How Many Sets of Deadlifts Should You Do – Your Go-To Guide for Success


Gym goers! We all know deadlifts are the most common exercise in the gym, but how many sets should you be doing in your training sessions? Well, grab your lifting belts as we explore the world of deadlifts.

In this article, we’ll explore the magic number of sets that fits your goals, whether you’re aiming to be the next powerlifting champion or just want to look good in those new jeans.

So, buckle up, and let’s lift the lid off the deadlift mystery. And remember, the only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen. Let’s get lifting!

Fun Fact: Did you know that the world record for the heaviest deadlift is 501 kilograms (1104.5 pounds)? That’s like lifting a small car! But don’t worry, we’re not aiming for that (yet).

Why are Deadlifts Lauded?

They work on multiple muscle groups, including the back, glutes, hamstrings, and core. Want to build strength? Deadlifts. Want to develop muscle? Deadlifts. Want to impress your gym crush? You guessed it, deadlifts!

But, before you start pulling weights off the floor like there’s no tomorrow we need to determine the appropriate number of sets for deadlifts. Too few, and you might as well be lifting your grocery bags; too many, and you’ll be walking like a penguin for a week.

Pro Tip: Deadlifts are not just for bodybuilders; they’re essential for overall fitness. They help in improving posture and reducing the risk of injuries. Now, that’s a win-win!

Aspect Details
Muscle Groups Back, Glutes, Hamstrings, Core
Training Goals Strength, Muscle Development, Overall Fitness
Set Range Varies (We’ll get to that!)

Influences on Set Number

Set Number

So, how many sets of deadlifts should I do?

Well, my friend, that’s like asking how many scoops of protein powder to put in your shake. It depends! Let’s break it down:

Training Regime and Rep Ranges

Powerlifting: If you’re looking to lift like Hercules, you might be focusing on fewer reps but more sets. Think of 5 sets of 3 reps. Why? Because you’re lifting heavy, and you don’t want your muscles to give up on you like your Wi-Fi during a Netflix binge.

Bodybuilding: Want those muscles to pop? You might be looking at 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

General Fitness: Just trying to stay fit and fabulous? 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps might be your sweet spot. It’s like the Goldilocks of deadlifts, not too heavy, not too light, just right.

Deadlift Frequency in the Week

Beginners: Starting out? Twice a week is a good rule of thumb.

Intermediate to Advanced: 3 times a week can work, but listen to your body. If it’s screaming louder than you during a horror movie, maybe take a rest day.

Maintaining Form

Multiple Sets

Remember, folks, form is king! Don’t mess up your deadlift form.

Importance of Form: Bad form is noticeable and can take a while to fix. Keep that back straight and engage those core muscles. Otherwise, you’ll be making a quick trip to the ER with that herniated disc.

Tips for Multiple Sets: Feeling fatigued? Take a breather between sets (or even between reps). Your muscles need to catch their breath.

Pro Tip: Use a mirror or a training buddy to keep an eye on your form. It’s like having a spotter for your fashion choices; they’ll tell you when something’s off.

Tip Details
Watch Your Back Keep it straight; no slouching!
Engage the Core Your core isn’t just for show; make it work!
Tighten Your Triceps Don’t let your biceps engage, or you will tear them
Rest Between Sets/Reps Catch your breath; your muscles will thank you.

So, whether you’re lifting to break records or just to break a sweat, the number of sets matters. But remember, like choosing the right gym playlist, it’s personal. Find what works for you, and happy lifting!

Deadlift Variations

Another method for increasing the number of sets is to mix in some deadlift variations. The following will hit the same muscle groups but in different ways, allowing you to get more working sets in. Remember, the first variation you do in a single session will have the greatest impact on your training session.

So let’s explore some deadlift variations that can add flavor to your workout menu and improve your overall strength in the process.

Regular Deadlift

Technique: The classic! Feet shoulder-width apart, grip the bar, keep that back straight, and lift.

Benefits: Great for overall strength. It’s the vanilla ice cream of deadlifts; simple but satisfying.

Sumo Deadlift

Technique: Widen those legs, point your toes out, and get low. Think of it as a sumo wrestler stance but with weights.

Advantages: Targets the glutes and inner thighs. Perfect for those who want to add a little ‘sumo’ to their step.

Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

Technique: Keep those legs straight, hinge at the hips, and feel the stretch. It’s like trying to pick up your keys without bending your knees.

Impact: Hamstring and glute development. The RDL is the yoga of deadlifts; it’s all about that stretch.

Seated Cable Deadlift

Technique: Sit down, grab the cable, and hinge at the hip. Let the cable pull you forward as far as your flexibility allows, and then pull back as for a regular deadlift.

Advantages: A unique alternative that’s easier on the back. Great for working at higher rep ranges under a lighter load.

Jefferson Curl

Technique: Slowly curl your spine as you lower the weight. It’s best to start this exercise with no weight, and progress slowly over time.

Benefits: Improves flexibility and strength. It’s the unexpected twist in the plot of deadlift variations.

Rack Pulls

Technique: Pull the barbell from a rack set at knee height. It’s like regular deadlifts but without the full commitment.

Role: Overcomes sticking points and builds back strength. It’s the gym’s way of saying, “I’ve got your back.”

Variation Target Areas Unique Benefits
Regular Deadlift Overall Strength The Classic Choice
Sumo Deadlift Glutes, Inner Thighs Adds a ‘Sumo’ Twist
Romanian Deadlift Hamstrings, Glutes Great for Stretching
Seated Cable Deadlift Back, Glutes Easy on the Back
Jefferson Curl Flexibility, Strength The Unexpected Choice
Rack Pulls Back Strength Helps Overcome Sticking Points

So, next time you’re in the gym, why not try a new flavor of deadlift? It might just become your new favorite dish on the workout menu. And remember, variety is the spice of life, especially in the gym!


Got questions about deadlifts? You’re not alone! It’s like trying to figure out how to use that new piece of gym equipment; sometimes, you just need a little guidance. Let’s tackle some frequently asked questions:

How Many Sets of Deadlifts Should I Do as A Beginner?

Start with 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Can I Deadlift Every Day?

Deadlifting every day might sound fun, but it’s not the best idea. Your muscles need time to recover, so aim for 2 to 3 times a week.

What if I Feel Pain During Deadlifts?

Pain during deadlifts is a red flag. Stop immediately and consult a professional. Safety first!

How Can I Increase the Number of Sets Over Time?

Gradually add sets as you feel comfortable, like adding weights to the bar. Slow and steady wins the race!

Is It Okay to Mix Different Deadlift Variations in One Workout?

Mix Different Deadlift Variations

Absolutely! Mixing deadlift variations is a fantastic way to increase the number of sets. Just be mindful of your overall volume.

How Do I Know if I’m Using the Proper Form?

Check with a mirror, a friend, or even a video.

What’s the Best Way to Warm up For Deadlifts?

Start with light weights or bodyweight exercises. Pull-ups are a great way to activate your entire back.

Can I Use Straps or A Mixed Grip for Deadlifts?

Sure! Most serious deadlifts will use one of the two when doing their heavy lifts. For the mixed group, just remember to alternate the hands between sets.

How Do I Overcome a Plateau in My Deadlift Progress?

Try different variations, adjust your sets and reps, or consult a trainer. It’s like getting lost on a road trip; sometimes, you need to take a different route.


And there we have it, folks! The world of deadlifts unraveled. From the classic regular deadlift to the stylish sumo, from the beginner’s guide to overcoming plateaus, to how to structure your workout, we’ve covered it all.

Remember, deadlifts are more than just lifting a bar off the ground; they’re about building strength, confidence, and character. Whether you’re aiming for powerlifting glory or just looking to stay fit, the right number of sets, proper form, and a sprinkle of variety can make all the difference.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab that barbell, find your perfect set number, and lift like you mean it. And don’t forget to throw in a deadlift variation or two; after all, life’s too short for boring workouts.

Keep lifting, keep smiling, and may your deadlifts be as strong as your coffee!

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