Programming for Deadlifts and Correctives - Upright Health

Programming for Deadlifts and Correctives

Correctives Programming

Now that you've gone over corrective exercises [1][2] for your deadlift form... it’s time to discuss how to go about programming them in a manner that will provide lasting changes.

Daily Practice

Of whatever corrective exercises you found useful and/or enlightening...

Pick 1-3 of them to focus on.

And practice each one for 5-10 minutes, everyday.

There are many details to capture within an exercise . And it’s not expected that you capture every detail in one go -- that’s what consistent, mindful practice is for.

In other words… 

You get from an exercise... what you put into it. So during your practice, it’s important that you prioritize your ability to pay full attention to the sensations you experience. And that you adjust your intensity level to that end.

If your intensity is too high, your mind will run from the experience. And you'll have changed nothing.

If your intensity is too low, your mind may wander off. And you'll have changed nothing.

The more skill you gain... the higher you can raise your intensity level, while maintaining your mindfulness. But always prioritize your mindfulness.

Progressing

Give your chosen corrective exercises up to 2 weeks to show lasting results. If, after 2 weeks, you sense you're still milking benefits out of said exercises... then continue doing so for as long as you see fit.

However if, after 2 weeks, either:

  • you sense you got what you needed from said correctives, and are ready to move on
  • you don’t sense any obvious lasting changes

Then revisit the corrective exercise articles [1][2]. And focus on a different 1-3 exercises for the following 2 weeks.

The bottom line?

Be mindful, consistent, and patient.

Deadlifts Programming

Recall that deadlifting is a skill. Corrective exercise is preparation for said skill. And to master said skill, you must (at some point) directly practice the skill itself.

So whether CONCURRENTLY with your corrective exercise work, or only AFTER you feel you’ve reached a baseline of readiness... begin practicing deadlifting too.

Training Days

Choose the deadlift variation that allows you to express proper deadlift form.

Warm up however you like, before lifting your "work weight" of the day.

Ideal warmups vary per person, and even per day. Some people prefer light cardio work as part of warmup. Some people don’t. There’s no "best" way here. The point is to guide yourself towards feeling ready to lift the work weight (i.e. target weight) of the session.

Don’t know where to start? Try spending 5-10 minutes on your corrective exercises (if applicable). Followed by deadlifting 50%, 70%, and 85% of your target weight for the day. That will likely be enough warmup for your work weight.

If you’re an absolute beginner, then I’d recommend choosing a “work weight” that is:

  • light enough to NOT require more than 3 minutes of rest between each set
  • light enough to allow you to perform at least 3 high-quality reps per set
  • heavy enough to NOT allow you to perform more than 10 high-quality reps per set

3 sets of 5-8 reps (of said weight), twice a week, is a good place to start for most people -- increasing the work weight by 0-5% each week.

Though, to be clear, there is nothing magical about the above number suggestions. They are a means to an end. Like taking medicine, they describe a dosage to encourage your body towards change. Over time you can experiment with different set/rep schemes to further optimize your dose.

And what if you're already running a deadlift strength program that's been working for you? Well then, just keep doing that!

The bottom line?

You don’t need the “perfect program” (as if there is such a thing) to make progress. Though you do need to get started.

Here's a template to help you do just that.

Date

Deadlift variation [sets/reps/etc]

Corrective #1 [notes/etc]

Corrective #2 [notes/etc]

Corrective #3 [notes/etc]

Week 1

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Week 2

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Week 3

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Week 4

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Week 5

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Week 6

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vincent with back pain from the deadlift

Keep getting injured during the deadlift? 

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Our program teaches you fundamental concepts and action steps for injury-free deadlifting. 

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About the Author

Vincent's first passion is powerlifting. Over the years, his desire to master his body and mind have led him into deep explorations in stretching, mobility, and mindfulness.