Deadlift and bench press advice please

I could use some lifting advice please. I've been lifting heavy for about 6 weeks now (I did Body Pump for 2 months prior to that).

First, on my deadlifts... I've gotten up to lifting 115 lbs 3 x 8 now. I'm starting to have a hard time with my grip though. I am currently lifting without gloves and I have been lifting with a double overhand grip. Today, I tried an over/under grip to see if that would help now that my lift is getting heavier... but it felt pretty awkward and I had a harder time pulling the bar up evenly. Should I a) buy some gloves b) keep working on the over/under and it will feel more natural and I'll get better at it with time or c) try some grip improving exercises (and if so, what?).

I could also use some advice on my bench press... just how to improve at it and get stronger at it in general, any tips/advice. My bench is my weakest lift at 55 lbs 3 x 8. My squat is probably my best.

My current routine is:

Monday - strength training - full body
Tuesday - 1 hour cardio - usually a 5k run and then uphill walking afterward
Wednesday - strength training - chest/arms/shoulders
Thursday - 1 hour cardio - arc trainer or a 5k run with walk or something else afterward
Friday - strength training - legs/back

Replies

  • Plates559
    Plates559 Posts: 869 Member
    Grip failing? Buy chalk or Straps (i don't recommend)
    Grip not strong enough - Farmers walks, Static Holds, Heavy @$$ rows

    I only go mixed grip on the deadlift if I'm lifting over about 350 pounds (~80%), But I used to only be able to do low 200's double over handed. Just did a lot of farmer walks, and Kroc rows helped a lot too.

    Bench -
    Uneven when pushing? Switch to a Unilateral Dumbbell Press
    Can't lock out? Weak Triceps
    Can't get out of the hole? Weak Pectorals.
    Not sure on form? youtube: Dave Tate, Bench. Watch every video you find

    As far as your routine, I'm uncertain to what your goal is so I won't comment since I'm not sure if it needs changing
  • Helloitsdan
    Helloitsdan Posts: 5,565 Member
    Drop cardio if you want strength gains then pick it back up when you have the strength you like.

    Also build grip strength by using an olympic bar and while doing deadlifts, rows chin ups and pull ups squeeze the bar with your hands.
    Control the bar.
  • Thank you, will try some farmer walks and static holds. I am currently using an olympic bar for my DLs. I do assisted chinups and pullups and will try squeezing the bar harder when I do them. I also tried some inverted rows today.

    I will watch the Dave Tate video, and I think I do need to try doing some dumbbell presses as well. I am doing dumbbell flies, but I think the presses would help.

    As far as goals, still looking to lose about 10 more pounds, but also want to maintain strength (or even build it if possible).

    One last question that I forgot, is 3 x 8 a good place to be starting? Do people usually drop down the number of reps as they increase the weight that they're using?
  • Plates559
    Plates559 Posts: 869 Member
    Drop cardio if you want strength gains then pick it back up when you have the strength you like.

    Also build grip strength by using an olympic bar and while doing deadlifts, rows chin ups and pull ups squeeze the bar with your hands.
    Control the bar.

    You don't need to drop all cardio to achieve strength gains. That would be just silly.
  • BronnersHarris
    BronnersHarris Posts: 247 Member
    bump - for info.
  • Thanks! I'm glad you said that! I don't want to drop all cardio. I did drop some though, I used to do 3 days cardio and 2 strength and I switched it 6 weeks ago to the opposite.
  • Plates559
    Plates559 Posts: 869 Member
    One last question that I forgot, is 3 x 8 a good place to be starting? Do people usually drop down the number of reps as they increase the weight that they're using?

    3x8 is fine, so is 5x5, so is 6x4, so is 3x10, and even 8x1.

    Rep range isn't really some super magical number. If you are planning on doing a powerlifting competition you would taper your reps like 10 - 8 - 4 - 3 - 1 - 1 over the period of several weeks/months. If you are just trying to get a bit stronger there is nothing wrong with a 3x8 for months on end. I personally like what Wendler does in his 5/3/1 Program and the last set of your lift is taken to failure. It makes it fun to try and beat old rep maxes.
  • RedHeadDevotchka
    RedHeadDevotchka Posts: 1,394 Member
    I would start incorporating more carbs into my diet if I were you. They are essential to strength.
    As for dead lifting, get yourself a belt to stabilize your back, it helps me maintain proper form. Also, with the deadlift be sure that you are gripping it one hand over one hand under, it makes a HUGE difference.
    Try dropping the reps, and using heavier weights for 6 reps instead of 8-10.
    I started out deadlifting 100 lbs, and I can max at 265.
  • Goal_Line
    Goal_Line Posts: 474 Member
    Don't drop cardio.

    For ideas on program design check out the following book: "New Rules of Lifting for Women" also there appears to be a MFP group dedicated to this book.
  • Check out dieselcrew.com. They are good guys and have a lot of videos on proper form, technique and how to get the most out of all lifts. They stress safe form and I believe they will really help you out.
  • LovePBandJ
    LovePBandJ Posts: 288 Member
    Thanks OP and PLATES. Good info on this thread. :)
  • Plates559
    Plates559 Posts: 869 Member
    Love ya red, but I would say...
    As for dead lifting, get yourself a belt to stabilize your back, it helps me maintain proper form.
    The belt is to help you lift more, not prevent injuries. Proper form will help prevent the injuries.
    Also, with the deadlift be sure that you are gripping it one hand over one hand under, it makes a HUGE difference.
    Its called Mixed grip. And it is fine to use all the time, and also never. Heck I've personally seen someone deadlift 850 pounds with a hooked grip, double over hand. So if OP doesn't want to use mixed she will be fine.
    Try dropping the reps, and using heavier weights for 6 reps instead of 8-10.
    Or she could just try to get more reps at the current weight she reps, strength will come either way.
  • On the deadlift use some chalk and the new grip you're using. Give it some time.

    If you really want to up your bench pay close attention in training your triceps. Do the close grip bench press everytime you train triceps but I suggest training chest and arms on different days.When your triceps are really strong your bench will sky rocket. Also doing some light rotator cuff exercises will help alot. Good luck.
  • FullOfWin
    FullOfWin Posts: 1,414 Member
    3x8 is fine for most stuff. Usually with deadlifts though you only do one workset. At lighter weight doing more than one isn't such a big deal, but you could still just do one workset after a couple warmups. You could do something like 8x55, 4x85, 8x115.

    Also realize that beyond a certain point you are not going to get stronger while eating a deficit.

    I would recommend looking at this http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/686963-large-collection-of-info-for-beginners

    And doing this routine which is slower on strength progression and hence more forgiving to a calorie deficit

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=147447933
  • Lift_hard_eat_big
    Lift_hard_eat_big Posts: 2,278 Member
    Drop cardio if you want strength gains then pick it back up when you have the strength you like.

    No need to drop cardio, in fact, improving your cardiovascular system will help you during strength training.
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    Drop cardio if you want strength gains then pick it back up when you have the strength you like.

    Also build grip strength by using an olympic bar and while doing deadlifts, rows chin ups and pull ups squeeze the bar with your hands.
    Control the bar.

    You don't need to drop all cardio to achieve strength gains. That would be just silly.

    I agree - the amount of cardio being done is not excessive.
  • wmagoo27
    wmagoo27 Posts: 201 Member
    Deadlift - Experiment with different grips. Overhand grip, mixed grip, hook grip are a few. Mixed grip is my personal favorite. As far as training your grip, try doing pullups with just your fingertips on the bar instead of a solid grip. This engages the forearms more to support your weight. This is a common training method for rock climbers.

    Bench - The way to bench more is to bench more. You should be doing multiple sets of bench press at least twice per week. Your weakness in the lift can be determined by sticking points. Do you have a hard time getting the bar off your chest, or locking it out at the top? If your sticking point is at the bottom, work on flies and chest exercises. If your sticking point is at the lockout, work on tricep exercises. Look at assistance exercises that are variations of bench press too. I have 1 day dedicated to bench, and after my sets of bench press, I do 5 sets of incline bench, 3 sets of close grip bench, 5 sets of dumbell bench, and plyometric pushups.