The deadlift is one of the most muscle-beneficial exercises and one that should be included in all strength training routines, because it generates muscle from head to toe, increases athletic capability and strengthens your posterior chain. It’s as simple as pick it up, put it down. Here are a few tips that will help you increase your deadlift 1rm today:
1) Correct technique on deadlift 1rm
The technique of any exercise is paramount but for a deadlift 1rm it carries even more importance.
Be it a sumo or a conventional deadlift, if your technique isn’t on point, you won’t be doing yourself any good by getting injured or weak.
If you want to master your deadlift form, go find any ‘training exercises 101’ booklet or deadlift poster where you will find that before upping the ante and going heavy on your deadlifts, you should spend at-least a few weeks to understand the technicalities of the exercise. Here are a few pointers to remember in this regard:
- First off, your lower back can’t be rounded, rather it should stay in a neutral position. If you get this wrong, you might end up chronically injured.
- Don’t bend your arms; they need to stay straight unless you love yourself some bicep tears.
- Another important thing is to keep the bar close to your body. Once you let it sway away from you, obviously increased strain will be put on your back and that will decrease the weight that you can lift.
- Lastly, your lats and abs should also both be as tight as you can keep them. Not only will it allow you to stop your lower back from rounding, it will also make you feel stronger.
2) Warm up for a heavy deadlift session
Warming up is also equally essential for a good deadlift. Before you go all out and train with fast doubles and triples, always remember to warm your body up. A lot of people try to skip warming up and that’s what lands them in trouble.
Warming up increases your effectiveness and also decreases the risk of injury. Once again, for the sake of assumption, if you deadlift a maximum of 200kg, then here is how your warm up should ideally look:
- 70kg x 5 x 2 sets
- 85kg x 4 x 2 sets
- 100kg x 3 x 2 sets
After these warm-up sets, you should do a few working sets:
- 120kg x 2 x 2 sets
- 135kg x 2 x 1 set
- 150kg x 2 x 1 set
3) Train like you mean it
There is a misconception about training: The more weight you pull, the better your odds of getting warmed up. This isn’t true in most cases; it’s better to use nominal weights and pull more reps for training purposes than to go all out on a few reps.
Try to pull doubles or even triples at a fast rate but never let go of your technique; always remember to maintain the ideal positions. Even if you are a deadly dead-lifter, try to not overwhelm your body whilst training.
So what will be an ideal deadlift training weight upper limit? Well of course it will differ from person to person. Let’s suppose your deadlift 1rm is 200kg (if you weigh close to 100kg, then this is a good figure), then while training, you should do doubles and triples with 100 to 140kg, but not more.
Try to test your deadlift 1rm (1 rep max) every month or so and only once you have upped your maximum, should you think about increasing your training weight figures.
4) Looking while pulling
Wherever you are looking, your head will follow. If you look down, the bar will want to go forwards. Of course you would not want to be looking at the ceiling either. Now this is more intuition and not exactly rocket science; try to stare at an area that allows you to maintain your head in an upright position with your eyes always focused on an elevated portion of the wall. Think neutral spine.
5) Dumbbell Holds
A dropped deadlift 1rm pertaining to poor grip strength is really hard to avoid if you are a lousy gripper. Dumbbell holds help a lot though in this regard. To do this, you need to grab a hex dumbbell by its top while making sure that your hands are nowhere near the numbers.
Keep standing with the dumbbell in your hand for as long as you can. If you go over 20 seconds, increase the weight and repeat.
6) Multiple reps, or not?
This is a problem with majority of the sophisticated compound exercises; if you are doing multiple reps, the first one is the best one and the following ones are nothing like it. The same can be observed for multiple rep deadlifts.
There are many reasons why multiple reps can hamper your performance so the recommended practice when nearing your max weight is to train with singles. If you are adamant enough, then you can stand up in the midst of reps and after a small breather, start the lift again. This helps in maintaining form and strength across reps.
7) Assistance exercises
Assistance exercises help you perform better in the ‘main’ exercise. For a good deadlift, the following are the assistance exercises that you can perform:
- Kettlebell swing: This is an exercise that strengthens the glutes, lower back and the hamstrings and helps you be more powerful & explosive.
- Plank: The plank helps you be tighter from head to toe. You definitely need to get tight.
- Farmer’s walks: These help in increasing athletic prowess and grip strength.
- Squats: This exercise also helps in making your glutes, quads and hamstrings stronger.
All these tips have been compiled via personal experience; if you follow these points your deadlift will become deadly within no time!