Last Update On April 4, 2012
Effective Deadlift Cycle
The program you are about to see has one and only one goal - improve your deadlift. The program does not care about fat loss, biceps, triceps, abs, Lady Gaga...etc. It's all about the deadlift.
Who is the program for?
The program is for people who want to improve their deadlift more than anything else at the moment. Ok. Maybe not more than everything but you get the idea. It's particularly good for lifters who want to compete in a deadlift only or push/pull powerlifting meet..etc.
You are good at what you do
If right now I point a gun to your face (not that I have the balls) and tell you to improve your singing (not that there is hope anyway) as much as you can in six months what are you going to do?
Singing and nothing else. You will sing and sing and sing....
Improving your deadlift or any other lift is not that much different. We just have to train it and avoid all distractions. That's why the program does not care about assistance work such as rack pulls, deficit deadlifts, RDL, good mornings, power cleans and to some point even squats.
Bruce Lee said it best:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
The only exercise you will do to get your deadlift up is deadlift. Sorry. We have no time to play with toys.
Let's get to it.
The Deadlift Machine program includes two workouts a day - heavy day and a light/speed day.
Pick a weight that allows you to perform 8-10 clean reps. Usually it will be around 75-85% of your 1 RM. If you don't know your 1 RM just pick a weight you can lift with good form for a solid set of 8-10 reps. No need to test your 1 RM.
You are going to perform 8x3 reps with the same weight. At the beginning you will rest 1-3 min but after a while feel free to extend the rest between sets to 5-7 mins but no more.
The jumps you are going to make between workouts depend on your deadlift strength. Stick to 5% of your 1RM. So if your 1RM is 315 pounds 3-4% of that weight will be around 10 pounds.
Let's see how a hypothetical cycle for a 315 1RM will look.
Week 1 - 240 x 8 x 3 ( 8 sets of 3 reps)
Week 2 - 250 x 8 x 3
Week 3 - 260 x 8 x 3
Week 4 - 270 x 8 x 3
Week 5 - 280 x 8 x 3
Week 7 - 290 x 8 x 3 - it gets real hard switch to 3x3
Week 8 - 300 x 3 x 3
Week 9 - 310 x 3 x 3 - it gets real hard switch to 2x2
Week 10 - 320 x 2 x 2 - this was hell on earth
Week 11 - Max
End of the cycle. You can either max out on Week 11 or simply start another cycle with 250 pounds.
This day is dedicated to technique and power. You can do it 3 days after your heavy day. So if your heavy day was on Monday your light day will be on Friday. Pick a weight you can lift for 15-20 solid reps. Around 60% of 1 RM will do just fine. So if your deadlift is 315 that's 190 pounds. You will perform 10 x 3 (10 sets of 3 reps) as fast as you can. Focus on perfect technique and be explosive as much as you can. Grab the weight and just crush it. Rest 1-2 mins between sets since the weight is light. Add weight every fourth workout.
So, if your 1RM is 315 and your “speed” weight is 190 your cycle may look like this.
Week 1 - 190 x 10 x 3
Week 2 - 190 x 10 x 3
Week 3 - 190 x 10 x 3 - add weight
Week 4 - 200 x 10 x 3
Week 5 - 200 x 10 x 3
Week 6 - 200 x 10 x 3
Week 7 - 210 x 10 x 3 - add weight
Week 8 - 210 x 10 x 3
Week 9 - 210 x 10 x 3
Week 10 - 210 x 10 x 3 - end of cycle
End of cycle. Start next with 200 pounds.
The goal of this day is not to see how many reps you can do with 60% of your 1RM but rather to build power and to make the deadlift feel like a second nature. The more you do something the better you get at it. Also the more explosive you are the more weight you will lift on your heavy day.
FAQ: Can I squat on this program ?
Yes, you can. Don't do it on your heavy day though. I would do it on my light deadlift day BEFORE deadlifting. Never squat after deadlifts because the spine is more vulnerable to injuries. Deadlifts after squats are fine. So a complete program may look something like this.
Heavy bench press
Saturday + Sunday
FAQ: Can this cycle work for bench press and squats?
Yes, the principle will be the same.
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