Can You Deadlift Every Day? (Pros, Cons, & Sample Program)

The deadlift is one of the staple exercises in the gym. It’s also the final lift in a powerlifting competition, which arguably is the most important lift for achieving a podium finish.

We all want a strong deadlift, but can you deadlift every day? Deadlifting every day can be a good way to train your deadlift, but it may not be necessary. In other words, you may be able to get a bigger deadlift by following a lower frequency training program. However, if you do deadlift every day, you want to make sure you are properly programming your volume and intensity, and focusing on different areas of the deadlift every session.

If you want to deadlift every day, it is possible but it is more about the overall volume and intensity of your training sessions. Read on to find out more about how you can deadlift every day, and get your deadlift stronger.

You might also be interested in reading our other articles on: How Many Times Per Week Should You Bench Press and How Many Times Per Week Should You Squat.

Deadlifting Every Day: What You Need To Know

There is a common thought that you the harder you work, the better your results.

Although this is true to an extent, simply deadlifting every day may not always be beneficial, and in some cases can be detrimental. The human body cares more about the overall volume and intensity of your workload, rather than how many times you choose to deadlift in a week.

For those who are new to powerlifting, “volume” is how much work you do. You can calculate this by multiplying your sets*reps*weight. The intensity refers to how hard the set is relative to your max, often referred to as a percentage of your 1 rep max.

Whether you deadlift two or seven times per week, if your reps*sets*weight used is the same in both programs, then you are applying the same load onto your body and theoretically will have the same adaptations.

Here’s a quick example.

10 reps * 3 sets @ 70kg

The total volume would be 10*3*70kg which is 210kg.

There are multiple ways you can structure this amount of volume. You could do all 3 sets of 10 reps one training session per week. You could also do 1 set of 10 reps across three training sessions per week. In either scenario, the volume is the same.

How Much Do I Need To Deadlift To See Results?

To achieve adaptation, you want to achieve what is called a minimal effective dose.

This dose is the amount of work you have to do to promote some type of adaptation to get stronger. This varies for everyone, but you essentially want to do enough to get stronger, but not too much where you cannot recover.

The best way to do this is to experiment through trial and error using the principles of progressive overload. If you are a beginner, start with a couple of sessions, and adjust only the reps or the weight. As you progress, you can adjust accordingly by adding or reducing weight.

A good thing to keep in mind is that your strength levels will vary day to day depending on a wide variety of factors such as your sleep or nutrition. Don’t beat yourself up too hard if you have a day that feels off.

In general, the overall trend of your strength over a long period of time (months) should be going up. The type of deadlift (sumo or conventional) can also influence the amount of volume you will be able to handle and recover from.

In my own experience, I can handle more volume with the sumo deadlift versus the conventional deadlift as my back tends to fatigue more on conventional deadlifts. This could be due to the fact that my conventional deadlift utilizes my back musculature more than my sumo deadlift, as I am generally much more upright in the sumo which reduces the moment placed on my back.

So now that you know how that deadlifting every day is possible and how to get started, here are some quick pros and cons to daily deadlifts.

Benefits of Deadlifting Every Day

  • Deadlifting every day may help improve skill acquisition. If you want to work on a new technique (ie. transitioning to sumo) then training the deadlift daily is definitely doable. By using light loads, you can train the motor pattern more often and more frequently. Repetition is needed for skill acquisition and deadlifting every day can help achieve that result quicker.
  • Deadlifting every day could be used as a stimulus to break through plateaus. Generally, when you hit a plateau, your progress stalls and you need to introduce something new to break that plateau, and deadlifting every day I daresay is new for most people.
  • You also might just like deadlifting every day, or enjoy the challenge of doing so. If it makes your training more enjoyable then go for it! On that note, you can always give deadlifting every day a shot to see if it’s something that would work for you. At the end of the day, you won’t know until you try, and you can always drop your frequency after a few weeks of training.

Drawbacks of Deadlifting Every Day

  • Deadlifting every day introduces more variables that can have a higher risk of negative consequences. This could lead to a higher potential for injury simply because you are in the gym more often, especially if you do not have adequate programming and technique. Scheduling time to recover will be more difficult and can lead to excess fatigue if not addressed properly.
  • You might not have time to deadlift every day. Even with proper programming and recovery, there is still a massive time requirement. The overall workload may be comparable to other programs but the time it takes you to go to the gym and back home are increased if you go every day.
  • Training the deadlift every day could potentially take away from other muscle groups (ie. fatigue, not “fresh”). So, you may have to tailor your expectations on other areas if you choose to deadlift every day.

Does it Matter Whether I Deadlift More Often?

In theory, if the load remains the same, it doesn’t matter if you deadlift more often or not. However, your own goals and adherence to the program will play a role.

As a powerlifter, your goal is probably to get stronger, but you likely have other things going on in your life as well. Take a look at your schedule and see what works better for you.

If you can have the time and can manage deadlifting every day, then try it. If you only have time for a few longer training sessions in a week, then try that. There is no right or wrong way of doing things, and only by trying them will you find out your own preferences.

You also should consider the economy of training. If you deadlift every day for say 30minutes, that is 30minutes that could be spent training something else. Whether this is worth it or not to you is dependent on your goals.

Personally, I usually like deadlifting 2-3 times per week where some days are reserved for deadlifts only. However, when I was working split shifts, I ended up grouping all my deadlifts into a larger session 1-2 times per week because that fit my schedule better.

Frequency of training can change over time depending on what’s going on in your life and the goals you currently have in the gym.

There is no “best” programming out there, only what is best for you. Whether you choose to deadlift every day or not, make sure you give yourself time for adequate recovery. For example, if you go heavy on one day, perhaps focus on an accessory deadlift the next day (Romanian deadlifts, stiff leg deadlifts, or trap bar deadlifts).

Whatever program you do, you’ll need to listen to your body and see how it feels. Your plan is a guide that is subject to change depending on how you feel on that day. Have a purpose behind each training session and don’t just deadlift every day because you read it on an article or because someone else is doing it.

Sample Deadlift Program

Here are two sample weeks of training that theoretically would achieve the same effect based on the principles discussed above.

Deadlifting Every Day

Monday – Heavy
Work up to 90% of 1RM and perform 5 singles

Tuesday – Light
Work up to RPE 7 and perform 3 sets of 5 (leave at least 3-4 reps left in the tank at the end of the set)

Wednesday – Accessory (Pause Deadlift)
Work up to 75% of 1RM and perform 4 sets of triples

Thursday – Heavy
Work up to 85% of 1RM and perform 3 sets of doubles

Friday – Speed
Work up to 60% of 1RM and perform 5 sets of triples with a focus on speed

Saturday – Light
Work up to RPE 7 and perform 3 sets of 5 (leave at least 3-4 reps left in the tank at the end of the set)

Sunday – Accessory (Trap Bar)
Work up to an RPE 8 and perform 3 sets of 5

Deadlifting 4 Times Per Week Program

Monday – Heavy
Work up to 90% of 1RM and perform 5 singles

Tuesday – Light followed by accessory (Pause)
Work up to RPE 7 and perform 3 sets of 5 (leave at least 3-4 reps left in the tank at the end of the set)
Work up to 75% of 1RM and perform 4 sets of triples

Thursday – Heavy followed by Speed
Work up to 85% of 1RM and perform 3 sets of doubles
Work up to 60% of 1RM and perform 5 sets of triples with a focus on speed

Friday – Light followed by the accessory (Trap Bar)
Work up to RPE 7 and perform 3 sets of 5 (leave at least 3-4 reps left in the tank at the end of the set)
Work up to an RPE 8 and perform 3 sets of 5 (leave at least 2 reps left in the tank at the end of the set)

Putting It All Together

You can see that in both programs, they have the same amount of heavy, accessory, light, and speed days.

If you keep the overall volume and intensity the same, there really is no difference between both programs.

Some people might be able to recover better on one program versus the other. Just choose the one that you like the best, and the one that you can work better on.

Quick Tips For Deadlifting Every Day

Here are some quick tips, especially if you choose to deadlift every day

  • Warm-up properly. Start with a general warm-up, then warm up with the deadlift with light loads working up to your working set. Also, don’t be afraid to keep warming up in between sets if you feel the need to do so.
  • Listen to your body – quality over quantity. Remember the program is a guideline and is subject to change depending on how you feel. Reduce the load if you feel the need to! Also, for the most part don’t lift to a point where your form breaks down, we want quality over quantity.
  • Increase your frequency slowly. Don’t automatically jump your frequency up from 1 time per week to 7 times per week. You’ll want to get used to higher frequencies of training over a long period of time.
  • Eat and sleep. Working out is just part of getting stronger, take care of yourself and ensure you have adequate nutrition and sleep to help fuel your body.

Final Thoughts

In general, I would not recommend deadlifting every day unless you really want to (aka you love deadlifting).

To get stronger, it is not necessary to deadlift every day, and there are other things that you can do with that time.

There is also a chance that deadlifting every day can lead to burnout. That goes with doing the same thing every day for pretty much anything. If you do choose to deadlift every day, make sure you plan accordingly, build up to it, and utilize it in the short term. Start with a couple of days and work your way up to deadlifting every day.

Regardless of how often you choose to deadlift, as long as you put in the work and take care of yourself, you will get stronger.


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About The Author

CLIFTON PHO

Clifton Pho’s most notable achievement is winning the 2017 IPF Classic World Championships in the Junior 66kg class whilst setting an Open World Record Deadlift. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Chiropractic.