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Deadlift Focus


I'm trying to build myself a program that focuses on the deadlift. I'm very much interested in compound lifts such as front squats, pullups, bench, rows, and so forth but I want to focus my main heavy energy (1-4 reps) on getting the biggest deadlift I can. I've looked up the Westside method but it spends more time working the squat than I'd like. It also recommends a tremendous plethora of different good mornings, reverse hypers, and so on. If I'm training to deadlift heavy, I figure I should pull heavy at least once a week.

I guess my main question is this: Westside variety or frequent heavy pulls? Either way, how often should I deadlift?

A note on experience: I've been lifting on and off for the last few years but I'm just now starting to really get into it. My weights are definitely on the light side. My trap-bar DL max is only 275, and I'm not even sure I can front squat my bodyweight yet. I'm 6' 3", 175 lbs soaking wet.


Why do you care so much about the deadlift? How about you follow just about any training program and stop being malnourished so you don't look like a flag pole. You should be focusing on all the lifts and building a well rounded strength base until you are probably AT LEAST 190, more like 210 or more.


You don't sound unlike me 10 years ago. I was 6'2" and 165 then. Without weight training seriously I got to about 185 mostly from sports. When I finally started training I was 195. The point is I then packed on 30+ pounds in 2 years. I really think this is the approach you ought to take too. By that I mean a well rounded program and a high protein high calorie (relatively clean) diet.

Westside does and doesn't emphasize squats, because you can really pick whatever max effort exercise accomplishes your goals. If you want a big deadlift you better squat too though. Good mornings are going to serve you well too. I'd go after it and use a westside template. Heavy pulling every week will not hurt you at this point (you've got a long way to go from 275), but as you get stronger (500+ pulls) you'll find that pulling often may not be the best for you.

Good Luck!


5/3/1 worked best for my deadlift. Even if you don't want to do the whole program I would recommend just dedicating 1 day a week as deadlift day using the 5/3/1 rep scheme. Compared to other lifts it doesn't need to be hit as often.


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I'm not in the camp where as you get stronger you pull less. Last workout I worked up to a double at 560, the five sets of 3 with 465 with ninety seconds rest, then two rack pulls from the knees with 525, 595 for singles.

Then there's the rest of the workout. Currently I'm being trained by Josh Bryant and it's working pretty well.


I love hearing advice from people who know what they're talking about. Thanks so much for all the information.