T Nation

Focusing on 1 Goal at a Time - Deadlift 2x BW


I am an avid fan of TNATION and have been recently focussed on bringing everything up and have exhausted myself. So I want to dedicate the next phase of my life to achieving 2x BW Deadlift. At 105kg (231 lbs) and around 20% BF so yes my diet can be cleaned up a tonne and with my current 5RM Deadlift at 140kg (308lbs) I have quite a ways to go to 462lbs or 210kg something like 70kg or 150lbs.

So 150lbs of pulling - to give you some context I have been Deadlifting once a week post Squat and normally for either 5 x 10 @ 50% or 1 x 5 with 100%.

So limited work over the week - I know I need to bring up pulling power, grip strength, ab strength and posterior strength.

Before I get going - can anyone recommend a plan of action to do this?

Everyone says follow Ripptoe, 5-3-1, 3 x 5 etc - for me I want get my Deadlift up first and then the rest will follow I believe, 1 goal at a time.

What do you think?


I still would highly recommend going the 5/3/1 route and make Deadlifts your first lift of the week and hit assistance work that will also compliment your deadlit. Here is a setup I have used on Deadlift Days that gave me some really good results.

Deadlift 5/3/1
Front Squat (or Box Squat): 5’s Pro
Kettlebell Swings: 100 total swings
Ab Work: 5x10-15
Lower Back: 5x10-15

Do not neglect all of the other lifts especially squats. I have put deadlifts on the shelf for several months and came back even stronger on it because my back squat and even front squat kept getting stronger. Pull-ups on upper body days will increase grip strength and give you a stronger back as well as high rep DB Rows and Kettlebell Swings. Of course all of the programs and assistance in the world won’t give you a decent deadlift until you hammer down technique


I would put a lot of effort into diet for 2 reasons. 1. If you weigh less, achieving a 2x bodyweight deadlift will be easier. 2. Probably more importantly (since your goal is somewhat arbitrary), a great diet is the best thing you can do to promote strength gains. So even if for some reason you didn’t lose bodyweight, you still need the fuel required to pack on the muscle necessary for the task.

As for the idea that ‘everything will follow once deadlift goes up’… I disagree with this. It was never the case for me. Getting better at deadlifting has always meant just that. It never translated well to any other lift.

Having said that, here are the 2 components I would want to see in your programming if I were working with you. I would squat once a week, and deadlift once a week, on different days. Building your squat will translate well to deadlifting more, and then you’ll also be fresh for deadlifts on the other day, rather than doing them after squats on the same day.

Assistance work needs to include some sort of rowing, and lat pulldowns (assuming you can’t do pull ups.) I don’t care what days you do these on, but I would do each at least once a week, more if you can.

Finally… post a video of a heavy deadlift. Technique work goes a loooooong way.


All great advice so far, and I agree with pretty much all of it. Technique and diet are probably going to be the two biggest factors for the reasons flipcollar stated. Technique can buy you a bunch of weight straight off the bat, and getting lighter will mean you need to pull less to get 2x bw.

With the training, 5/3/1 is a good option. I’d be almost tempted to suggest the Coan-Phillippi program, but I’d be very cautious about that if you’re not at least an intermediate. I mean, I love deadlifting and I think my DL is respectable enough for my bodyweight but I myself would have to think very carefully before doing it. I still reckon you should look at the program, though. I know that kind of contradicts what I just said, but if you look at it and think, wow, that’s JUST what I want, have a go. You could even run two Coan cycles for a 35 kg/75 lb increase each cycle. That’d be 150 lbs over 20 weeks, which I think is reasonable.

Definitely don’t neglect squat training, and front squats are one of the best DL assistance exercises around IMO, especially when paused at the bottom for heavier loads (doing these after DLs worked well for me). Pull-ups too, and while they will royally suck to do at your weight, your grip will improve a bunch from doing them. Even hanging from the bar will help. Heavy dumbbell rows/Kroc rows have recently helped me a ton too.

Absolutely squat and DL on different days. If you want to do extra DL work, do a variation after squats. I had some success using snatch grip DL after squats.

Whether you pull sumo or conventional, the above advice from everyone applies.