Many deadlift programs boast that they can push your deadlift numbers to new heights and smash through lingering plateaus.
But only a few can actually hold their own when put to the test.
Compromised of powerlifting greats offering solid advice through well-thought-out programs, check out the best deadlift programs to date.
If you still need to learn how to deadlift, or need help with your form to improve your lifts, then be sure to read my How To Do A Deadlift Properly article for more info.
Ed Coan 10 Week Deadlift Program
If you have been weightlifting for a while and know your way around a barbell deadlift, it is time to try out Ed Coan’s deadlift program. Best suited for intermediate and advanced lifters, expect to give it your all just one day a week for this deadlift program.
For 10 weeks, find and carve out time to deadlift alongside your current regimen.
Your deadlift work is divided between speed sets and working sets. Together, they help change up the same old, mundane deadlifts sets to generate newfound strength for your back and body.
To start the first 4 weeks, the focus is a build-up from 75% to 90% of your 1RM (one rep max) during working sets. During speed sets, you take weight off and concentrate on speed and power from 60% to 75% of your maximum load.
In a way, Coan found a way to drop set with speed while deadlifting to slowly increase the overall 1RM.
The final 6 weeks of this program is geared towards fulfilling a greater maximum rep. Instead of heavily focusing on speed sets, you turn your attention to the working sets.
And of course, on the eleventh week, expect your 1RM deadlift to be much higher. Experienced program users state to have added anywhere from 25 to 50 lbs to their deadlift.
Christian Thibaudeau Deadlift Program
Rather than closely targeting the deadlift like Coan’s deadlift program, Christian Thibaudeau approaches it from a broader point of view. His argument is to perfect rest and recovery instead of hammering at the gym when you feel fatigued.
Aim to train no more than two days in a row, so the buildup of fatigue is not detrimental to your deadlifts and workouts.
On the flip side, do not rest more than two days in a row. Place your deadlifts at the beginning of the week when you are the freshest, both physically and mentally.
Keep your rep range in the 2-5 zone for deadlifts. Then choose two assistance lifts of 3 sets each after you complete 3 sets of your main deadlift. If you have enough stamina to follow through with 1 or 2 more exercises, make them back isolation exercises.
Christian stated that this routine added 100 lbs to his deadlift in a matter of two weeks.
Dan Alexander Powerlifting Peaking Program
Designed to increase your 1RM of all three basic compound movements, bench press, squat, and deadlift, Alexander’s Peaking Program is one of the best deadlift programs available.
Inspired by both Yuri Verhoshansky’s Soviet Peaking Routine and Stephan Korte’s 3X3 Program, Alexander fused the best of both powerlifting worlds.
Over the course of 10 weeks, expect your deadlift to jump at least 15 lbs. As stated above, you will focus on more than just the deadlift. This program aims to add 10 lbs to your bench press, 10 lbs to your overhead press, and 25 lbs to your squat as well.
To kick it off, this deadlift program homes in on a medium rep range of 6 for the first few weeks. Then as the weeks progress, it is your job to kick it up a notch to 8 reps.
However, when the workout nears the end, you push harder for just 4 reps. Ultimately, your deadlift 1RM and other compound lifts should improve by about 5-10% overall.
Jonnie Candito Deadlift Program – Advanced Powerlifting
One for experienced lifters, this powerlifting deadlift program by Candito is sure to impress through proven results. But if you are a novice lifter and still looking to efficiently improve your deadlift, be sure to check out Candito’s Linear Program.
Nevertheless, this is Jonnie Candito’s actual powerlifting meet preparation routine packed into a form everyone can push themselves with.
Lasting 5 weeks, Candito’s deadlift program is on the more complex side of the regimen spectrum. However, all 5 weeks are divided roughly between conditioning and heavy sets.
Similar to Coan’s view of a proper deadlift program, Candito pushes to incorporate both stamina and max strength to complement each other in order to avoid burnout.
Basically, you devote the first 2 weeks on muscle hypertrophy, then the final 3 weeks on rocking new personal deadlift numbers. If you are a serious powerlifter or want to skyrocket your strength gains, consider checking out Jonnie Candito’s personal deadlift program.
Cal Poly’s Deadlift Program
Cal Poly’s strength and conditioning coach Chris Holder unveils the deadlift program that cracks any athlete’s stagnancy. It serves to push collegiate level athletes to optimal performance, and it can do the same for you.
For 8 weeks, this is not your typical powerlifting based deadlift routine, but rather focused heavily around endurance. During the first 3 weeks, your goal is to perform 3 sets of 20 reps.
For weeks 4 and 5, complete 3 sets of 10 reps, then finish it off with supersets with 10 Russian kettlebell swings. For the final three weeks, go back to 3 sets of 20 deadlift reps.
Take note, Mondays are heavy, Wednesdays are light, and Fridays are medium. Specifically, your relative heavy, light, and medium all progressively increase over the course of the 8 weeks from about 50% of your 1RM to 80%.
In other words, “heavy” is not powerlifter heavy and “light” is very light. That is not to say this program is easy. Performing twenty reps of most decently weighted exercises can easily be as difficult as pulling 2 solid, heavy deadlift reps.
Conclusion — The Best Deadlift Programs Are Waiting
Take your time and analyze each of the following deadlift programs to find out which one works best for you.
These workouts were designed by different people with different life experiences. You have to pick a workout that will match your character and life experiences. In a nutshell, you have pick a workout that is like you.
Then once you finally decide on a program, you have to make sure that you fully commit to it. Don’t stop halfway through and give up. Once you start you have to see it through all the way until the end.
This is the key to success, not just with strength training, but with everything.
Absorbing all about which are the best deadlift programs is a critical first step to crush through a dreaded plateau. Now it is your time to knock your goals out of the park. Nothing can stop you from pushing your deadlift to new heights.