Workout Routines

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
Deadlift
mihailomilovanovic/Getty Images
mihailomilovanovic/Getty Images
Duration 30-45
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 mastered 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 (Day I, II, and III) 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.

Be a better deadlifter The Better Deadlift Workout Plan: Day I

Exercise 1.

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

Exercise 2A.

Goblet Squat You'll need: 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 (each side) reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A.

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

Exercise 3B.

Single-leg hip thrust You'll need: Bench How to
Single-leg hip thrust thumbnail
3 sets
12-15 (each leg) reps
-- rest
Use a resistance band.

Exercise 4A.

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

Exercise 4B.

Pallof Press You'll need: Elastic Band How to
Pallof Press thumbnail
3 sets
8 (each side) reps
-- rest

Be a better deadlifter The Better Deadlift Workout Plan: Day II

Exercise 1.

Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
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.

Pushup How to
Pushup  thumbnail
3 sets
As many as possible reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A.

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

Exercise 3B.

Bulgarian Split Squat You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Bulgarian Split Squat thumbnail
3 sets
8 (each leg) reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

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

Be a better deadlifter The Better Deadlift Workout Plan: Day III

Exercise 1A.

Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Bent Over Row  thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Use a reverse grip.

Exercise 1B.

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

Exercise 2.

Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Deadlift  thumbnail
3 sets
5 reps
-- rest
Use 70% of your max.

Exercise 3A.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
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 (each side) reps
-- rest

Exercise 4A.

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

Exercise 5.

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