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3 Week Deadlifting Cycle for Muscle Mass & Strength

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This is a simple deadlifting program for the early intermediate to intermediate lifter. It cycles through a heavy, light and moderate week and is designed to help you pack on muscle and strength.

During your first cycle, base percentages off of 90% of your current one rep deadlift max. This means that if your deadlift max is 400, then starting percentages will be based off 360 pounds.

Each rep you perform while using this cycle is a single. After each single you will reset. Rest as long as needed, until you feel mentally and physically recovered and ready to try the next rep.

Note: I do not want you performing sloppy reps. If your form goes to heck before the time period is up, either stop deadlifting or wait a little longer until you are sure that you can perform a deadlift rep with decent form.

Live to fight another day. The goal is to improve each week, not to injure yourself training like a fool.

3 Week Deadlifting Cycle

The 3 week rotation is as follows:

  • Week 1 – Heavy day: 90% x max singles in 5 minutes
  • Week 2 – Light Day: 70% x max singles in 15 minutes
  • Week 3 – Moderate Day: 80% x max singles in 10 minutes

Progression. You will add 10 pounds of weight to an individual week when:

  • Week 1 – Add 10 pounds the following week when you are able to perform 5+ singles
  • Week 2 – Add 10 pounds the following week when you are able to perform 15+ singles
  • Week 3 – Add 10 pounds the following week when you are able to perform 10+ singles

That’s it. This is a deceptively simple program. Don’t mistake simple for easy. Easy, it isn’t.

Mick Madden
Mick Madden is the primary content writer for Muscle and Brawn.
12 Comments
  • Bataz Apr 4,2014 at 12:32 am

    So I could apply this method to all 3 lifts? Squat, bench and DL?

  • shankar jai ganesh Dec 5,2013 at 12:31 am

    national powerliftar

  • Sherrill Oct 5,2013 at 12:19 am

    I seem to go along with all the stuff that was
    in fact composed within “3 Week Deadlifting Cycle for Muscle Mass &
    Strength | Muscle and Brawn”.

    • Sarah Oct 5,2013 at 7:50 am

      OK, great, I’m going to try it next week starting monday … thanks everyone !!!

  • Sarah Sep 30,2013 at 5:33 am

    Hi, When you say (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3) – do you mean train once a week, then wait and do (Week 2) 7 days later, or do you train every day for 5 days in Week 1, rest for 2 days, then train every day for 5 days in Week 2, rest for 2 days, then train every day for 5 days in Week 3 ??????? Sorry for being a bit dumb, but could you please clarify !!!!! Could this also be used for squats and bench press ? Thanks.

    • Mick Madden Sep 30,2013 at 9:04 am

      Hi Sarah,

      Yes that’s correct. I would use this for other lifts though. This program is set up specifically to cater to the unique demands of the deadlift.

      • Sarah Sep 30,2013 at 1:40 pm

        Sorry Mick, I’m still a bit confused whether to train every day in Week 1, or is it to train only once in that week ?

        • quadsofgods Oct 3,2013 at 11:13 pm

          Sarah,

          I guess it’s not a good idea to deadlift 5 days in a week. So I think he meant to say to lift once every week. Rest of the days you could use different cycles like squats abs arms shoulders etc.

        • scott Oct 8,2013 at 8:23 pm

          I agree with quads of gods, I think he meant to say

          Week 1 – Heavy Week: 90% x max singles in 5 minutes
          Week 2 – Light Week: 70% x max singles in 15 minutes
          Week 3 – Moderate Week: 80% x max singles in 10 minutes

          Deadlifting 3x a week with this volume would be too much

          • Sarah Oct 10,2013 at 6:12 am

            Thanks quadsofgods and Scott,

            I started this last Monday at 90 % for 5 mins, and will do the Week 2 next Monday … thanks for your input, let’s hope I’ll get the results …. yet again, many thanks !!!!!

  • scott Sep 25,2013 at 1:56 pm

    So on the 70% day what if I feel ok after the first single do I still rest a little bit or crank out one or two more reps?

    • Mick Madden Sep 25,2013 at 3:45 pm

      You do as many singles as you can within the time period stated.

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