Leg day for me is separated into two days. The first day I target my quads, calves and then do my squat set. Day two I target the my hams, calves and do my deadlift routine. For the longest time I was just switching between conventional and sumo deadlifts, but I started getting frustrated because I was hitting a weight plateau. Now lets back track even more…. about three years ago I in a car accident where our car was rear ended. Now the damage to the car was very slight, but my chiropractor told the insurance company that I was the one who absorbed the shock then from the hit. Long story short it messed by lower back up so I’ve been trying to slowly strengthen it since. I know that this was probably the cause of why I was starting to hit a weight plateau then…
About almost a month ago now my coworker who is a certified strength and conditioning coach and certified West BarBell coach as well helped me create a new deadlift workout that focuses more on strengthening my lower back so when I return to conventional deadlifting hopefully I can beat this plateau. At first I was a bit hesitant because a couple of the exercises make me look like I don’t know what I’m doing and I’ve gotten quite a few looks at my gym and almost have had people approach me to tell me I’m deadlifting wrong….. if they do I’ve got everything all ready to say!
I tried conventional deadlifting after my routine this past friday and I could instantly feel the difference. I did not try to max out, but I was able to pull a weight I had slightly struggled with before for 2×4! And that was AFTER my deadlift routine too as my burnout. So I’m seeing the results! This routine wrecks me and I can barely walk the rest of the day and the next day, but it is so exciting to see my back getting stronger!
So I thought I’d lay out my deadlift routine too and kinda explain the movements! Most of them are variations with height deficit so your legs are taken out of it and the move is more focused on your back.
- Straight Leg Deadlift– I start the routine out with this one since I’m targeting my hams as well with the exercise. I stand on a 45 lb plate so my extension can be full since I have such a long body. This also helps warm my back up for what comes next. 4×10
- Deadlifts on a plate– I then proceed to do conventional deadlifts on that same 45 lb plate. This one feels a bit weird since you have farther to go down it seems, but your also elevated. This one I will do a single or double to start off and make sure my form is correct, because it is just a regular deadlift. Then once I’ve adjusted I do 4×8-10
- Deadlifts with height deficit– (first of all…. I’m really bad with names so if these aren’t what these variations are called feel free to let me know!) This variation WRECKS my shins and knees. I always walk away with bruises from this one, but I really really like this one a lot. You take either weight plates or I use smaller platforms and put them under both sides of your weights. This has the bar at about where your knees are. The you get into the deadlift position that you would be at if you were lifting that bar up without the platforms there. So DO NOT get into starting deadlift position. Also have you knees right up against the bar so you can easily just pull up. This is where the bar takes it out on my knees….. But you grin and bare it! 4×8-10
- Dimmel Deads– This is the exercise I get lots of funny looks for…. It’s not really well known, but it’s definitely a killer and perfect for lower back training because it takes your legs out of the workout. It’s essentially the top 2/3 of your deadlift. Start out standing up with the weight and go down in deadlift form just to your knees and back up. So it’s just the upper part of the deadlift. Try to do it fast so you don’t turn it into a squat though…… Also do it with lighter weight, about 25% of your max usually. I add this on after my squats too due to the fact it’s really good for your lower back. I do my longer sets on squat day as well so on deadlift day I usually only do about 3×8
- BURN OUT my burn out’s usually consist of doing four sets of just conventional deeds with a lighter to semi lighter weight for about four sets of 4-6 reps. This is just a good burnout and ending to that workout.
then we cool down……. oooofffff that takes a ton out of me and I am usually on the platform for a good hour or so doing all that. I drink Beyond Raw Precision BCAA’s during that time so as to stay hydrated, but also to help with power output. Currently I’m drinking the iced tea and lemonade flavor. Straight up Arnold Palmer flavor.
Just wanted to share my crazy deadlift day. It kills me, but I also am seeing amazing results from these variations as well. I keep the weights lighter as well. Don’t try to max out on these workouts at all.
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Good for you, Mikaela, on sticking to the plan and working towards the goal! That’s a complex plan but a good one it seems if it’s helping you improve 👍💪😊
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Awesome work, looks like a volume routine! Just so you know, you got your terms a little backwards. Think of the location of your feet as zero, so if you stand on a plate while deadlifting, the weights on the bar are now below your feet by about 2 inches (negative 2 from the zero) thus this becomes a 2 inch deficit deadlift. What you called a deficit deadlift is the opposite, and is usually referred to by the height it is off the ground (6 inch deadlift for explain) however if the bar is around or above your knees then this would be considered a rack pull. I know it’s complicated but I figured you’d like to know, keep up the good work!
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Thank you! 🙂 names are not my strong point at all so I really appreciate it!
Mikaela: Super interesting to me since I’ve been really trying to strengthen my back too. Do you still do this routine? Ha! I’m very bad with names too! Take care Mikaela. ❤️