Banded Deadlifts

Posted on 25 Oct 2010 19:25

Before I begin, I would like to say that I have made an update to this blog just a short while below. Please be sure to read that. It follows after the video which I have embedded.

I spent a good deal of time working with Banded Deadlifts last year. I've come back to them after a long while. I figured I would list out some tips on this. I am remembering some old guidelines and rules Eric's prescribed to me over the years and I think some of you would benefit from them.

A few short guidelines regarding Banded Deadlifts

Explode: The key is to literally explode off the floor. You must think of yanking the bar up as fast as you possibly can.

The progression on these is reasonably easy.We run these for 4-8 weeks. You do the band work first, then you take off the bands and you do full range heavy Deadlifts.

You work up to a Struggle Set. A Struggle Set is a set in which you cannot lockout the reps. So you basically yank the bar up as fast as possible. The weight will be too heavy to lockout so you will fail around the knees. You must hold it at that position for as long as you can and then lower the weight.

Once you're done with the Struggle Set, you lower the weight and then you do full ROM lockout sets with a reasonably heavy weight.

Now, at this stage you have a choice. You can either do a lot more of these "lockout sets" and work your way up to the Struggle Set load OR you can take the bands off and do some heavy Deadlifts.

This doesn't have to stay the same workout to workout. You have the choice to mix it up. So that means you can alternate between doing Banded Deadlifts followed by regular Deadlifts or you just stick to Banded work.

I have a video of my last Deadlift session. It will help you better understand how to plan your training session. During this session I am using an Iron Woody "mini" which is a # 1 band that is the standard 41 inches long. The bands are doubled on the heavy sets.



Eric and I have incorporated some Banded Deadlifts into my training. I spent the first 4 weeks with the #1 Bands from APT Pro Wrist Straps and now we’ve just moved into the #2 Bands. The way I set-up my Banded Deadlifts is slightly different. I double loop the bands around a pair of heavy dumbbells and then pull against them.

What we do over the four weeks of Banded Pulls is:

Week 1

Get adjusted to the bands. We work up to some sort of relative 1, 2 or 3RM and we set the base for the following weeks. After the Banded Deadlifts we take off the bands and we do a few heavy sets of regular Deadlifts. This is all within the same workout session.

banded deadlifts, resistance bands

Banded Deadlifts, Fully Locked

Week 2

Work up to a Struggle Set. The workout goes in a similar fashion to what was done in Week 1 except you now know where you stand so there is no need to be particularly conservative about the load. After reaching Week 1’s top end set, the plan is to keep loading the bar and the following set is usually a “Struggle Set”. A Struggle Set is a weight that you cannot lockout. So what actually happens is that you pull but then somewhere near the top the bands really kick in and the weight just stops. At this point the goal is to struggle for a few seconds and then lower the load back down to the ground. The most important part of this cycle is not the Struggle Set itself but the force of the hips: you absolutely must pull as fast as you possibly can. Visualize yourself yanking the bar off the floor with as much force as you can muster. This has to be consistent for the entire workout. I cannot emphasize this enough: Banded Deadlifts require incredible force right from the get go and you have to use mental cues to help with that. After the Struggle Set the ideal goal is to load the bar a little bit more, squeeze in another Struggle Set where the bar stalls a little closer to the ground. Proceeding this, the best case scenario is that you reduce the weight a little bit (somewhere close to the first set) and you are actually able to lock it out. The drawback is that you will end up being so exhausted that doing regular Deadlifts after this will not be possible. In this case I would just skip the regular Deadlifts.

Week 3

Try to beat whatever you did in Week 2.

Week 4

Start off exactly like you did in Week 3 but reach a point on the Banded Deadlifts before you reach a Struggle Set. So no Struggle Set in this week. Stop before that, take off the bands and shift to regular Deadlifts. The goal is to hit a relative max. It may or may not be a PR.

This same system is repeated for the #2 Bands.

For a sample workout of mine, you can check out the video below. It has the entire workout with every single set after all the mobility drills, which I go through as a standard warm-up.


This page created 25 Oct 2010 19:25
Last updated 18 Jul 2016 00:53

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