Doing Rows And Deadlifts On The Same Day A Good Idea?

Updated February 27th 2020; July 11th 2019

If you are looking to increase your barbell row and deadlift strength, is it a good idea to do them both on the same day?

Barbell rows and deadlifts are two of the big four compound movements that every beginner wants to increase.

However, deadlifts hit the posterior chain hard and tax the entire body.

Barbell rows, depending on your form, could tax the entire body as well.

So, let us discuss whether or not you should do barbell rows and deadlifts on the same day.

Barbell rows and deadlifts on the same day

You should not do heavy barbell rows and deadlifts if you want to maximally increase these two lifts. Instead, try to schedule it on separate days so you can dedicate more time and focus on lifting heavy weights. 

If you ask 900+lbs deadlifter Cailer Woolam whether or not you should do heavy deadlifts and heavy barbells rows on the same day, he already gave you a response.

But are you doomed if you cannot schedule your workouts so that you can dedicate a day specifically for one of these compound movements?

Not necessarily... 

Row before or after you deadlift

Whichever lift you perform first, that will most likely be your best lift of the day.

There is no question about that.

All subsequent lifts after your first lift will be impacted.

When it comes to the deadlift, should you row first or after?

Yes, exercise order does vary to a certain extent but if you are letting that alone dictate your workout schedule, you have other issues to work on.

So, it is significant that you understand your training goals and take the appropriate steps in reaching them. 

Rowing after your deadlift

For instance, if you want a big deadlift as a higher priority goal, you may want to deadlift first before you row.

This is because you can place all your energy and focus on performing the exercise you want to be better at.

There is simply no other better way you can train. 

Another reason why this is a good idea is that you are training your body to prevent injury.

After doing several intense deadlift working sets, the amount you barbell row will pale in comparison.

As a result, your rowing variation done after your deadlift would not be as intense and this will limit your risk for injury. 

The same holds true if you do heavy barbell rows and want to supplement deadlifts afterward.

You are in for a not so pleasant deadlift session.

If you look online with what other lifters are doing, a good majority of lifters are recommending that you should deadlift first.

They provided a sufficient explanation for why you should deadlift before you row.

Because the barbell row works on a lot of the same muscle groups as the deadlift, doing an accessory movement first would not make sense in the long term plan.

Why would you want to increase an accessory exercise if your main goal is to have a big deadlift?

They prove a good point but it is a one-sided argument; heavy rows are also great for building a big deadlift.

You do not need to deadlift heavy all the time.

Rowing first before your deadlift

Sure, you can row before you deadlift and achieve similar results but you will be less taxed and tired if you perform your deadlifts first.

On the other hand, if you are training for a powerlifting competition, for example, you will be doing deadlifts in a fatigued state 100% of the time.

So, it may work to your advantage if you put your body in a similar training environment if you order your exercises that way.

Then again, not many programs, if any, have this sort of exercise order with rowing before the deadlift.

Many programs just have either a deadlift variation or a main deadlift movement following by a rowing movement.

Treat this suggestion as a grain of salt.

You should be deciding on what exercises would give you the most bang for your buck.

Secondly, what would get you to your goals the quickest and efficient?

Deadlift first or last, which is better for strength?

To be honest, if you are programming correctly, doing deadlifts first or last would not make a difference. If you are hitting your working sets and successfully improving each week, your deadlift strength will grow, no matter if you do your deadlifts first, last or sandwiched in the middle of the way.

With that said, however, most lifters do not enjoy going to the gym. They want to come in and get things done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

So, many experienced coaches will say that doing your compound movements first is the way to go.

You are the freshest at the start of your workout and that can be a factor that helps you push for more PRs.

Because you feel ready to crush it in the gym, you want to out-do yourself by doing the hardest exercises first.

Have you heard of the “deadlift row”?

In the video I linked above, Cailer Woolam actually used a “deadlift row” for his row variation.

Many lifters are familiar with the bent over row, T-bar rows, pendlay rows, etc. and probably do them correctly.

But are they getting you results?

For Cailer Woolam, he has deadlifted over 900+lbs using his methods so there must be something that is working.

We can all use the knowledge and understand what makes someone achieve the highest levels of strength.

In order to do a deadlift row, you would start off on the ground.

Then, when the barbell gets to around your knees, you pull the weight into your lower belly, around your belly button.

Instead of resetting the weight, you allow the weight to go down to your shins which should load your posterior chain.

I have been implementing the deadlift row for several months now and it is a difficult variation for me.

Just based on that, I knew it was something I needed to do because it was challenging for me. 


It really does not matter what you do.

What is probably more important is that you have created a schedule that you can stay consistent with.

You can have the crappiest arrangement of assorted exercises but if you stay consistent for a long period of time, your dedication will be rewarded rather than having the “best” program and not even doing going to the gym on a good schedule.

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