T Nation

How Often Do You Deadlift? Plus Set/Rep Scheme


In order to get a huge back and magnificent posterior chain, how often do you my friends deadlift?

And what set/rep scheme do you usually use?


4-6 days a week with 2 sets of 5, increasing weight each session over a 2-3 week period before dropping it down again.

I've also done once a week, and 3x every two weeks. I personally prefer lower volume, higher frequency. That said, very few people train their deadlift like I do, but as long as it keeps working I see no need to change it.

EDIT: I do these with mat pulls, with chains. Bar is at 13" (versus 8.5").



What stimulating supplements do you use pre-deadlifting?


I don't need stimulants to do it this way. It's pretty much just "punch the clock" style work. Get in, warm up, work sets, get out.

When I get closer to my 5RM, I'll usually throw in a rest day between sessions, and make sure I have some carbs in me, and sometimes a bit of caffeine. Really nothing too special though. I want the training to reflect how strong I really am, not "me + stims".

By training this way, it also means every single day I get to practice making sure I set up well and get my mind right and focused. It's mental training nearly as much as physical training.




Once every 2 months.

1 set of as many reps as possible. Depending on the weight I'm using, this could be a single or up to 10 reps.


I've only tried once a week and twice a week. twice a week was too much for me, as I consistently train heavy with my deadlift. If I have to skip a session in a given week though, I make it my deadlift session. I think deadlift training should be the least frequent lift of the big 3.

And there's no need to use stimulants for deadlift training specifically. Just use whatever you use on any other training day. This does not apply to meets.


I recommend checking Into George Leeman and his programming. I'm subscribed to his YouTube and lately he has some good vids of his accessory to deadlift training, which is quite eye opening when you see the amount of variations and the reps for each..... he also does coaching that may interest you..


I thought you were doing mat pulls these days instead of deadlifts. Did your training change?


I just mentally substituted the two, replacing "deadlift" with "deadlift variations". Probably shouldn't do that.

I train mat pulls, with chains, per the above.

I actually deadlift once every couple months. When I'm at the peak of a mat pull cycle, I'll sometimes see where that brought my deadlift. So far, anything I can do for 5 from the mats, I can do for at least one from the floor.

Sorry for any confusion.


Currently including deadlift variations/"hip hinges"/whatever we're calling them in 3 out of 4 workouts per week.

One session has:
Power clean and press 3x2-4
Power clean 3x2-4

Next session has:
Conventional deadlift working up to a heavy-ish single and then 1x6-10.

Next session has:
Stiff leg deads 3x10-15 (superset with front squats)


This is my strategy also. I'm especially careful when I'm deadlifting and squatting in the 90+% range in the same week.


Oh, I thought we were talking about just the deadlift. I probably do 4-5 hip hinge movements including Oly lifts & RDLs a week.

*Not at the moment, but in the past and I will again soon.


I lol'ed at the dichotomy between the first two posts.


Since you're soliciting feedback, this is what I've picked up from reading people's training logs and such.

The higher the volume, and/or the higher the intensity, the less frequently people deadlift (or squat or bench or whatever). Many who deadlift 85%+ of their 1RM on a regular basis train once a week, once every two weeks, and sometimes once every 4-6 weeks.

That said, you don't always need to lift at a max to increase your max.

After a time, you can't just work up to a max single and leave, you need to get some volume in there somewhere. That volume can be on the front end, working up to that single, or on the back end, with some back-off sets. Or, for that matter, multiple singles.

That volume can be all in one session, or it can be spread out across multiple sessions. Some people look at it as accumulating volume (total number of work sets or work reps), some people look at it as accumulating load (work reps * weight).

Some sort of deload is almost always required after you hit a new max. However, rarely do I see people drop any lower than about 70% of that max. This deload period gives the body some additional time to adapt to the training.

In general, it seems to be better to find the minimum amount of volume that keeps getting you stronger, than to do too much volume. Once your body gets adjusted to higher volume, you generally have no place to go but up.

These are just some patterns and rules of thumb I've seen. Nothing here is definitive.


Based on yours and other responses here, I feel like I do far less hip hinge accessory stuff than most people. I never do RDL's, deficit pulls, matt pulls, etc. I rarely do a set of deadlifts over 5 reps, even in warmups. I'll do good mornings maybe once a month.

I've also found that I don't improve my deadlift by working with weights under 80% for reps. My deadlift only really improves when I'm hitting doubles and singles in the 85-95 range on a regular (weekly or biweekly) basis.


Hey, what ever works man. It seems to be working for you.

My next training phase I'll be doing a lot more hinge work than I normally do. I'll be warming up with an oly lift every training day (6), two dedicated Oly days, a deadlift day, and on my main squat day I'll be doing RDLs as an accessory for high reps.

We'll see how it goes.


I train my DL once per week.

Rep scheme looks something like this but it can vary a bit:
1x10, 1x8, 1-2x5, 1x3, 1x1 - basically around 18-20 warm-up reps and about 10-14 working reps.

I usually top out around 80-85% on the 1x1. I go for a new PR about every three months or so (sometimes sooner).

I drink coffee before I train as far a stimulant (I am an early morning lifter), but I drink coffee when I wake up everyday so it really isn't to train better. I have relatively recently made the decision to stop using a pre-workout (stimulant) prior to training. This has been a long time coming and I'm so glad I did - I feel much better in general (both when training and throughout the day). I have switched to using Plazma prior to training and have been getting good results.

I don't really specifically do hip-hinge work (I don't think). I may doing it based on other training movements, but I am not intentionally training my hip hinge. I probably should be.


The only time I'd consider myself training specifically the hip-hinge movement is KB swings and maybe GMs. That's probably it. I don't consider Oly lifts hip-hinge training even though it's a a part of the movements.


With this scheme, how can you activate your CNS to squat? Isn't it a bit too taxing on the CNS?