If you haven’t heard by now, Hugh Jackman posted his personal record for the deadlift last Friday. Now you can’t quite make out how much he’s hoisting up, but it’s certainly well-above the 405 for 5 reps that he posted back in October. Pretty damn impressive for the 46 year old star.
You might not be into one-up’ing Mr. Jackman, but if you’re like anyone else who loves tossing around weights, you can’t stand plateaus. Here are four ways to blow past 405… or 225.
Get a better grip
No matter how strong you are, if you can’t hold on to the weight you won’t complete the lift. Straps can help, but they take away from the functionality of the movement.
Start training your grip twice a week. On the first day you will perform “weighted holds” – holding heavy db’s or a heavy bar as long as possible. Keep track of your time, it should increase weekly. The second day you will perform “farmers walks” – grab a heavy pair of db’s and walk with them for about 40 yards. This is also a great total body exercise that will carry over to all of your lifts.
Strengthen your hamstrings
The strength of your deadlift will be in direct correlation with the strength of your posterior chain. Exercises for the hamstrings, hips, and glutes should all be included if you want to pull more weight.
After your deadlifts, perform 3 sets of each of the following for 8-10 reps: barbell stiff leg deadlift, barbell hip thrust and glute/ham raise.
Cut back the volume
The deadlift is the most physically demanding exercise there is, and you need time for recovery. You should only perform the exercise once per week, for no more than three sets of 1-10 reps.
After a month of limited deadlifting, drop it entirely and switch to an exercise that mimics the movement or trains the same group of muscles, such as the glute-ham raise, Romanian deadlift, or 45-degree back extension.
Stick with this list for at least four weeks. Alternately, if your training program has you doing two lower-body workouts per week, you could deadlift one day per week and then perform one of these exercises three days later in your second workout for three sets of 6-12 reps.
Manage your expectations
Micro progression is essential as you near maximum loads. The body simply can’t make large leaps if you’re close to your potential. If you lifted 300 lbs. last week and it took eight seconds, 302.5 lbs. this week is a big win.