How I Tripled My Deadlift PR In 12 Weeks (Not for the faint of heart)

This article is simply used to showcase one method that I have used to improve my RDL. I do not or have never suggested that somebody undertake this style of exercise related progression without the oversight of an experienced coach.

Most ‘trainers’ enter the personal training industry due to a history of sporting or athletic related interests…

They have enjoyed a success which does not represent the ‘average individual’…

If I was to hire a trainer I would want to know that they could illicit the journey they are selling me if they too had a history such as mine. I have suffered a number of injuries over the years including broken clavicles , dislocated knees, plastic surgery to my right hand and a variety of highly preventable sprains. If I want to get a PR in a new lift I want to do it as progressively as possible and with as little risk as needed. Enter…

The Rackpulls Method For Deadlift PR’s

Determine your 1RM for a stiff leg deadlift with perfect form; Chin is tucked, knee’s do not bend & full ROM is acquired. Do not complete testing on the same day you train the method.

Set the pins in a rack in to just below waist height and complete the following set/rep scheme:

Warmup: 3 x 10-12 light DL outside of the rack;

Working Sets:

3 sets x 3 reps @ 100% bodyweight and progress the load 10% per set;

Example: I approach the rack with the pins set to x (just below waist height) and after completing my warmup, load 85Kg on the bar.

Set 1: 3 Reps @ 85Kg

Set 2: 3 Reps @ 93.5Kg

Set 3: 3 reps @ 105Kg (On my third set I go as heavy as possible with good form)

I complete this exact protocol each week achieving failure on the last working set except that I descend 1-2 pins down the rack until I reach the floor and then I retest my 1RM at the end of each training cycle.

Pin graduations will vary depending on how tall you are (I only have x pins for my height to work with). Obviously I progress the load according to my experience as a lifter. Stronger guys will work heavier but I caution you that one set to failure is more than enough to illict neuro-muscular adaptation from week to week.

I then go on to complete the rest of my leg workout being sure to include lots of uni-lateral leg training & variations of the split squat:

It’s not uncommon to see improvements of up to 25% with this method but I caution you not to be tempted in completing more than 4 sets for each rack-pull session. Be sure to increase the load sensibly.

Sample Post Rack Pulls Leg Routine:


A1: Backsquat 5×5 @ 31X0

B2: RDL 5×10-12 @ 3010

C1: FFE Split Squat 4 x 10-12 @ 3010

C2: Lying Single Leg Hamstring Curl 4x 10-12 @ 3010

D1: Prowler VMO Sleddrag to Low push @ 15m as fast as possible @ 60-80Kg


 Testing… Testing… Next goal 200…

David Robertson

I have dedicated my life to training and nutrition and I have traveled the world seeking the best tools available for the development of Strength, Cognition & Wellness. As somebody who has never had the luck of the draw regarding the ‘genetic lottery’ I created this blog to document the experiments and tools that have changed my life the most.