T Nation

Deadlifting for High Reps

For density work, I like to train with high total reps at a low percentage of 1RM. However, I have yet to train deadlifts in this style. My concern is that due to deadlifts having such a reputation for being a draining lift, that this style would lead to burnout or stagnation.

To give you an idea of the weight and reps, if I train a lift around 65%, I do about 60 total reps. At 50% intensity, I do about 100 total reps. If this method has worked for me with other lifts such as the squat, is there reason to believe it wouldn’t work with the deadlift?

I say give your plan a try and see how you fair. Some can handle higher rep/higher volume deadlifts pretty well… but they are few, and if so, for short cycles. There are other factors too, like the weight on the bar (over 405 for high reps is far worse than 315) and the style of the deadlift (I actually like to do strict stiff leg deads for 15+ reps with a light weight to warm up before squatting… getting the hamstrings pumped seems to help a lot with squats). Assuming this is for hypertrophy, don’t be afraid to use straps or go double overhand if it’s light enough, otherwise your hands will be murdered with a heavy weight.

[quote]thom59695 wrote:
For density work, I like to train with high total reps at a low percentage of 1RM. However, I have yet to train deadlifts in this style. My concern is that due to deadlifts having such a reputation for being a draining lift, that this style would lead to burnout or stagnation.

To give you an idea of the weight and reps, if I train a lift around 65%, I do about 60 total reps. At 50% intensity, I do about 100 total reps. If this method has worked for me with other lifts such as the squat, is there reason to believe it wouldn’t work with the deadlift?[/quote]

If it worked for the squat there is no real reason why it would not work for the deadlift. Just to be safe I would probably recommend using 5-10% less relative to what you use percentage-wise because in the deadlift the max is often “artificially high” because it’s one movement where you can lift more weight by using an unsafe form (rounding the back). Or base the percentages on the max you can do while keeping perfect form.

Thanks for the responses, everyone. I think using straps is a good idea, and I will start out 10% lighter and progress from there as per your recommendation, CT.

As far as only going for a three week block, I’ve used this method with other lifts for upwards of six months, and prefer training methods where I don’t need to plan to change after a short time, so I would like to use this method for as long as I can make progress. As long as 50-70% deadlifts with straps aren’t much more taxing than 50-70% squats, I’d like to keep using this method for a while.

Thanks again for the help, guys.