T Nation

How Do You Guys Program Your DL Supplementals?

So I’m halfway through week 2 of Pervertor Leader. I’m planning on running it 6weeks with a deload then onto a PR+ and Joker Anchor. I’m struggling with the DL volume that’s written. Wondering what you guys do.
I’m asking for suggestions because specifically with the DL (and only the DL) I’d like to find a combination that I can stick with. BBB FSL SSL 5x5 5x10. All the variations are great for me on everything else. I just really don’t like the variety on my DL because my low back can’t take it (have a previous work related injury). I do like to do a top set of 3x5 every now and then because I like the way it feels but week after week it gets to be too much. I struggle with 5x5 FSL because I suck at getting a proper core contraction when the weight is that light and it actually effs my back way more than the heavier sets. So I do understand that’s an issue on my part and is something I am actively trying to work on.
What I’d really like to find is a sweet spot and just hang out there for a good long while. Right now my TM is at I think 175 KG. My longer term goal is to hit 500lb (225KG) for a PR. I really have no earthly desire to go beyond that. For reps, yeah of course I’d work towards that. But once I hit 500lb I’m done. Risk reward for me isn’t there.
So I’m trying to find a sweet spot of steady gains with back longevity in mind.
Any 30+ guys out there have anything to chime in on?

I’m 40+ and have a TM of almost exactly what yours is on DL. I also struggled with the volume, because I had never done DL’s for many reps before and always worked up in sets of 3’s or even singles.

Here’s what I have done: gradually add the volume to the supplemental DL’s. I am running Krypteia and started with 5x3 and held this for the first cycle as the supplemental volume, then did 5x3, 5x4, then 5x5 on the 2nd cycle of Phase 1 (which used FSL). On Phase 2, I did the first cycle at 5x5, then have been increasing to 5x6, 5x8, then 5x10 (this phase uses BBB sets as supplements). It has worked great, and I’ve adjusted to the volume when at first I wasn’t sure I would be able to. Today, it’s DL day (333 of cycle 2, phase 2), and I’m doing the 5x8 as the supplement at 225 lbs.

Another thing: work on controlled lowering of the weights, and touch-and-go reps. Don’t let the weight crash down. I think this keeps your core engaged and gives you more work on the lowering portion of the lift.

Good luck!


Thanks for the reply! Have you found touch and go to be better for you? I’ve always reset on every rep. I ought to give it a go.

Have you felt like your DL is getting better on the heavier sets as a result of increasing volume on the lower ones? I’m not doing much of any supp work on DLs at the moment. I’m thinking of keeping my TM in the same range for a while and slowly adding more DL volume until I can do the full BBB for it or something.

when I think of resets on every rep, I assume people are dropping the weight. Touch-n-go is the “way to go” in my opinion. To get stronger in the deadlift, you need to also do the negative portion of the movement - resets don’t allow for this much.

There is no “go to” supplemental for deadlifts. Stick with a variation until you “stall” and either increase your recovery (eating/sleeping/conditioning) or change your supplemental variation.

I also found that a lower TM works best for the deadlift. My current TM is 440 and the upper sets are taking their toll on me - but I keep passing my “TM tests” so I keep pushing through.

When the weight starts getting heavy, you need to start working harder. That’s the only advice I can give you that makes the most amount of sense. To reach 500, you have to get to 495 first…


I cam see that. I control the eccentric until about an inch below the knee then I let it crash. Do you also do touch n go on your top sets?


yes, even on my top sets. I never let the weight crash. I control the weight, I don’t let the weight control me.


If your doing a lot of sets, (5s Pro + FSL is 8 sets not including the probably many warmups before that) then touch and go seems good. Your still getting lots of practice with setup and dead stop on the first rep of every set. The reality is one is slightly harder than the other so you make up the difficulty difference in weight on the bar

Everytime I see people drop the DL at the gym or put it down way faster than necessary all I can think is they are basically saying “Hey everyone on the other side of the gym, look at all the weight I just lifted”.

1 Like

I respect that. On my next 7th week I’ll TM test with touch and go. The TM will go down a little but shouldn’t be by a huge margin. Plus lowering it and working back up over a few cycles may just be what I need to blow past where I am now

I’m 45 with bad knees. For my volume work I always do Romanian DL (from just below the knee) with the programmed weight or take 20 kgs less (my TM is close to yours) and do snatch grip Romanian/SLDL. These really work your back nicely as there is no ‘relaxing’ moment as with full reset and with different leverages you get a nice workout with much safer-for-your-back a weight.
I would also take @antiquity’ s advice to heart

Yes. Although I’m on a program that uses 5 PRO’s so I haven’t done any plus sets or jokers lately, the heaviest set each week is going up pretty easy. I just did the 333 week for DL’s yesterday, and worked up to a set of 5 DL’s at 315 lbs, which I did touch-and-go and it felt great. (While this number won’t drop any jaws, keep in mind that in the 531 Krypteia by the time you get to your top set, you’ve done some pretty challenging assistance supersets that are really pushed). I then did 5x8 DL’s at 225 for the supplement, supersetted each time with an assistance. As marc4497 suggests, I think staying in control the entire time during the lowering is important. I’m 44 and 175 lbs, with (luckily) no health problems or injuries.

I’m running Pervertor as well, slightly modified after the 1st cycle.

Just running SSL every week for my Deadlift Supp, working well for me.
I’ll likely run SSL instead of widowmaker for the 1st Anchor week as well.

I reset partly on every rep as well, don’t adjust feet or hands much usually.
but get a breath, brace, hips in and pull.

1 Like

I do stop and go on all required reps. Sometimes I’ll do as many touch and go’s as possible after the required reps on the last set.

But imo, pausing in between is much harder and transfers o comp lifts much more. The trick is maintains tightness when the weight is n the floor. This takes balls and focus. Touch and go’s make me much more sore and probably help build more muscle, but the pause and generating off the floor speed as I fatigue has been priceless.

1 Like