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When it comes to ripping heavy weight off the floor, Eddie Hall, who was just crowned the 2017 World’s Strongest Man, is king. Before he won WSM, Hall shocked the world when he deadlifted 1,102 pounds (500kg)—easily, we should add—in July 2016 at the World Deadlift Championships. It was (and still is) the most weight ever deadlifted before. So what’s Hall’s (not-so) secret to pulling massive weight?
“Brute strength is the key to strongman,” says Hall. “If you’ve got that, you’re 90% there.” And while his approach to competition may sound simplistic, no one can tell Hall that it doesn’t work. To help you hoist Herculean poundage, Hall outlined three crucial tips that he’s learned from years of time spent in the gym.
“Technique is important, but too many people get carried away trying fancy things and don’t put enough effort into the basics,” says Hall.
We can’t promise that you’ll ever be as strong as Hall (after all, who is?), but you can expect your deadlift numbers to soar.
“The six-rep rule has been at the heart of my training since I started,” says Hall. Find a weight that has you failing one to two reps before six. Each week, aim to complete that weight for six reps. Then increase the weight by 10% and aim to lift that six times.
To improve the quickness of his pull, Hall works in a speed week for deadlifts. To do it, load 60% of your one-rep max on the bar and lift it for eight sets of two reps, as fast as possible. “You’ll still develop power without damaging your body with heavy weight,” Hall says.
“Keep the bar as close to your body as possible,” Hall says about proper deadlift technique. “Wear deadlift socks—as this will hurt a little—and drag the bar up your shins and thighs. If the bar moves away from your body, you’re using your lower back more, which is dangerous.”