This is a 10 week deadlift program designed for building up work capacity during the competitive off-season. It was shared by Alex Bromley (Empire Barbell) on his YouTube channel, where he shared his experience using this style of deadlift training to help prepare for a strongman competition.
To understand the program correctly, you must watch the video below from Alex Bromley.
The most relevant part starts at the 2:00 mark.
The program is quite straightforward. It follows these guidelines:
- Weeks alternate between higher intensity weeks for accumulating volume and fatigue (“volume weeks”) and lower intensity weeks which allow for recovery (“recovery weeks”).
- Volume weeks and recovery weeks both use a 5x5 rep scheme for the majority of the program.
- Recovery weeks use a 20% lighter load than the preceding volume week.
- For example, if a volume week called for 5 sets of 5 reps at 100 pounds, the following recovery week would program 5 sets of 5 reps at 80 pounds (100 pounds x 80% = 80 pounds).
- Intensity of the volume week gradually increases each week. Accordingly, the intensity of the recovery week also increases each week, since it is always 20% lighter than the preceding volume week.
- For example, if week 5 calls for 5 sets of 5 reps at 120 pounds, the week 6 recovery week would program 5 sets of 5 reps at 95 pounds, since 95 pounds is approximately 20% less than 120 pounds. In this way, the recovery weeks gradually get heavier throughout the course of the program.
- Week 9 is kind of a testing week in that it calls for an AMRAP set. Be responsible with this – leaving a rep or two in the tank is a good idea, as is making sure your form doesn’t significantly break down.
- Week 10 keeps the intensity relatively high compared to the other recovery weeks, but also calls for 5 sets of triples instead of 5 rep sets.
Ending the Program
Because Alex ended up performing an AMRAP on week 10 (which was not in the program), it threw off the volume/recovery cadence of the program and it consequently ended, more or less. Or that’s all he wanted to share with us.
I personally think an AMRAP at ~90% of 1RM (week 9) and 5 sets of triples at 82% (week 10) is fine place to end a volume block and transition into a peaking block. If weeks 9 and 10 feel absolutely amazing, you could probably repeat them a few times adding 2-3% each week. Just my two cents.
Again, watch the video, reach your own conclusions.
Alex commented that he would do some hamstring curls and back extensions “where he could,” but wasn’t really doing any deadlift specific variations like good mornings, stiff legged deadlifts, etc.
This spreadsheet is not associated with Alex or Empire Barbell in any way. It is based on an interpretation of this YouTube video with every honest intent of maintaining accuracy. If you believe there is an error in the spreadsheet, please let me know.