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The deadlift is an extremely taxing exercise, and one that powerlifting experts suggest doing only once or twice a week—some even suggest it once every other week. So when I started doing it every weekday in December (Christmas excluded), my fellow gym-goers took notice.
“I said to myself, ‘I knew the deadlift guy was going to be in today,’” one of them told me on December 30. “The Deadlift Guy” isn’t a bad nickname for someone who spent most of their December workouts on the platform, but I’m sure anyone who saw me deadlifting daily was wondering why I would do this and put myself at risk of a lower-back injury.
If you’re a regular M&F reader, you might remember that back in October, I took on a challenge called “Squatober,” where I squatted five days per week with the goal of increasing my max for the king of lifts. The program upped my PR by 40 pounds, so I figured the same could happen with my deadlift max. I didn’t quite achieve that, my raw deadlift max went up from a shaky 365 pounds to an easy 385 in the 30 days.
Like Squatober, Deadcember was created by the masterminds at the exercise equipment company Sorinex. For the past two years, it’s been run by Daniel McKim, the company’s Midwest rep.
“You see all this division on social media and people calling each other out for their lifts,” McKim says. “This was just about finding a way to bring people together around this really brutal lift.” The @sorinex_deadcember Instagram page, which uploaded each day’s workout, is followed by more than 10,000 faithful lifters.
McKim’s program is simple—at the beginning, you’re lifting a lot of volume, followed by low reps of heavy weight. “It’s all about linear progression,” he says. “And hopefully at the end of it you get a massive PR.”
Want to give Deadcember a go next year? Here are some of my takeaways from the program.
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