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Increase Your Deadlift With These 4 Assistance Lifts

Increase Your Deadlift With These 4 Assistance Lifts

Written by
August 25, 2015
Updated April 11, 2018

The deadlift. Some manly shit. Grit and determination. Some days the easiest thing in the world to do is pick up a heavy weight from the floor and put it back down. And some days it can be the hardest thing to do. Here’s how to build a bigger deadlift:

1. Deficit Deadlifts

1. Deficit Deadlifts

Stand on mats or plates (2-4”) while the barbell is still on the ground. This will increase the ROM and recruit more muscles to complete the lift. Start light, keep technique solid with a flat back, and then slowly build up from there.

2. Rack Pulls

Opposite the deficit deadlifts, we’re decreasing the ROM here. So set some pins up in the power rack that put the bar at knee height. Work up as heavy as you can doing 5/3/1’s as rep schemes until your form breaks down. Don’t ramp the weight up your quads. Sit your ass back, engage your glutes, and stand up with the weight.

3. Sumo Deadlifts

3. Sumo Deadlifts

Wide stance deadlifts will build up your glutes and hamstrings as well as develop the muscles in your hips. Strong hips are never a weakness-catch my drift? #motionoftheocean This is a technical movement not to be taken lightly. Watch youtube videos and have someone coach you on your form.

4. Glute Ham Raise or Partner Glute Ham Raise

Most gyms don’t have a GHR anymore, so I’ll explain the partner GHR. Start on your knees with your partner behind you pushing your ankles down. Slowly drop your chest to the ground, staying fully extended and not bending at the waist, with a 3 count.

Catch yourself with your hands and throw yourself back up, while squeezing your hamstrings at the same time. You’ll probably cramp at some point doing these. So you’re welcome, and sorry about that.

Pittsburgh native Casey Williams previously played football at Division 1-FCS Bucknell University where he was nominated the 2010 NSCA All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year. He's relatively young in the powerlifting world, but has seen his share of success. In 2010 Casey set the all-time world record drug tested squat and total in the 220lb weight class. He holds multiple federation records, both junior and open divisions. His lifts in 2015 were an 810 squat, 540 bench, and 738 deadlift for a 2088 total, good enough for #2 in the world in the 242lb weight class.
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