Lab Rats Needed for Trap Bar Dead Lift / Dead Lift Mini-Study Beginning December 30, 2019


By Rob Shaul

MTI is calling for remote lab rats for an upcoming, narrow and focused, 3.5 weeks, 3-day/week Mini-Study comparing the effectiveness of two MTI strength progressions to increase 3RM strength.

This will be a focused study, just on the Trap Bar Deadlift or Straight Bar Deadlift, and can be completed simultaneously with your current training.

Specifically, we’re interested to see if we can identify which progression works best to increase 3RM Strength.

This study is driven by the new Army Combat Fitness Assessment. One of the ACFT events is a 3RM (3 repetition maximum) Trap Bar Deadlift.



Lab Rats will be broken into 2 groups: Group A, and Group B. Each group will complete a different Deadlift progression, 3 times per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Required Equipment: Weight Room with a trap bar or barbell and plates for deadlifting.  Although the ACFT dictates a Trap Bar to be used, for the purposes of this study, a straight bar is also allowed. However, if you have access to a trap bar, we request you use it for the study.

Cycle Duration and Schedule: This MTI Mini-Study will take 3.5 weeks. It will begin Monday, December 30, 2019 with a Trap Bar Deadlift or Deadlift 3RM assessment. Lab rats will complete the deadlift training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. During the 3-weeks Lab Rat progression will be based on his/her 3RM Deadlift load – so the training should automatically “scale” to the individual athlete’s incoming fitness.

On the Monday of Week 4, January 20, 2020, lab rats will re-assess their 3RM and the results between the two progressions will be compared.

To Participate

  • You’ll need to commit to training deadlift 3 days/week for 3.5 weeks, and follow the program as prescribed.
  • You’ll need to commit to only do this training for your deadlift. No other deadlift-specific training is allowed during the study period as it will skew the results.
  • You’ll need the required equipment (see above)
  • You’ll need to be an experienced, fit athlete. This isn’t a cycle for unfit athletes, or athletes new to free weight-based strength training in general or deadlifting particular.
  • The cycle will begin Monday, December 30, 2019, and end, Monday, January 20, 2019.

This is a focused mini-study which only involves deadlifting. You’ll be able to do other training as well, just no additional deadlift work.

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email, and put “Deadlift Lab Rat” in the subject line.

Please include:

  • your age
  • Deadlift training experience
  • If you have access to a trap bar for the study
  • Finally, please verify you can commit to the 3.5 weeks, 3 day/week training cycle.

You’ll be assigned to a Group, and provided with further instructions. Training will start on December 30, 2019.




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