Jun 13, 2016 According to Mike MacDonald, over 60% of lifters miss their third deadlift attempt (less than 50% miss their third squat and bench attempts). Based on my experience, I would have guessed this number to be higher, but if this stat holds true, there is definitely a noticeable increase of misses in deadlift. And certainly, a reason can be that the weight is just too heavy. But let's suppose that there are reasons aside from it being too heavy. Reasons, such as the fatigue settling in, that can be remedied before or during the meet. So let's talk about it. Here are some reasons that I can think of regarding missing 3rd DL attempts that might be remedied (again, aside from the weight just being too heavy): General meet fatigue (obviously) from previous lifts Fatigue (obviously) from wasted expense of energy between flights of lifters (especially amongst inexperienced lifters) Meet venue has insufficient area to rest (small/cramped space, crappy/too few chairs, etc.) Insufficient nutrition/hydration Meet-sustained injury (tight hammy, shoulder sprain, lower back strain, etc.) Inability to read/make adjustments based on meet conditions/warming-up Ignorance of rules that allow for changing your opener (which would otherwise allow a 3rd attempt to be lower) Strong (stubborn?) desire to hit a number (break a lift/total record or get a lift/total PR) Any others? So what can be done in training, during meet peak, and on meet day to help improve our chances of hitting a third deadlift attempt that would otherwise have been missed because of the reasons above? <><> Meet-induced Fatigue What areas of the body are noticeably fatigued by the time you have to warm-up for deadlifts that may cause you to miss your PR attempt? Lower back, hamstrings, abs/obliques (trunk)? Any others? Is this preventable through training? We train muscles for strength, but are they trained for the endurance/stamina needed to work properly at the end of a meet? For example, would adding some, some “cool down” exercises (RPE 4-5 intensity) at the end of your training help promote better endurance in those areas that get fatigued? Such as the following: bodyweight back extensions (2 sets of 20-25 reps) for the lower back? leg curl machine (2 sets of 20-25 reps) for the hamstrings? weighted plank (2 sets of bodyweight or single plate on your back for time) for the trunk? Preventable Fatigue (i.e. wasted energy) Inexperienced lifters can waste a lot of energy, especially early on in a meet. They arrive, and immediately go around talking to other people they know. Take selfie pics. During the meet, 1000 trips to the bathroom and more selfie pics. Going for a walk, or making a food run. Standing (thereby fatiguing those hamstrings). Constantly squatting, rotating the shoulders, etc. that goes well beyond just staying loose. Nutrition/Hydration I’ve been reading/hearing advice for lifters to steer clear of consuming sports drinks early in the meet. Stick with water. The reasoning seems all over the place. My take is that it’s the calories in sports drinks that can keep you too satiated to eat something more beneficial, until you’re then starving). Ever have that experience of feeling not hungry to starving in seemingly minutes? Ancedote (not data) alert: I had better success at my last two meets by sticking with water and flavored BCAAs (along with stimulant pre-workout during my warm-ups) all the way through my DLs. Then I switched to Gatorade/Powerade. Regarding food, other than a big breakfast, I tend to vary my eating habits based on the size and pace of the meet. But it generally tends to be BCAAs and carbs. I try not to consume a lot of protein until after deadlifts. Any thoughts/other ideas? Handling a Meet-Sustained Injury Proper warming up techniques Bringing a roller, lacrosse ball, bands, and thick towels to lay on – for the purpose of working out nagging issues that arise from lifting. Rehab techniques – there seems to be some debate on how vigorous you want to be when trying to remedy an ailment like muscle pull/knot. Any thoughts here? I have been sticking with vigorous rubbing-type massage, rather than deep-tissue type massage. Use heat oil – apply and numb the areas that are minor annoyance level Providing Meet Comfort for Downtime Bring some thick towels or blankets, maybe some comfortable folding chairs in case the meet venue does not have these things for lifters to rest between flights. The last meet I was at, had only those metal chairs you rent for parties … and by the end of the day it felt like I had competed. Making Adjustments Videorecord warm-ups. If you're a coach/handler, video record the significant warm-ups and show it to the lifter. The lifter will feel things move better/slower and will not know if/when to make changes to the lifting. As things get fatigued, technique starts changing (hips are too high at the start of the pull, for example). Other? Just throwing some stuff out there to get the conversation going….