August 15, 2021 | John Paul Catanzaro
Here’s a rack deadlift sequence that starts with less weight lifted through a longer range of motion and ends with more weight through a shorter range of motion. It’s done in three stages:
Set the bar right below the knees on the side supports of a power rack. Position a sturdy step or box that’s roughly 10-12 inches high directly underneath the bar. In the video, I’m using The Step with 3 risers. Do 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps at a 4-1-1-0 tempo with 3 minutes of rest between sets.
Lower the step/box height so that it’s roughly 5-6 inches from the floor. I’m using The Step with 1 riser. Do 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps at a 3-1-1-0 tempo with 3 minutes of rest between sets.
Remove the step/box completely so that your feet are positioned on the floor. Do 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps at a 2-1-1-0 tempo with 3 minutes of rest between sets.
This is a great system to work the posterior chain through all three ranges of the deadlift and it offers two key advantages:
A) IT’S CONVENIENT. The bar stays in the same spot in the power rack for all sets – you don’t have to unload the bar, move it, and then reload it again – and it’s easy to increase the weight as you progress through your sets.
B) IT REDUCES THE RISK OF INJURY. Going from the stronger (top) range down potentiates the loads you can use in the longer (bottom) range, and the more you bend your knees, the more you’ll involve the thigh muscles. That’s all great in theory, but from experience, it can lead to a quad or hamstring strain because those muscles are not prepared to accept the heavier loads. Starting from the bottom range solves that problem especially after a thorough warm-up, and the lower back gets worked thoroughly in all three ranges so the potential for injury is lower.
Give this method a shot!