T Nation

Deadlift Variations

Hi all,

i’m fairly new to the board, not that new to training, but by no means highly experienced. i’m a martial artist, and have been using weight training and conditioning to improve my performance in the ring. i’ve been very happy with my progress, and was just looking for some advice on what variety of deadlift to use.

i only have time to train strength twice per week (other days are taken up by skill training and conditioning), and so am looking for the most bang for my buck in exercises. my routines look something like this

Day 1:

Squats or High Stepups 5x5

Romanian Deadlifts 5x5

Press (incline, military,etc.) 5x5

Weighted pullups & Dips (or muscleups when i have rings) 5x5

Day 2:

1 arm dumbbell snatches 3x3

Power cleans 3x3

Overhead squats 3x3 (used more for the flexibility aspects, especially in my shoulders, than for strength)

Pullups/One-arm pushups (or plyometric pushups) superset 3 sets (near failure)

Pistol/Natural glute-ham raise superset
3 sets (near failure)

so as i said, what variety of deadlift should i use? i’m looking mainly to strengthen the posterior chain with it, so should i be using Romanian, Stiff-legged, or snatch-grip deadlift? or should i simply use the ordinary deadlift?

Ideally, i’d like to be able to use several varieties effectively, but i dont know if it would be useful to rotate them often while only using them once a week. any advice would be greatly appreciated!

It’s a bit off-topic, but I’m not sure your shoulders will appreciate doing 1-arm DB snatches and then power cleans. I know that Charle Poliquin thinks the 1-arm DB snatch is a pretty worthless lift, mostly because of the high injury risk to results ratio. I would suggest putting all your effort into going as heavy as possible on the power cleans.

You might also look into doing some box squats, which will help you train for power as well. Just remember to break the chain when you hit the box, and explode up.

As for the DL variations, your best bet is to use lots of different variations, but try to do heavy conventional or sumo DL every other week or so. The other weeks you can use snatch grip, romanian, etc.

With only 2 days a week to train with weights I would do the regular dealift, as it allows you to lift the most weight.

Pavels Power to the People routine could be good to follow if strength and not size is your primary goal

There are lots and lots of variations to choose from like: RDL, SLDL, good mornings, conventional, sumo, semi-sumo, wide sumo (toes to the plates), snatch grip, elevated snatch grip (or conventional),rack pulls, pulls against bands & chains, etc…

All of them will help, in different ways. Intensity is also key. My opinion is you are better off pulling heavier loads for lower reps, even if it’s 10 or 12 X 2.

You may want to mix it up a little by doing one of the “heavier styles” like conventional, sumo, snatch grip, or rack pulls for heavy weight one week and then the next week do a lighter 5X5 or so of an RDL, SLDL, etc. the next to give the CNS a break.

Whatever you do, good luck. the deadlift is an awsome exercise, and it’s important for each individual to dial in what works best for them.

awesome, thanks all for the advice!