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Brad Gillingham Deadlift Program Without Lifting Suit

I’d like to try Brad Gillinghams 16 week deadlift program - the one with 8 weeks of rack pulls and 8 weeks of 6x1 deadlifts. The loads on the deadlift weeks are calculated from a fully geared max (suit and belt). However I have never used a lifting suit, and honestly I am not planning to start using it either. So does anyone know how I should calculate the loads on the deadlift weeks from a belt only-max?

Going from 6x1x60% to 6x1x82,5% is not too much or even close to that. The problem in Gillinghams program for RAW lifters is that you alternate between deadlifting off of the floor and rack pulls which in this program are exclusively meant to aid a geared deadlift.

Also as a RAW and presumably natty lifter, deadlifting only every other week while maxing out on assistance work is not a good way to progress.

Any reason you write raw in all caps?

I actually made my best ever deadlift progress deadlifting once every 2 months. Rest of it was mat pulls from various heights and assistance work. I think it really depends on the lifter.

Edit: As for the question posted, I never ran the program, but a deadlift suit honestly doesn’t add much weight. I don’t think it will make too big a difference at this point.


I’m actually not sure. Just a habit since some of the feds I’ve competed in write it that way so I’ve grown to using it. Might send a wrong message to some people though :grin:

Thanks for the replies. I think I will give the program a try :slight_smile:

I might look up his program, i made best gains pulling every ten days or two weeks, even geared couldn’t recoup, i pull conventional. May sumo you could every week.

I’ve always pulled once, twice or even thrice a week but after disc herniation, I’m forced to both switch to sumo from conventional, but also lifting a lot less often. At least at first. Never really pulled sumo before so I have to get the form perfect before going heavier.

I’m another pull fortnightly guy. I pulled weekly for reps for six months trying to break 600 lbs, my DL max went nowhere. I got better at reps though. Started pulling heavy fortnightly again and I added 15 lbs to my max in about six weeks, getting my 600 lbs.

I definitely work better if do a DL variation every week, but only pull heavy every 10-14 days. Squats twice a week are necessary for me, though. Once heavy, once less heavy.

I think if you’re pulling below 440 lbs, multiple DL days per week may work better, but once you’re closing in on or passing 500 lbs heavy off the floor generally needs to be dialled back. That’s when variations and opposite stance becomes almost mandatory.

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