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The Olly Jackson Deadlift Routine

Written by Cuddles

To some the most satisfying demonstration of brute strength, to others, the Achilles Heel in finally achieving that huge total. Whichever camp you fall into, a huge deadlift is essential for success in both powerlifting and strongman.

The purpose of this article is to share with you my deadlift programme. It’s simple, but most importantly, effective. It involves a hell of a lot of hard work, and wont be for everyone, but stick with it, put in the hard yards and the PB’s will come.

Now onto the routine. For those of you that are scared of a little hard work, this routine isn’t for you. You’ll deadlift every week, and you’ll do HEAVY assistance every week. You’ll get strong, but you’ll work bloody hard to get there. The table below shows a breakdown of the sets and reps used each week. The percentages are based on a predicted max. This should be very conservative, especially for the more experienced lifter, 10-15lbs at most. Believe me, this is important, aim too high and you won’t even make it through the routine, let alone set any PB’s.
Wk 1 - 80% x 2 x 5
Wk 2 - 85% x 1 x 5
Wk 3 - 85% x 2 x 4
Wk 4 - 85% x 1 x 5
Wk 5 - 90% x 2 x 3
Wk 6 - 85% x 1 x 5
Wk 7 - 95% x 2 x 2
Wk 8 - 85% x 1 x 5
Wk 9 - MAX!
Use a predicted max

Every other week you’ll be doing 5 singles with 85%. Use these weeks to reinforce form and to work on speed. With all your lifting, including your warm-ups, think ‘SPEED’. Accelerate the bar, but do it with good form and you’ll be throwing around your old PB’s before you know it.

Now onto the assistance. For this routine, I think the assistance is as important as the actual deadlifts. For weeks 1,3,5,7 I did platform deadlifts as assistance, working up to heavy singles, and on weeks 2,4,6,8 I did rack pulls from various heights, again working up to heavy singles. When choosing which height to pull from, think about where you stall, and attack that weakness. The combination of rack pulls and platform deadlifts will attack your sticking point in two ways; it will improve your speed off the bottom, allowing you to pull through your sticking point, and it will improve your strength at the actual sticking point. Get this right, and your deadlift will rocket!

A few other things to consider:
- Ab and lower back work should be done to aid recovery, I found high rep back extensions to be very good at this.
- Back off on the assistance when you need to. This routine involves a lot of work, and maybe too much for some. Remember you can’t set PB’s when you’re injured.
- Consider only doing chest supported lat work, or lat work on a vertical plane. Save that lower back for the deadlifts.

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