Total-body barbell training 5

(Image credit: Unknown)

This month’s workout takes the deadlift – a classic test of strength – and uses it to improve your ability to maintain strength over a prolonged period. Once you have completed the first part, there’s a grip and core test to finish things off.

The warm up

5-10 minutes of light rowing, cycling or running.
2 x 10 bodyweight squats
2 x 10 Good Mornings with a light bar.
10 x deadlifts with the bar. From here, warm up to your working weight (see below) using sets of five.

The workout

Perform one deadlift in the first minute, two in the second minute, three in the third, and so on. Once you have completed the required amount, rest until the following minute begins before starting the next set.

When you can no longer complete the required number of deadlifts in the set time, carry on and get that set finished. Then keep hold of the bar at the top of the last deadlift for the remainder of the next minute. This will require a strong grip, a solid core and a determined mind as these have all already been tested hard by the deadlifts. Don’t let go until the minute is up.

Your score is the number of times you managed to complete the full amount of deadlifts in the time limit.

You will need

- A barbell
- A stopwatch


Use 100% of your bodyweight.


Use 125% of your bodyweight.


Use 150% of your bodyweight.

Deadlift form

To get a decent score for the workout and prevent injury it’s vital you keep good form throughout each deadlift. Follow Chet's form guide to ensure you’re doing your deadlifts properly.

- Step up to the bar with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your shins 2-3cms away from the bar.
- Take hold of the bar, gripping it with your hands outside your legs and keeping your legs straight.
- Bend your knees forward and out until your shins touch the bar.
- Squeeze your chest up until your back is flat.
- Fill your belly with air and drive your heels through the floor.
- Lift the bar up past your legs until you are standing up straight.
- Reverse the process to lower the bar under control, starting with your hips.
- Go straight into your next rep if you can, repeating the above steps until your set is done.

Good morning form

- Place a bar on your back with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands close to your shoulders.
- Bend your knees a little so they are just short of being locked out – this is your starting position.
- Keep your chest up, shoulders back and fill your belly with air.
- Hinge at the hip and send your bum back, your torso will lean forward.
- You should feel this in your hamstrings and your lower back.
- Continue this motion as far as you can, maintaining the arch in your back.
- Once you begin to lose this arch, or when your back is parallel with the floor, squeeze the glutes to bring your hips forward into the starting position.
- Fill your belly with air again and repeat the process.

Chet Morjaria

In 2013, Chet wrote a series of articles for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, then shared a website with, Coach.