Thoughts on the deadlift

Some of you might have noticed that I’ve got a draft of my program to be up on the blog here. Henrik asked me to elaborate some thought on the deadlift day in particular and I figured it’d make a good post.

Here’s what the plan looks like now (the part that’s relevant for this post that is):

Day three, deadlift:

Deficit sumo DL: 5×2@70%

Conventional DL: 1×80%, 5+, 3+ or 1+ set.

Conventional DL from low blocks: 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps with 65%, 70% and 75% over a three-week period.

First of all, if you want a big deadlift, you have to pull from the floor. It’s really that simple. Also, the deadlift will build a nice and strong posterior chain like pretty much nothing else. If you’re not deadlifting, you’re missing out.

Columbo pulling big

Columbo pulling big

My strongest deadlift is the sumo deadlift and since I compete in powerlifting, that’s my competition lift. I do however like the conventional deadlift for overall strengthbuilding. Here are my thoughts about the three main exercises I’ve chosen to build my deadlift:

The deficit sumo deadlift: This is by far the best way for me to train the competition lift. I’m weaker at the bottom, and getting up on a pair of plates lets me work even more on positioning, mobility and power off the floor. I’ve found that I grind myself to death if I don’t use the plates. This is for base training – as I get closer to a meet, I’ll reintroduce regular sumo deadlifts. Since this is my competition lift, I’ll be doing it first.

This is also a great way to get the hips warmed up.

The conventional deadlift: For building a strong back and strong hamstrings, I think the conventional deadlift is far superior to the sumo deadlift. That is why I’ve chosen the conventional deadlift as my main lift for 5/3/1. A nice bonus is that my 1RM in the conventional deadlift and the deficit sumo is about identical, so I don’t need to modify the spreadsheet. This is support work disguised as a main exercise. 🙂

The conventional deadlift off low blocks: Aka the rackpull is great for building a strong back and hamstrings. Especially in the conventional deadlift, my position off the floor isn’t too good, so by lifting the bar just 5-10cm, I’ll be able to target the muscles more effectively. I’ve also thought about doing just one set at 65/70/75% for as many reps as possible – not quite sure on that one just yet.

Romanian deadlifts: Will be done on squat-day for 5 sets of 5 reps.

That’s pretty much it really. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, don’t be shy.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on the deadlift

  1. What are your thoughts on the (Deficit) Snatch-Grip Deadlift?
    How much, does it transfer to other lifts? And to wich lifts?

    • Hmmmm.
      I like the lift for some people, though not everyone can get in the right starting position (especially not when puling from a deficit).
      It’s a good way to strengthen the posterior chain and the lower back particularly. Exactly how big of a transfer it has is impossible to say, though it’ll definitely help the deadlift and the squat.

  2. I’d like to weigh in on the snatch grip deadlifts: As a bodybuilding exercise it’s great (if you can get in the proper position). As a strength building exercise it sucks!

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