Dead lifting twice per week

A friend shot me a quick message asking my thoughts on the idea of dead lifting twice per week. I've been looking for some writing fodder, and really, who doesn't like to read and write about dead lifts?
; )    So I decided to type out a few thoughts here.


This person has worked consistently at the training program that I laid out for him, and it's more or less how I train. The program includes relatively heavy dead lifts, three to four work sets in the four to six rep range, performed once per week.

Hopefully this gives you some context of where he is coming from. But still, the question remains, "Why save all the joy and tears of dead lifting for only one day per week?'


...is my answer, in brief. Double up on the awesomeness! Dead lifting twice per week has the potential to help you progress in that lift more than doing it only once per week. But, in not-so-brief, there are some important points to consider, most of them having to do with the fact that IF you are training intensely and consistently on a well designed program, it's not advisable to keep adding  without taking other things away.

Don't do the exact same dead lift protocol. 

I wouldn't advise doing the same loading and rep range on the "other" dead lift day. Maybe do another dead lift variation (sumo or trap bar), do speed reps (that's crushing perfect form in explosive reps with about 60% of your top weight) or heavy singles or triples with no eccentric component (drop the weight from the top position if your gym/bumper plates can afford it). The potential for over training and injury is high if you get to the point of twice weekly grinding out multiple sets of heavy reps like we typically do on dead lift day.

Don't plan on squatting much. 

Part of the reason why I don't dead lift more than once per week is that I love to reserve some time and energy for dead lifts beastly cousin, Twenty Rep Squats. I've found that training these movements each once per week can get quite demanding on recovery ability. And if your squats or dead lifts are worth any thing, there's really no point (and some potential danger) in doing the other movement in the same workout. How are you supposed to seriously push the limit in 20 reps squats if your hips and back are fatigued from dead lifts? How are you supposed to dead lift even just your body weight when your legs are jello-ed from intense squats?

Always remember that long-term progress is not so much dependent on the amount of training that you can tolerate, but on the amount of training that you can recover from.

I tend to think that heavy squats compliment heavy dead lifts done on another day of the week, and vice-verse. But I don't think many intermediate and advanced lifters can improve on both of these for long before one movement must take a back seat (for that training cycle).

Rhythm is everything.

To end with a legitimate point of encouragement: the person who asked the question doesn't vary his training up every other week. He's established a rhythm of working brutally hard at a handful of exercises, and thereby has made a line in the sand for his body and his current abilities. He can tinker around with workout day, set, and rep schemes, keep it simple, and learn even more about what's truly best for his body and his goals just by paying attention.

That's exactly how I settled on my current training program that suits me just fine for now with relatively little time investment in training. Many individuals never get to the point of learning from this type of experimentation because they have no meaningful point of reference to begin with.

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