Deadlift Clusters

Hey Coach,

I learned clusters from you (Layers Program) and they did tremendous things to my bench & overhead. I was wondering, is it applicable to sumo deadlifts, as assistance or instead of ramping to a 2-3 rep max?

I know you don’t use deadlifts much but let’s say from a perspective of someone who can do them with good technique and good body leverages for it.


I do use the deadlift. It’s not in the original layer program but I’ve used clusters on them in the past. Heck I used clusters on snatches and cleans… in fact olympic lifters pretty much always use clusters on their snatches and clean & jerks… think about it … if they do 3 reps they lift the bar, drop it, take time to reset, lift again, etc. Basically they do have 5-15 between reps.

Yes, great point. Do you think 3 sets of 4-6 reps at 90% of 2RM, a la classic Layers, be effective?

Sure… it’s the higher rep stuff that would be problematic (like the original 5-4-3-2-1 high density sets)

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Thanks a lot!