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Deadliest Deadlift Workout

July 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
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This workout is designed to hit your Deadlift HARD with lots of pulling from the floor along with a decent amount of volume and intensity.

When finding the optimal weight for your working sets ensure that form is perfect across all reps & sets. The key to making progress with the deadlift is keeping reps fast and controlled, gradually adding weight week-to-week and not getting sidelined by injuries.

As the name suggests it is a DEADlift, so no touch and go throughout this workout, lift, reset and repeat!

Rest as needed between sets. If the set feels comfortable aim for around 90 seconds rest. As soon as you find yourself grinding through reps either increases the rest to 3-5 minutes or alternatively decrease the weight slightly, we want everything smooth and fast

Warm up

Don’t expect to just turn up, pull a few light reps and perform at your best. We recommend performing some light cardio (bike/row/jog) for 5 minutes, followed by a combination of static and dynamic mobility: stretching, leg swings, bodyweight squats, jumping etc. This will serve to prepare your body and CNS for the heavy lifting to follow.  

Exercise 1: Deadlift

Too often people make the mistake of trying to hit a 1RM record every time they step up to the deadlift, when their time would be better spent on higher volume and fast controlled reps. For the working sets aim for around 75% of your 1RM, if your feeling fresh and the weight is moving easily feel free to push the weight up. If your finding each rep is a ‘grind’ and the barbell is moving slow, drop the weight.


Focus on staying behind the bar and leading with your shoulders, don’t let your hips shoot up. Push your feet into the floor and finish hard with your glutes at lock-out.

(Percentages are based off your 1rm deadlift)

Warm-up Set: 1×8 @ light weight/ barbell

Warm-up Set: 2×5 @ 45% 

Warm-up Set: 1×5 @ 65% 

Warm-up Set: 1×5 @ 70% 


Don’t fall into the trap of performing 1 or 2 good reps then settling for ugly ‘touch and go’ reps for the remainder of the multiple-rep sets. By re-setting after each rep with the lats on ‘tight’ you will learn how to develop ‘starting strength’ which is what is required in competition.

Working Sets: 5×8 @ 75% of 1RM

Exercise 2: Deficit Deadlifts

Now that the main portion of the session has been finished, it’s time to hit the weak spots. For most people the lower back and a soft starting position causes the most trouble.

That is why the deficit deadlift is a crucial exercise in building a massive deadlift, by overloading the lower back and lowering the starting position. Find something to stand on and set up for your deadlift roughly 2 inches thick, a 20kg plate works best, if you are a wider athlete two plates side by side will work well.

Depending on how you feel after the deadlifts will dictate how heavy to go on this, if you’re feeling smoked use this chance to hit some lighter weight and dial in your position. 

If you’re still feeling fresh and strong use this as a chance to test some weight and pull the weight with some speed.


No need to warm up too much for this, maybe one or two lighter ones to feel out the movement, then straight into the working sets.When pulling from a deficit a common error is to set up with your hips too high and turn it into a stiff legged deadlift, really focus on sitting your bum down staying super tight with the back and pulling with speed.

Working Sets: 8 sets x 3-5 reps @ 60-65% 

Exercise 3: Barbell Hip Thrust

Almost home now, time to get stuck into some accessory movements to flush out the lower back and target the hamstrings. Barbell Hip Thrusts are a favourie exercise of ours to increase athleticism and build some SUPER strong glutes. The Hip Thrust involves complete ‘violent’ hip extension which is imperative for increasing performance at the lock-out of the deadlift and athletic movements such as sprinting and jumping. This is the last chance of this workout to move some decent weight, focus on keeping your core tight and driving using the glutes and hamstrings.

 Warm-up Sets: 2 Sets x 8 reps 

Working Sets: 3 Sets x 8 reps

Exercise 4: Reverse Hyper/ Back Extension

If your lucky enough to have a reverse hyper machine these are an excellent accessory for hitting the hamstrings and spinal erectors and as an added benefit can help with recovery of the lower back by flushing fresh blood into the area. Alternatively use a 45 degree back extension machine, with the pad set just above the knees to allow for activation of the hamstrings, glutes and lower back.

Working Sets: 3 Sets x 15-20 reps

Exercise 5: Single Leg Hamstring curl

Time to finish off the workout. Using some uni-lateral assistance work helps to maintain balance between muscle groups and ensure both sides are firing correctly. This exercise can be completed using a regular hamstring curl machine or alternatively looping a moderate tension power band at the base of a rack and stand and performing the standing variation.

Working Sets:3 Sets x MAX reps


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