The Two Best Accessory Lifts for the Deadlift?

Share This:

I’m in a deadlifting state of mind as of late, so it only makes sense that I’d want to give everyone a little peak into my current training regimen that’s basically running my life at the moment. 

As I noted earlier in the week, I had my internet BFF, Bret Contreras, write me a program that – if all goes according to plan – will place me in the upper echelon of Vatican Assassin Warlock badassery that is the 600 lb deadlift.

To say that it’s been a welcome change of pace would be an understatement.  What’s been most beneficial for me, however, is the fact that Bret’s got me doing a lot of exercises that I’ve never done before, which in turn, has often been a humbling experience. 

Trust me when I say this, Zercher barbell carries for distance suck donkey balls.

Anyways, getting back on task, as I mentioned above, today I want to give you all a quick peak into what my current programming looks like.  Specifically, I want to share the two exercises that I feel are going to pay huge dividends in the grand scheme of things.

Giant Cambered Bar Goodmorning

Admittedly, I’ve always been a big fan of goodmornings, and have always made an effort to throw them in on occasion as I feel they have a huge carry over to the deadlift.  I mean, you’d be hard pressed to find any other movement that hammers the hamstrings, erectors, and glutes like this does.

Moreover, by using the cambered bar, it makes the movement much more “shoulder friendly,” which is definitely not a bad thing when you have upwards of 300+ lbs on your back.

Speaking bluntly, though, I don’t have a lot of clients performing goodmornings because I feel they’re a fairly advanced movement, and definitely take some time to learn to do properly.  That being said, when done correctly, they’re an absolutely fantastic exercise.  I love em!

Anderson Half Squat

NOTE:  to all the internet warriors out there in their mother’s basement who are undoubtedly shitting a kettlebell right now because I’m not squatting ass-to-grass, take a deep breath, relax, and let me explain.

Remember:  my main objective here is to improve my deadlift.  This particular exercise (as Bret noted to me) is joint specific to MY deadlift setup.  If you look at the setup in the video above, you’ll note that it’s VERY much on par with my conventional deadlift set up (seen below). 

So, the point here is to mimic the same hip and knee angles in an effort to improve my pull. 

Taking it a step further, and again as Bret noted, we could also add that this exercise will help develop the joint specific quad strength necessary to assist in the deadlift itself.  Makes a lot of sense if you ask me.


  • Anderson Half Squats are an ACCESSORY movement.  Rest assured I still squat with a full ROM (as do all of my athletes and clients).
  • The video taken above was my first week doing the exercise (ever), so I was a bit conservative with the weight.  I believe this week, I did 405 x 5.
  • This is a joint specific movement used to mimic the same joint angles as my conventional deadlift.
  • Understandably, I can’t include EVERY valuable accessory movement for deadlifts in this post.  But suffice it to say, things like glute ham raises, hip thrusters, pull-throughs, RDLs, speed work, etc all come into play.  The above are just two movements that I have found have helped me the most.
  • Zercher carries are about as fun as washing your face with broken glass.

That is all.




Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

Share This Post:


Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

Comments for This Entry

Leave a Comment