Jump to the routine

Strongman Inspired Deadlift Routine

Learn from the first World’s Strongest Man about moving heavy-ass weight.

Jump to the Routine
  • 3 Days

  • 11

  • Yes

Deadlift barbell at gym
Deadlift barbell at gym

Some of you younger lifters might not know the name Bruce Wilhelm – the winner of the first two World’s Strongest Man contests in 1977 and 78. Although I wasn’t born yet, I grew up in a house full of iron freaks and can remember watching VHS tapes of those Strongman contests.

Bruce was also an accomplished weightlifter, finishing 5th in the 1976 Olympic Games and bringing home a Silver in the 1975 Pan American Games. He was also the first American to snatch 400 pounds. Oh yeah, he also threw the shotput 66 feet and ¼ inch and was the Pac-8 wrestling champion in 1965. The dude is a badass and was a true renaissance man of the Iron Game. He could do anything that involved moving heavy weight.

Bruce Wilhelm Inspired Deadlift Workout

Using Wilhelm’s main tenets of Olympic movements and squats, what follows is a deadlift program inspired by this legend. As lifters it is always important to remember and acknowledge the Iron Warriors that came before us. Bruce Wilhelm is one of the all-time great all around strength athletes, and if you are looking to add some pounds to your deadlift consider giving his routine a try.

Bruce’s Notes

The lack of actual deadlifting and the preponderance of Olympic style lifts may have people shaking their heads in disbelief, but Bruce has this to say, “I know that there are many lifters who feel that it’s crazy to do power cleans, power snatches and other Olympic lifting assistance exercises to improve the deadlift, but they do work.” You can’t argue with results!

Bruce also espoused the importance of squatting in his deadlift training, “Squatting has a strong influence on one’s success in the deadlift. The leg strength derived from this exercise really helps when moving the weight off the floor.”

Routine

Want a copy on the go?
Print

The Workout

Day 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 11

Barbell Snatch

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
5
Reps
2
Rest
--
Don’t drop under too far. Emphasize the pull
Exercise 2 of 11

Snatch Pull

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
3
Rest
--
Pull as high as possible
Exercise 3 of 11

Straight-Leg Deadlift

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
As heavy as possible while maintaining form and getting all reps
Exercise 4 of 11

Back Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
2
Reps
3
Rest
--
As heavy as possible while maintaining form and getting all reps

Day 3

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 5 of 11

Clean

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
5
Reps
2
Rest
--
Emphasize the pull. Catch in a 1/2 squat or above position.
Exercise 6 of 11

Clean Pull

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
3
Rest
--
Pull high and hard.
Exercise 7 of 11

Bent-Knee Good Morning

Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
3
Rest
--
HEAVY as possible while maintaining technique.
Exercise 8 of 11

Good Morning

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
3
Rest
--
Knees almost straight, long range of motion, and light.

Day 5

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 9 of 11

Barbell Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
8
Reps
1
Rest
--
Work up to a max weight for the day
Exercise 10 of 11

Snatch Deadlift

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
3
Rest
--
Strap up and go as heavy as possible.
Exercise 11 of 11

Back Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Weight should be hard, but you should achieve all reps.
See all of our tutorials