Sunday, March 1, 2015

How I Train the Deadlift - Don Blue (1978)



Photos of Don Blue taken in October 1974 only two months after he was stabbed 13 times in the back. Perhaps you can just barely make out the scars on his traps. Don is now incarcerated once again and is training at 180 pounds.




THE MEET DOESN'T START 
UNTIL THE BAR IS ON THE FLOOR
by Don Blue
as told to Roger Benjamin (1978)

My concepts on improving this lift are often met with skepticism to say the least. 
High reps?
You must be crazy!

High reps build size in the  lats, traps, spinal erectors, and glutes, and if you don't have size, you ain't gonna get strong. The following system is for specialization over a twelve week period. Plan to give some ground on the squat during this phase, you will need all your mental and physical powers in order to sustain life itself.


First Phase

4 weeks. We concentrate on conditioning the glutes, lower back, and hamstrings. Two sessions per week, Monday and Saturday. All reps are bounced, 5 sets of 15 standing on a Coke crate. This forces you into a lower position and makes one more aware of the upright position.


Second Phase

4 weeks. Come down off the Coke crate. Reps are "dropped" to 5 sets of 10, still twice a week. Emphasis now is placed on upper back and locking out. Put a film of Vaseline on your thighs! The last three or four reps will always stick to your thighs if you don't. It is imperative that the muscles be worked through the range of motion at a point of fatigue, rather than hitching or not finishing the rep.


Third Phase

4 weeks. Training is still twice per week. Wednesday is technique day. Work sets of 5 up to a given poundage for 3 sets. All are done stopped on the floor, emphasis on the starting position. Saturday is now used for strength testing. 5-4-3-2-1 pyramid with 25-lb jumps per set, followed by one hard set of 10. All reps on Saturday are bounced.

Whatever you single on your last workout should be 87-90% of your potential. This is a theory that Don Blue used on Mike Arthur and myself for two years, and we both set world D.L. records on this schedule. If you're interested in putting 35-50 lbs on your deadlift, give it a try. 

It's not easy, but this sport isn't supposed to be.


EXAMPLE ROUTINE - 450 LB MAXIMUM

First 4 week phase, on Coke crate.
1st week - Wednesday:
135 x 15
185 x 15
225 x 15
225 x 15
225 x 15

Saturday: 
Same.


2nd Week - Wednesday:
135 x 15 
190 x 15
230 x 15
230 x 15
230 x 15

Saturday:
Same


3rd Week - Wednesday:
135 x 15
195 x 15
235 x 15
235 x 15
235 x 15

Saturday:
Same


4th Week - Wednesday:
135 x 15
200 x 15
240 x 15
240 x 15
240 x 15

Saturday:
Same


Second 4 Week Phase, On Floor
1st Week - Wednesday:
135 x 10
185 x 10
225 x 10
275 x 10
325 x 10

Saturday:
Same


2nd Week - Wednesday:
135 x 10
195 x 10
235 x 10
285 x 10
335 x 10

Saturday:
Same


3rd Week - Wednesday:
135 x 10
205 x 10
245 x 10
295 x 10
345 x 10

Saturday:
Same


4th Week - Wednesday:
135 x 10
205 x 10
255 x 10
305 x 10
355 x 10

Saturday:
Same


Third 4 Week Phase
1st Week - Wednesday:
135 x 10
205 x 5
250 x 5
300 x 5
340 x 5
340 x 5
340 x 5

Saturday:
135 x 10
205 x 10
275 x 10
325 x 5
350 x 4
375 x 3
400 x 2
425 x 1
325 x 10


2nd Week - Wednesday:
135 x 10
205 x 5
250 x 5
300 x 5
350 x 5
350 x 5
350 x 5

Saturday:
135 x 10
205 x 10
275 x 10
335 x 5
360 x 4
385 x 3
410 x 2
435 x 1
325 x 10


3rd Week - Wednesday:
135 x 10
205 x 5
250 x 5
300 x 5
360 x 5
360 x 5
360 x 5
 
Saturday:
135 x 10
205 x 10
275 x 10
345 x 5
370 x 4
395 x 3
420 x 2
445 x 1
325 x 10
 
 
4th Week:
Rest seven days for meet.
Attempts:
430 - 460 - 490.
 
 



 
    























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