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  1. #1
    Registered User AsideDish's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good Bodybuilding Programs Without Deadlifts?

    Getting back into bodybuilding, and just wanting to look good this time around (getting strong would be nice, but not my #1 or #2 priority). Just looking to get lean and get in cardio shape.

    I know it's frowned-upon, but I'm looking to avoid deadlifts. Obviously they're a fantastic exercise, but I just don't want to them, simple as that. I don't mind doing other stuff, like pullups, rows, farmer walks, etc., I just don't want to DL.

    Also trying to limit my time in the gym. Obviously, 30 minutes or something would be ridiculous, but I feel like an hour to an hour fifteen or so isn't unreasonable to be in and out.

    In the past, I've done ridiculous volumes, like Bulgarian programs, Sheiko, etc. But haven't lifted in a little over a year, and haven't lifted with consistency in a couple of years, so can't go right back in to 24 sets of the big 3 in one session.

    Anyways, don't care if the program is simple or complex. Just looking for something a bit flexible that will allow me to hit everything with enough frequency and volume.

    Appreciate any and all suggestions, thanks!
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  2. #2
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AsideDish View Post
    Bulgarian programs, Sheiko, etc.
    Those are odd choices for bodybuilding.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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  3. #3
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AsideDish View Post
    Just looking to get lean and get in cardio shape.
    A bodybuilding program may be not be the right choice for your goals.
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  4. #4
    Somebody's husband Motiviert's Avatar
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    Monday-deadlifts
    Tuesday-deadlifts
    Wednesday- deficit deadlifts
    Thursday-dumo deadlifts
    Friday-deadlifts
    Saturday-good mornings
    Sunday-power cleans
    Have you ever seen your neighbors bringing in groceries?

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  5. #5
    Registered User AsideDish's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Those are odd choices for bodybuilding.
    Well, my goal then was purely strength. Just listing some programs I've previously done.

    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    A bodybuilding program may be not be the right choice for your goals.
    When I say lean, I'm not saying skinny or skinnyfat. I'm talking a muscular lean.
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  6. #6
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Motiviert View Post
    Monday-deadlifts
    Tuesday-deadlifts
    Wednesday- deficit deadlifts
    Thursday-dumo deadlifts
    Friday-deadlifts
    Saturday-good mornings
    Sunday-power cleans
    Wish there were more days in a week to put RDLs and paused DL.


    Stupid week.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

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  7. #7
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AsideDish View Post
    When I say lean, I'm not saying skinny or skinnyfat. I'm talking a muscular lean.
    Got it, and when you say "cardio shape" I assume you just mean you want to look like you're in good cardiovascular condition, but you don't care to actually do any IRL?
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    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    Some sort of hip hinge should be in your program.

    So whether that is an RDL, stiff legged deadlift, good morning is up to you.

    You could do Eric helms novice or intermediate bodybuilding programs and just swap out the deadlifts.

    Mountain dog programs have some form of deadlift/rack pull/stiff legged movement depending on the program, but again you can adjust to suit your needs.

    You could do 5/3/1 with more bodybuilding accessories and change deadlift to RDL or stiff legged deadlift for the main movement.
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  9. #9
    Registered User tommy4life's Avatar
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    Eric helms upper lower, his a bodybuilder
    Maybe replace the flyes with facepulls though

    Monday Upper 1:
    Bench 4x 4-6
    Row 3x 6-8
    Incline DB 3x 8-12
    Chin ups 3x 8-12
    Triceps 3x 8-12
    Biceps 3x 8-12
    Lateral Raise 3x 8-12

    Tuesday Lower 1
    Squat 4x 4-6
    Leg extension 3x 8-12
    Leg curl 3x 8-12
    Standing calf 4x 6-8

    Thursday Upper 2
    Flat Dumbbell Press 3x 8-12
    Lat Pull Down 3x 8-12
    Over Head Press 3x 8-12
    Row 3x 8-12
    Chest Flys 2x 12-15
    Triceps 2x 12-15
    Biceps 2x 12-15

    Friday Lower 2
    Leg Press 3x 8-12
    RDL 3x 8-12
    Leg extension 3x 8-12
    Leg curl 3 x 8-12
    Seated calf 4x 8-12
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  10. #10
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Most bodybuilding programs DON’T include deadlifts because deadlifts suck for anything other than an ego lift unless you’re competitive in powerlifting.

    Here is what I do, in a simplified format, on my upper lower days, and another upper and lower day if I didn’t have to work out at home during the week. I normally only do one working set to positive failure, and that has had the best results for me.

    Upper 1
    -Chest press (Hammer, machine, DBs)
    3x6-10
    -Reverse grip pulldowns
    3x6-10 OR Chin ups 3x AMRAP
    -Seated DB press (no back support) or Z press
    2x6-10 DO NOT LOCK OUT KEEP TENSION ON DELTS
    -Underhand chest supported row (machine or dumbbells) 2x6-10
    -Leaning tricep pressdowns 2x8-12

    Lower 1
    -Goblet, SSB or front squats 3x6-10
    -Wide Box squats (Dumbbells held between legs, or with a bar in a rack) 3x4-8
    -Seated leg curls 2x6-10
    -Leg extensions 2x10-14 (Keep these light, you want to be able to lock out for a count of 1)
    -Standing calf raises (always pause for a 2 ct at the top and bottom) 2x8-12

    A note on calf raises, it is important not to bounce each rep, but to keep the knees locked, let the calves stretch at the bottom and keep the tension on the gastrocs at the top. I’ve seen people bounce reps that were way too heavy for them and I’ve seen people turn them into a power squat, in both cases nothing is accomplished.

    Upper 2
    -Incline bench (Barbell or dumbbells)
    3x6-10
    -Seated cable rows (V grip) 3x6-10
    -Cable lateral raises 2x8-12
    -High to low crossovers 2x8-12
    -Straight arm pulldowns 2x8-12
    -Incline curls 2x6-10

    Lower 2
    -Leg press or hack squat, with a quad focus
    -Hio thrust
    -Leg curls as above
    -Leg extensions as above
    -Calf raises as above

    Abs can be done on lower days and you can do whatever light upper back work you want on upper days, I prefer underhand band pull aparts, but reverse pec deck with the pec handles (not the sideways ones) would be my next choice.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 11-17-2020 at 11:33 PM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User tommy4life's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Most bodybuilding programs DON’T include deadlifts because deadlifts suck for anything other than an ego lift unless you’re competitive in powerlifting..

    Ohhh thats a big call mate. Quite a few natty bodybuilders do deadlifts
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    I stopped doin deads years ago and was the best decision ever. That was the only thing that I would get tweaked every once and a while doing.
    50% of my posts are 100% factual
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    Fierce 5 U/L doesn’t have deadlifts, besides RDLs. As mentioned above, you still want a hip hinge in there. Vikings U/L is another one with optional deadlifts. Lyles GBR, helms, aworkoutroutine U/L etc. Heaps of options for aesthetic-based goals.
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    Ohhh thats a big call mate. Quite a few natty bodybuilders do deadlifts
    Yup, I'd go so far as to say it's completely unfounded.

    I'd phrase it as this, conv deadlifts are unnecessary for pyre hypertrophy goals, and training for a 1rm deadlift is probably counter productive for those goals because of the fatigue cost.

    But sensibly programmed deadlifts are not at all ridiculous within a hypertrophy block IF you want to do them.
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    Registered User Ghawk21's Avatar
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    Everyone always has an excuse to not deadlift and/or squat and 9/10 its because they're hard (not that they will admit this reason, they hide it behind things like hurting their back X years ago or "not wanting to"). The reality is any exercise will start to get hard if you ever move enough weight but most people will never get there with something like a bench press for example. Grow a set.

    Anyways, ranting aside, you don't need to conventional deadlift, you should perform some type of hip hinge though. At least try to learn how to do an RDL.
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    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Wish there were more days in a week to put RDLs and paused DL.


    Stupid week.
    They could be done on Saturday and Sunday. That's assuming the person works a normal week Monday through Friday and is free on the weekends to do 2 workouts a day.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    Ohhh thats a big call mate. Quite a few natty bodybuilders do deadlifts
    OP, you don't have to do DLs but nothing is going to hit your entire back head to toe better than them (although you can find better exercises to hit each part).

    I think Coolcicada PPL doesn't have DL or any hip hinge. Normally I'd say this may be too much for where you are now, but if you used to do ridiculous volume I'd guess you'll be one of those people who worry that a standard PPL still isn't enough for your muscles to grow.
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    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    Ohhh thats a big call mate. Quite a few natty bodybuilders do deadlifts
    this, probably not conventional deadlifts but RDLs are pretty common in a bodybuilding program.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tommy4life View Post
    Ohhh thats a big call mate. Quite a few natty bodybuilders do deadlifts
    ....and?

    OP doesn’t want to deadlift. It isn’t an irreplaceable exercise (no exercise is). He doesn’t need his testicular fortitude questioned on an Internet forum or be insulted.

    RDLs, SLDLs, good mornings, weighted back extensions/GHRs, wide box squats, hip thrust, etc will be far better suited for your goals than deadlifting off the floor. Rack/block pulls are good for traps if YOU CHOOSE to include them.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 11-18-2020 at 07:21 AM.
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    Registered User leidenesLK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ghawk21 View Post
    Everyone always has an excuse to not deadlift and/or squat and 9/10 its because they're hard (not that they will admit this reason, they hide it behind things like hurting their back X years ago or "not wanting to"). The reality is any exercise will start to get hard if you ever move enough weight but most people will never get there with something like a bench press for example. Grow a set.

    Anyways, ranting aside, you don't need to conventional deadlift, you should perform some type of hip hinge though. At least try to learn how to do an RDL.
    Agreed. I think most that avoid squatting and deadlifting movements entirely due to xyz are looking for a way out. In saying that, I’m not opposed to anyone who wants to specifically forgo the back squat and conventional deadlift for other movements.

    For example, swapping the back squat and conv deadlift for the front squat and romanian deadlift may prove to be a wise decision for some, as they produce significantly less axial loading while retaining similar stimulus levels. The lower accumulated fatigue that results from this gives you more room to work with in the event you need more volume to progress (hypertrophy-related goals) or need to expend energy on other skills (athletic-related goals).

    So nobody needs to back squat or conv deadlift, but I think everyone with any fitness-related goal needs to perform a squatting and hinge movement of some kind, of course unless they are genuinely physically unable to do so.
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  21. #21
    Registered User leidenesLK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    ....and?

    OP doesn’t want to deadlift. It isn’t an irreplaceable exercise (no exercise is). He doesn’t need his testicular fortitude questioned on an Internet forum or be insulted.

    RDLs, SLDLs, good mornings, weighted back extensions/GHRs, wide box squats, hip thrust, etc will be far better suited for your goals than deadlifting off the floor. Rack/block pulls are good for traps if YOU CHOOSE to include them.
    I think they were under the impression you were suggesting that all deadlift variations are poor for bodybuilding applications, but you cleared that up. I agree with what you’re saying.
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    ✅ verified account Bigdumogre's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ghawk21 View Post
    Everyone always has an excuse to not deadlift and/or squat and 9/10 its because they're hard (not that they will admit this reason, they hide it behind things like hurting their back X years ago or "not wanting to"). The reality is any exercise will start to get hard if you ever move enough weight but most people will never get there with something like a bench press for example. Grow a set.

    Anyways, ranting aside, you don't need to conventional deadlift, you should perform some type of hip hinge though. At least try to learn how to do an RDL.
    Because it’s hard? lol
    I’m in my 40’s now and lift because I like it and like the way I look. I’ll never compete and can keep building my desired body without it so why keep on doing it? I used to think that the big 3 lifts were the answer to everything until I realized that they aren’t and I can still achieve what I want without them and without worrying about my joints and spine.
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  23. #23
    Registered User Ghawk21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bigdumogre View Post
    Because it’s hard? lol
    I’m in my 40’s now and lift because I like it and like the way I look. I’ll never compete and can keep building my desired body without it so why keep on doing it? I used to think that the big 3 lifts were the answer to everything until I realized that they aren’t and I can still achieve what I want without them and without worrying about my joints and spine.
    I should of specified avoiding the movement pattern rather than the specific exercise. Everyone should be able to perform a squatting movement and hip hinge. It doesn't necessarily need to be a back squat or conventional deadlift. Loading the spine has been shown to be beneficial for joints as you age when done properly so the movement pattern should still be targeted.

    Also for what its worth I said 9/10 people, there are some with legitimate reasons but in my experience on these forums and irl, the vast majority just find them hard.
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  24. #24
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bigdumogre View Post
    Because it’s hard? lol
    I’m in my 40’s now and lift because I like it and like the way I look. I’ll never compete and can keep building my desired body without it so why keep on doing it? I used to think that the big 3 lifts were the answer to everything until I realized that they aren’t and I can still achieve what I want without them and without worrying about my joints and spine.
    ^^^^
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  25. #25
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    A lot of people seem to take this topic personally...
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    A lot of people seem to take this topic personally...
    Welcome to the forum, you must be new here xD
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  27. #27
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Nice to meet your all. I hope to do lots of bodybuilding. Except deadlifts. Or squats. Or back stuff.
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  28. #28
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Nice to meet your all. I hope to do lots of bodybuilding. Except deadlifts. Or squats. Or back stuff.
    You don’t do back stuff?

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  29. #29
    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    I don’t care if anyone does conventional or sumo deadlifts; however, let’s clear up some misconceptions in this thread for anyone new who comes in.

    - They are not an ego lift unless you make it an ego lift, just like any other lift you can use it for your goals or you can lift like an idiot and fuk your **** up.

    They will NOT snap you up unless you choose to ignore form or get overly aggressive with weight.

    This applies to bench press, squats, or even a curl if someone is dumb.

    - they can be great for general strength development and be effective as part of a hypertrophy program.

    - deadlifts hit glutes and erectors hard and very few exercises can really do that so completely; however, they have a huge fatigue cost and so maybe other variations are better off used if you have recovery issues.

    The only other exercise I’ve found to hit my glutes super hard are hip thrusts.

    Outside of rows, For erectors and overall back thickness, deadlifts and a John meadows bodybuilding style mid shin rack pull is maybe the only other thing to really hammer that area.

    - it’s bodybuilding no exercise is required.

    Don’t wanna deadlift? Dont deadlift, but you do need some sort of hip hinge movement for proper muscle development and to ensure no imbalances occur.
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  30. #30
    Somebody's husband Motiviert's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Wish there were more days in a week to put RDLs and paused DL.


    Stupid week.
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