The Eddie Hall Training Program!


eddie hall training program

Eddie Hall is a professional strongman competitor from England.

Eddie used a unique training program to become one of the strongest athletes in the world and to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming the World’s Strongest Man.

If you want to get as strong as possible then you have to know about Eddie Hall’s training program!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Overview Of Eddie Hall’s Training Program
  • Part 2: Eddie Hall’s Leg Day
  • Part 3: Eddie Hall’s Chest / Triceps Day
  • Part 4: Eddie Hall’s Back Day
  • Part 5: Eddie Hall’s Shoulder Day

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you everything you need to know about the Eddie Hall training program.

Eddie Hall is a man who needs no introduction. In 2016 he broke the all-time deadlift world record with an earth-shattering 1,102 pound deadlift and in 2017 he won the World’s Strongest Man competition. 

Here is Eddie Hall performing his world-record deadlift:

What an incredible deadlift!

Eddie Hall had to use an extreme training program to become the strongest man in the world. Eddie trained 4 days per week using a modified upper body / lower body split. For example:

The Eddie Hall Training Split

  • Monday: Legs
  • Tuesday: Chest / Triceps
  • Thursday: Back 
  • Friday: Shoulders

As a strongman competitor Eddie Hall had to train exercises like the atlas stones, super yolk and log press.

Most strongman competitors such as 4 x World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw prefer to train the competition lifts on their own separate day each week.

Eddie Hall took a completely different approach: he trained the competition lifts on his normal training days.

For example on his leg day he would perform heavy squats and leg presses first in his routine and perform the super yolk at the end of his workout.

Here is how Eddie Hall organized his major exercises each week:

  • Monday: Back squat, leg press, super yolk
  • Tuesday: Bench press, incline bench press, chest / triceps accessory work
  • Thursday: Deadlift, atlas stones, farmer’s walk, upper back accessory work
  • Friday: Overhead dumbbell press, log press

One of the reasons Eddie was able to get so strong was his decision to train the strongman competition lifts on his regular training days. This helped him to recover because he had as much rest as possible during the week.

Exercises like the back squat and the super yolk are similar because they both involve putting a heavy bar on your back. Eddie put these exercises on the same training day each week because it gave his lower back more time to recover in between workouts. 

I hope you found this overview of Eddie Hall’s training program helpful. Now let’s take a closer look at the exact training program and workouts that Eddie used to become world champion!

By the end of this article you will know EXACTLY how Eddie trained during his prime. You will also learn the exact deadlift training cycle that Eddie used to deadlift 1,102 pounds in competition.

Note: if you have any trouble reading the routines presented here then check out this article on how to read a training program.

Now let’s get down to business…

Part 2: Eddie Hall’s Leg Day

Eddie Hall knew that if he wanted to win the world’s strongest man competition then he had to have some of the strongest legs in the world.

Strong legs are key for exercises like the super yolk, farmer’s walk and many other strongman competition lifts.

Just watch how fast Eddie Hall walks with 1,000 pounds on his back in this super yolk video:

Talk about some unbelievable lower body strength!

It is very rare that you have to perform a back squat in a strongman competition. However, Eddie Hall knew how important the back squat was for developing big, strong legs so he started most of his leg workouts with it.

Here is what a typical Eddie Hall leg workout looked like:

Eddie Hall Leg Workout

  • A1: Back squat (wide stance / feet flat), 3 x 4-8, 1/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • B1: Leg Press, 3 x 6-12, 1/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • C1: Super Yolk, 3 x 100 ft, rest as needed

Here are some Eddie Hall training videos: exercise A1, exercise B1, exercise C1.

This workout may not look very hard. After all, Eddie is only performing 3 exercises for his entire lower body! In reality Eddie Hall’s lower body workouts were harder than you can imagine.

Eddie Hall usually took about 3 hours to train his entire lower body. He would spend 1 hour training the back squat, 1 hour training the leg press and 1 hour training the super yolk.

You would need this much time too if you were lifting as much weight as Eddie!

Here were some of Eddie’s typical training weights:

  • Back squat: 800 pounds x 4-8 reps
  • Leg press: 2,000 pounds x 6-12 reps
  • Super yolk: 1,000+ pounds x 10-100 feet

Talk about incredible! Eddie often took 5-15 minutes rest in between his heaviest sets of squats and the super yolk. You may not need this much rest between your sets but for Eddie it was essential.

As a general rule of thumb Eddie liked to work up to 1 all-out working set per exercise. He would perform 2 heavy warm up sets with moderate reps and then take a long rest break before his final working set.

Eddie mostly trained with moderate to high reps for his leg workouts. He rarely worked up to a 1-3 rep max in the squat, for example.

The squat and leg press are almost never performed in a strongman competition so there was no need for him to peak his strength on these particular lifts. Instead he just trained moderately heavy year round on these exercises to build up his leg overall leg strength.

Part 3: Eddie Hall’s Chest Day

Eddie Hall performed his chest and triceps workout every Tuesday. Most strongman competitors don’t even bother training their chest. After all, a strong chest really isn’t that important in the sport of strongman.

Every strongman competition has 1-2 overhead pressing events such as the log press or the axle press but they never have the bench press as an official lift.

Eddie Hall was a free-thinker and rejected the conventional wisdom that said a strong chest isn’t important.

Eddie believed that it was critical to get super strong on exercises like the bench press and incline bench press to improve his overall pressing power. For this reason Eddie trained the bench press once per week almost year-round.

Here is what Eddie’s typical chest and tricep workout looked like. Check it out:

Eddie Hall Chest / Tricep Workout

  • A1: Bench Press (wide grip), 1 x 3-6, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Incline Bench Press (wide grip), 1 x 3-6, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Tricep cable pushdown (straight bar), 1 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

Here are some bench press and incline bench press videos: exercise A1, exercise B1.

Just like with his leg workout Eddie performs 2 heavy warm up sets and then 1 all-out working set per exercise. Eddie really likes to mix things up for his accessory work.

He performed all kinds of different isolation exercises for his triceps and he sometimes performed some accessory work for his chest such as machine flies or machine presses.

However, the bench press and incline bench press were staples in his routine.

When it came to training his chest Eddie Hall uses the “rule of six.” If he can press a weight 6 times then he increases the weight. If he can’t then he sticks with the same weight until he reaches that magical 6 rep goal.

Here is Eddie explaining the rule of 6:

“I work at 80 to 90% of my one-rep max for up to six reps. If I can do more than six reps, I add more weight next time.

I’ve followed this six-rep rule since I started training.

If I feel good at a weight, I might do more than six reps, but in general, you’ll never see me do more than six.”

Eddie had a few tricks up his sleeve to make sure he continued making progress on his chest / triceps workout. One of his favourite tricks was to add band tension to the bench press and incline bench press.

He would use the bands every other week to shock his body into getting stronger. For example:

  • Week 1: Band tension
  • Week 2: Straight weight
  • Week 3: Band tension
  • Week 4: Straight weight

Here is what a typical chest / triceps workout looked like when Eddie Hall used band tension on his first 2 exercises. Check it out:

Eddie Hall Band Tension Chest / Triceps Workout

  • A1: Bench Press with bands (wide grip), 3 x 3-6, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Incline Bench Press with bands (wide grip), 3 x 3-6, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Hammer strength incline press, 3 x 6-8, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • D1: Machine Flies, 3 x 6-12, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • E1: Stretch push ups, 3 x 6-12, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed

Here are the bench press and incline bench press training videos: exercise A1, exercise B1.

Once again Eddie was performing 2 heavy warm up sets per exercise followed by his 1 all-out working set with maximum weight.

Eddie used some different exercise on this workout but his overall strategy is still the same: start off the workout with some heavy bench press and incline press work then finish off the chest and triceps with some heavy accessory work.

The bottom line is Eddie’s chest and tricep day played a huge role in his ability to overhead press 500+ pounds in competition.

Part 4: Eddie Hall’s Back Day

The strongman Bill Kazmeier is famous for saying “strong back equals strong man.”

Eddie Hall knew that if he wanted to win the World’s Strongest Man title that he needed to build the strongest back in the world.

Eddie used the deadlift as the foundation of his back training. This makes sense because many strongman competitions feature deadlifting events such as the axle deadlift or the tire deadlift.

Other events such as the atlas stones or the farmer’s walk also require a lot of upper back strength that can only be built with the deadlift.

Eddie trained the deadlift so hard that in 2016 he became the first man to officially deadlift over 1,100 pounds in competition! Check it out:

So how does one of the strongest men in history train the deadlift?

Eddie Hall performs some type of deadlift once per week on his back day. Eddie is so strong on the deadlift that his body can’t handle heavy deadlifting heavy single week.

Instead Eddie trains heavy one week and lighter on the other week. On his “light” week Eddie performs multiple sets of speed deadlifts. For example:

The Eddie Hall Deadlift Program

  • Week 1: Heavy deadlifts
  • Week 2: Speed deadlifts
  • Week 3: Heavy Deadlifts
  • Week 4: Speed deadlifts

These speed deadlifts let Eddie work on his form and explosive strength without burning out his central nervous system. Training the deadlift heavy one week and lighter the next week is an awesome training strategy.

Many world-class powerlifters and strongman competitors such as Hafthor Bjornsson, Eric Lilliebridge and Brian Shaw also train the deadlift this way.

Now let’s take a look at one of Eddie Hall’s heavy deadlift days. Check it out:

Eddie Hall Heavy Deadlift Day

  • A1: Conventional deadlift, 3 x 1-8, X/2/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Lat pulldowns (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Seated cable rows (narrow / neutral grip), 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

Here is what Eddie’s heavy set of deadlifts usually looked like:

As you can see in the above video Eddie performs his deadlifts as explosively as possible all the way to lockout. Then he drops the weight down to the ground and rests for a couple of seconds before performing his next rep.

Eddie Hall doesn’t train the deadlift heavy year-round. Instead he uses specific percentages in his training.

Every workout he has specific numbers that he wants to hit. The weights become heavier and heavier over a 10-12 week period until he is lifting his absolute heaviest weights on the day of his competition.

As promised I will give you the exact training cycle Eddie Hall used to deadlift 1,102 pounds in competition. But first we have to look at Eddie Hall’s speed deadlift days. Check it out:

Eddie Hall Speed Deadlift Day

  • A1: Speed conventional deadlift, 8 x 2**, X/2/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Lat pulldowns (wide / overhand grip), 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Seated cable rows (narrow / neutral grip), 3 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Use 60% of your 1-rep max.

Here are what Eddie’s speed deadlift sets looked like:

One of the weirdest things about Eddie’s deadlifting training is he doesn’t lock out his speed deadlifts! Instead of pulling the bar all the way to lockout he stops right when the barbell passes his knees.

Eddie feels that locking out your deadlifts in training is a waste of time. If you can pull the bar to your knees fast enough then you will always be able to lock it out in competition.

Eddie says that locking out your deadlifts does nothing but make it harder for you to recover from your workouts!

I don’t necessarily agree with Eddie but you can’t argue with his results!

As promised here is the exact training cycle that Eddie Hall used to become the first man to deadlift over 1,100 pounds. Check it out:

Eddie Hall 1,102 Pound Training Cycle

Week 1 = Heavy Week

  • 3 sets of 10 reps @ 65% of your projected 1-rep max

Week 2 = Heavy Week

  • 3 sets of 8 reps @ 70% of your projected 1-rep max

Week 3 = Speed Reps

  • 8 sets of 2 reps @ 60% of your projected 1-rep max

Week 4 = Heavy Week

  • 3 sets of 5 reps @ 75% of your projected 1-rep max

Week 5 = Speed Reps

  • 8 sets of 2 reps @ 60% of your projected 1-rep max

Week 6 = Heavy Week

  • 3 sets of 3 reps @ 80% of your projected 1-rep max

Week 7 = Heavy Week

  • 1 set of 1 reps @ 80% of your projected 1-rep max
  • 1 set of 1 reps @ 85% of your projected 1-rep max
  • 3 sets of 1 reps @ 90% of your projected 1-rep max

Week 8 = Deload Week

  • No deadlift training this week

Week 9 = Competition Week!

  • 1 set of 1 reps @ 85% of your projected 1-rep max
  • 1 set of 1 reps @ 93% of your projected 1-rep max
  • 1 set of 1 reps @ 100% of your projected 1-rep max

All of these training percentages are based off of Eddie’s estimated 1-rep max on competition day. So for example on week 1 Eddie was deadlifting (.65 x 1,100) = 715 pounds for 3 sets of 10 reps!

Eddie’s deadlift was always his best lift and with such an intelligent deadlift training program it’s easy to see why. Eddie has the brains to match his super-human strength!

Part 5: Eddie Hall’s Shoulder Day

Eddie Hall’s shoulder day was all about increasing his overhead pressing strength.

The overhead press is one of the most important lifts for a strongman competitor because almost every strongman competition has 1-2 overhead pressing events.

Here are some of the most common overhead presses performed in competition:

(Just click on the links for a helpful YouTube video)

You are allowed to use leg drive to perform these events in competition so having a strong, explosive lower body is extremely important.

However, it’s also important to have a strong pair of shoulders. After all, you can’t lock out 500 pounds over your head with a weak pair of shoulders!

Here is what a typical Eddie Hall shoulder workout looked like. Check it out:

Eddie Hall Shoulder Workout

  • A1: Seated DB overhead press, 1 x 15-20, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Standing log press, 3 x 1-8, X/0/X/3, rest as needed

Here are the training videos: exercise A1, exercise B1.

As you can see Eddie’s shoulder workouts are nice and simple.

First he performs some high-rep dumbbell overhead presses to warm up his shoulders. These are usually performed close to failure with a relatively light weight.

Then Eddie works up heavy on some type of overhead press.

Normally Eddie focused on the log press as this was the most common overhead press in competition. However, if necessary he would swap this out for the viking press or whatever other overhead press he had to perform in his next competition.

Sometimes Eddie would perform some lateral raises or rear delt raises to finish off his shoulder workout but usually he sticks with his 2 main exercises. 

Conclusion

eddie hall training program

You don’t have to be a professional strongman competitor to learn from Eddie Hall’s Training Program.

You also don’t have to be a professional ninja warrior, a world-class golfer or even the greatest ballerina of all time!

It doesn’t matter if you’re not as graceful as Eddie Hall. There’s only so much grace to go around and Eddie’s hogging most of it!

But if you want to get stronger and reach your goals then the Eddie Hall Training Program is for you!

Personally I love how Eddie focuses on the big compound exercises in his workouts. He doesn’t waste a bunch of time on isolation exercises because he knows the big compound exercises are what make you stronger.

Eddie also does an excellent job of periodizing his workouts. He knows that you can’t train heavy year-round so he slowly increases his training weights leading up to his competitions. This is especially true in his deadlift training.

If you are looking for a solid strongman training program then I highly recommend you give the Eddie Hall training program a shot. You won’t be disappointed!

Here’s a great quote by Eddie Hall to pump you up even more:

“When people say that something can’t be done, there’s no better feeling than proving someone wrong and when you’ve got so many people to prove wrong there’s so much glory in it.” 

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

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