- Main GoalIncrease Strength
- Workout TypeSingle Muscle Group
- Training LevelIntermediate
- Program Duration8 weeks
- Days Per Week1
- Time Per Workout30-45 minutes
- Equipment RequiredBarbell, Machines
- Target Gender Male & Female
- Recommended Supps
- Workout PDF Download Workout
If you’re like me, you find the deadlift to be the most thrilling powerlifting exercise to perform. There’s something extra cathartic about walking up to a heavy barbell and picking it up off the ground.
Whether you’re looking to add weight to a lagging deadlift, or just need some new programming, give this 8-week cycle a try.
This cycle is intended for more advanced lifters that are used to handling heavy weight with a good amount of volume. If you have to tone down some of your other lifts to get in the prescribed sets and reps, do it. After all, the focus of this cycle is to improve your deadlift.
- Week 1 - 4x5 at 80-85%
- Week 2 - 5x5 at 80-85%
- Week 3 - 5x5 at 80-85%
- Week 4 - 2-3x5 at 80-85%
- Week 5 - 5x3 at 88-90%
- Week 6 - 5x3 at 88-90%
- Week 7 - 5-6x2 at 90-92%
- Week 8 - Work up to 1RM
If you have to tone down some of your other lifts to get in the prescribed sets and reps, do it. After all, the focus of this cycle is to improve your deadlift.
The first three weeks will be familiar to anyone who has been through a 5x5 program. Use intensities between 80 and 85% of your max. I recommend starting at the lower end of the range and working your way up. You can do all of your sets at the same intensity or you can switch intensities from set to set. Try to get as many sets as you can at the higher end of the range, but don’t force yourself if it’s not there.
The fourth week is a deload week. Don’t push the weight here.
Weeks five and six will increase the intensity while bringing the volume down a bit. Like the first three weeks, start with the lower intensity and try to build up to the higher end. Again, you can either switch percentages from set to set or keep it the same for each set.
Week seven continues to ramp up the intensity while decreasing the total amount of reps.
Week eight is the time to let loose and go for a new max. In the words of weightlifter Donny Shankle, “Pull on that bar like you’re ripping the head off a lion.”
Be sure to rest as long as needed in between sets. Take your time and make sure you’re fully ready to attack each one.
A sample workout for week 2 could look like this:
|Deadlift||* See above|
|Glute Ham Raise||2-3||8-10|
Hopefully this cycle can help you add some new weight to your deadlift. Give it a run and let me know how it goes!