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How To Do The Deadlift & 7 Week Deadlift Workout

Do you want to slim down? Bulk up? Move well? Maybe you just want to look better at your current weight. If you’re interested in any of these but aren’t practicing the art of deadlifting, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

If you think about it, deadlifting is something that we do daily. Whether you’re a female picking up a heavy purse, a parent picking up a child, a student picking up a backpack, a worker picking up boxes, inventory etc., I can’t think of a single day that goes by where one WOULDN’T deadlift and benefit highly from training the deadlift correctly.

But I find it fascinating how so many people STILL think that deadlifting should be left to the body builders, powerlifters, and Crossfitters when the truth of the matter is, regardless of your goals, deadlifting is one of the best fitness tools to get you great results.

Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the benefits so they avoid them. On the other hand, not many people know how to deadlift or have the physical capability to deadlift properly. Either of these scenarios generally cause injury. We’re here to fill you in on the benefits and teach you how to deadlift.

Proper Deadlift form starts with the weight on the floor. Pull the bar to your mid-thighs and lock your hips and knees. Return the weight to the floor by moving your hips back while bending your legs. Rest a second at the bottom and repeat. Do five reps on the StrongLifts 5×5 program.

Your lower back must stay neutral to avoid injury. Rounding it during heavy Deadlifts is dangerous for your spine. It puts uneven pressure on your spinal discs which can injure them. Always Deadlift with a neutral lower back – maintain the natural inward curve of your lower spine.

The fastest way to increase your Deadlift is to improve your form. By pulling more efficiently, you can use more muscles and Deadlift heavier weights. This results in more strength and muscle gains. The best way to improve your form is by practicing Deadlifts with proper form.

How to Deadlift – A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1:  Approach the bar and set your feet

Step 2:  Stand up tall

Step 3:  Hip hinge driving your hips backward while keeping your torso straight

Step 4:  As your hips go back, reach for the bar

Step 5:  Grab your bar with a double overhand grip and squeeze as hard as you can

Step 6:  Take a deep breath and brace your core outward in all directions

Step 7:  Pull up on the bar to ‘take the slack out’, engage your lats, and pull your hips down to lock into position

Step 8:  Drive your knees outward into your forearms creating torque at the hips

Step 9:  With your torso locked into position, while maintaining intense full body tension, drive the floor away with a powerful leg press

Step 10:  After the bar passes your knees, drive the hips forward with a powerful glute contraction, locking your body into a straight position

Step 11:  Reverse the movement by re-engaging a hip hinge and driving the hips back until the bar reaches your knees

Step 12:  After the bar passes the knees, squat the bar back to the floor under control

Step 13:  Reset and repeat

7 Week Deadlift Workout

Do this deadlift workout once per week as part of your back training day. The weights listed are based on a percentage of your current 1 rep max deadlift.

Week one: 70% – 15 sets of 1 – rest one minute between sets
Week two: 75% – 12 sets of 1 – rest one minute between sets
Week three: 80% – 10 sets of 1 – rest 90 seconds between sets
Week four: 85% – 6 sets of 1 – rest 90 seconds between sets
Week five: 90% – 3 sets of 1 – rest two minutes between sets
Week six: Rest (no deadlifting)
Week seven: try for a new max deadlift. Rest as long as you need in between sets (i.e. 3+ minutes)

Note: You can use this 7 week deadlift cycle for either the sumo or conventional deadlift. But do Not use this routine for the stiff leg / Romanian deadlift, for those keep the reps higher (i.e. 3 sets of 10 reps).

To show an example with some real numbers, lets assume the lifter has a 1 rep max of 315 pounds.

Week one: 15 sets of 1 rep with 220 pounds
Week two: 12 sets of 1 rep with 235 pounds
Week three: 10 sets of 1 rep with 250 pounds
Week four: 6 sets of 1 rep with 265 pounds
Week five: 3 sets of 1 rep with 285 pounds
Week six: rest
Week seven: work up to a new 1 rep max

Most folks who are used to bodybuilding type workouts will probably be quite surprised by the idea of doing multiple sets of single reps. But this is one of the most effective ways to develop strength and power. Obviously you will not be pumping out reps until failure, but rather you’ll be explosive and feel strong and powerful with each single rep set. Generally, after the first few sets you’ll actually feel stronger and be able to pull the bar up harder and faster. This is due to getting comfortable with the exercise and getting into your individual groove where your body position feels strongest.