I first read about the Steve Justa Singles Routine in Dan John and Pavel Tsatsoulines awesome book Easy Strength. It is a simple deadlift program where you use 70% of your 1RM and perform singles everyday building the volume up from 3×1 on day 1 to 15×1 on day 7 (that’s right add 2 singles each day!). On day 1 of week 2 you increase the weight slightly and start again at 3×1.


You can repeat this process indefinitely but I chose to do it for 4 weeks drop the weight back down to the starting weight and repeated it with deficit deadlifts for another 4 weeks. As recommended by Paul McIlroy in the book.

It’s quite a commitment to do this everyday for 8 weeks and I understand that not everyone has the ability to do it but it can be modified if you don’t have access to a barbell everyday. For instance travelling to Europe for work got in the way a couple of times but I just missed a couple of days and picked up where I left off easily.

 I noticed a couple of things whilst performing the program. The first thing being how my readiness fluctuated from day to day, something you don’t think about when training a lift 2-3 times a week but I became acutely aware of it on daily singles. It was a good lesson for me to not get frustrated when I get a bad session and that with consistent training it all evens itself out.

Which leads to my second lesson, consistency is king! Daily practice of deadlifts led my “groove” feeling great and a more in tune approach to my technique. I forget who the quote is from but it’s something like – if its important do it everyday!


The third thing I noticed was that daily training meant I was warming up and doing mobility work much more and I made huge leaps in this area of my training. It has since lead to me ensuring I do extra mobility work on “rest days” from now on.

So, to my results. As I said in the title I increased my 1RM by 15kg in 8 weeks without really flogging myself. Now I’m not saying it turned me into Andy Bolton but I was happy to be pulling over double bodyweight, and the biggest thing for me was it was all achievable and left enough energy for my other training and work, which did get in the way a little and I’m sure more gifted athletes could get better results too.

The Steve Justa Singles Routine is a fun, effective and achievable program, which will guarantee results. Give it a go and let me know your results in the comments below.