PR!