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Ortmayer Deadlift Program


Hey everyone,

I started the Ortmayer deadlift program last week. Prior to that, I had never done anything above 5 reps for deadlifts, so the high volume was tough. The 4x4@70% was much tougher than I expected, and the 2x2@80% was hard. On the last set which calls for 70%x8+, I BARELY got 8 reps.

I moved on to week 2 today, and although the 4x4 felt easier than last time, I failed the double at 90%. I was only able to pull it once. After that, I completed the 8 reps at 70% but again it was very hard.

I made this thread to ask if it was normal for me to struggle this bad on this routine? It's only week 2 and I've already failed. The worst part is that I based my percentages on my actual max of 410, instead of a projected one, which is what most do on this routine. My squat and bench are increasing, I recently hit 300 on the bench and yet struggle to pull 285x8, so why am I getting screwed so hard only on deadlifts?


He says if you fail a week, just repeat it until you get it.

To be honest though the top sets of doubles look very difficult. I don't see how I can argue with a program approved by Travis Ortmayer and Benni Magnusson, but I do have some reservations just seeing it on paper. It seems the program wants to have you pretty quickly hitting doubles with weights in excess of your original max if you are a in the 400lb range like yourself. These percentages may lend themselves better to lifters with higher deadlifts (Travis has something like an 870 pull, and obviously Magnusson is the greatest deadlifter to ever live).

I'd try week 2 just once more and see if you can manage it. It seems like it's not unexpected for people to fail on their first go around of weeks two and three.

However like I said you may benefit more from different programming.


Thank you for the quick and helpful response, I appreciate it. I will attempt week 2 one more time, and if I fail, I'll switch to something else. It's really amazing that some people actually complete this program while basing the percentages off a projected max, seems impossible.


is your technique dialed in? if youre leaking a lot of energy in your pull any heavy double is gunna be a crippler. i would go for absolutely strict form (flat back) on as many reps as you can manage to maintain. rounding out the back will let you grind through that really really tough max on the platform but at the end of the day, even with klokov's erectors the force transfer is not as direct as a neutral spine.


i got it done without to much trouble in the beginning. you might want to look recovery of course and what your doing for the rest of your lifts. if your hitting the other two hard before your deadlift session you could wiped out before you even start. make sure your technique is dialed in. most important(assuming your recovering instead of not sleeping and downing a six pack a night) might be taking a look at what you did before you started the program. the program goes up heavy but shouldn't be impossible. it might take a few weeks to build a bit of a base before you really can get going with the program