Matt Gary at SSPT is well-known as an advocate of mainly performing the competition deadlift only as singles.
The main reasons for this is that it gives the athlete more opportunity to practice their approach and setup of the lift and that it removes the stretch reflex from assisting with subsequent reps.
The spreadsheet below is based on a few different pieces of content that Matt has published over the years that describe his techniques and philosophy. However, Matt and SSPT are not affiliated with this spreadsheet.
To best execute the program, read and watch the following:
- SSPT Deadlift Training (Maryland Powerlifting)
- SSPT Training the Deadlift (Mass Lift)
- SSPT’s Deadlift Table (video)
Table of Contents
SSPT Deadlift Program Spreadsheet
This spreadsheet contains a 1x, 2x, and 3x weekly 11 week deadlift program as well as a 1x weekly 6 week deadlift program.
SSPT Deadlift Program Overview
A few different program options are available within the spreadsheet. There are three different frequency options for the 11 week program and an additional 6 week cycle.
11 Week Deadlift Cycles
The 11 week cycles in the spreadsheet are based off of these sample cycles that were shared by Matt Gary on Maryland Powerlifting.
6 Week Deadlift Cycle
The 6 week deadlift cycle is only available for deadlifting once weekly. It is sourced from Matt’s article on Mass-Lift.
Here’s the structure of the cycle:
|% of 1RM
SSPT Deadlift Table
The set count and rest times are informed by SSPT’s deadlift table. As the intensity (% of 1RM) increases, the set count decreases and the rest between sets increases.
Regardless of the intensity, sets are always performed as singles.
Here’s the source video for the screenshot:
Deadlift Assistance Exercises
In the Maryland Powerlifting article, Matt had this to say about deadlift assistance movements:
When using the once/week option above, the deadlifts are performed after a high-volume, medium-intensity squat. Later in the week, we’ll squat heavy immediately followed by a special deadlift assistance exercise based on our individual weaknesses. You’ll rarely see anyone at SSPT deadlifting with the opposite grip or stance.– Matt Gary, “SSPT Deadlift Training“
From this we can infer that you should be performing assistance exercises when performing the competition deadlift once per week. I assume assistance movements should be performed even when performing the competition deadlift twice or three times each week too, but I can’t find this specified anywhere.
Other guidelines were described:
- Assistance exercises should closely resemble your competition deadlift (same stance)
- The most common rep range is 1-3 reps per set, but 4-5 reps per set can also be used
- An assistance movement may be performed for three to four weeks before switching to a different assistance movement.
- Back, posterior chain, and abs should also be trained
Common deadlift variations include:
- Deficit deadlift
- Paused deadlift
- Rack pull
- Romanian deadlift
- Deadlift with chains
Matt has also recommended front squat and high bar squats as well, though these are obviously less specific than the above deadlift variations. They may be more appropriate for off season cycles.
In terms of back, posterior chain, and core work, the following exercises were named as good options:
- Reverse hypers
- 45 degree back extensions
- Good mornings
- Glute ham raises
- Pull throughs
- Weighted sit ups
- Ab pull downs
The exercises you choose should address your individual weaknesses.