Back Exercises

The Workout Plan to Help You Master the Deadlift

Use this routine to perfect the deadlift and become big, strong, and athletic—and stay that way your entire life.

by
Heavy Barbell Deadlift
HadelProductions / Getty
HadelProductions / Getty
Duration 30-45 min.
Exercises 6-7
Equipment Yes

Most people who lift weights never deadlift—and if they do, they rarely put in the time to become strong deadlifters.

But if they do, a funny thing happens: They add muscle to places they’ve never seen develop before, such as their glutes, hamstrings, and traps. Their lower back gets stronger, too, reducing the risk of injury when they bend over to pick something up. They may also find they can run faster, hit golf balls farther, or even dunk a basketball for the first time.

For these reasons, the deadlift is not only a cornerstone of CrossFit training but also possibly the best barbell exercise of all time—so it’s high time you master it. This program aims to build your deadlift—and, consequently, nearly every muscle in your body in just four weeks.

How it works

To get better at anything, you need to practice it often. But because the deadlift works the body so hard, it isn’t usually done more than once per week. This program, however, cycles the intensity, allowing you to train the deadlift in different rep ranges three days a week without wearing out your lower back or compromising your recovery. As your technique improves, so will your gains—and in four weeks, you won’t look like “most people” anymore. You’ll look like a deadlifter.

Directions

Perform each workout (Days 1, 2, and 3) once per week, resting at least a day between sessions. Exercises marked A and B are alternated, so you’ll do one set of A, rest, then B, rest again, and repeat until all sets are complete for the pair.

Day 1 The Better Deadlift Workout Plan: Day 1

Exercise 1

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
10, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2A

Goblet Squat You'll need: Dumbbells, Kettlebells How to
Goblet Squat thumbnail
5 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B

One-arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
4 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest
*each side

Exercise 3A

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
-- rest
*each arm

Exercise 3B

Single-leg Hip Thrust You'll need: Bench How to
Single-leg Hip Thrust thumbnail
3 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest
*each leg

Exercise 4A

Face Pull You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment How to
Face Pull thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B

Pallof Press You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Resistance Band How to
Pallof Press thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
*each side

Day 2 The Better Deadlift Workout Plan: Day 2

Exercise 1

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
8 sets
2 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2A

Romanian Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
3 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B

General Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
Pushup thumbnail
3 sets
AMRAP reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A

30-Degree Incline Dumbbell Row You'll need: Bench How to
30-Degree Incline Dumbbell Row thumbnail
4 sets
8-10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B

Bulgarian Split Squat
Bulgarian Split Squat thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
*each leg

Exercise 4

Chinup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Chinup thumbnail
5 sets
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps
-- rest

Day 3 The Better Deadlift Workout Plan: Day 3

Exercise 1A

Bent-Over Barbell Row
Bent-Over Barbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 1B

Barbell Glute Bridge You'll need: Barbell How to
barbell glute bridge thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
3 sets
5 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A

Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Barbell, Bench How to
Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
5 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B

One-arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
2 sets
15 reps
-- rest
*each side

Exercise 4A

Farmer's Walk You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Farmer's Walk thumbnail
3 sets
30-50 yards reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Goblet Squat You'll need: Dumbbells, Kettlebells How to
Goblet Squat thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Comments