It sounds like common sense right?? If you want to deadlift more weight you need to be deadlifting more often. Quite often the approach of progressive overload is taken by increasing the weight each week, there’s nothing wrong with doing this but a sticking point is reached pretty quickly.
There are many ways to overload the body, it’s not always the case that you need to increase the weight on the bar nor do you have to deadlift every week.
What are Deadlifts?
There’s a few different versions of the deadlift, Conventional, sumo, Romanian, Rack pulls, partial, stiff leg and a few different variations of these. Deadlifts are arguably one of the most beneficial compound movements that can be performed. Some benefits include:
- Functional strength, being efficient in deadlifting can do wonders for performing any kind of lifting tasks in day to day life.
- Great for posture, deadlifts strengthen core, glutes and the entire posterior chain. If you have a weak core and posterior chain more often than not your posture will be poor.
- Grip strength, this falls under the functional strength benefits. Nothing builds grip strength like loading up an Olympic bar and pumping out some heavy deadlifts.
- Makes you stronger in performing other exercises, deadlifts strengthen the entire body, so as you increase the weight on the bar you can expect an increase in weight on other exercises.
Body structure, biomechanics and mobility play an important role in deciding which type of deadlift you are best suited for. Some people are more suited to sumo, some conventional and some people are only going to be able to perform rack pulls. Some professional guidance is recommended in determining this. It can be very easy to injure yourself if you don’t get it right.
Why you don’t have to deadlift every week.
Let’s assume you’re a conventional deadlifter and you want to increase how much you can lift. It’s really important to set a realistic target and set a plan to achieve the goal, it’s not as simple as deadlift each week and just increase the weight in small increments. Generally speaking a plan or (mesocycle) should last 3-4 weeks, 3 weeks of high load and 1 week of de-load and then move into the next mesocycle.
You may only perform a conventional deadlift twice within a mesocycle, the rest of the time you’re concentrating on strengthening the muscles required to perform a deadlift. There will be a lot of posterior work such as good mornings, Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, back extensions, rack pulls etc.. along with back squats, front squats and depending on how advanced you are there may even be some explosive movements like power cleans or clean pulls. If you increase your strength in all of these movements your deadlift will also increase.
As you move through each mesocycle you’ll start moving into different techniques such as concentrating on eccentric phases, speed, tempo and explosiveness, this is all dependant on who has constructed your program of course. You really want an experienced professional designing this type of program for you.
If you’re not already deadlifting I highly recommend you start and if you need guidance in doing so hit up the team and we’ll be happy to help you out.
Thanks for reading,
Schembri PT Team