The Larry Wheels Deadlift Program!


Larry Wheels has one of the strongest deadlifts in the world. He uses a unique training style that lets him break personal records year after year.

If you want to bring your deadlift back to life then this article is for you!

Introduction 

  • Part 1: Larry Wheels’ Training Split
  • Part 2: Larry Wheels’ Deadlift Workouts

In this comprehensive guide I will show you how Larry Wheels organizes his deadlift training during his powerlifting training cycles and during his offseason phase.

Larry Wheels is an unbelievable deadlifter. He has deadlifted 855 pounds in competition and as much as 937 pounds in the gym.

Here is a great video of Larry’s incredible 929 pound gym deadlift:

What an incredible lift! 

Larry Wheels separates his training into 2 different phases. Larry spends a few months after his powerlifting competitions training like a bodybuilder.

He trains with higher volume workouts using a traditional bodybuilding bro-split and focuses on building muscle mass while maintaining a good base level of strength.

Here is the training split that Larry uses in his offseason phase:

The Larry Wheels Bodybuilding Split

  • Day 1: Chest 
  • Day 2: Back
  • Day 3: Off
  • Day 4: Shoulders
  • Day 5: Legs
  • Day 6: Arms
  • Day 7: Off

This is the same type of split that most professional bodybuilders use when they are preparing for their bodybuilding competitions.

Larry switches gears and starts training like a powerlifter about 3 months before his powerlifting competitions.

During his peaking phase he trains 4 days per week with 2 bench press days and 2 squat / deadlift days. Check it out: 

The Larry Wheels Powerlifting Split

  • Monday: Bench Press
  • Wednesday: Squat
  • Friday: Bench Assistance
  • Saturday: Deadlift

Let’s start by looking at Larry’s powerlifting-style deadlift workouts. Larry uses a simple linear periodization program to peak for his powerlifting meets.

He starts out lifting weights in the 5-8 rep range and slowly lets his reps drop as he gets closer to his meet. In the last month before his competition Larry is performing heavy singles, doubles and triples to peak his strength.

Linear periodization is an old-school training strategy that still works extremely well for many world-class powerlifters.

Here is a deadlift workout that Larry performed about 3 months out from his next powerlifting meet. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Deadlift Workout #1

  • Exercise #1: Deadlift, 1 set of 6 reps
  • Exercise #2: Stationary DB lunge, 2 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: Hanging leg raise, 2 sets of 8-12 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Larry deadlifts an incredible 760 pounds for 6 reps. When Larry goes heavy on the deadlift he only performs 1 working set. He has so many fast-twitch muscle fibers that 1 all-out set is all he needs to force his body to adapt and get stronger.

After the heavy set of 6 reps he performs a couple of accessory exercises for his lower body. This is a common theme with Larry’s powerlifting-style deadlift workouts. He performs 1 heavy set of deadlifts and maybe 1-2 light accessory exercises and then goes home.

Here is a deadlift workout that Larry performed about 2 months out form his next powerlifting meet. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Deadlift Workout #2

  • Exercise #1: Deadlift, 2 sets of 3-5 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Larry Wheels works up to a heavy set of 3 reps with 855 pounds. Then he takes some weight off the bar and performs a back-off set of 5 reps.

Larry often performs sets in the 3-5 rep range when he is about 2 months away from his next meet. This is his way of transitioning into the heavy doubles and singles right before the meet.

Here is a workout Larry performed where he maxed out in the gym with lifting straps. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Deadlift Workout #3

  • Exercise #1: Deadlift, 1 set of 1 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Larry worked up to an incredible 927 pound deadlift! There are only a few people in the world who can deadlift over 900 pounds and usually they are super heavyweight powerlifters or bodybuilders.

It is extremely rare to see someone as light as Larry lift this much weight on the deadlift. Someone like Cailer Woolam can pull this off but he is a true deadlift specialist.

Larry is just an all-around strong dude and his deadlift is perfectly proportionate to his squat and deadlift. 

Larry Wheels likes to transition into his powerlifting offseason right after his powerlifting competition.

Training like a powerlifter can be very taxing on the body so Larry uses this as a chance to give his body a break and to have some fun in the gym. Larry rarely performs heavy deadlifts in the offseason.

Instead he performs exercises like heavy barbell rows to build muscle while still maintaining a good baseline level of strength.

Here is one of Larry’s typical offseason back workouts. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Offseason Deadlift Workout

  • Exercise #1: Barbell row (bounce on floor), 3 sets of 5 reps
  • Exercise #2: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Pull ups (narrow / neutral grip), 3 sets of AMRAP**
  • Exercise #4: Hammer strength low row, 3 sets of 10-15 reps

**Perform as many reps as you can with just your bodyweight

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Larry trains heavy on barbell rows and then performs a few higher-rep assistance exercises. On his heaviest set Larry works up to an unbelievable 585 pounds for 5 reps.

Now that is just ridiculous!

Sometimes Larry goes heavy on barbell rows in his offseason back workouts and sometimes he just performs a few different “pumping and squeezing” exercises to get a great pump without having to go too heavy.

As they say, you can’t argue with results!

Conclusion

Larry Wheels is one smart powerlifter. He alternates between his powerlifting peaking phase where he performs heavy deadlifts in the 1-8 rep range and his bodybuilding offseason where he avoids heavy deadlifts in favor of high-volume bodybuilding workouts.

This strategy lets Larry get bigger and stronger year-round without suffering injuries. Many powerlifting legends before him like Ed Coan and Stan Efferding have used a similar strategy.

If you are looking for a new deadlift program then I highly recommend you copy Larry Wheels’ workouts. Who knows – maybe you’ll be knocking on the door of a 900-pound deadlift in the future.

Here is a great quote by Dorian Yates to pump you up even more:

“If those guys with better genes trained as hard and intense as me, I wouldn’t stand a chance!”

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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