T Nation

Will Deadlift Daily Impede 5/3/1?


Hi Mr. Jim and other members,

I’m currently on my 5th cycle of 5/3/1, and have started to get good results, the program is awesome and easy to follow.

Regarding to deadlifting; I’m following 4 days split / week as outlined in your program and modified by yourself in another post, hence, I deadlift only once a week. The issue is that ONLY deadlift activates my brain and my whole body so I’m thinking to do couple of sets daily in the morning before I leave to work. Is something like this will impede my development?

My TM for the current cycle is 130kg, and I’m planning to deadlift 70 or 80kgs for two sets of 5 reps.



Hi, I’m not sure what you mean by activates your brain, but if its focus etc then you should be focused while doing all lifts to get the most out of them and not doing them for the sake of getting them out of the way. Maybe you need to tune into your other lifts more. Maybe you feel that only deadlifts activate your brain and body because you like them the most?
To answer the question I’m sure you could deadlift everyday but they would have to be super light.


You’d have to completely change the training. This is not something I’m interested in or interested in promoting. I want balance.


Hi Mr. Jim, I think I didn’t make it clear!!! I usually train after return back from work at 07:00PM not in the morning.

By “activate my brain and whole body”; I mean the kick I get from DL is more than morning coffee I usually have before I leave to work, so I think it will be better to do those couple of sets instead of drinking that huge coffee mug.

I do focus in all my lifts, and don’t have any problems regarding to training.



Have you tried something else than lifting ?

Mobility work is a great way to start your day.


" so I’m thinking to do couple of sets daily in the morning before I leave to work. Is something like this will impede my development?"



Hi Zorglub, I’ve never tried mobility work, think I will give it a try as almost all agreed not to do DL. Do you prefer particular exercises?


Jim Wendler often recommends Agile 8 and for what it’s worth I think it does a pretty good job at waking you up.

I mix it with a few pushups and some yoga movements whose names I don’t know. Really basic stuff.


Try it. I think it is a great idea. Daily stimulus should never be discounted and the “kick” it gives your nervous system can be very helpful as you discovered. You’ll just have to monitor the intensity/volume so you can do it every day. People act like doing a lift everyday will lead to instantaneous death. Think of all the things you repeat every day. Eating, sleeping, talking, interacting, breathing is all a stimulus to the body, as is training. Heck, driving to work in rush hour traffic can be more stressful than lifting and people do that 5 days a week year round.

Some people automatically think something won’t work when they have never tried it.
If you eliminate “days” and view life a a continuous event you will be amazed at what can be done.


My opinion, if you’re training 4 days a week split, is to do one 5/3/1 deadlift day and the other 5-7x5@FSL.

Squat 5/3/1
Deadlift 5-7x5@FSL

Deadlift 5/3/1 ladders
squat or some type of leg exercise

The lower back can be a fickle fucker (say that three times real fast)


If you want to “activate your brain” (#eyeChuckled) then do jumps before lifting as part of your warm up


@BillyHayes, I respect your point of view. I will give it a try as you suggested and will keep volume/intensity low, just the required to get the required kick. Thanks sir.


@DBH, Thanks sir, the warm up I do adopted from t-nation, it is 60 sec of rope jumping, 15 sec rest, 1 minute bodyweight jump squat, 15 sec rest, then 20 sec static hang. After I finish that round I do some mobility work. I don’t have any problems regarding to training or warming up. I was only asking about deadlift before I leave to my job (not workout :slightly_smiling:)


Hanymamdouh, Keep us updated. I’m interested to see what happens.

Volume/ Intensity doesn’t have to be “low”. It has to be what you need and will provide a jolt to the system. However, it is best to start low and build up or increase until you get to the limit of what you can repeat everyday while feeling good. And then gradually nudge it forward by adding volume and intensity in small amounts. When you feel a little beat up or sore pull back, when you feel good move forward.


@BillyHayes, I’ve started already to include DL daily before breakfast. Actually it is only 10 minutes after waking up. I can’t judge the result as I’m seeking three effects:

  1. Effect of DL on my CNS and if it will give me the required energy boost.
  2. Overall progress in other lifts
  3. Effect on recovery

Hence I need to examine and follow up over at least one month time span.

I’ve started very low, couple of sets of 5 reps @ 50kg (40% 1RM). The energy boost is not that much, but I feel well, more focused and active, a little bit less than what I get from morning coffee. My breakfast is still the same, and I’m not going to change it or increase the quantity for the current month. Tomorrow I will increase the intensity (50% 1RM) for same sets/sets and follow up.

I will keep the thread updated

Thanks for your interest :slight_smile:


Please do keep us updated! I can’t help but admire the willingness to go in and see this out and answer your own questions for yourself. A lot of people will naysay and claim it’s not beneficial or stupid, this and that, but in the end you will be able to look back and say you are no longer ignorant of either the positive or negative effects. I know several guys that stack 15+ ton of 100lb patio stone in the rock quarries around here in a week. Granted, it’s a little different than 50% effort pulls, but every one of them are plenty of show and all go. This kind of reminds me of a Bret Contreras article I’ve read before here on tnation, but with near maximal squatting every day for several months and another Q&A type article interviewing Glenn Pendlay stating that they train very high frequency, concentric only. Completely different circumstances admittedly, but what you are trying to do is interesting none the less. I would try to track as many things as you can think of if you are going to put in the effort of seeing it through. Weight, measurements, total volume, etc. Looking forward to see how it works out in relation to your 5/3/1 training.


@badboy69cancer, I’m very happy of your interest as well as others. Your interest motivates me to go through the test.

Regarding to tracking, I’m very good at tracking, I do track everything since 3 years; food, sleep, medicines, glucose levels, body measurements, even excretion (nature, color, frequency, etc.). I have also diaries for mood changes, brain fogging, recovery and soreness as well as complete and detailed training logs (reps, sets, time, rest, comments and observations) and much more :slight_smile:

I will start to update the thread here daily, listing 3 main factors;

  1. Brain state after 1 hour of deadlifting
  2. Recovery / soreness
  3. Hunger state

Weekly I will update other things like:

  1. Impact on lifts and PBs
  2. Impact on soreness / recovery over 1 week span
  3. Impact on body weight and measurements

I will try to be very accurate and not to change any factor or any of my daily habits.

Hope this helps others, and thanks again for your interest.


Today’s Update (18-Feb-2016)

Deadlift at 07:00 AM (2 set x 5 reps @ 65kg; 50% 1RM)
Breakfast at 07:15 AM

  1. Brain state after 1 hour of DL = Very clear, better than yesterday, no fogging, more focused.
  2. Recovery / Soreness = No soreness except normal from yesterday squat session, recovery is normal.
  3. Hunger State = a little bit hungry than yesterday, but may be illusion not a real hunger strike.
  4. Notes: I feel very well today, better than any other day, more focused and full of energy, didn’t take too much time to get into job mood, and don’t feel the usual sleepiness I get daily by 10:00AM. Also active and happy :slightly_smiling:


If you’re really going to start updating this daily, take it to a new thread using the “Reply As Linked Topic” button (to the right of your post) to start a new-but-connected thread.

This forum is meant to ask questions about 5/3/1, not keep a log about it. Especially since Jim already gave the idea a thumbs down, it’s really not cool to keep bumping the thread.


I did this for awhile. Read some article by CT about neural drive sessions or something like that. I did doubles for DL and OHP, increasing weight until I slowed down. Never got heavy enough to notice any negative effect on my other training. Doing this in the morning seemed to help when I was having adrenal issues and could barely make it through the day.