Bar Speed to prescribe Load and Reps for new Supplemental Exercises

Browsing the web looking for ideas on how to improve my deadlift I encountered this (new to me) deadlift variation from the Catalyst Athletic website.

The name of the exercise is curious at least and it certainly hit me! Come on! Isn’t this funny? Isn’t deadlift supposed to be the heaviest lift? Shouldn’t we be planting our feet into the ground when we deadlift? Here we talk about floating… wow!

Actually the purpose of the exercise is perfectly fitting my needs: it works the very first part of the pull,concentrically and  eccentrically and with a slightly wider range of motion than a normal pull, that is the reason of the riser.
Especially eccentric and isometric strength plays a big role in growing my max lifts so the lack of rest between reps at full range of motion is what I’m looking for to work on the correct posture and strengthen my back muscles.

I decided to use it as the first supplemental exercise for my workout straight after my max effort exercise, which was Deadlift from Deficit.. (or I guess I should call it Deadlift from Riser to be cool..).

The exercise was originally suggested to improve the Clean Pull Posture and I needed to adapt this to the deadlift, but that doesn’t change the whole purpose.  To me, supplemental exercises are the real secret to improve my max lifts so throwing in some new stuff was welcome !

These are my results, I incorrectly kept tracking the exercise with my first lift, check the last two sets for the results :



Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 14.57.54



A quick commentary :

my target was 2-3 reps at a speed of 0.3 m/s (as I am working absolute Strength in this case).

The speed stayed over 0.3 m/s and power didn’t drop at all, even when I added weight for the second set. Let bar speed set the rules: at least another rep with this load or more load on the bar is necessary the next time I perform this exercise.

2 sets for 3 reps @ 170 kg

As this was the first time with this exercise I stayed conservative: I have never done this exercise before so I had to adjust to the technique. I also had no idea what changes the “eccentric to concentric” part of the exercise would have brought to the lift so I had to guess the load for the first set.

By tracking the lift I have been able to quickly adjust without the need for further sets that would have burnt me.

When you work at 90% or around that intensity you don’t need a great amount of volume. Many tables are available, they all suggest around 10-12 total repetitions at the highest intensity. So I saved some reps to work on the latest part of the Deadlift with some Rack Pulls.

There you go:

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 14.58.42
Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 14.58.55


As you can see this time fatigue was rapidly kicking in!

You can see from the bar chart the second rep of each set was enough to let the power and the speed of the bar drop below 90% of the first rep. This time the combo load + reps is perfect. I already knew 170kg was the correct load for this exercise from my previous session so I just had to lift until power (or speed if you like) dropped below my target. To do this I set the goal “Max Strength” into the Beast App just before the exercise and I checked for the live feedback during the exercise: the second bar was faded, indicating that was enough. 

Checking total Volume: 2 sets were enough, added to the previous exercise to make 10 total reps with the first supplemental exercise (15 total reps if I count the max lifts), all above 90% of my 1RM.

Overall I felt like this routine could be perfect to improve my deadlift in this moment: it directly addresses my weak spot with pulls in the lower position, it focuses on correct posture and yet it is complete being able to train also the second part of the lift. Hopefully this will bring me good results the next week and I will keep this until the end of the month! I will keep adjusting load and reps also for the Floating Deadlift Pulls from Riser by checking Bar Speed.

Thanks to Catalyst Athletics to let me discover a great new exercise!

Please your leave comment below!


Ps: you can easily add new and customised exercises to the Beast library before your workout, just follow the guide in the video.




by Ingtommy

Founder, President and CTO of Beast Technologies Aerospace Engineer turned Certified Strength Coach Wide Receiver for Parma Panthers and Italian National Football Team "Lifting is mathematics, physics and biomechanics" cit. Louie Simmons