T Nation

Powerlifting One Lift a Day


I’ve recently started lifting with 5x5 then Starting Strength (I’m new to lifting and am concentrating on losing weight with these compound lifts). Everything I read points to 3 day-a-week cycles. Are there any disadvantages of doing these compound lifts one per day (same lifts, one per day)? Are there any potential physical problems for a beginner increasing reps/sets (to maybe 6x6 or 6x8 with shorter rests)? Also, any potential problems in doing a 5x5 (or 6x6?) deadlift if that’s the only lift for the day?

I appreciate the help.


I’m not sure what you’re asking.

Do you mean is it OK to just follow SS or should you change it? Yes, it is better to follow SS. Generally you should not change a program that’s been set out for you. When it no longer works, then you move on.

Usually when people stop progressing on SS they do well with 531, Texas Method or Greyskull LP. Of those three 531 is usually the one that will last longest because of how versatile it is. Realistically you can keep using 531 indefinitely and just use different templates depending on what you want to achieve.


Yeah…no, use the weight training for building strength and muscle. Focus on diet along with some condition to shed unwanted Body Fat.

Any reason you fell that 6 x 6 is better than 5x5?

Make sure im clear are you asking if you can do the same lift everyday?

yes …its called recovery.


Hey, thanks for the reply, I appreciate the assistance. Yeah, sorry, I should have been more clear in my post. So, the idea would be something like this:

Monday: Squat (6x6)
Tuesday: Bench (6x6)
Wednesday: Row (6x6)
Thursday: rest
Friday: Deadlift (6x6)
Saturday: Press (6x6)
Sunday: rest

My schedule is so tight that the 3 lifts in Stronglifts and SS come up against the time I have. I can get to the gym every day, but I don’t have a lot of time once there.

The 6x6 would be to simply increase total volume.

So without a lot of experience, I wonder if this leaves enough rest and if there are potential physical problems with 6x6 deadlifts (Stronglifts and Starting Strength each show 1x5 for DL and I’m not sure why).

The goal at this stage is weight loss and as for diet, I’ve been getting used to a Keto diet and that’s helping, it’s now time to bring in some weights into the mix.


Thanks for the reply, MarkKO, I appreciate it. My post really didn’t give enough information. I just replied to bulldog9899 with a better picture of what I’m talking about. Your reply was helpful - I took a look at 531 and it seems to answer some of my questions, but 531 looks like it may not be for someone just starting out - I would have no clue where to start with 1RM, though I suppose I could just start light and work my way through it. It does answer my question about the one lift per day, though.


How much weight loss are you talking about? What is general fitness level and experience? Personally, I would never advice some one who is possibly new to free weight training to start it while on a Keto diet.



You might want to read about Dan John’s “One Lift A Day” program.

It sounds like exactly what you’re looking for.


That really does look like what I’m talking about. Very cool.

I gotta say, though, “anyone who tries this is going to hate it”, doesn’t give a very warm, fuzzy feeling.

Strange that I didn’t find this in my searches - I must have not hit the right keywords, or I missed it in the results. There isn’t a lot out there on this, which may in itself mean something. But, it does have all the moving parts that I was looking for: simple, quick, and to the point.

Anyway, that’s a good starting place. Thank you.


Yeah, I’ll have to see how the weight training goes with the Keto diet and adjust the diet with the added demands.

  1. I wouldn’t take “there isn’t a lot out there on this” to mean very much. As resident philosopher @T3hPwnisher often reminds us, most people that undertake strength training programs tend to fail, so what “most people are doing” is fairly meaningless.

  2. Dan John is a highly respected strength coach.

  3. I don’t think this program is meant to be optimal for long-term Elite powerlifters. I think it’s meant to bring people with program ADD back to center, get them to shut up and work hard for awhile instead of fretting about whether they should be doing 2x12 for triceps kickbacks or 3x8.

I think he’s said elsewhere that One Lift a Day is basically a short-term back-to-basics fix. You can certainly train with it over the long term, if your goal is find a way to be a pretty-strong guy without a substantial investment of time or a crazy program. Probably 75% of my training over the last year has been “deadlifts” or “kettlebell press” and honestly I’m feeling as good as ever; that’s been the most efficient way for me to train given the amount of time and effort I am willing to invest. However, if you stack me up as a competitive powerlifter, a 500 deadlift in the 220 class is nothing to write home about. So it depends on how high your goals are, and how much time you’re willing to invest in those goals.


This would work fine. Jim says to start too light, so starting with a very low TM wouldn’t be an issue.