T Nation

Need to up my deadlift.

I went out drinking with one of my lifting friends and got quite tanked up. By the end of the night I had challenged him to a deadlifting contest. Come December we are going to see who can do heaviest one rep max.

My problem is that he is about 4 inches taller, 25 lean pounds heavier and has been lifting longer.

I am going to dedicate the next 6 months of training to increasing my deadlift as much as possible.

Any pointers on what would be the best program to follow? What kind of split to do? I am open to all ideas, thoughts and theories. Please help.

Lets see. westside maybe. And if your friend is four inches taller then you have the advantage because he automatically has four inches farther to pull.

Im banking on the four inch thing as the ace up my sleave.

Would I need a lot of specialised stuff (bands,chains,rev hyper ext) to follow a routine like that?

Im willing to put everything on hold to really up my deadlift. Its pretty bad at the moment(310lb max) so I would really appreciate any tried and tested methods.

Are you really into the westside style of training the most? How often do they train deadlift? Isnt it a regular day and a speed day?

Read every thing you can by dave tate on this site and on elitefts. You dont need chains, bands, and a reverse hyper although they will help. The bands are pretty cheap when you consider the benefits. the best way in my opinion to train the deadlift is with box squats, good mornings, and speed deadlifts. Dave Tate has a nine week beginner program on his site. Check that out and that will be all you need to get started.

Goldberg, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

Im on the way to deadlifting greatness!!

haha. thanks.hopefully ill only be a scholar for one more year.

Dude, enjoy it while it lasts. Life in the real world is a short lived novelty my friend.

On a tangent I was wondering how much you eat in a day because you is a big sonofabeeeeech! Do you think gaining weight will help my deadlift? I mean, should I make a concerted effort to bulk up or just focus on deadlifting and if i gain weight so be it?

if you can get your weight to work for you then go ahead and gain some weight. I just kinda figured out how to do this. Read Dave Tates deadlifting article. I eat at least 6 times a day. The first thing in the morning i eat a protein shake consisting of 60 grams of protein and about 75 grams of carbs in the form of oatmeal. Ill have three or four of these every day. During my workout ill have a shake consiting of whey and powerade(50 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbs) and ill usually eat a hamburger or two per day adding up to about a lb of ground beef. Also if i see something i want to eat i eat it.

Cool. I will look at the Dave Tate stuff and go stock my freezer with enough meat to sink a battleship!!

How much you deadlifting now Goldberg? what kind of routine you on for it?

When Do you think is a good time to start WS training? I am back into lifting heavy (well… could always be heavier) and am trying to get back to my old lifts at a reduced bodyweight (ie leaner)
Have once deadlifted 500, squat 400, and benched 300 but am a fair way off most of those at the moment.
Should i get back to my PR then go westside? Or go westside sooner?
Sorry for the hyjack

You should do westside yesterday.

I think you can start training westside right away. Just follow the format. you can find it in Dave’s articles.
As for prs, you can work up to a pr for a max effort. you could then base bp and box squat weights off that.

Goldberg is right on the money, one of Dave’s articles that I found very helpful was “Top ten deadlifting Mistakes”. Do a search right over here


It’s a good read!

There is such a wealth of info on Tate’s site. This article from Simmons is a gem.

Some great quotes-

“You must do what works best, not what you like best.”

“If you deadlift all the time, it will kill you in the long run, mentally and physically. Don’t let this happen to you.”

“They only use the deadlift to test their progress, not to build the deadlift.”

I am pictured with one of the greatest deadlifters of all time: Vince Anello and Jim Cash. Jim deadlifted 837 at 220, and Vince deadlifted 821 at 198.

I saw Vince for the first time in 1966 , when he pulled 525 at 165. I knew then he was destined for deadlifting greatness. I recall asking Vince what made his deadlift go up. His reply was that anything made his deadlift go up. At the time, I was confused by his answer. I later realized what he said was not confusing, but my lack of training knowledge had kept me in the dark. I read Bill Starr’s article about raising your deadlift without deadlifting. Was this what Vince was telling me? Was this the conjugate method? The answer is yes to both.

At Westside, the tenth best deadlift by coefficient is 710 at 198. We also have five lifters who have pulled 800 or more. Among the women, Doris Simmons pulled 349 at 105, Amy Weisburger 450 at 123, and Mariah Ligget 485 at 132 while training at Westside. These lifts were accomplished by deadlifting, at the most, one time every 4 weeks and more usually once every 8-10 weeks.

Our training is comprised of squatting or arched-back good mornings one week and bent-over good mornings the next week. You must bend over because the back has flexion. We use a wide assortment of cambered bars to change the leverage.

There are many ways to train. My objective is to teach you to train yourself. You must do what works best, not what you like best. Don’t forget that.

Jerry Obradovic pulled 804 at 275 by doing lots of ab work, high reps on the Reverse Hyper, and 3-5 reps on a very low box, 4-6 inches below parallel, with a Safety Squat bar. He also did high reps, 6-8, in the bent-over good morning with a Buffalo Bar. He would test his deadlift once a month by pulling a rack pull with the plates 2-4 inches off the floor. He also did lat work of all kinds three times a week. All this netted him an 804 deadlift and a 644 bench to go with it.

Chuck Vogelpohl has a 793 deadlift at 242, and a 771 deadlift and 551 bench at 220. First of all, he trains 10-14 times a week. He always does abs in these extra workouts, and five workouts involve lat work. After speed squats on Friday, he will do 6-10 singles in the deadlift with 500 pounds, either sumo, conventional, or standing on a 1-4 inch box. They are very explosive.

On Monday, max effort day at Westside, Chuck works up to a max good morning or box squat with a variety of boxes. He will use a box deadlift or rack deadlift only as a test of his progress, not to build the lift. Chuck does a lot of work on the Reverse Hyper. He always works low back and hamstrings before lats.

John “Chester” Stafford, who deadlifts 800 and totals 2280, trains much like Chuck, maxing out for a single on a box squat or good morning. The exercises for the squat or good morning. The exercises for the squat are the same for the deadlift. John does a lot of standing abs and leg raises. He will only do a box or rack deadlift to test his deadlift, not to build it.

I do a lot of pulling of weight sleds to build my deadlift. I train lats and upper back about 5 times a week, mostly during short, 20-30 minute, extra workouts. I do about 10-14 workouts a week. Here are some examples: glute/ham raises and abs; reverse hypers, lats, and abs; sled pulling, lats, and abs; band only good mornings, hamstring work, and abs. I also feel the box squatting with or without bands will increase your deadlift fast. I deadlift with bands or chains to a fast single, then do low back. On max effort day, I prefer to do a max single on a low box or a triple in the conventional good morning or a single in the concentric style good morning. Having mad a top 10 deadlift in three weight classes has served me well.

The late Matt Dimel hit not only a 1010 squat but also an 821 deadlift. While he did all of the above, he would also work up to 600 for a single with the plates 2 inches off the floor. Then he would place an 1 inch mat under his feet and do a second single. More and more mats were added until the bar was touching the top of his feet. These were done with about 1 minute rest between sets. He also did a lot of lat work and work on the Reverse Hyper at least 4 times a week. Matt had very strong abs, which enabled him to do a sit-up with 115 pounds on an Olympic bar held behind his head while his legs were straight out on the floor.

Jeff Chorpenning had a 750 deadlift at 198. He did a lot of heavy abs and low back on the Reverse Hyper. He used a wide sumo style, and very wide box squatting helped a great deal. He would max out on a low box squat and, of course, do an assortment of good mornings.

What do these workouts have in common? These lifters always max out on some box squat level, mostly very low, or a good morning. They only use the deadlift to test their progress, not to build the deadlift. Lots of small extra workouts for abs, hamstrings, and lower or upper back are done. Any combination will work. Heavy sled pulling can take the place of max effort work 1 out of every 4 workouts.

If these men and women have bad form, they will do special work to correct it, i.e., the conjugate method. The top pullers here can deadlift almost the same with any deadlift style. If not, this shows a weakness in some muscle groups.Because the deadlift is done last at a meet, when you’re tired, we do a box squat or good morning first before trying a max box or rack pull. This keeps you honest. One must be in good shape to deadlift well in a meet. That’s where all the extra workouts pay off. If you deadlift all the time, it will kill you in the long run, mentally and physically. Don’t let this happen to you.

Everyone at Westside does these workouts at one time or another. It does not matter what sequence or rotation you use. Change the core lift each week and the special exercises whenever you feel it is necessary.

Remember what Vince said? I think this is what he had in mind.

Thank the deadlifting gods for Dave Tate/Westside. If it weren’t for Tate’s great articles on deadliting here on T-Mag, my deads would surely be sitting at the 235lb arena.

I’m now movin’ on to 320.

spiderman: great luck with your deads! You’ll get there!

OK…when Patricia’s deadlift is approachign yours…it’s time to get busy!!!


320!!! Thats pretty bloody good Patricia!!!

I will whip myself into a mad deadlifting frenzy and launch a testosterone fueled jihad upon my olympic bar!!!

As I mentioned before I want to really specialise on my deadlift the most.

I have now printed everything I could find about westside and Dave Tate and Its pretty interesting stuff.

Do you think there are any particular exercises that would be the most beneficial for me? Any that you would think its better to avoid?