Allen asked me to bump this over into it's own thread. Context wise a couple of us were responding to questions about rows for deadlifts....This is some deadlift programming stuff. Basically a bunch of things that have worked and continue to work for me...I have stolen freely from books, web and most of all, Coaching from a great strength coach who learned his stuff from Doyle Kennedy.
original question: should I replace the DL with something else like rows
No. But like a politician, I'll answer the question I wished that you had asked....
You'll see this repeated in different areas: deadlifts are weird. I might be able to deadlift every other day for a week you might need 3 days rest between, someone else might need 2 weeks.
seems to depend on a bunch of different stuff, training age, chronological age, loading, other training experience, deadlift technique, deadlift style..whether you do other stupid crap (CF )........
Steve Shafely wrote a great little piece called "deadlift voodoo
"...and the title pretty much sums it up...it's all sort of quasi magic.
Here's some suggestions. Keep in mind I'm an underachieving natural deadlifter, monkey long arms but no fast twitch to speak of and a high mileage set of knees and back. By no means the best DL'er here or anywhere but here's what I did/do.....
Start with Rippatoe/Pendlay's suggestion of one set of 5 every week on a light squat day, if you recover from that and the DL is moving steadily up...dont' F with it...if you are recovering but deadlift is flat, pick a day 72 hours after DL and add deadlift assistence..rotate assist between rack pulls (or better yet, pulls from blocks) and extended deads (snatch grip, stand on a box or even straight leg)...if this gets the DL moving, don't F with it.
if this doesn't work, try a big pull day every other week. on this day works 5's for a couple sessions, then 3's for a couple sessions, then a week of doubles and singles. Try to hit three or more work sets if you can hack it and at least one other DL assist (rack, clean hi pulls, snatch grip or DL on a box) rotate the assist. always incluide a row: DB or BB.
on the non DL weeks, make sure you are back squatting, if possible to a box, high box, with high load can be magic here but low box is good for everything else so do those too..and always include a heavy row on the non DL week.
I am a HUGE fan of high rep RDL's (yes high) with a shrug on the non DL day, the weight should be low enough to hit sets of 12 to 15....(yup 15)...hope this makes sense. also, Zercher squats....are, in the parlance of our time,...."teh awsome" for deadlifts and life generally...