Tip: Ladder the Deadlift

New to deadlifting or just getting back into it? Here's the smart way to prepare your body in just four workouts

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Laddering the Deadlift

If you've never trained the deadlift before, or it's been a while, use a reserved approach by laddering your way up to a 10-rep effort.

Don't immediately hit up 4 sets of 10 deadlifts with a moderate weight because you may give the body a shock you weren't expecting, especially if you've got a history of injury or weakness in the lower back. Instead, do this:

  1. Using a conventional stance and a fair estimate of your 10-rep max, perform just 2 reps for your first set.
  2. Rest around 2 minutes and then do 3 reps for your second set.
  3. Rest again and then do 5 reps for your third set.
  4. Finish off by doing a fourth set of 10 reps.

On subsequent workouts, substitute out the lowest number of reps and replace it with another set of 10. It should look like this:

  • Workout 1:  2 reps, 3 reps, 5 reps, 10 reps
  • Workout 2:  3 reps, 5 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
  • Workout 3:  5 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
  • Workout 4:  10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps

This is a simple way to adapt to the movement. Properly learning an exercise is just as important as incorporating it into your training, so take your time.