The Stan Efferding Deadlift Program!


Stan Efferding knows a thing or two about training for a huge deadlift. Stan has performed multiple 800+ pound deadlifts throughout his career including an 837.5 pound competition deadlift in 2013. If you want to smash your old deadlift PR then Stan Efferding’s deadlift program is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Stan Efferding’s Powerlifting Training Split
  • Part 2: Stan Efferding’s Deadlift Training Cycle
  • Part 3: Stan Efferding’s Deadlift Workout

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you exactly how Stan Efferding trains for a world-class deadlift. But first you have to watch this video of Stan deadlifting an unbelievable 837.5 pounds:

Talk about incredible! This massive deadlift helped Stan to break the all-time powerlifting world record total in the 275 pound weight class.

So how did Stan build up his unbelievable deadlifting strength? Stan didn’t build his world-class deadlift overnight. After all, Stan was 45 years old and had been training for 25+ years when he finally hit his 837.5 pound deadlift in competition. The biggest reason for Stan’s success was his consistency and discipline over many years.

As Stan became stronger he realized that he needed more and more rest days in between his heavy deadlift workouts in order to recover. By the end of his powerlifting career Stan was only deadlifting once every 2 weeks.

Yes, you heard me right: Stan only deadlifted once every 2 weeks while training for his 837.5 pound deadlift! Here is how Stan organized his squat and deadlift training:

Stan’s Squat / Deadlift Training Schedule

  • Week 1: Heavy Deadlift
  • Week 2: Heavy Squat
  • Week 3: Heavy Deadlift
  • Week 4: Heavy Squat

Yes, you read that right: Stan only squatted or deadlifted every other week at the peak of his powerlifting career! Most powerlifters will have a hard time making progress with a training schedule like this but for Stan it worked like magic.

Stan Efferding’s training split is even weirder: he only trained twice per week leading up to his powerlifting competitions. For example:

Stan Efferding’s Powerlifting Training Split

  • Monday: Bench Press
  • Saturday: Squat / Deadlift

Stan was so strong and so explosive that he needed all the rest he could get between his workouts. This Lilliebridge-style training split worked better for him than anything else he tried.

Stan Efferding used a very simple form of linear periodization for his deadlift training. Stan performed his first deadlift workout around 10-12 weeks before his next powerlifting competition.

He would work up to a heavy triple on the deadlift and then perform some accessory work for his legs and back. As the meet got closer Stan would perform doubles and singles with heavier weights to peak his strength.

Here is one example of how Stan would plan out his squat / deadlift training cycles:

Stan Efferding Squat / Deadlift Training Cycle

  • Week 1: Deadlift = 80% x 3
  • Week 2: Squat = 80% x 3
  • Week 3: Deadlift = 84% x 3
  • Week 4: Squat = 84% x 3
  • Week 5: Deadlift = 88% x 2
  • Week 6: Squat = 88% x 2
  • Week 7: Deadlift = 92% x 2
  • Week 8: Squat = 92% x 2
  • Week 9: Deadlift = 96% x 1
  • Week 10: Squat = 96% x 1
  • Week 11: Deload Week
  • Week 12: Competition Week!

Stan could squeeze in about 5 heavy deadlift sessions before his next powerlifting meet training this way. This was about all Stan could handle before burning out and overtraining. Stan says that whenever he tried a training cycle longer than 10-12 weeks he would start to go backwards and lose strength right before the competition.

Now let’s look at a typical deadlift workout that Stan used leading up to his powerlifting meets. Check it out:

Stan Efferding’s Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Conventional deadlift, 1 x 1-5, 1/0/X/0, 5 minutes rest
  • B1: Banded leg press, 2 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • C1: Wide overhand grip lat pulldowns, 2 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • D1: Seated cable rows (v-handle), 2 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest

Here is a video of Stan deadlifting a massive triple in training:

Stan Efferding keeps his deadlift workout short and sweet. The most important part of the workout is his heavy set of 1-3 reps on the deadlift. This is the only set that really matters.

Of course Stan performs some accessory exercises after the deadlift but they aren’t nearly as important. Stan just worked up to a couple of heavy sets to failure on each exercise and called it a day.

I know some of you are looking at this workout and saying “there’s no way that’s enough volume. I could never make progress on a routine like that.” After all, how can Stan make progress performing 1 heavy sets of deadlifts once every 2 weeks? There are a few thing to consider.

First of all Stan Efferding is one of the strongest powerlifters in the world. He is also one of the most explosive lifters in the world. When Stan trains he creates very deep inroads into his recovery ability with every set. He needs significantly more time to rest and recover than the average trainee.

You also have to keep in mind that Stan Efferding alternated between bodybuilding and powerlifting training programs throughout the year. Stan would train like a bodybuilder for 3-6 months before transitioning into a powerlifting training cycle.

During his bodybuilding programs Stan was working out twice a day, six days a week with very high volume workouts! This meant that Stan’s work capacity was extremely high heading into his powerlifting meets. He didn’t need to perform a lot of accessory work to bring up weaknesses during his powerlifting workouts because his bodybuilding programs took care of that issue.

If you are not alternating between bodybuilding and powerlifting programs like Stan Efferding then you may need more volume / frequency to make optimal progress.

If you want to learn more about Stan Efferding’s unique approach to training then check out the following articles:

Let’s wrap this up with one of my favorite quotes by Stan Efferding on training:

“How many sets and exercises? It doesn’t matter. I can build an entire workout around one or two max effort growth sets and go home and grow. Volume doesn’t improve results, intensity does.”

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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