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Is three heavy sets of deadlifts too much? Why do I include three sets of deadlifts when other programs include just one heavy set of 5 reps? Do compound lifts in general cause central nervous system (CNS) fatigue?

I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.

I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.

That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.

This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.

Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.

That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.

Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.

And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .

  • “3 heavy sets of deadlifts is too taxing. It should be 1 set of 5 like Starting Strength.”


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4:08 – What is the central nervous system? 

7:01 – What are the effects of deadlifting on your central nervous system?

8:23 – What does research say about deadlifting and central nervous system fatigue? 

11:54 – Why do the most proven strength training programs only include one set of deadlifts per week? 

13:21 – What are the deadlifting recommendations in your program? 

Mentioned on the Show:

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!