Deadlift questions

I’ve been training for about 10 months and have been deadlifting once a week for the last two months. For the record I’m 6’3 235lbs 20%bf (not great). I have some questions:-

  1. How can I best improve my deadlift strength. My last workout looked like this: 60kgx8, 100kgx6, 140kgx4, 170kgx2, 180kgx2, 185kgx1. My aim is to get stronger, so do these reps/sets look effective or not? I’m basically warming up and then doing low volume/heavy weight. Should I vary with some high volume/lower weight? That’s probably an obvious yes, but what else?

Also, which assistance exercises would be relevant? My technique is basically what I think Ian King recommends, bar against the legs, shoulders over the bar, drive with the legs until the bar passes the knee and then straighten the back. Plenty of bloody marks on my shins/knees too.

Should I be going down to singles or am I taking a risk there? Also, at what point should I start wearing a belt (if at all). I have avoided it so far but don’t want to take chances.

Any help/advice from this great forum would be much appreciated.

your workouts will depend on your goal. but, you should check out dave tate’s articles on me and my three workout partners have improved our deadlift considerably and hardly ever deadlift. to improve your deadlift, you need good form first. it varies for different body types, but generally, the bar should be over the ball of the foot and the shoulders behind the bar. then you pull back and up.

next, you have to strengthen the muscles that work that you use for deadlifting - the lower back, hips, and hams. the best way to strengthen these muscles is not necessarily the deadlift. good mornings, stiff legged deadlifts, box squats, ultra wide deadlifts, etc will strengthen those muscles. another compenent is explosiveness. get a weight approximately 50% of your max and practice very explosive sets of 1 with about 30-60 seconds rest inbetween sets.

of course, others, such as ed coan and gary frank, have developed very impressive deadlifts by deadlifting. so the bottom line is, experiment for yourself and see what works.

if you have good form, singles shouldn’t cause to much problem. a belt will help you lift more weight, but you may not need it yet. build a strong torso fist.

I prefer doing singles on DL’s… DL’s are a pretty unique exercise in that they start from a dead stop, unlike the bench or squat, so it makes sense to me that you should set up for a DL every time rather than do reps. Works well for me. If you do choose to do singles, don’t do limit singles all the time. Cycle intensity (weight) and volume (sets).

Just work on your weak points if you want to increase strength. You can follow a Westside approach, or a more traditional approach where you include some assistance exercises. My DL start is my weak point, so I like doing DL's off of a box or snatch-grip DL's to strengthen my start.

I would say up your reps to 4-6 just keep the sets low. peace

Thanks guys.

Actually singles do have their place, but like someone said previously, don’t do them to your absolute limits. I’m currently doing a routine where you start out doing three sets of 1 rep w. approx. 95 % 1RM, then 5x5 w. 75 %. Each subsequent workout I add another set of one until I get eight sets, then I increase the weight and start over at three sets. 5x5, when you can hit all sets/reps, increase weight. FWIW I really enjoy this workout.