What are your thoughts on multiple heavy deadlift singles as a training tool? As a standalone, as part of a wider programme? Where do you see it fitting in best?
Well...that's a tough one. Lots of differing opinions I'm sure. for Conventional pulling here are my general thoughts. If I misunderstood the query please redirect me.
I think once you're pulling over 5 plates for work sets, the DL is best trained for most* people in singles and doubles regardless of programme. It's a very technical lift at that point and only gets more so, it's very taxing to the lower and mid back and requires some degree of precision.
There are exceptions of course but wave loading like PL does, or timed work, or even ladders are all good volume approaches using the DL. We find that as soon as soemone is pulling really heavy weights proportional to BW, 531 or 853 progressions don;t really work, those 5 resp sets make deep inroads ino recovery reserves but don;lt deliver a lot of good stimulus. In fact, the DL becomes pretty suspect as a hypertrophy exercise in general.
For my money, regardless of frequency, I like to see the DL from the floor belted or not, mostly* done competition style mixed grip for doubles and triples at most. Hi-re downsets are ok in certain contexts...in fact, I love them...but they are an ego boost not a trainign tool. Most people shoudl not pull comp DL for higher reps, save that for reverse band work, trap bar DL, max reps on axle or blocks but keep the comp movement low rep, hi precision.
All of this said, I love pulling from the floor every week. I like pulling multiple times a week even but I don;t think most people have the capacity ( I dont anyway) to pull Heavy from the floor more than once every 10 days. DL is the place IME where variety is the most useful adjunct.