T Nation

Deadlifts Every Day


Greetings everyone.

I was wondering whether anyone has ever tried to perform deadlifts every day? (or every time they work out).

Do you think you'd get too tired or unmotivated to continue doing them every day?

Thanks for any replies.


No never, but I'm sure if you rotated your rep scheme's and had a back off day every 2nd or 3rd day you'd get some good benefits out of it.


That's what I've been doing. It's no problem but I usually only do two or three sets... sometimes only one set.


It can work.

There are training techniques the experts will say "dont work", but just what one migt need to pull out of a rut or break a plateau.

I believe we all agree that you won't do sqaut, deads everyday forever, that that def won't work.

But every day for 2-4 weeks, sure. Maybe go hardest 2-3 sessions instead of every single one.

ANoter technique that works is "2 a days", meaning working the same body part two times in te same day ( morning/evening ). This dont work forever eithjer, but for a month or two can get you past that plateau.


That'd be a good way to "learn" the lift, and you could probably get some good strength gains out of doing that.

I think Steve Justa advocates lifting pretty much every day out of the year. Of course, to do such a thing, intensity needs to be balanced, blah blah blah.

Never done it though. I, personally, would probably get bored outta my mind, but on the other hand, I'd be occupied because I'd be able to workout every day. Hmmm....


Unless you're "learning" the lift and are also new to lifting, I wouldn't do it.

There's no way you can go heavy enough every day (whether on sets of 10 or of singles) to benefit you.

At most I'd say twice a week, once heavy and once light. But even that is pushing it, IMO.

What's your purpose for thinking of trying this?


I recently finished doing the Smolov squat program. Obviously, it involved doing squats and not deadlifts. It also called for four days a week, not 7, with different loading (4x9, 5x7, 7x5, 10x3). I was considering trying to do this with the deadlift.

The Smolov program was good for strength and I imagine the protocol would work well for deadlifts if you're itnerested.


At some point, you'd be doing it just to do it so that you could say you deadlift every day. Because, there just is really no conceivable benefit to doing any compound exercise with an appreciable amount of weight every day. And if you're not using an appreciable amount of weight to deadlift, then it isn't really worth doing.

Slow and steady wins the race. You can find plenty of programs that have you benching or something 400 days/week. In all likelihood, you'll get hurt and/or your other lifts will go down. It is much better to work on improving multiple lifts/strength qualities instead of hammering one and trying to maintain others.

In conjugation I trust,


Steve Justa recommends the following:

lift with 70% of 1RM

do 3 singles on Monday

5 singles on Tuesday

7 singles on Wednesday


15 singles on Sunday.

Increase weight by 5-10 lbs and repeat.

Once a month check your 1RM and recalculate 70% weight.

Pavel reports that a friend of his tried this and went from 4 to 5 wheels in a year.


The smolov routine used for the deadlift may very well KILL somebody!!! Don't try it even if you think you are a hard ass. You will overtrain terribly and probably injure your lower back.
I did the smolov squat cycle and it was tough. There's a chance it could work for the bench but never DL!!!


It seems like you'd be more likely to injure yourself benching too much rather than deadlifting too much. I guess if I had to deadlift frequently, I would choose 4 types of deadlift, and cycle 3 rep ranges, so that you don't repeat a workout for 12 workouts.

Day 1- conventional deadlift
Day 2- hack squat (technically a deadlift)
Day 3- off
Day 4- sumo deadlift
Day 5- off
Day 6- snatch grip deadlift
Day 7- off

Rep ranges:
1- 4x4
2- 3x5
3- 5x3

I think a program like this would be do-able, and good for those without squat racks... not really necessary but possible.


Thank you all for your replies.

I have been training at my university gym, with racks and benches and so on.

However, it takes up a lot of time and money and I would like to train in my garage at home instead. I have a bar and plates to do this with.

The only exercises I will be able to perform are those that require solely the bar and plates. No bench, no squat rack, nothing like that. Just a bar.

Thus I imagine the two exercises I will focus on the most will be deadlifts and overhead presses.

Since I am training in my garage at home, I can train whenever I want to, however often I want to. I get restless a lot (I'm a student, so apart from study, I don't have that many things on in my life), and I love lifting weights. So I was thinking that I might be able to lift every day since I will be lifting in my garage.

I know that doing deadlifts every day might be a recipe for overtraining, but I have read about people who have been able to get away with training deadlifts or squats every day.

I can't help but wonder whether we go too far in the high-intensity and low-volume direction sometimes. What about trying: high intensity, high frequency, but low volume (relatively speaking)? Has anyone ever tried just doing deadlifts and presses (only two exercises) and doing those exercises every day (although working them hard)? It would take some time to adapt to the strain it would place on you, but doon't you think some people might be able to thrive on something as simple as that?

To be honest, I get impatient and want to work out more often. I love lifting weights and since it is now possible for me to lift whenever I want to (in my garage), maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to try lifting every day?

On a similar subject: the merits of the deadlift. Does this exercise truly work 'every muscle in the body'? If one only did deadlifts, would this be sufficient to produce total body development to be proud of? What about if overhead presses are thrown into the mix? (just to have a pull and a push combination).

Has anyone ever tried building a big and strong and aesthetic body with deadlifts alone?

Some personal stats: I'm 22 years old; an even 6 feet tall; 225 pounds; about 19% body fat (started at 160 and 12%); and haven't been lifting 'hard' for long (I've been recovering from unrelated hernia surgery which took place at the beginning of the year). Strength levels (I haven't been training 'hard' for a long time): deadlifts, 5 * 310 (each rep the bar is 'dead' on the floor in between reps; no touch-and-go reps for me); overhead presses, 5 * 145. I haven't been doing these exercises for that long, and I'm hopeful they'll go up a long way over time.

Thank you all again for your replies, and for any forthcoming comments.


Also... what do people think would be good short- and medium-term goals for the deadlift and overhead press (using perfect form for both; no straps etc for the deadlift; and no leg involvement for the overhead press).

600 pounds for 5 reps in the deadlift, and 300 pounds for 5 reps in the press?

Does that sound too ambitious? I'm ready to give it my best shot.


Recovering from hernia surgery and deadlifting every day sounds like a recipe for disaster.

There are also many other lifts you can do with just plates and a bar.

Front squats, rows and oly lifts just to name a few.


There are a lot of other lifts you can do with just a bar and plates besides deads and overhead presses. I think you'll get burnt out doing the samethings all the time. If you can get a cheap olympic bench (check your local paper or craigslist) and some heavy duty saw horses (local hardware store) You could really expand your excercises. Even without that you could do rows, squats (overhead, front), Olympic lifts, or even curls.


Even competitive lifters rarely deadlift more than once a week and most do not go all out every week. The deadlift is very taxing on the body and easily overtrained.


Read "Power to the People" by Pavel Tsatsouline(yes the kettlebell guy). If you PM me I can get you the contact information, although I have seen the book at Barnes & Noble and Borders Books occassionally. Anyway...this is what he talks about in his book (actually all his books are excellent), training sub-maximally at least 5 days a week with the same movements.


Pavel in "Power to the People" advocates DLing 5x a week straight, with two consecutive days off.

Do one set of five, rest 3-5 minutes and do another set of five with 90% (or was it 80%?) of the weight you used on your first set.

This simple protocol worked wonders for me, but that was before I could move any semi-respectable amount of weight.

Once you get stronger and the weight moves up considerably, it is a bitch to recover from. Your whole body hurts, with only two sets of five.

If you're a beginner, give it a shot. I would also recommend buying the book (although I know Pavel is widely hated/ridiculed on this site). Try it out until it stops working, then move on to something else.



Check out this article from a 1970 Ironman:


for another example, Bob Peoples deadlifted every day, and far from burning out, he became the first american to lift over 700 lb in competition. What's important to note is that if you deadlift high frequency, your volume of other lifts MUST be small enough to let you recover.


Deadlift is damned taxing. I love them but they are frikkin' too much to do everyday.

However here are some suggestions:

one arm deadlifts - not as taxing overall since weight used is less

deadlift as part of a complex (something I very much enjoy)