How Often Should You Deadlift? – Maximum Bodybuilding Result Exercise

Introduction To Deadlifting

how often should you deadlift

One of the most quintessential workout routines for those who wish to build up their muscle mass is the deadlift. It not only develops leaner muscles, it also helps improve and strengthen core muscle groups. In fact, two of the best exercise for muscle mass building is deadlifting and squats.

Now, to make the most out of the benefits of deadlifting; the question in most people’s minds is how often should I deadlift? That’s what we will be discussing in this article. Just how much deadlifting is enough to deliver optimum results without straining the body?


How Often Should You Deadlift?

One thing you should consider before taking up deadlifting is how strenuous this exercise is to your body. Jumping on over to the deep end (i.e. lifting extremely heavy weights from the get go) is a huge “no, no” and will actually do more damage to your body. You should also consider that everybody is different and state the right level to start your deadlifting is an impossibility that only you can answer.

how often should you deadlift

You should take into account your experience and the current state of your body. If this is your first time deadlifting then always start at the lowest weight possible and steadily work your way up. For beginners, I highly suggest you start at the lowest and work your way to the intermediate level for deadlifting. How can you distinguish if you are at the intermediate level? Once you can deadlift weight comparable or two times to your actual body weight then you are definitely at the intermediate level of deadlifting.

Now, I don’t really recommend focusing on just deadlifting as your main workout routine. You will need to incorporate another exercise as well in order to make sure you are able to develop your body evenly. There are dozens of programs you can take up that includes deadlifting as a core routine. There are programs that include deadlifting once a week and there are others that have you deadlifting 5 times per week. Basically, it will be up to your overall goals or end game results. To help you land on a more concrete answer to how often you should deadlift, you need to consider these factors:

  • What is your body’s current condition?
  • What is your overall goal?
  • How does your body react to different types of training?
  • How fast can your body recover after a workout?

Breaking Down The Factors

Most likely, you will be one of three body types when it comes to dead lifting and exercising in general.

The first type would be the one that adapts amazingly well to high volume deadlifts and exercises. This means that this type of person’s body will respond great to high-frequency training. Simply put, the first type will gain optimum results the more times they conduct workout routines in a week.

how often should you deadlift

Now, there are those who just cannot keep up with high-intensity exercise routines. Chances are you are part of the second type of people which adapt well to high intensity yet low volume exercise routines. This type can handle extremely heavy deadlifting at a moderate amount of sets per week. In layman’s terms, this group boils down to moderating their deadlifting routine. Mix it up with a deadlift and squat same day exercise routine. As you would have heard by now, squats is without debate one of the best full-body workouts you can do.

The third and final body type is what I like to call diverse group. If you can handle high-intensity training at high volume and results keep rocketing upwards you are part of this group. Basically, these people are monsters in the gym and can keep up with the best of them.

how often should you deadlift

The only way to determine which body type you have is to try out various training programs. If you feel your body is struggling and hurting from a deadlifting program then you should ease on the brakes and slow down. Determine the middle ground wherein your body is able to keep up while positive results are gained.

As an example, I started at the lowest level and steadily worked my way up to deadlifting two times my own body weight. This is a great way to avoid any downsides if you wish only to stay within a healthy BMI then take it slow. Nowadays, I’ve lowered the intensity of my deadlifting and focused mostly on maintenance as I have reached my goals already, no need to gain more.

Deadlifting Workout Routines You Can Use

As we have pointed out earlier there are three types of dead lifters that you could belong to. Now, I’ll be listing down the standard deadlifting routines for each type so that you can get a better grasp of which one suits you the best. These are not only workout routines you can do but they pretty much cover the basics and can be used as a reference.

The High-Volume Deadlift Routine

I would recommend this as the safest one to try for beginners as it does not throw you into the deep end from the start. It utilizes the heavy-light-medium deadlift routine:

  • First Day: Heavy - Deadlifting 5 heavy sets for 3 reps. Work your way to the max weight during the 3 reps.
  • Second Day: Light – Deadlifting 5 sets (at only 80% of your max from the first day) for 3 reps.
  • Third Day: Medium – Deadlifting 5 sets for 3 reps. Progress to heavier weights for the first 3 sets, the 4th set utilizes the weight you used during the first day (one time) with the 5th set adding at least 5% more (one time).

The High-Intensity, Low-Volume Deadlift Routine

Based on personal experience, I would definitely put this type of dead lifter as the easiest ones to train. Basically, you should go for a deadlift program that offers high intensity but is done once every five days. Here’s one perfect example of a high-intensity but low-volume routine you can apply.

  • 5 sets of Deadlift for 3 reps and 1 to 3 sets of 1 rep. The first 5 sets will be for warm up purposes. Once you’re done with the initial 5 sets then you can start the 1 to 3 sets at a weight that is at least 90% of your maximum.

That is just one example of a high-intensity, low-volume deadlifting routine. There are literally dozens more you can choose from and figuring out which program suits you the best is a matter of experimentation.

The Variety Deadlift Routine

The most popular type of program for variety dead lifters is the Westside Barbell program. Chances are you have already heard about this program if you’ve been training deadlift for a time but for those who are not then let me fill you in. Westside barbell program was first introduced by Louie Simmons, who is a well-renowned powerlifter coach. It borrows heavily from Bulgarian and Soviet weightlifting techniques and incorporates it into powerlifting.

It is essentially a deadlifting program designed to produce and develop maximum efficiency when it comes to your strength. It is a high intensity and high-volume deadlift routine designed to push you to the limits. If you aim for maximum gains then this is definitely the template to base your routine on. That being said, it is not for everyone and if you simply wish to develop leaner muscles then you can skip it overall.

Deadlift And Squats – The Perfect Combo

If you wish to maximize your efforts then incorporating a deadlift and squat program is the best way to go. It is also a great way to develop leg muscles and sculpt those glutes. Not only is the deadlift and squat combo effective, it is also extremely easy and simple to do – of course, proper form is vital as always.

how often should you deadlift

Incorporating a deadlift and squat same day program will give you a total-body workout as well as improve your balance and core strength. You can check out several programs that focus on these two combinations and pick the one that is most comfortable for you. Squats are often overlooked which is a shame as it is definitely one of my favorite exercises to do as it offers complete benefits to your entire body.

Here’s a personal tip from me: do you yourself a favor and check out a deadlift and squat program, you’ll thank me later.

Final Thoughts

how often should you deadlift

Hopefully, this article helped shed some light on the question of how often you should deadlift. The answer is different for each person and the best way to determine the answer is by experimenting on different deadlift programs. If you feel your body hurting then try something different, mix it up and as I’ve stated earlier, include the squats in there somewhere for maximum results.

If you have anything else to add then feel free to comment down below and share it with others as well. Remember that hard work and gain coincide with each other so don’t be afraid to push past your limit from time to time.

Harvie Brenton

I’m Harvie Brenton, chief editor at! Believing in the great benefits of bodybuilding and fitness to the body, I’ve been motivated to become a fitness enthusiast. It also was what gave me the self-confidence and assurance to me both physically and psychologically. Hopefully, you will come along for the ride with me.