T Nation

Warm-up Sets/Weight for Deadlifts?


Hello T nation!

I read countless articles on warm up techniques such as the pyramid( 120, 130, 140), racking up sets or 30% of your max weight. However i still find that this topic is ambiguous. If my max is 142kg, how much should be my warm up? and how many warm up sets before going to the working sets.


I’d do about 60kgs then 100kgs then hit your work-sets…if, however I was planning on maxing out (or really close to that) I might add in a third warm-up set of about 120kgs…simple.


You aren’t going to find a set warm-up plan that works every time. There are too many factors. That said, google the Joe Defranco warm-ups like the agile 8.

Personally, I like more warm-up sets than less, but I never go over 5 reps and taper down to 2 or even 1 before hitting my fist working set.

I don’t walk up to the bar “cold” anymore. It’s a good idea to spend 5-10 minutes preparing your body for the session.


my 1RM is 160kg at the moment, for me i go 10 reps at 60 but do more speed based deads on the lighter weight really exploding out the bottom and lowering the weight slowly getting the heart rate up and stretching as well then go to 100, then 120, 140, 150, 160. the closer i get to my 1rm the less the weight increases each set. just my 2 cents


I usually go plate, two plate, two plates and a half or three quarter, three plates and a half or three quarter, then halves from there if I need to.

The lower your first work set, the smaller jumps you’ll take and the fewer sets you’ll need. I wouldn’t recommend jumps below about 22 lbs though, and as you get stronger you’ll probably need to increase them to 35 and then 45 lbs.


This goes for all my main lifts. For accessory lifts I will usually do around 2-3 warm up sets.

Percentages for the most part and the number of warm up sets depends on what percentage of my max I am working with.

I always use at least 4 warm up sets (bare min for rep work) and my last DL 1RM test was 9 sets. I had a Bench 1RM recently that was probably 12 or 13.

As I get closer to my intended weight the increases become slower.

I always begin with 135 and add 1 plate at a time.

If I am working with higher reps I will usually do doubles or triples for the warm up sets…unless I want all the work and I will ramp 10 rep sets until failure to hit 10 reps.

If I were working with 100-150kg I would warm up by 25s (11kg) or 35s.(15kg) plates.

For Squats I will do some quick Yoga Squats, plate weighted ankle stretches and a couple front squat sets but I have mobility issues. For Bench and Dead my warm up is all those warm up sets. No better way to warm up for a lift than by doing that lift with minimal weight preparing your body to do that movement.


edit: should have used your weights!!! also this is an exact match to the sets I use when working up to 315.


I don’t do anything before I start lifting (although I do walk about 10-15 minutes to the gym, so I have a very general “warm up” vs. just rolling out of bed) but otherwise I agree with this. I do lots of low-rep sets to get myself primed. At least one single each at 135, 185, 225, 275, 315, etc.


this is partially OCD but some merit but once you go up by 40 keep going up by 40 rather than by 50 then by 40.

I know it is the darn pound plates in 45 and 25 lbs instead of 20 and 10kgs like they should be.


Smug metric user smile.


is 100, 120, 140, and 150 singles? i do like that method because you are not jumping from 100 to 160kg.


Added one. But yes that is the idea!!

My number of warmup sets depend on the percentage of my 1RM I am working up to. Higher the % the more warm up sets. For all working sets I like 4 warmups or more. For a 1RM test I like the attempt to be my 7-9th set.

If I were working up to 160kg as a 1RM it would look like this:


If I were warming up to 160 as a max rep set in the 5+ rep range it would look like this:

3-5s @ 60-100-120-140
Max @ 160