Deadlift Secrets

Deadlift Secrets
By []Aaron W Anderton

How would you like to add 100 pounds to your Deadlift in 18 months? You might be thinking 100 pounds is not that much or that 18 months is a long time, but in my case it was nothing short of extraordinary.

I had been lifting weights for 23 years and competing in Powerlifting and Strongman for 9 years in October 2005. I weighed 322 pounds at the time and had a personal best Deadlift of 675 in the gym and 672 in a contest RAW. RAW means that I did not use any supportive equipment or special suits except a lifting belt. I had done a competition Deadlift of 715 with an Inzer Champion suit in 2001, but for proper comparison I will only discuss the lifts made without the suit.
I had been stuck at that level of strength for about 5 or 6 years at that point, so there was no reason to believe that I would get much stronger, and certainly not very quickly.
There are not very many Deadlift secrets out there, but the one I am about to share with you is the only one I needed.

You see, I had noticed that my lower back became overtrained and even strained very quickly when I tried to Deadlift and Squat each week. Almost every workout you would see for Powerlifting would include performing the Squat and Deadlift at least once per week if not more. I knew it wasn’t working for me but I kept trying to make it work. All those other champion lifters couldn’t be wrong, could they? Well, in my case, they were wrong.

I devised a simple but major training change that has made all the difference in the world. I work out three times per week. I work my Chest, Shoulders, Lats, and Arms twice a week and one day a week I alternate Squats and Deadlifts. I pull only once every other week, and I Squat on the weeks that I don’t Deadlift! At first I worried that I would lose strength by not lifting often enough, or just progress much more slowly lifting like this. Of course, I hadn’t gotten any stronger for 5 years, so it doesn’t get any slower than that. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I moved forward with my program.

The first thing I noticed was that my back stopped hurting all the time. Within a couple of weeks my strength started to climb. I competed in contests in order to measure my progress under a strict set of guidelines. I only did it for myself, but since many of the contests I did were sanctioned contests the lifts are recorded and can be found on the internet.
In December 2005 I competed in a RAW Bench Press and Deadlift contest. I weighed a little over 330 on that day and surprised myself with my lifting. I benched 460 and pulled 725 in the Deadlift! That was a 50 pound increase over my previous personal best in only a few months! That would be a great success story as is, but it gets much better.

I continued my training and did a couple of Strongman contests in January (St. Louis) and June (Utah) trying to turn pro, but fell short both times. The good news is that my Deadlift strength was definitely up. I did an event called the Deadlift Medley that consisted of lifting 4 barbells in a row, each one heavier than the last. The weights were 550, 600, 650, and 700 pounds. I lifted all four with only a belt on. I was surprised how easy the weights came up. I knew my training was working, so I kept at it.

I trained for an APF Bench and Deadlift contest in September 2006 and decided to lift RAW again just to see what I could do. I weighed 350 pounds and lifted very well. I benched 490 and barely missed 500 for a 30 pound personal best. I deadlifted 755 pounds which beat my previous best by another 30 pounds! I couldn’t believe how my new training was helping me gain so much strength so fast!

My next goal was to do a full Powerlifting meet RAW and see how much I could total in the three lifts. The APF IronGladiator Classic in April 2007 was the contest I chose to test myself in. I weighed in at 362, my heaviest ever, which surprised me because I actually looked and felt like I was leaner. I began with the Squat and lifted with a belt only, no knee wraps or suit. I squatted 650 with room to spare, which was a 65 pound personal best! Next was the Bench Press and I lifted 535 pounds for another big PR! Finally, it was time to Deadlift. I opened with an attempt of 725 and it felt very easy. My second attempt with 760 wasn’t any harder, so I went to 785 for my third and final attempt. From the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to be able to pull it. I kept pulling as hard as I could and the bar slowly moved past my knees and up my thighs until I finally pulled my shoulders back and locked the bar into place. I had just lifted another 30 pound personal best and pulled 785 pounds! Eighteen months earlier I would never have believed that I could Deadlift so much, and especially without a suit.

Thanks to my Deadlift secret, I have no doubts that I will soon lift over 800 pounds in a competition. Hopefully you will be able to have similar success, too.

Aaron Anderton

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