How many times have you heard you can’t work the same muscles 2 days in a row?
You’ll over train they say. You’ll have central nervous system (CNS) fatigue.
Now, have you ever experienced overtraining or CNS fatigue? Yea, me either.
How hard are you actually working in the gym? You might be skating by doing the bare minimum.
That's fine if you are, but what if I told you that by increasing the intensity of your workouts, you could see all kinds of new gains?
I thought I trained hard, then I tried Deadlift Every Day.
CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
Some people will have you think you can’t work the same muscles, nevermind perform the same exercise 2 days in a row and forget about stringing 3 days in a row without rest. In some cases, this simply isn't true. People like Cory Gregory, John Broz, and myself are living proof you can do just that.
It is tough sometimes, but the added strength, mental toughness, and confidence you’ll attain will far outweigh the minor inconvenience of muscle soreness.
In the first 75 days of experimenting with this, my conventional deadlift went up 80lbs. and my barbell incline bench press went up 25lbs. It would have taken me 6+ months to get this kind of progress normally.
My personal anecdote aside and before we delve too deep into what Deadlift Every Day can look like, it is important to know your own limits. If you feel as though you’re breaking down or the program begins to cause too much stress, take a step back.
You’ll still be able to see decent progress simply by deadlifting more frequently throughout the week.
Right around the time Cory Gregory started squatting every day, I started asking myself how I could modify his program to incorporate it into my workouts. I was about a year removed from back surgery and needed to strengthen my posterior chain (lower back, glutes and hamstrings). I wasn’t mentally ready to load my spine with a barbell just yet.
All these muscles had been weakened either through the herniated disc injury or the resulting surgery. If I wanted to get back to at least my pre-injury self, I needed to think outside the box because there wasn’t much information on coming back after this type of injury.
Most people chalk it up in the loss column and modify their life. Instead, I took a gamble. The deadlift was really the only solution to my problem because of the emphasis it puts on the posterior chain. My case may be highly specialized, but if you're a healthy individual, what could it hurt to gain from my experience?
I pulled from Cory, Jim Wendler, and my own training to see if I could deadlift every day safely and effectively. I have and always will consider the deadlift to be the ultimate exercise. It works just about every muscle in your body plus there's nothing as gratifying as picking up 300+ from a dead stop off the floor.
That’s when Deadlift Every Day was born.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS PROGRAM?
While running the risk of sounding like a sleazy car salesman, everyone can benefit from more deadlifts. Since the deadlift works just about every muscle in the body, the strength effects translate well to other exercises and activities.
For the athletes, whether you are running to the endzone, jumping to block a shot or throwing a punch - it all comes back to your posterior chain. This is where all your power comes from. Adding more power here can translate over to any sport. That is exactly what the deadlift every day does.
For the desk jockeys like myself, sitting all day is softening up our posterior chain leaving us susceptible to lower back pain and injuries. A weak muscle makes other muscles overcompensate which throws our posture and alignment off. By strengthening your posterior chain with deadlifts, it can help bring everything back to normal.
For the lifter, we all know heavy lifting increases growth hormone and testosterone production. Why not make that happen every day? With proper nutrition you can add serious muscle and strength to your frame quickly.
THE DEADLIFT EVERYDAY PROGRAM
Deadlift Every Day is an add-on to your current workout. Nothing fancy, just add 3 sets of deadlifts to each workout at the beginning or the end. I’ve experimented with both and I find I have better form and strength at the end of the workout.
The only modification to your normal workout is to go easy on heavy squats. Keep that in the 8-15 rep range, you don’t want to tax your legs too much. Keep everything else as is. I was doing 5x5 on the rest of my lifts during this time but feel free to stay in the 8-15 rep range.
Each session use a different deadlift variation. This will prevent overuse injuries and help pinpoint different muscles in your posterior chain.
Starting off, you need to know your 1RM for the different variations. If you don’t know it, use a calculator to get a ballpark number. Everything we lift from here on out is based on these numbers.
Every day limit the workout to 2 warmup sets and 3 working sets. Since we are lifting every day we need to keep the volume down or there will be no way to recover. Keep all sets less than 5 reps and rest periods to 2-3 minutes between working sets.
For example, say your 1RM is 315. Day 1 will look like this:
5 reps @185lbs
5 reps @225lbs
3x5 reps of 252lbs. (80% of 315)
At the end of each week we are going to test your 1RM for that deadlift variation. This will be your new 1RM when you come back to this variation.
|Deadlift||80% of 1RM||3||5|
|Deadlift||90% of 1RM||3||1|
|Deadlift||85% of 1RM||3||3|
|Deadlift||95% of 1RM||3||1|
|Deadlift||MAX||3||5, 3, 1|
|Deadlift||65% of 1RM||3||5|
Here are the main ones I would use:
- Trap Bar
- Snatch Grip
- Rack Pull
TAKE IT EASY ON LEG DAY
Seeing as you're working your legs every day, skip a full blown leg day. On your normal leg day add some light to intermediate weight squats (4x8-15 reps) and work on your quads.
Deadlifts are hip dominate which translates into more hamstring and posterior chain work.
If you want to hit new personal records every week you are going to need to recover properly.
Foam Rolling - Invest in a foam roller to get the soreness out of your hips, hamstrings and glutes. Perform a few minutes of foam rolling on each of these areas after each workout. You’ll want to hold pressure on your pain points for at least 30 seconds to help relax those overactive and tight muscles.
Static Stretching - Remember those stretches you learned in elementary school? Do those post workouts when the muscles are still warm. This will help prevent tightness and allow you to get in the proper position so you don’t overcompensate and get hurt.
By performing some SMR and stretching out those leg muscles that you just worked during deadlifts, you will also prohibit excessive blood from pooling in your lower extremities post workout.
You'll be thankful when you're not experiencing DOMs during the next day's deadlift session.