In previous articles, we have broken down the form of different deadlift variations and discussed their technique. These articles are great for both beginner and veteran deadlifters who want to improve their form. One aspect of training that these articles have not covered is programming these lifts into your training. After reading our previous articles, you now know how to perform many important lifts. But now you may be asking “What is the proper way for me to program these lifts into my training?”. This article is going to show some examples of how the programming should look for powerlifting deadlift workouts.
The first thing that should dictate how your programming will look is what your training goals are. As I previously stated, this article is going to be focused on how a powerlifter should program their training. A powerlifter’s main focus is building strength, so their programming should be structured accordingly.
To train for strength, the focus should be lifting heavy. This doesn’t mean you should go to the gym and start maxing out on the first day. In order for strength training to be effective, you must be smart in how you program it.
Depending on their program, most powerlifters will begin their training with the competition lift. This means that depending on your pulling stance, conventional or sumo deadlifts will be the first exercise done. It is recommended that 4-6 sets of 1-5 reps be done if strength is your goal.
After the competition lift, usually further barbell work is done. Different variations of the main lifts are used as assistance work. This can include deficit deadlifts, rack pulls, stiff leg deadlifts, and banded deadlifts or deadlifts with chains. Generally these exercises are 4-6 sets of 1-5 reps also. The amount of these exercises done will vary depending on if the lifter has an upcoming competition or not.
If the lifter is in a hypertrophy phase, isolation work is sometimes done to work on weak muscles individually. Examples of isolation work to enhance deadlifts would include good mornings, back extensions, dumbbell still leg deadlifts, leg curls, leg extensions, bent over or dumbbell rows, and shrugs. These exercises can sometimes be done on their own separate day, but are also effective when done after performing the main lift. Generally these exercises will use higher reps than the barbell exercises. You should use a weight that you can complete 3-6 sets of 6-12 reps with for hypertrophy goals.
Layout of a Beginner Deadlift Workout
The Main Lift
Deficit pulls (used if the bottom portion of the main lift is a weak point) – 5 sets of 5 reps
Rack pulls (used if the top portion of the main lift is a weak point) 5 sets of 5 reps
Stiff leg deadlifts (should be used every deadlift workout as an assistance movement for the main lift) – 5 sets of 5
Pick two of the following exercises:
Good mornings – 4 sets of 10 reps
Back extensions – 4 sets of 10 reps
Leg curls – 4 sets of 10 reps
Shrugs – 4 sets of 10 reps
This is an example of a basic deadlift workout for powerlifting. Even if you are not a powerlifter, this would be a good workout to become better at deadlifting and get stronger overall. Now that you have an example of how to program all of these exercises, you have no excuses to not be doing them!
If you decide to try this workout, let us know how it goes for you!