Exercise Video of the Week: The Dimel Deadlift


Warning: The Dimel Deadlift is a beast. Done properly it will set your glutes/hamstrings on fire and cause the worst (or best?) Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) you have ever experienced. That being said, it will improve your Squat and Deadlift. It will shape an irresistible booty. And it will increase your overall bad assness (yes, it’ s a word).

Interested? Read on:

The Dimel Deadlift is a partial range of motion (ROM) Deadlift variation that closely resembles the Romanian Deadlift (RDL). While the two variations are similar in nature, there are a couple key distinctions which need to be made:

  1. When performing the Dimel Deadlift, the bar should only be lowered 1-2 inches below the knee cap whereas during the RDL the bar should descend as low as possible while maintaining proper form.
  2. The Dimel Deadlift is meant to be performed as quickly and explosively as possible whereas the RDL should be performed more slowly and under control.

In addition to the distinctions mentioned above, there are several cues and tips which I’ve found to be helpful when teaching the Dimel Deadlift:

  1. Drive through the heels: Not the midfoot and not the toes. Your weight should be dead center on your heels the entire time.
  2. Flex the lats: The bar should stay as close to your body as possible throughout the entire movement. Flexing your lats will help to pull the bar inward.
  3. Make the bar rattle: Every time you lock the weight out you need to squeeze your ass as hard as you can while driving your hips forward. Done properly, your hips will hit the bar causing the weight to rattle. If the weight isn’t rattling you either aren’t doing it properly or you’re using too much weight.
  4. Use Lifting StrapsGrip strength should not be a limiting factor in this movement.

For a detailed tutorial on the Dimel Deadlift check out my instructional video below:

The Dimel Deadlift

I hope you enjoyed the video and, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave them below.

Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal.



  • Rubes

    You bought me on irresistible bootie, lol. What percentage should one work at with this?

    • lol everybody wants that bootay 🙂

      I don’t have a specific percentage recommendation but start *LIGHT!* and progressively work your way up making sure to move it quickly/explosively and make the bar rattle. This move isn’t meant to be overloaded with weight – you will be insanely sore afterward so start ligther than you think you should and progress from there.

      • Rubes

        Got it, thanks!

  • slimdoggy

    that looks like it hurts your, er… stuff. are you supposed to have the bar whack you like that?

    • Trust me, if it hurt my “stuff” I wouldn’t be doing it

  • Would you recommend this mvmnt for DE Lower Body day following the DE Box Squat variation for one’s current 3-week Westside cycle? Certainly looks like a good and fun move for me to work on speed, but perhaps for this higher reps are more important than say a 12×3 scheme? How would you suggest working it in– part of DE day as a main DL move, or an accessory after some other DL variation — in order to keep the intensity (wt) low but volume high? (for reference: Max DL is 215# (@132#); have studied Westside with the Sweatts, and have finally begun Westside programming for myself in addition to my Crossfit work). Thanks J. Enjoy your site!

    • Carey,

      Use it on Dynamic Effort Lower days after Speed Squats and Deads – it should be your first exercise after the main movements. Keep the weight relatively low and reps pretty high (i.e. 15-20 reps). For reference, my max DL is ~420lbs and I Dimel 205lbs for 3 x 20 reps. VERY light and VERY explosive.