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How to Organise Deadlift Variations?


hi folks,

I sat aside a day to deadlift and was wondering is this order ok -

pulls from below knee sets of 1-3reps
snatch grip deads from a deficit (standing on 4inches of board)sets of 1-5reps
standard deads for 5- 10 reps with shrugs on the last rep of each set.
speed deads with 50% of max for sets of 3-5

I want to get stronger and also get some muscle gains with this as well hence the sets at higher reps.

Current max is 235kg (517lbs) which was gained mostly with straight sets of low reps over the years and 1 cycle of coen/phillipi routine which i felt was a lot of volume with pretty high loads for me.

Does the order of exercises look ok?

Any help appreciated - thanks.


It seems like quite a large variety of deadlifts for one session. How often do you plan on doing this workout? Have you ever tried this amount in one session before?

I personally work well focusing on one or two variations per session,once a week. If you are working hard enough on deadlifts 1 or 2 styles for 5-10 sets can be enough. I like changing styles every three sessions or so. I am stronger and fresher that way, instead of trying to do 4-5 different variations every time out.


Is this all for one session, or the sequence of your periodised microcycles? If it's all in one session, I'm with earthshaker.. that's a huge amount of volume.

Also, you're doing speed deads in the same session as your max effort deads? Remember that BOTH max strength and max speed use the same muscle fibre types. They will be fatigued. Your best bet to incorporate speed is to either conjugately periodise your workouts or to linearly periodise.


First off - thanks for the responses - much appreciated!

Yeah - this was all for one session - i had planned to do fairly low sets per exercise.
all in all a total of 15 max sets i guess.

3 heavy from pins which should make the
3 from snatch deficit "feel" lighter than they are.
when i go to regular for 3 sets i'll benefit from a strong set up
and 3-6 sets of speed deads will be lightest of all the sets i do and done with low reps.

I agree with the volume comments - its only once a week btw. Much more than i've been used to.

I guess i'm trying to trick my body into the session feeling easier due to the layout of exercises.

I'll do a session this Friday and report back on Saturday/Sunday how it went and how i felt after etc.

Would it be smarter to do the pin pulls and snatch deficit for 3-6 weeks then do the regular deads and speed pulls afterwards?

Again i greatly appreciate your input and will report back to you.



The way I see it, doing that many DL variations in one session is just going to confuse your CNS as to what it's supposed to be adapting to. This means less motor units recruited and less strength gained.


You can try the original layout of exercises on Friday, but it would be smarter to do the pin pulls and snatch def. deads for about a month. Then switch to a couple of other varieties. Deadlifts are such a taxing exercise, you are better off sticking to one or two per session and busting ass on them.


If you have been making good progress with the straight sets/Coan-Philippi Routine, why the change? Also, box squats are always good to try - they have boosted my sumo dl about 100lbs.


It all went wrong after that. I tried another coan/phillippi phase about 2 weeks after the original finished and just bombed early on in the program - too many sets at too high a % of max.

I recover pretty poorly if i go hammer and tongs at a program and find it better to coax my body along.

Well 2 days till dead workout and i just might do the pin pulls and snatch/deficit deads only - lets see how stupid/crazy i am come friday.



Well it's done and dusted as they say.

Felt like crapola today and wanted to puke - took some Power Drive and went to gym.

Started with pin pulls from below knees and worked slowly up to 250kg (550lbs) for a single.

Question 1 - should i do multiple sets at my perceived top weight for the day or work on turning the single into a double/triple?

Went on to deficit deads with snatch grip and did a couple of sets of 5 at 100kg (220lbs).These were ok and i could have easily added weight.

Question 2 - lower the reps and increase weight? or sets of 5 and increase weight as able.
Balls to the wall every session or build it up with multiple reps etc?

Then.... thats all i did other than some back extension work.

So i took the advice offered and am thankful for those that proffered it. These 2 variations should keep me going for a while - i normally like a nice slow build up phase to get my body used to the training.

Any other advice is welcome guys/gals so i'm all ears. If you could see your way to answer the couple of questions i have that'd be greart too.



About 30hours since session - i am wrecked lol. Back (all of it/traps and even legs are real sore.

Feels good!



Are you trying to get specifically stronger at the deadlift, or are you trying to build your back muscles?


Both really lol. Emphasis would have to be be a better deadlift though for me.


Sounds like you had a solid session. Since you are wanting to get stronger on DL's keep the reps relatively low. Anywhere from 2-6 usually works pretty well. Even if you worked up to sets of 8 every now and then it wouldn't hurt. Just keep working hard on them and working in some accesory posterior chain work and you should be good.