T Nation

Deads for Strength and Size


ive recently started doing deads again after stupidly neglecting them along with squats for 3 months :frowning:

anyways i have been ramping up in big weight jumps to a 3 rm for the last 2 weeks and then a set or 2 of 6-10 afterwards.......

then chin ups for 4 sets

db kroc rows 3x10

Would this provide me with enough work done to progress along steadily in the long term?

When i was doing them before i got up to 3 and half plates for 6 reps and in the 2 weeks ive been doing them again im already up to 3 plates + a 15kg each side (170kg total).

Realising these gains are unsustainable in the long term, has anyone had long term gains with this kind of volume and frequency (1 time per week)?

Im eating a ton of food and scale weight is moving along nicely :slight_smile:


1x a week is good for deads.


I determined that I'm capable of going full blast on DLs every week I just really don't like it.

I get most of the same benefit doing dynamic deads (bands or chains) and heavy partials 3 weeks out of the month and then hitting a max single the other week. It also makes me not feel like I got beaten with clubs every week.

However, if you're making great progress at the moment don't screw with anything, I was just giving you a personal perspective for when/if you hit a wall. There are always ways over and around walls.


Still do not understand what the hell a kroc row is supposed to be.


it's just a heavy, high rep dumbell row. Pick a weight you can do 10x with strict form, go at it till it doesn't move.


^with form about as tight as the village whore.


A deload every fourth week helps me to consistently keep increasing my weights. Also try using different deadlift variations such as sumo and trap bar for a bit of variety. Deadlifts are a very important exercise and should always be in a program in some form.


how bout some lowerbody deadlift accesory to go with all that rowing?


Well db rows are fairly loose in form, just grab the biggest weight i can find the gym (or there abouts), which is 60-65kg and rep out til i feel sick lol Had heard they are a great for deads anyways!

As for legs, leg press and box squats. Following a simple program atm focussing on making some big strength increases :slight_smile:

I will try the deload every 4 weeks from now on then as ive heard this around by a few ppl.

Does warm up volume matter to much for strength though? My typical warm up looks like

60 x5
60 x5
100 x5
140 x3
170 x3 (top set)
140 x8 (lighter work set)

then move on......

Does anyone else do it like this? I aim to add another 10kgs next week and then either go up in 5kgs every week or pull back to 170 and get 5 reps with the weight and going back up like this.

Thanks guys :slight_smile:


warm ups don't tax you, unless you're going nuts with them. You should do as many sets as it takes to get comfortable in the movement with just the bar / a low weight, then start ramping the weight up. The point is to get blood into your muscles and make sure that nothing's gonna snap when you put some weight on the bar.

If you feel your warmup accomplishes this, then it's good.


I like to mix my deads with Kroc rows, chins, and GHR. Depending on where you're weak, work that (for me it's lock-out, the Krocs and possibly glute bridges / hip thrusts help). Other good mixes are good mornings, reverse hypers, and high-rep shrugs.

How big are you jumping with the weight? I prefer a slower, steadier progression, to maintain progress and avoid burn-out. Currently it's Wendler 5/3/1, with a 10# progression every cycle (about a month), and a de-load every cycle as well. I've done periods where I'm going up 10-20# per week, but that was early in my lifting career (I'm still pretty green at all of this, but I own 500#).

Volume will definitely work your size if you're going for that.


Hm yea dude im only pulling 4 pps so i kinda figure im still weak all over really, its hard to pin point where needs most improving when i probably just need to get stronger overall.

Like i said before though i know the way im doing it isnt going to get me to 5 pps, it just seems that since ive started doing them again i am stronger every week. I dont understand why i should suddenly jump into periodisation until at least a few weeks if i can add 30kgs to my pr without doing so?

I am going for size aswel as strength but i figure that the rows and pull ups are the more hypertrophy based exercises whilst i use deads as more of a strength thing (although i know size and strength are very closly related), with low volume and high intensity.

Certainly looking into 531 for deads and box squats though mate :slightly_smiling: Are there any other basic progression modes i could look at? What do ppl think of the one CT posted up on the livespill thingy?


Hi captain slow, have messaged you but it's not showing up in my sent folder (replied with 2 links)...do you want to try pm'ing me your email? I'll let you know if it goes through


Cheers mate, have tried a few times now and it doesnt seem to be going through.


Ok ive estabilshed that the private messages do not work.

Just to throw something different into the mix, how does this routine look?



calf raises


flat db bench


db mil press

then repeat but with box squats instead of deads?


Some part of me really hopes the OP is James May


I don't do dead lifts.


How did this crap come about exactly?

I have tried looking into obviously, but all I have found are a couple videos of Matt Kroc doing high rep dumbbell rows with a lot of weight and using good form, and then a thousand videos of guys that look like shit doing dumbbell rows with atrocious form calling them "Kroc rows!"

I have never heard or read Matt Kroc recommending shit form dumbbell rows?


He uses more body english, as opposed to some bodybuilders who might use VERY tight form in order to isolate thee target muscle entirely and ensure no momentum is used, etc.

  • and, yeah, of course a bunch of people are going to try and imitate him and just look like fucking retards, though.


110% correct. He once explained that he "accidentally" discovered them while looking for a way to specifically improve his deadlift.

Somehow, that specific exercise for a specific purpose has morphed from this...

Into this...

I just saw another description in a different "Kroc Row" video where the obvious brain surgeon described the exercise as: "taking a weight you can row for one rep and do as many you can anyway."

Just ridiculous.