How to Get Freakishly Strong with Deadlift Every Day Program

Dave Bonollo
Written By: Dave Bonollo
March 28th, 2017
Updated: June 13th, 2020
118.5K Reads
How to Get Freakishly Strong with Deadlift Every Day Program
Do you love to deadlift? Do you wish you could deadlift every single day? Learn how you can with the Deadlift Every Day Program & the benefits of doing so!

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.

M&S Athlete Performing Deadlifts With Overhand Grip

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.

THE GENESIS

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.

Related: Death by Deadlift - An Explosive Deadlift Challenge

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.

M&S Athlete Performing Romanian Deadlifts

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:

Warmup sets:
5 reps @185lbs
5 reps @225lbs

Working sets:
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.

Day 1
Exercise Weight Sets Reps
Deadlift 80% of 1RM 3 5
Day 2
Exercise Weight Sets Reps
Deadlift 90% of 1RM 3 1
Day 3
Exercise Weight Sets Reps
Deadlift 85% of 1RM 3 3
Day 4
Exercise Weight Sets Reps
Deadlift 95% of 1RM 3 1
Day 5
Exercise Weight Sets Reps
Deadlift MAX 3 5, 3,  1
Day 6
Exercise Weight Sets Reps
Deadlift 65% of 1RM 3 5
DEADLIFT VARIATIONS

Here are the main ones I would use:

  • Conventional
  • Sumo
  • RDL
  • 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.

Related: Deadlift Domination - 5 Tips for 5 Plates

RECOVERY

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.

17 Comments
Benjamin Cushway
Posted on: Wed, 03/11/2020 - 13:11

So, I didn’t read the comments (as per usual for me) and I’m on day 5 and understood the instructions as to go balls out and attempt my one rep max (which happens to be 210kg at the moment Or at least it was 6 days ago) for 5 reps !! I managed 4reps, nearly shat myself and thought this can’t be right ! Now , I’m pretty sure I’ve had my wires crossed here but I think I now understand what you meant. Not too sure what my 5 rep max or my 3 rep max is and come to think of it my 1 rep max is certainly not 210kg any longer thanks to this training method.

Paul D
Posted on: Tue, 05/21/2019 - 08:09

Dave, I was doing Cory Gregory squat everyday for a little while and he incorporates a different type of squat everyday and going for a Max lift every day. Never had a problem with overwork or injuries. You take the same tact, different type of deadlift everyday, different variation. But in your program above you show 6 days of lifting with different percent of one rep max but it appears from above that you're doing the same type of lift?

Scott Stewart
Posted on: Thu, 02/21/2019 - 19:46

On the max day what is meant for the 3 sets at 5,3,1? What weight? 1RM?

MojoHusker
Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2019 - 17:28

My interpretation is this Max day is for your max at each of those selected Reps. So you'd do your 5-rep max, 3-rep, and 1 rep max for that DL variation. When you get to the 7th workout, you'd re-test your 1 rep max to see if you can go heavier which would then reset the 1-Rep max that you'll use as a new base. Or something like that

MojoHusker
Posted on: Wed, 02/20/2019 - 17:12

I'm a 5'8, 165 lbs, 41 years old Beginner/Intermediate lifter, and not a bit afraid to try this. My understanding is that I'll do a different DL variation every day, and I'll test my max every 7th Day. I've started up at last Friday, continued this week, and so far I'm feeling great. Wrapping my brain around the different 1RMs for each variation has proven difficult, but I'm doing my best. I only get to the weights 3-4 days per week (cardio on 2 others), so I feel I'll be "taking it easy" anyways. But I still get to incorporate more Deadlifts, and I'll see how my body responds over time. Right now I love this idea, wish me luck with some gains!

Marshall
Posted on: Sat, 02/02/2019 - 22:20

Did you do this each a d every calendar day with no off days or only on workout days? I did 25 out of 31 days in January but have taken the past 2 days off entirely to recover some.

Robert Jacobsen
Posted on: Fri, 10/12/2018 - 23:00

Correct me if I'm wrong.. but doesn't it seem a bit insane to be having people do a 1 rep max on an exercise they are doing every single day?

It's like "break your body down day after day after day and then REALLY PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT on the 7th day"

Shouldn't you basically never do your 1 rep max if you are deadlifting every day? Maybe you could go for your 1RM every month or two after 2 rest days before and 2 rest days after.. or something.. no?

Am I missing something here?

Jono
Posted on: Fri, 09/28/2018 - 08:08

since the program is 6 days, do you take one rest day per week? or do you start from day 1

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:29

Hi Jono,

Day 7 is the day you test your deadlift max.

Hope this helps!

Dan
Posted on: Sat, 08/25/2018 - 14:01

How do you know what weights to use on the MAX day?

Benjamin Cushway
Posted on: Thu, 03/12/2020 - 03:42

I’m pretty sure it’s not your 1rep max for sets of 5 then 3 then 1 !!
I tried 5 at my one rep max , reached 4 and nearly passed out the had a think about it and realised they must be lower weights but I don’t know how to work it out either ! A formula would be helpful.

Phililp
Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2018 - 21:26

In the program deadlift every day it said to change variation each session is that each week or each day?

Phililp
Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2018 - 20:35

does each session mean each day or each week

Zac
Posted on: Tue, 05/23/2017 - 22:43

"Have you ever experienced over training or CNS fatigue? Yea, me either."
You haven't been training hard enough if you've never experienced either of those, especially CNS fatigue..... CNS fatigue happens from engaging too many muscles too heavy for too long, such as in a good old deadlift. The deadlift engages so much muscle mass that it is rather taxing on the CNS. So unless you're pulling like a wimp, you are going to have CNS fatigue from high frequency, which is going to affect the weights you can move. Not optimal for strength. Bodybuilding? Sure, because you can move weight that is light for you. But if you're actually training hard for strength, your CNS just won't keep up and you'll be training at incredibly submaximal loads. This ain't gon work

Dave
Posted on: Wed, 05/24/2017 - 17:50

Hey Zac I appreciate your point of view and honestly up until I tried this I would 100% agree with you. After back surgery I realized I couldn't keep going balls out like you suggest. Call me a whimp but I'd much rather be able to walk out of the gym than have another surgery. I've designed the program to go hard some days and lighter on others like Cory Gregory, Jim Welder and Westside Barbell all while working on getting stronger.

Your opinion is your opinion and I won't try to sway you. I wish you all the best.

Dave

Y O Allen
Posted on: Fri, 04/21/2017 - 09:19

How long should this program be ran for (8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks)?

Dave
Posted on: Tue, 04/25/2017 - 18:16

12 weeks would be good.

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