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3 Week Deadlifting Cycle for Muscle Mass & Strength

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Everyone knows how important deadlifts are for a powerlifter or bodybuilder. They are a must-have exercise if you want to develop lat thickness that gives you wings…which one day may propel you into the air like a dove.

The greatest part about deadlifts is that they don’t just build your back either. This legendary exercise also works your abs, legs and forearms almost as hard as your lats. It is the king of compound movements, alongside squats.

In this article we’re going to be detailing a 3 week deadlifting cycle that will give your back another dimension of thickness and will enable you to smash your current PR’s, making any plateaus a thing of the past.

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.

Shoot a comment below if you’ve tried out this deadlifting cycle, with any gains you experienced or constructive feedback to enlighten others on what to expect. 

Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the founder of Muscle and Brawn, and a powerlifter with 30+ years of experience. Steve's recorded a 600lb squat, 672lb deadlift and a 382lb bench press.
Steve Shaw

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