Deadlifting the Jujimufu way

May 1, 2014 Training
Jujimufu, Lucky pants deadlifting

Deadlifting makes Jujimufu happy!

My deadlifting background

Before I share the Jujimufu way of deadlifting, please note:

  • I am not a powerlifter, but…
  • I have been deadlifting for over 10 years now.
  • I have fairly long arms suited for deadlifting.
  • I have good genetics for back strength which helps.
  • My everyday max has been around 500 lbs since 2007 (20 years old).
  • The most I’ve ever deadlifted is 635 lbs at 230 lb body weight.
  • I love deadlifting but…

I continue to trick, body build, do martial arts and gymnastics. These take energy away from deadlifting. I’m no pro. I think I’m doing pretty well with what I’m working with so far though, considering I’m playing this difficult balancing act. I think that’s why people ask me about my deadlifting: they realize I’m excelling in it while balancing everything else I do.  So here are some things I think I know about the deadlift from experience.

Some things I think I know about deadlifting:

  • In general, the heavier you are, the more weight you will deadlift. Although the deadlift is not as affected by your body weight as squat or bench.
  • The deadlift is about the worst movement to train when you are hungry or fasted. Intermittent fasters: please eat at least two large meals before deadlifting, not just a scoop of BCAA. Jeeze.
  • Deadlifting appreciates carry over from other training more so than other lifts.
  • Ring strength helps with deadlifting (from grip and back strength carry over).
  • Tricking helps with the deadlift, given weight remains high. (from the exposivity carry over). Tricks like aerials and kicks really affect the body in a way that helps increase deadlifting speed and explosiveness.
  • Auxiliary exercises like glute ham raises, pistol squats, good mornings, whatever: the deadlift likes them all as well I think. The deadlift likes just about everything, it’s not nearly as particular as other exercises regarding carry over.
  • So far, the greatest exercise for deadlifting carry over I have found is the front squat. Every time I’ve spent effort increasing my front squat for a period of time, I have noticed my deadlift would increase along with it automatically.
  • The deadlift responds so well from carryover training, and yet it still responds well to direct training of itself.
  • The deadlift is pretty forgiving in terms of training strategy: it enjoys both variety and extreme simplicity.

My deadlifting goals:

 

CLEANLINESS

I want clean deadlifts. I define deadlift cleanliness as dominating a weight at a personally acceptable weight range. For me, personally, anything above 500 lbs makes me happy.  You may have higher or lower standards, but I would rather do a SUPER CLEAN 500 lb deadlift than a sketchy 515 lb deadlift… Just like I would rather be able to do a clean ch. 720 kick than an ugly ch. 1080 kick.  I want my deadlifts to look as good as my tricks.

 

COMPATIBILITY

I want my deadlift to be compatible with my other goals: I’d rather be able to do a 500 lb deadlift and still trick like a king and look sexy and jacked, than sacrifice my tricks and physical appeal to deadlift 700 lbs. If I’m going to deadlift that much weight everything else has to be coming up with it…  So I don’t believe fractional increases in poundages should be the only criteria for judging the awesomeness of a lift unless we’re competing in powerlifting.  What else do we have going on other than the deadlift?  To me, that matters.

Jujimufu’s deadlifting routine

This routine will clean up your deadlifts and, if you trick, be compatible with your tricking.  You can do this sumo style or conventional, pick your favorite.

  • Warmup with less than 30% of your average 1 rep max (not your PR) for several sets of 3-8 reps. Rest a minute or so between these sets (maybe like, 6 sets).  Do them fast and clean.
  • In between these sets do mobility movements, get into the deadlift deep and back out of it.
  • Front squats are great for warming up the deadlift too, clean the weight and do a few sets of 4 reps pausing at the bottom.
  • Increase the speed and quality of your reps as you progress through the warmup.
  • After 20 minutes of this warmup, no sooner, begin increasing the weight to 70% of your mixed grip, average 1 rep max (not your PR). (70% 1rpmax is your training weight for the whole workout.)
  • Use the double over hand grip with no straps. No hook grip. (You will notice this will make your 70% of your mixed grip max more difficult).
  • Chalk is a must!
  • Stop and go deadlifts only, not touch and go.
  • Do 3-6 repetitions for 7-12 sets at this weight.
  • Focus on QUALITY, SPEED, BEAUTY, POWER, AGGRESSIVENESS.
  • Rest 3-5 minutes between sets.
  • Terminate each set when your rep quality drops. Even slightly drops. Typically it takes about 6 reps before you begin to feel a slow down on the rep speed when training this way at 70%. If you can only do 3 reps and it already slows down terminate the set there. Increase your rest period to the max of 5 minutes if your rep quality drops after only 3 reps for any particular set. Don’t decrease the weight.
  • Preferably use bumper plates so you can minimize the eccentric portion of the lift: (with bumpers you can just fall from the top and follow and let the weight hit the floor hard. Gently touching the weight back to the floor with iron plate weights is fatiguing and not necessary in my opinion, so use bumpers if available.)
  • Use an ammonia inhalant every workout on your last set or two and do as many reps as you can the last set.

That’s it. If done correctly it will take you just about 1 hour from warmup to finish. That’s your entire training session, don’t do anything else. Go take a shower and eat a real meal. Do this two times a week, do not increase your reps beyond the 3-6 rep range. Space these sessions out with a few days between.  Rely on carryover from your other training activities to support your deadlift beyond these deadlifting sessions.  After two months test your max again when you feel up for it.

It’s a deadlifting session

When you train deadlift: deadlift only. Nothing else. That’s the Jujimufu way. You’ll become a believer in this way of deadlifting too if you try it a couple times. Just try it, seriously, you’ll like it, I promise. Sometime next week just have a “deadlifting” session. Don’t even think about sneaking in an extra exercise or two!  DEADLIFTS ONLY FOR AN HOUR.  Try my routine above, you have nothing to lose (unless you abuse ammonia inhalants like me, then you’ll lose some brains.)

How to measure progress with this deadlifting approach

Deadlifting this way is a step away from the objective approach of measuring progress. We aren’t using numbers, we aren’t budging or tweaking them or using maths. We are instead measuring progress based on subjective appeal, just like the way we do for tricking. So measure the subjective appeal the same way you measure the subjective appeal of your tricking: film your best sets.

jujimufu_deadlifting_500lbs

So we’re judging the deadlift the same way we might judge your 540 kick. What makes one 540 kick good and one bad? It’s pretty simple, one is clean and powerful with great extension, it’s fast and aggressive. A bad 540 kick is dinky, barely landed, and things are bent and late all over the place. So with that in mind, what makes a good deadlift at 300 lbs and a bad deadlift at 300 lbs?

Why I like this routine

Actually, this is the only way I’ve been training my deadlift directly since October 2011. For me, there is no other way anymore. It’s perfect for me. It does everything for me. It’s shot up my personal record on the lift, has built my back musculature up even more, has made the deadlift more fun, and has not once hurt me.  A few years ago I was doing this routine up to 5 times a week for a couple months during the winter, and I was still not hurting myself deadlifting with this frequency!  This routine is magic, and it’s also the most agreeable way to deadlift in conjunction with tricking during a typical week’s worth of training. I have never discovered a training routine for anything that always works and never stops working… except this one. This routine works, always, and has never stopped working for me.  I will be using this deadlifting routine the rest of my life.

jujimufu_back_muscles_backdoublebi

So it’s been almost 3 years now since I started training the deadlift this way exclusively. I max out a few times a year and am always pleased. Since training this way, I realized you don’t have to work near your max to increase your deadlift, nor do you need to kill yourself deadlifting to oblivion to make progress on the deadlift. Training this way is also less intimidating. When deadlifting is less intimidating and doesn’t scare you, it’s easier to will yourself to go do it…  And do it more often. Which will inevitably increase your deadlift. Duh.

Changing up the routine for variety

Don’t change it.  If the routine stops working it’s because of under eating, under sleeping, new stresses in your day to day life, illness, a newly developed underlying medical condition, too much fatigue from other activities, not enough carry over from other activities (under tricking or under lifting in general) or injury.  Fix everything else in your life first before tweaking this routine and you will find it will begin working again.

My preferred methodology for deadlifting a max

I only test my max maybe 8-12 times total a year. The rest of the year I don’t even approach it remotely. So when I actually do test my deadlift max, I prefer a long warm up just like the one in my deadlifting routine. Then I begin working upward, so let’s say my previous max was 540 and I want to test it again.

  • Warmup
  • 425×2
  • 2 minute rest
  • 445×1
  • 2 minute rest
  • 465×1
  • 2 minute rest
  • 495×1
  • 2 minute rest
  • 495×1
  • 2 minute rest
  • 515×1
  • 2-3 minute rest
  • 540×1
  • 2-4 minute rest
  • 545×1
Jujimufu, deadlifting, Antoine Vaillant

545×1

So as I get closer to my max, my incremental increases are smaller. Some people jump quickly to their max in 50-100 lb increments, I have never had success with that. Not only do I approach my max in smaller increments, sometimes I pause on a certain weight and do another single set with it before moving up again. I guess I can theorize that this works for me because all of these singles really fire up my nervous system. I need that lengthy warm up. Kind of like how I throw my best tricks 15 minutes before my tricking session ends, I pull my best deadlifts after a longer series of non-fatiguing, single reps.

How deadlifting affects tricking

I’ve noted in a previous page that past 2x your body weight the deadlift will not positively affect your tricking performance. I stand by this number. I also stand by all the observations I made for how tricking positively affects your strength. In short, deadlifting takes resources away from your tricking beyond a certain point and I would do less of it when you’re tricking more, and do more deadlifting when you’re tricking less.

Some more features of my deadlifting efforts

I wear a certain type of pants to avoid shin scrape. I’ve bled enough with the deadlift so far in my life, so I put on some pants and like it better. I also feel comfortable in them, they’re like a mild compression garb as opposed to shorts. Experiment and find your own lucky deadlifting pants.

I don’t believe the eccentric portion of the deadlift is really necessary to get a lot out of the exercise in terms of both strength and muscular development, so I prefer training with bumper plates and dropping down with the weight at the top of every rep, instead of setting it down. I believe this is not only more comfortable, but healthier for the back too.

jujimufu_back_muscles_stand

If your way of deadlifting isn’t making your deadlift better AND your back feel better, then your way of deadlifting is stupid.

I don’t train deadlifts touch and go anymore. When I stopped doing that I noticed my recovery between sessions was better and my progress became better. I also stopped feeling as much pain from the exercise.

I don’t use a belt because, actually, it throws off my balance in the exercise. I feel more comfortable without a belt deadlifting so that’s why I don’t wear a belt when I deadlift.

Ammonia inhalants are essential.  I’m serious about these things, you need to be using them when you deadlift.  Use at least one per deadlifting workout right before your most promising set.

Jujimufu, Antoine Vaillant, Ammonia Inhalants

For Antoine Vaillant’s birthday I made him a bullet box with his logo and filled it with over 1000 ammonia inhalants.

Jujimufu’s secret for deadlifting more

Voodoo. Style. Ammonia. Ritual. Passion. My psyche out and pre-lift prep and passion for the deadlift is fairly notable and unusual, yet its impact and effect on my deadlift is profound. In fact, I think my deadlifting strength is nearly proportional to how practiced I am as a crazed ritualist when deadlifting. I think it’s my big secret.  I bet most people just think it’s OCD, or entertaining, but it’s actually very helpful. I don’t deadlift any other way. I recommend everyone cultivate their own deadlifting voodoo. Their own ritual.

The deadlift is interchangeable not indispensable

For those who know my obsession with deadlifting, this should be an unexpected statement for me to make, but it’s true: you don’t have to deadlift to be successful as a body builder, as a strength athlete, as a trickster, or as a human being. You don’t have to deadlift to prove your manhood in the gym. You can be hardcore whether you deadlift or not. It’s not indispensable. Some people respond to the exercise better than others. I respond extremely well to it, others do not. For them they can find other exercises to do.

I use to be elitist about my deadlifting obsession, but I’ve grown out of my deadlifting elitism and my hunt for finding reasons why deadlifters are better than everybody else. I deadlifted my head out of my ass. I don’t judge others anymore regarding the deadlift. If you don’t deadlift, you’re okay in my book. It’s interchangeable, you can find other means of developing your back and getting primal strong.  But if you don’t deadlift because you don’t like it, at least try it the Jujimufu way, try my routine above, see if you change your mind about the deadlift.

jujimufu_back_muscles_gray

 

79 comments

  1. David says:

    Good read, inspired me to do my first real DL session in 4yrs. I never realized how much I hate 45lb hex plates.

  2. JuteGee says:

    I always focused (and still do) on QUALITY, SPEED, BEAUTY, POWER, AGGRESSIVENESS of a deadlift. Thats why I don’t do sumo!

  3. James says:

    My average 1RM is 164kg, so you’re saying do 7-12 sets at 114kg in the workout phase? Feels kind of light to me.

    I’m also still slowly trying to increase my muscle mass, so will this training help me bulk quite a bit, hinder it, or not do much for it, aside from improving my strength and my DL execution?

    • Jon Call says:

      Are you using the double overhand grip? Are you underestimating your average 1RM max? And are you doing stop and go (pause between every rep)?

      For muscle mass I feel you’d be better suited combining this with traditional training methods with eccentric portions that have a higher Time Under Tension (TUT). The Time Under Tension for this routine is not very much. You pretty much pick it up and drop it a few times and rest a ton. You’re also gonna want eccentric work too for maximum growth. So heavy eccentric work with higher TUT will help with growth more than this routine. Personally I’m not a fan of the eccentric component of the deadlift, that’s why I “drop it” and do “stop and go” with this routine and train the deadlift this way. I’ll reserve eccentric work and higher TUT for other lifts (IE any type of squat).

  4. James says:

    Well my best ever 1RM is 174kg, and i’m not consistent on 170kg, my average RM which i’m sure to lift is 164kg. I use an alternating grip everytime I DL, I have yet to try your method, but 114kg, alternating ain’t no problem, I mean I can rep out 8 reps at 150kg, but my strength drops exponentially as I go up. only overhand grip with no straps, don’t know, it’ll definitely destroy my grip, but no so much me physically. I’ll try it, see how I feel, maybe up the weight for me.

    • Jon Call says:

      aha, well, a big part of the magic of this routine is in the details. Using a double over hand grip will do more to you physically than what you’re expecting I think.

  5. Deuce says:

    So Juji, how do you fit this in with your other lower body/ hip work?

  6. Jon Call says:

    This routine is good during tricking or bulking season. It fits in seamlessly into either. Never too taxing that it fucks up my tricks during tricking season. It fits in anywhere, even the day after or before tricking or squatting or anything… The only caveat is that if I want to improve the deadlift specifically, and actually see progress on this routine, I must do it several times in a week as opposed to only once per week or so when I’m focusing on my tricking. Done once per week it’s more of remedial activity, or maintenance for the deadlift pattern.

  7. James says:

    Ok gonna start it today see how it goes, one final question, did you really just build your legs off deadlifts and squats? And by that I mean pure standard deadlifts, standard back squats or fronts. Cause I just can’t get that kind of development with those exercises. My legs grows super slow and I’m a chicken leg sufferer. I’ve started doing leg press, leg extensions and even the adductor machine to fill out my legs, not sure if it’s working, my legs seem a little more defined but not much bigger.

    Anyway, if I’m only gonna deadlift and front squat from now on, should I do it more than twice a week ? Meaning deadlifts twice a week and squats twice a week minimum?

  8. Jon Call says:

    Yes, I built my legs in my late teens with tricking, the conventional deadlift and back squat. Then down the road switched to front squat nearly entirely from back squat. How many years of training experience do you have?

  9. James says:

    Okay.

    I’ve been deadlifting for about 2,5 years, and squatting about 2 years consistently in a proper gym, I started before but was less frequent in my training with my own weights and squat rack, in my garage. I got up to squatting about 5 – 6 times a week at one point for a couple months, doing 5 x 4 , 6 x 3

    And also tricking for about 3 years without injury, I started way back when but destroyed my ankles early on and took me about 2,5 years to recover from that properly.

    I’m 1m82 tall 78-79kg and I can MAX (back squat 144kg) and (174kg deadlift) and about 128kg front squat. Those are my current records. I only ever used to squat and deadlift, and added presses and the rest recently.

    By the way I did the DL session tonight, I started at 120kg, I had a hard time holding onto the bar with the double overhand grip, my hands sweat a lot and had no chalk left,

    I did 7 sets, I did put straps on for the last set, cause the bar just kept slipping out of my hands and couldn’t get more than 4 reps out just cause of slipping.

    Cracked out 12 reps with straps clean and easy, I could’ve probably done almost 20. I’ll try again next week with chalk at the same weight, cause it wasn’t too challenging tonight I must say.

    • Jon Call says:

      Straps double overhand is a lot different than no straps double overhand. Yes you need chalk for this. And no, this program isn’t too challenging you’re right. But this is a program you’re supposed to do again in a couple days, or several times a week for direct deadlift or strength gains. This isn’t something you only do once a week unless you’re just maintaining the deadlift or using it in a remedial manner.

  10. BSF Jay says:

    I LOVE deadlifting and I am sooooo gonna try this one out today ! 😀

  11. francesco says:

    man this makes you sweaty. I think I could have been a bit more concentrated on my form, I like this though because I actually still have energy the next day, it’s like a hybrid workout for strength and hypertrophy (my favorite) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSynzo9s5hM your thoughts. I used to lower the weight slowly and they made me so much more tired the next day, I still feel it a little bit, but dropping the weight helped a lot. Thanks Juji.

    • Jon Call says:

      Glad you are liking it. 🙂 The only suggestion I may have is try to keep your back more flat on the descent. I know lifting it with a rounded back is generally poor form, and descending controlled with a rounded back would generally be poor form too… but we aren’t descending normal, we’re dropping. That may not be so harmful but honestly I’m not sure. Thanks for sharing your video btw!

  12. Matt says:

    Juji,

    Another great article! Gets me jazzed to rep it to death. I hope we see a few more articles like this… Or even a pdf booklet for the “Mufu Method: Lifting for peak tricking performance, strength, and sexiness.” I’d pay for that in a heartbeat.

    Thanks!

    • Jon Call says:

      Would you be interested in an “Acrobolix Flexibility training and Flexibility tricks handbook” with novel flexibility development methods and ideas, lots of pictures, routines, and insanity?

  13. AidenBloodaxe says:

    I’m certain a lot of us would.

  14. Jon Call says:

    Excellent… *rubs hands together fast enough to create black crud thingies*

  15. Francesco Caban says:

    Absolutely, my biggest issue is I have crappy hip and ankle mobility in the first place, but considering that I’ve done pretty well with flexibility. Your experienced advice is top notch I would love to see what you put into an article like that.

  16. Matt says:

    Would I!? 😀

    All I do is defrancos limber 11 and whatever flexibility stuff my capoeira group does together. I would LOVE something like that man. I already put together my vitamin packs you inspired. Now to apply your methods to get the splits. Hell yeah!

  17. Josiah says:

    Hello Matt, if I’m correct Capoeira the closest legit martial art to tricking, or is it WTF taekwondo? Capoeira is awesome anyways though, it’s very unique.

  18. BSF Jay says:

    Both have similiarities with tricking. But I think Taekwondo i more close to tricking style.
    Tricking is more powerfull, strict, its full of gymnastics aesthetic.
    Capoeira is more freestyle, fluid, loose.
    As for me, I train Capoeira for almost 10 years. And when I’m tricking i try to keep my style strict, nice and powerfull.
    But when I’m in Roda (the circle where you do Capoeira) my style is totally different.

    Of course you can learn capoeira tricks and do them outside roda – it is still tricking i think (cause you kick and flip and twist) but it have different “taste” :).

    And theres another thing – Capoeira is so fuckin’ hard to master that you have to train a lot of basics of fight/style. You can’t just focus on tricks so learning pure tricks by doing capoeira makes you learn them slower;)

  19. CountryGym says:

    Hi Juji! Do you breath ”into your stomach” while deadlifting? I was recently told by a strength coach to do that in order stabilize my core during the exercise etc. I tried it a few times but it feels like I was going to injure myself during the lift. It’s strange compared to just breathing into your chest.

    • Jon Call says:

      I don’t think about it. I know what you’re talking about, I’ve read Dave Tate making a big deal out of it. If you brace for a punch to the gut, you flex your stomach out. Breathing “into your belly” helps you to do that. Remember, your lungs are in your chest, not your stomach. And you aren’t breathing air into your stomach. Your coach is just giving you a “cue” to get you to brace your abs properly. If you don’t like his cue, then you can try another: imagine you’re bracing for a punch to the gut after you take a deep breath in.

  20. CountryGym says:

    Getting a punch into the stomach? It fucking worked! What I realized is that by “breathing into my belly” I was exaggerating the whole thing too much (as you said, there ain’t no lungs in your belly, but I was really trying to push them there, haha). That’s why I felt so insecure during the lift. But this time, I really got it what this thing is all about.
    I also tried your above routine for the second time. First time I did 12 sets, 6 reps with 70% 1RPM and 4 min rests. Although my form stayed clean, after the 8th set my reps started to slow down and I started to really struggle. (OK, the last two reps were probably awful, but I said fuck, I will pull that fucker up anyway). But today the weights were just flying up, I even raised them by 2.5 kilos after the first work set. Even the 12th set still felt powerful enough. Anyway, I decided to use your routine for the next 6 months, I’m planning to try my max every second month. Maybe I will raise the weight very carefully along the way, but only if it becomes too easy after a while.
    Anyway, this was just a little feedback that your routine works even for people who suck in the gym in general. haha.

  21. Matt says:

    Hey Josiah,

    Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I didn’t see your comment until now. BSF Jay covered it pretty well but I figure I’ll throw in my 2 cents too. I’m not really familiar with TKD styles, or many other martial arts. I found tricking a way back, and when I showed it to a friend of mine with 10+ years of martial arts experience (kung fu). He said that they were doing capoeira in the tricking videos. It could be because he’s brazilian, and I was living in Brazil at the time, so I guess he recommended I train capoeira if I wanted to do tricking.

    It is very similar to tricking if you do the Regional style. Very fast, explosive, and acrobatic. The Angola style is slow, low to the ground, and focuses on really tight games so not beneficial for tricking.

    Tricking has adopted several moves directly from Capoeira. For example the Raiz, and Parafuso are Capoeira movements. While moves the B-kick and B-twist are traditionally Kung Fu… I think. Could be from another style. These movements have been done for a long time anyway, so who knows how or where they originated.

    When it comes down to it, I don’t think it really matters which you train, as long as it has a more acrobatic edge to it. Depending on who you train with, there will be stylistic differences. Juji trained TKD, and I think it influenced his style. Very tight, fast, and clean. Capoeira is usually very flowy, lazy, and big. Check out some videos and you can see the difference.

    But to answer your question more succinctly, Capoeira Regional is the closest martial art to tricking that I am aware of/is available to me.

  22. hans says:

    tried this program for the first time this evening. i followed everything exactly except i lifted a little lesser than i should have (7×6 at 70% of my avg 5rm). very psychologically demanding but very rewarding when you finish off the last rep with an almighty swear. would love to give it some more tries for a couple of months. and called me old fashioned but i enjoy a good fap with severely calloused hands 🙂

  23. Josiah says:

    What are your opinions and results for the sumo deadlift? Anyone have a strong opinion about it?

  24. Jodadiah says:

    I could really use some bumper plates. I have a total of 450 lbs of iron plates already in my collection, so for now I deadlift in my mossy backyard so I can drop them without cracking a concrete slab!

  25. Matt says:

    Could this method be applied to squats? I’d balance it out with some hamstring stuff, but damn. I’ve loved this way for deadlifts, I’d love to do it with squats. I guess it’s like GVT… What do you think?

    • Jon Call says:

      With deadlifting this way, the eccentric portion is eliminated pretty much, and that is perfectly acceptable for 1repmax purposes, strength, and health because a deadlift starts with concentric, and at the top, it’s a good lift or bad and that’s it. It’s over. A squat starts with eccentric though, and eliminating the eccentric portion would take some sort of magical setup or team to do. You could do a similar set/rep load scheme with the squat like this routine, but keep in mind since the lift will still have an eccentric element, the result would likely be different. I would suggest if you were going to try this with squat, just lower the number of sets, the weight, or the frequency you do the routine… Just lower something, anything haha.

      Also, thanks for the feedback, glad you like this routine! 🙂

  26. Jodadiah says:

    If anyone is having issues with grip you should check out ironmind.com and their Captains of Crush grip trainers. It helped my grip strength tremendously. Along with rings.

  27. Minski says:

    Thanks for the routine. I’ve been doing this for 4 months and hit 2x bw deadlift yesterday! 2x bw squat will take some time though… Juji, could you already squat well over 500lbs before you switched to doing front squats exclusively?

    • Jon Call says:

      My max back squat last I test was 455 lbs at 190 lbs 19 years old, medium stance before my knee problems began developing. Then I switched to front squat for preference. I’m sure if I were to use a powerlifting wide stance for a couple months and try to backsquat I could do a shit load of weight. But I don’t like that stance I like to do my squats shoulder width-medium, yes I can over 500 that weight. I feel like I get more out of the exercise using a medium stance than a wide one. And I feel like I get more out of front squats that way more than backsquats, so that’s how I prefer to squat.

      Last month I moved two vertabrae out of alignment front squatting and couldn’t really breathe for a few days. I was in a lot of pain and it wasn’t getting any better after 3 days, I thought I broke a rib. I went to the Chiropractor and he put them back in place and the pain began getting better after that and it’s gone now. Still paranoid about that so I’m doing back squat at the moment instead of front squat. I would always recommend choosing the best and safest option for your goals. Front squat has been good to me for awhile now up until this month, so I switch to back squat for now. Nothing wrong with either…

      • JuteGee says:

        Probably wrong place to ask, but have you ever had any low back problems from tricking/ weightlifting? Currently I’m having some serious sciatic pain in my ass down to my left hamstring from two bulged disks (L4-L5, L5-S1) my disks are fucked from early 2012 and that’s Before l started lifting Weights. Anyway I had some ass pain back then for approximately 5 months or so but after hyperextensions and deadlifting pain complete was gone. An now from July l’m having that pain again, just much stronger this time. Had to stop deadlifting and back squating till then and stopped doing front squats for 1month now. That sucks couse i’m not one of those ego lifters and I always followed my form on all exercises!

        • Jon Call says:

          Hi Jute,

          I’ve “tweaked” my lower back several times, mostly from tricking, but have not caused any problems. A tweak can be bothersome for 1-3 days after the event.

          I wonder why after you started doing hyperextensions and deadlifting the pain was completely gone, and now why it has returned?

          What did the doctor that diagnosed your disks bulge have to say about your recovery?

  28. JuteGee says:

    They have nothing to say, basically, if I will stop lifting I won’t get worse (just like every doctor says) and they told me to stick to what I was doing all the time to get better (stretching, swimming, less sitting…. etc.)
    anti inflammations seem to do nothing to me, the only thing that works is reverse hyperextensions. Streching my piriformis muslce and hamstrings would help a lot too, but its really painful to do them.

    Now for the past

    Before, the pain was gone cause I strengthened my back and decreased my posterior pelvic tilt which removed touching on sciatic nerve. And now it came back after fatigued deadlifting training and stretching. At summer I play a lot of beach volleyball and do some tricking so that’s a lot of jumping and I did that just before my training and also after I injured myself I still kept doing it and now I’m what I’m today. Btw. At first pain was nothing worse than doms.

    • Jon Call says:

      Could you maybe change to doing sumo deadlifts for a little while? Or make modifications to the exercises that aggravate your back so you can continue training those things but slightly altered?

  29. JuteGee says:

    http://youtu.be/uft5n-OdjSM
    And that’s my form on last rep before quitting deadlifting for that day. 155kg/340lbs x2,3,1
    Usually I do 160kg/353lbs for 5 sets of 4 reps.

  30. JuteGee says:

    I never pulled bar with worst form than that and I should get my ass down a bit so that it wouldn’t be a stiff legish.
    Anyway. I was thinking of trying to do some sumo from blocks or something cause I noticed that my hips lost some mobility on getting low with wide stance- haven’t started yet thou . Trap bar would be awesome to have too, cause I feel that I could handle all or maybe more weight that way, but I’m training only at home so that isn’t an option for me.
    I wish my hair could be more wavy for more savage look lol. Straight hair pisses me of. Haha.

  31. Minski says:

    Do you ever switch up your mixed grip (i.e. supinate your right hand, pronate your left hand) for even development?

  32. STEVE YEAH! says:

    This is awesome. I need to try this. My only question is.. is this the only weight lifting exercise you do for your back on “back days”? Don’t ever do anything else for your back in terms of weight lifting? Just deadlifts forever and ever and never do another program for your back?

    • Jon Call says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your interest in the stuff I write. 🙂

      I built my back’s thickness and size almost exclusively with the deadlift. Pullups never helped me, I don’t do them anymore and never will again. Now that I’m bodybuilding, I do a lot of seated cable rows and lat pulldown variations with interesting cable attachements and bands for the past couple years. These help me isolate the back a lot and I get a huge pump and burn in the muscle exactly where I want when I target them this way. These exercises haven’t really changed the thickness of my back but they seemed to have added a bit of width and a lot of vascularity. I have lat veins now like some guys have bicep veins, people at the gym think it’s hilarious.

      Anyway, ideally, I would recommend any novice to just stick with deadlifts “forever and ever” haha, and never do anything else for a couple years. What I’m doing now on my back days is 3-5 isolation exercises for back, and deadlift at the end like a pussy. I supplement this with some deadlift practice at my house (just deadlift). Hope this answers your quesiton. 🙂

      • jo says:

        >seated cable rows and lat pulldown variations with interesting cable attachements and bands for the past couple years. These help me isolate the back a lot and I get a huge pump and burn in the muscle exactly where I want when I target them this way. These exercises haven’t really changed the thickness of my back but they seemed to have added a bit of width and a lot of vascularity. I have lat veins now like some guys have bicep veins, people at the gym think it’s hilarious.

        I want wide veiny lats Juji. Hoping maybe you might some day make a video of doing these rows, pulldown and band movements so we can get an idea of the weight, tempo, reps, form and all that which you use.

        I’m a 34% fatass who can only do 1-2 pullups so i’ve had trouble gettining a burn trying to work to failure, I think a pulldown machine would allow one to more safely approach the limits and use more ideal forms and speeds, Every time. I tried a free demo at a gym I could always get a better pump using lighter weights.

  33. STEVE YEAH! says:

    No, no, no.. thank you, Jon! I come back here every morning waiting for new articles or responses haha.. and to agree with what somebody wrote earlier.. if you wrote a book I’d definitely buy it too.

    Okay, great. That helped me out a lot. Lat veins?!?! That’s insanely awesome. Always very informative. Thanks again brother.

    • Jon Call says:

      I’ll have a couple new writes ups before the end of the month. Just out of curiosity what kind of topics do you prefer reading about? Obviously the website is about a mix of bodybuilding and tricking but sometimes I can be surprised which writing people prefer…

  34. Tyler says:

    What’s that audio clip you play when you invoke the power of the ammonia inhalant?

  35. Jon Call says:

    Hi Tyler. I use arrowimpact.wav, snapdragonmissilelaunch.wav, coldarrow1.wav, coldarrow2.wav, and coldarrow3.wav from the Warcraft III PC game to make ammonia sound effects haha. 😉

  36. STEVE YEAH! says:

    Beautiful!

    I read everything you put up. I like the Jujimufu humor you put in all of your articles. That’s what hooked me.

    Back in the day on Tricks Tutorial, I used to read your tricking tutorials like a champ, but as I get older (i’ll be 32 on the 18th of this month) I lean more towards your bodybuilding/nutrition/supplement articles. I still love everything you put up about tricking and watching your videos of you doing all the moves to sweet music though. It’s part of your awesomeness.

    So keep doing your thing. I’ll read it all. Also if you ever have time, more youtube videos! I watch those all the time.. The tricking ones are obviously great.. but i also really like the ones where you’re “lifting and thinking”.. “juji has a friend” ..”detox”.. and especially “work food”.. i’ve been eating Cream of Rice twice a day ever since. I adjusted it to fit myfitnesspal app calories/macros. Makes me feel great!

  37. EntMoot says:

    What kind of split would you use when doing this twice a week? Of to the gym today to do my first jujideadlift day.

  38. EntMoot says:

    Current goals
    500lbs daily max deadlift (currently 190Kg(418lbs)
    Weigh 95Kg at 15%bf measured using the Tanita BC-545 (currently 88Kg at 17%)
    Once weight goal is achived, 95Kg at 10% bf is the next goal.

    Used to compete in muay-thai and kyokushin 72-75kg(at 7% bf). Conscripted by the royal army leaving no time to martial arts. started lifting things. When my time in the force was over I was 85kg(10% bf). Since I got that size I have had no wish to go back to the twiggy alien look. Also, If i decide to start competing again I’m to heavy for middleweights meaning i have to fight 110kg fatties and gargantuan russian freakbeasts.. So f** it, time to get big. More sexy muscles and more strength.

    Tried deadlifting-the-jujimufu-way the other day. Loved it! My grip is shite though, started failing at 4th set(134kg, 70% 1rm), the remaining sets where 3 repers, For the last set, I did around 6 but with 5 second pauses at the bottom because of the grip. Never deadlifting with straps again.. Didn’t feel the need for smelling salts(have never tried) but probably will in the future, ordering a hundred to start out with.
    To go with jujideadliftday i made an overenthusiastic two-split with legs and back on the same day. After squatting I had no more energy left for back. The three first exercises where then half-hearted and the fourth was ok as i was less fatigued. Chest, tricep and shoulder day went good. So yeah, my split at the moment ain’t exactly magic. I’m used to doing a 4 split but was kinda wanting to hit my muscles more than once per week.
    I’m thinking I have to go for a 3 split maybe? or some cleverly engineered 2 split with a different focus after each time the split is completed? Any help would be much appreciated on creating a nice routine i could follow for a good while.

    • Jon Call says:

      Honestly I don’t think any split is exactly magic haha. But anyway, if you do a standard 4 split like back, chest, arms, legs that’s 4 workouts per week. Remember of course there is crossover (arms get worked during chest and back typically)… You could make the back session have no deadlifts, and do this deadlifting routine twice a week in conjunction with this 4 split. Deadlifting is a bread winner exercise for putting on mass because it hits a lot of muscles. Doing it twice a weak is enough. So if you add it up, at the end of the week you’ll have had 6 workouts, 4 of which were hitting the biggest muscle groups in the body with the most potential for growth and most use in your MMA practice (back, back, back, legs)… Later down the road you can shift things around so you are hitting the chest and arms more.

  39. Berto says:

    Juji, would you recommend any barbell back exercises other than the deadlift? I personally don’t like barbell rows, i feel like my form goes to shit as soon as the muscles start getting tired. anything for upper back specifically? Thanks.

    • Jon Call says:

      I personally don’t like barbell rows either to be honest for the same reason you just mentioned. Of the bilateral barbell row variations I like t-bar and underhand grip the most, but I don’t do them anyway really for the same reason haha… I think you’re going to have to look into some lat pulldown and rowing variations with machines, and supported rows and things like that if you’re really looking for good isolation for this area.

  40. Marko says:

    How would you implement this into an already established powerlifting routine?
    If my interest is purely weight training, without tricking, and I’m squatting 3 times a week, would it work the same? Or would you make some changes since the emphasis is on strength gains?
    I really want to try this since it sounds so much fun.

    tl;dr if I want to powerlift without tricking, would this be equally/more/less efficient than a proper deadlift routine?

    • Jon Call says:

      This routine would be much, much, much more effective without tricking thrown in the mix in my opinion. If you’re squatting 3 times a week and doing this 2wice a week it could be too much at first, but you could build up to it. Say 3 total workouts between squat and deadlift per week building up to 5 total with doing this routine twice. Just a thought.

  41. Marko says:

    Well It’s been 4 weeks since I started doing this method after getting stuck at 190kg and decided to test a 200kg deadlift today for the first time and I did it!
    Also I immediately started with 3 days squats and 2 days deadlifts in a week because I was already doing well with the Russian squat routine(testing for 180kg 1RM tomorrow).
    I’ll continue and test my next deadlift max on the meet, May 31th.

    Thanks for this great article, really looking forward for more gains.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZBE9wdBl-0

  42. Bence says:

    Hey Juji,
    I’ve been following your site for quite a while now. I just want to let you know that I love reading your articles that are related to training and nutrition (not because of your tricking,I’m not interested in tricking).You’re a smart and funny dude for sure.There’s one thing that I just can’t figure out…where the hell could I buy ammonia inhalants? I tried googling it but I didn’t find any shops that are supposed to sell this stuff.Keep in mind I live in Hungary,could this be the reason? Or should I look for a pharmacy nearby? I heard that first-aid kits contain ammonia inhalants.
    I would really appreciate your advice.

    Bence

    • Jon Call says:

      Hi Bence,

      I buy mine from amazon.com. Yes they are included in medical kits. You may try checking a medical supply/first aid supply company outfitted in your home country of Hungary. You probably will not find them in a local retailer.

  43. Bence says:

    Hey Juji,
    it’s me Bence,I have several questions for you.
    First of all,I love deadlifts.Currently I go to a Crossfit gym only because I can do whatever the hell I want to(meaning I can work out barefoot and use as much chalk as humanly possible and drop deadlifts).Do you think it’s possible to go a long way simply by using basic barbell exercises? I know you made an article about small arm disease(haha) but if you can squat deadlift or bench or overhead pressor row a lot of weight you’re probably gonna get more jacked,right?
    My routine consists of bodyweight,barbell and db exercises and I think I’M doing fine.I’m not a beginner because I’ve been working out for over a year now(started out at home with bw exercises) and I enjoy the basics but sometimes I feel like I could add in some isolation here and there( for example I really like db pullovers,perhaps they work the lats better than rows?)

    One thing I’ve been thinking about is joining a higher end bodybuilding type of gym but I’m afraid that DLing is not permitted there and honestly there really aren’t many exercises that I would want to do besides those basic exercises perhaps some incline bb pressing or t bar rows or cable curls and pushdowns.Do you think I should stay at this crossfit gym? or join the other gym?
    And what do you think is a reasonable price for a gym membership? this is something that I’ve been obsessing over for a real long time.the crossfit gym I go to currently costs me about 37$(after converting) per month with student discount the other gym that I’m considering joining would run me 43$ but for this price I would have access to a much wider range of equipement,although I might not be able to deadlift.What do you think?

    I would be really glad if you could help me out here.
    Bence

    • Jon Call says:

      For strength, yes you can go far with just basic barbell exercises. For getting jacked, I would never go back to doing just basics. Using bodybuilding methodology and tactical isolation exercises is necessary for reaching a full aesthetic potential.

      If it were me, I’d join both gyms. I’ve had as many as four gym memberships at once (simultaneously). It’s expensive but no more than some people’s cellphone bills… Currently I’ve pared it down to two gyms because it’s summer and I’m doing a lot of training outside. And I also now have a training area in my dining room that is growing like a cancer.

      I would not pay more than $60 for a gym membership. Currently my two gym memberships are $25 a month and $55 (27 for me, 27 for my wife I pay both). If I were to pay more than that I’d ensure it was no contract and temporary. There is a particular gym in my new town that is $85 a month and it is like freakin’ Disney land. It is huge. Unfortunately it is not only this expensive, but about an hour and a half round trip traveling time. If it was very close I’d pay the price immediately but the distance factor just makes it mostly unreasonable. I’m thinking about getting a membership there for a 3 month stint when my training goals shift again though.

      I think the one word answer to basically all of your questions is: BOTH.

  44. Bence says:

    Thanks for the answer,man.I finally joined the bodybuilding gym I talked about and it’s pretty awesome.4 gym memberships at the same time? Holy crap!
    Yeah,I’ve been considering investing in a home gym but my parents wouldn’t allow it.My mom is super obsessive about cleanliness and order in different rooms plus she’s nursing a newborn and I think she’d be really upset if I was making noise with the weights.
    I think buying a weight set,barbells and a power rack(s) would be a good start but then again,there are certain exercises that I simply couldn’t do at home that are good for aesthetics.
    Funny you mention aesthetics.The crossfit gym I used to go to,the trainers would always tell their clients they’d be performing ‘functional exercises’ and then they’d be swinging them kettlebells up and down and jumping on a wooden box.LOL
    And also,the trainers weren’t really muscular either.So much for functional training,haha

    • Jon Call says:

      Good job. Change of gyms and new gyms is highly motivating!

      I used to train in my parent’s garage deadlifting and overhead presses with barbell. Back then I just had a barbell and olympic plates. Last couple years my dad told me I couldn’t deadlift in the garage anymore because a water line busted underneath my house. The deadlifting didn’t cause it (it was a different part of house) but he didn’t want to take any chances with me slamming weights down. So I hear you with the “restrictions” at a parent’s house. I live with my wife in our own place now though, and she was all for turning the dining room into a training area.

      Crossfit is ironic to me because it seems that all of the elite crossfitters who compete don’t “do crossfit” … but they are “crossfit” … So many of the “functional” exercises that crossfitters spam and a lot of their training methodology, which seems mostly free of almost every important element of long term periodization, makes it somewhat ridiculous. It’s why most crossfitters sort of suck at everything, because they do too much all the time year round. But then again, if crossfit was heavily periodized, it wouldn’t market well, because that would acerbate training adhd tendencies. And crossfit is supposed to be “fun” and “feel good”, and it feels best to just do something new everyday… So it’s made in a way so people want to come in and pay to do it. And most get the results they want from it anyway (lean body, feel better, etc). So yeah. Average Joe goals crossfit is great and they love it. For anyone who wants to be more than average, traditional “crossfit” training is one of the worst choices you could make.

  45. matt says:

    Juji, could this be implemented once a week or it will loose its way? i will deadlift once a week more,but as you write this would be a session given only to deadlifts and nothing more…

    day 1 – deadlifts 3/3/2/2 – 75%
    pull ups
    swings + TGU

    day 2
    clean and press with kb
    pull ups
    kb snatches
    pistols

    day 3
    front squats
    pull ups
    swings + tgu

    day 4
    Juji deadlifts

    Day 5
    clean and press with kb
    ring work on muscle up
    pistols
    kb snatches

  46. Justin Reagan says:

    Hey man!
    Just curious–how do you progress in poundage when you’re using that deadlift routine? Do you just throw a few more pounds on there when you can do all the sets smoothly and powerfully, for example, or do you just recalculate each time you max, or some other way? Just curious. This looks like a pretty cool way to train the deadlift. Most everything else I’m doing currently is with kettlebells, maces, and an assorted array of grip-centric stuff. The deadlift is the only barbell lift I’m doing at the moment, so I’m going to give a couple days of this a try.

    Thanks!
    Justin

  47. […] star Jujimufu who rarely works above 70% of his 1 rep max yet is able to deadlift over 700 lbs. According to him, this his been his philosophy for the deadlift for […]

  48. Gus says:

    Just did this workout and you were spot on with the meals afterward. I didn’t eat but a heavy snack because I was not too hungry. My body went into a sleep state because I was famished after 2 hours! Haha! Learn my lesson with post workout meals. Great workout Juji!

  49. Jani says:

    Did this routine today for the first time and that was the first time I got bleeding hands from dead lifting. I will continue doing this program but I need to figure out how to protect my hands. Weak spot is the skin on the middle fingers.. I wonder what Jujimufu’s hands look like after this routine session 🙂

  50. […] JuJiMufu Article on his deadlift routine […]

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