The Westside Barbell Deadlift Program!


The Westside Barbell training programs is one of the best ways to train for a huge deadlift. Many of the strongest deadlifts in the world including Eddie Hall and Benedict Magnusson have trained using Westside Barbell principles.

If you want to blow up your deadlift as fast as possible then the Westside Barbell training program is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: The Max Effort Deadlift
  • Part 2: The Dynamic Effort Deadlift
  • Part 3: Deadlift Accessory Exercises
  • Part 4: A Sample 13-Week Training Cycle

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you everything you need to know about how to build a world-class deadlift using the Westside Barbell training program.

The Westside barbell training program was invented by Louie Simmons in the 1980s. Louie Simmons’ training program has produced 30 athletes who have deadlifted over 800 pounds and 4 who have deadlifted over 900 pounds.

Louie Simmons even used this program to deadlift 700+ pounds well into his 60’s!

Here is a great video of Louie showing off his deadlifting strength. Check it out:

Louie Simmons’ Massive Deadlift

Louie Simmons performed this lift after breaking his lower back several times in the 1970s. Talk about strong!

The Westside Barbell training program uses a modern form of periodization called “conjugate periodization” where you train to get bigger, stronger and faster all at the same time.

Louie Simmons wants you training with maximal weights and breaking personal records year-round. This is completely different from linear periodization where you have separate phases of training where you train with high, medium and low reps.

On the Westside Barbell training program you train the squat and deadlift twice per week.

You have a “max effort” workout early in the week where you train with heavy weights and a “dynamic effort” workout later in the week where you train explosively. Check it out:

The Westside Barbell Deadlift Training Schedule

  • Monday: Max Effort Squat / Deadlift
  • Friday: Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift

Louie Simmons has you train the squat and deadlift together on the same training day because these lifts use similar muscle groups.

The Westside Barbell training program actually uses three different training methods:

The 3 Westside Barbell Training Methods

  • The max effort method
  • The dynamic effort method
  • The repetition effort method

All three of these training methods are completely different from each other. However, they all work together to help you build up your deadlift.

The max effort method is used to build maximal strength and to teach you how to strain against heavy weights. Your goal with the max effort method is to work up to a 1-rep max on some type of special exercise for the deadlift.

Some good special exercises for the deadlift include rack deadlifts, deficit deadlifts and deadlifts against bands. You can also use different variations of the squat and good morning to build your deadlift.

Louie Simmons wants you to rotate the max effort exercise each week to avoid hitting a training plateau.

The dynamic effort method is very different: you are going to train explosively with weights around 50-70% of your 1-rep max.

The dynamic effort workout is great for building explosive strength, perfecting your technique and increasing your work capacity.

After your max effort or dynamic effort exercises you are going to perform 2-4 accessory exercises for the deadlift using the repetition effort method.

Louie Simmons sometimes calls this the “bodybuilding method” because you are going to perform sets of 6-20 reps just like a bodybuilder would.

The repetition effort method is used on assistance exercises to build muscle mass and strengthen weak muscle groups that are holding back your deadlift.

Here is what the max effort lower body workout usually looks like:

Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Max effort squat / deadlift / good morning
  • Accessory exercise #1
  • Accessory exercise #2
  • Accessory exercise #3
  • Accessory exercise #4

Louie has his athletes work up to a 1-rep max on the squat, deadlift or good morning. This exercise is changed every single week to avoid training plateaus.

Then his athletes perform 3-5 assistance exercises using the repetition effort method.

Here is what the dynamic effort lower body workout looks like:

Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Dynamic effort squat
  • Dynamic effort deadlift
  • Accessory exercise #1
  • Accessory exercise #2
  • Accessory exercise #3

For the Friday workout Louie Simmons has his athletes perform 6-12 sets of speed deadlifts followed by 5-10 sets of speed deadlifts.

Louie has his athletes follow this with several assistance exercises for the lower body like glute ham raises, reverse hyperextensions and sled drags. 

I hope you found this overview of the Westside Barbell training program helpful. Now let’s take a closer look at the training methods that Louie Simmons used to help 30+ powerlifters deadlift over 800 pounds.

Part 1: The Max Effort Deadlift

The Westside Barbell training program has two lower body workouts per week: a max effort workout on Monday and a dynamic effort workout on Friday. Let’s start by discussing the max effort workout.

The max effort method is one of the most important parts of the Westside Barbell training program. It is used to build maximal strength and to teach you how to strain against heavy weights.

You are going to start your max effort squat / deadlift workout by working up to a 1-rep max on some type of special exercise for the lower body such as a squat, deadlift or good morning.

Louie Simmons believes that you can max out 52 weeks a year and continuously get stronger as long as you change the exercise every week.

Here are some of Louie Simmons’ favorite max effort lower body exercise:

Squat / Deadlift Max Effort Exercises

Squat Exercises

Deadlift Exercises

Good Morning Exercises

Almost all of these exercises can be performed with straight weight, chains, bands or reverse bands for variety.

Louie Simmons says that the max effort lower body workout is mostly used to build the deadlift.

For this reason his athletes max out on some type of deadlift 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time Louie has his athletes max out on some type of squat or good morning variation.

Here is Louie’s favorite way to cycle the max effort lower body exercises:

How To Cycle ME Squat / Deadlift Exercises

  • Week 1: Deadlift variation
  • Week 2: Box squat variation
  • Week 3: Deadlift variation
  • Week 4: Good morning variation

And so on. You just keep rotating through weeks 1-4 as long as you are using the program.

Louie Simmons recommends that you use as many different max effort exercises as possible. Many of his athletes go an entire year before repeating the exact same max effort exercise in a workout!

Cycling through many different exercises gives you more time before repeating exercises which makes it easier to break personal records week after week.

Having too much choice can be confusing so let’s look at some of Louie Simmons’ favorite max effort deadlift variations.

Max Effort Exercise #1: Rack Pulls

Rack pulls are one of Louie Simmons’ all-time favorite max effort exercises.

You perform the exercise in a power rack with the barbell resting on a pair of safety pins. This reduces the range of motion of the exercise and forces you to initiate the deadlift at a different height than normal.

Louie likes rack deadlifts because they let you handle more weight than regular deadlifts. They also eliminate the very bottom position of the deadlift which makes them much easier to recover from.

Louie likes to use rack deadlifts where the plates are elevated 2, 4 or 6 inches above the ground. I recommend you establish personal records at all 3 pin heights and try to break them over time.

Max Effort Exercise #2: Rack Pulls With Bands

This is an unbelievably effective exercise that Louie Simmons invented in the early 2010’s.

The basic idea is to perform a rack pull with HEAVY band tension. Louie Simmons likes to perform these with a quadrupled resistance band. The bands are anchored around the bottom of the power rack and over the top of the barbell.

Setting up your bands like this produces a crazy amount of tension at the top of the exercise.

Here are some estimates for how much different bands provide:

  • Quadrupled mini-bands: 125 pounds at the top
  • Quadrupled monster-mini bands: 250 pounds at the top
  • Quadrupled light bands: 350 pounds ant the top

That is a ridiculous amount of band tension! I am talking from personal experience here.

Performing a max effort rack pull with quadrupled monster mini bands is practically a religious experience. Your head will feel like it is ready to explode!

I recommend you establish personal records with all three bands. Don’t worry too much about the exact amount of tension in the top or bottom of the exercise. Instead just worry about beating your previous records.

For example if your previous best was “400 + monster-mini bands” then your goal for your next workout might be “410 + monster-mini bands.”

Max Effort Exercise #3: Matt Deadlifts

Louie Simmons sometimes has his athletes perform deadlifts with 1-2 inch mats. He will either put the weights on the mats to mimic a block pull or have his athletes deadlift while standing on the mats to mimic a deficit deadlift.

This is a great way to slightly change the starting position of the deadlift and to challenge your body in a slightly different way.

Remember, the conjugate method is all about finding new exercises that you can use to attack your weak points. Your goal is to find where you are weak and then use new exercises to attack those weaknesses!

Max Effort Exercise #4: Floor Deadlifts With Bands

The floor deadlift with bands is another one of Louie Simmons’ favorite max effort deadlift exercises. This exercise is very simple: you just perform a regular deadlift against bands.

Louie Simmons likes to perform these with a special platform where you can easily attach bands to the bar.

Here are some guidelines for how much tension different bands add to the exercise:

  • Mini bands: 220 pounds at the top
  • Monster-mini bands: 280 pounds at the top

The bands are great for overloading the top half of the deadlift and teaching you to lift explosively. If you do not explode the weight off the ground then the bands will eat you alive!

The bands are also great for taking some of the stress off of your lumbar spine. This is very helpful for optimizing your overall recovery on the Westside Barbell training program.

After your max effort exercise you will perform 3-5 accessory exercises for your lower body using the repetition effort method.

Here is a template for the rest of the workout: 

Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Max effort squat / deadlift / good morning
  • Accessory exercise #1
  • Accessory exercise #2
  • Accessory exercise #3
  • Accessory exercise #4

I will teach you Louie Simmons’ favorite deadlift accessory exercises in part 3 of this article. But first we have to cover the dynamic effort day!

Part 2: The Dynamic Effort Deadlift

The Westside Barbell powerlifting team performs a dynamic effort squat / deadlift workout every Friday.

The dynamic effort method is all about producing maximal force with submaximal weights. Louie Simmons wants you to train explosively with weights in the 50-70% range.

These “speed sets” will help you to get stronger while building explosive strength and perfecting your powerlifting technique. 

Louie Simmons has his athletes perform 6-12 sets of speed squats followed by 4-6 sets of speed deadlifts. For example:

  • Speed squats: 6-12 sets @ 50-70%
  • Speed deadlifts: 4-6 sets @ 50-70%

This article is all about the deadlift so I won’t talk about dynamic effort squats here. If you want to learn more about how Louie Simmons programs the dynamic effort squat then check out my article “The Westside Barbell Squat Program!

The most important thing with your speed deadlifts is that you are accelerating the weight up as fast as possible. You want the bar to be flying out of your hands at the top position! 

Here is the powerlifting legend Chuck Vogelpohl performing speed sets on the conventional deadlift and sumo deadlift:

Chuck Vogelpohl Speed Deadlifts

Just look at how fast Chuck Vogelpohl rips 500 pounds off the floor. That is exactly what you want!

Louie Simmons always has his athletes use a 3-week pendulum wave for their dynamic effort workouts. This wave loading scheme is a great way to avoid training plateaus because your body always has to adapt to a slightly different training stimulus.

Louie Simmons has his athletes perform speed deadlifts with straight weight, chains or bands using 3-week waves.

Here is what a 3-week dynamic effort deadlift wave might look like using straight weight:

  • Week 1: 4-6 x 1 @ 50%
  • Week 2: 4-6 x 1 @ 55%
  • Week 3: 4-6 x 1 @ 60%

Here is what a 3-week wave might look like using chains:

  • Week 1: 4-6 x 1 @ 45% + chains
  • Week 2: 4-6 x 1 @ 50% + chains
  • Week 3: 4-6 x 1 @ 55% + chains

And here is what a 3-week wave might look like using bands:

  • Week 1: 4-6 x 1 @ 40% + bands
  • Week 2: 4-6 x 1 @ 45% + bands
  • Week 3: 4-6 x 1 @ 50% + bands

Louie Simmons has used 3-week deadlift waves like this sense the 1970s and they still work great. However it is not the only way to perform speed deadlifts.

Louie Simmons now has most of his athletes perform speed rack deadlifts with quadrupled mini bands or monster-mini bands.

Louie has his athletes perform 10 sets of 3 reps on the speed rack deadlift instead of the regular speed deadlifts. Here is a perfect demonstration of this exercise:

As you can see the athlete is still pulling as explosively as possible. 

Here is what a 3-week wave of speed rack pulls against bands might look like:

  • Week 1: 10 x 3 @ 40% + bands
  • Week 2: 10 x 3 @ 45% + bands
  • Week 3: 10 x 3 @ 50% + bands

It seems like most of the top Westside Barbell powerlifters rotate between floor deadlifts against bands and rack deadlifts against bands for their speed sets.

It’s hard to know for sure because Louie Simmons is always experimenting in the gym. However, after reading dozens of Westside Barbell training logs this seems to be the modern strategy.

Here is how you might want to plan out your dynamic effort deadlifts for maximum results:

Dynamic Effort Deadlift Training Schedule

  • Weeks 1-3: Floor deadlift against bands, 4-6 x 1 @ 40-50% + band tension
  • Weeks 4-6: Rack deadlift against bands, 10 x 3 @ 40-50% + band tension
  • Weeks 7-9: Floor deadlift against bands, 4-6 x 1 @ 40-50% + band tension
  • Weeks 10-12: Rack deadlift against bands, 10 x 3 @ 40-50% + band tension

After your speed squats and speed deadlifts you would perform 2-4 lower body accessory exercises using the repetition effort method.

These accessory exercises are not as important as the speed squats and speed deadlifts but they still have to be done.

Here is a good template for your dynamic effort squat / deadlift workouts:

Dynamic effort squat / deadlift template

  • Dynamic effort squat
  • Dynamic effort deadlift
  • Lower body accessory exercise #1
  • Lower body accessory exercise #2
  • Lower body accessory exercise #3

If you made it this far then you should know exactly how to use the max effort method and the dynamic effort method for building a huge deadlift.

Now let’s take a closer look at the best accessory exercises for building a huge deadlift.

Part 3: Deadlift Accessory Exercises

Louie Simmons uses a ton of different accessory exercises to build the deadlift. In fact he says that accessory exercises should make up 80% of your overall training volume!

Louie has most of his athletes perform 2-4 lower body accessory exercises at the end of their squat / deadlift workouts. For example: 

Westside Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Dynamic effort squat
  • Dynamic effort deadlift
  • Lower body accessory exercise #1
  • Lower body accessory exercise #2
  • Lower body accessory exercise #3

Louie Simmons says that the most important muscle groups for building a huge deadlift are the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. These three muscles are sometimes called the “posterior chain” because they all work together to perform hip extension during heavy squats and deadlifts.

Louie uses a wide variety of accessory exercises to train the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Here are some of his favorites:

Louie Simmons’ Favorite Deadlift Accessory Exercises

Louie Simmons uses all of these exercises plus many others to build the deadlift. This is what conjugate periodization is all about – using different special exercises to strengthen the main movement.

In my experience the most underrated accessory exercise for the deadlift is the sled drag. Here is a perfect video demonstration for this exercise:

The Forwards Sled Drag

As you can see the athlete is dragging a metal “sled” with extra 45 pound plates stacked on top of it.

Louie Simmons got the idea for sled drags from studying Swedish deadlift champions. Check it out:

“I learned about pulling from Eskil Thomasson, who is Swedish. Before he moved to Columbus, he visited Finland to see why so many Finns deadlift so well.

Many of these strong deadlifters were lumberjacks. They routinely had to pull paper wood down to the main trail, where the tractors could pick it up.”

Louie Simmons uses many different variations of sled drags to strengthen the lower body and build work capacity. One of the great things about the sled is there is no eccentric loading. This makes the sled much easier to recover from than more traditional exercises.

If you need more quadriceps strength then the backwards sled drag is an easy choice. For example:

The Backwards Sled Drag

Many bodybuilders including IFBB pro Branch Warren have used the backwards sled drag to build up their quadriceps. It is just a great all-around exercise.

Of course there are many other awesome deadlift accessory exercises that you can perform. Two of Louie’s favorite posterior chain exercises are the reverse hyperextension and the glute ham raise.

Here is a great video of the reverse hyperextension:

The Reverse Hyperextension

This machine is unique because it rehabilitates your lower back AND strengthens it all at the same time.

Louie Simmons used this machine back in the 1970s after he broke his lower back performing a heavy set of squats. The reverse hyperextension was so effective that Louie returned to the platform and squatted an unbelievable 920 pounds in his 50s!

Another one of Louie Simmons’ favorite deadlift accessory exercises is the glute ham raise. Check it out:

This is Louie Simmons’ favorite hamstrings exercise. It is unique because it trains the hamstrings from the hip joint AND from the knee joint.

Most exercises like leg curls or stiff-legged deadlifts only emphasize one part of the hamstrings.

This exercise is very mechanically challenging. The first time you try it you might only be able to perform 3-5 reps with your bodyweight.

Don’t worry, that is perfectly normal. This just tells you that your hamstrings are weak and the glute ham raise is the exercise that you need to strengthen them!

Part 4: A Sample 13-week Training Cycle

Here is a sample 13-week training program that you can use to hit a new personal record on the squat. I wrote this program myself using many of the things I’ve learned from Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell training program.

Here are some important details about this program:

  • The max effort exercises are rotated each week
  • You max out on deadlifts 50% of the time, squats 25% of the time and good mornings 25% of the time
  • The dynamic effort workouts use a 3-week pendulum wave
  • The dynamic effort exercise is changed after 3 workouts
  • The accessory exercises are changed after 3 workouts
  • A deload is performed on week 13 to peak your strength for your testing day

The Westside Barbell training program is all about finding your weak points and strengthening them with specific exercises.

I do not know what your weaknesses are so I designed this as a “middle-of-the-road” program that will work well for as many powerlifters as possible.

I hope this program helps you set a massive PR on the squat and gets you thinking about how to design more effective strength training programs. Enjoy!

Week #1: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Rack pull (2 inches off ground), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Box squat against bands (narrow stance / below parallel), 2 x 5-6, 2/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Seated band leg curls, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #1: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort buffalo bar box squat with chains (wide stance / parallel box), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 45 degree back extension, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Forward sled drags, 4 x 100-200 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #2: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat with bands (wide stance / parallel box), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Romanian deadlift, 2 x 6-8, 2/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Seated band leg curls, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #2: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort buffalo bar box squat with chains (wide stance / parallel box), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 45 degree back extension, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Forward sled drags, 4 x 100-200 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 55% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #3: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Sumo deadlift against bands, 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Safety squat bar box squat (medium stance / above parallel box), 2 x 5-6, 1/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Seated band leg curls, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #3: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort buffalo bar box squat with chains (wide stance / parallel box), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 45 degree back extension, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Forward sled drags, 4 x 100-200 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 60% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #4: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Chain suspended good morning, 2-3 x 3**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Belt squat, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 90 degree back extension (barbell on back), 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Band pull through, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd triple but stop after that.

Week #4: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat against bands, 6 x 2, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise against bands, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #5: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: 2 inch deficit deadlift, 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Olympic squat (narrow stance / heels flat), 2 x 5-7, 2/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Belt squat, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 90 degree back extension (barbell on back), 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Band pull through, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #5: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat against bands, 6 x 2, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise against bands, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #6: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat (narrow stance / low box), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Chain suspended good morning against bands, 2 x 5-6, 1/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Belt squat, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 90 degree back extension (barbell on back), 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Band pull through, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #6: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat against bands, 6 x 2, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise against bands, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #7: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Reverse band deadlift, 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Cambered bar box squat (narrow stance / below parallel box), 2 x 5-6, 2/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Good morning machine, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Walking DB lunges, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #7: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat with chains (wide stance / heels flat), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 45 degree back extension against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Cable pull throughs, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Backwards sled drags, 3 x 100 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #8: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Good morning squat, 2-3 x 3**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Sumo deadlift from 2 inch blocks, 2 x 5-6, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Good morning machine, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Walking DB lunges, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd triple but stop after that.

Week #8: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat with chains (wide stance / heels flat), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minutes rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 45 degree back extension against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Cable pull throughs, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Backwards sled drags, 3 x 100 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 55% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #9: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches off ground), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Safety squat bar box squat with chains (narrow stance / below parallel box), 2 x 5-6, 2/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Good morning machine, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Walking DB lunges, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #9: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat with chains (wide stance / heels flat), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 45 degree back extension against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Cable pull throughs, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Backwards sled drags, 3 x 100 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 60% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #10: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Buffalo bar box squat against chains (medium stance / parallel box), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Good morning squat, 2 x 5-6, 3/0/1/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: 45 degree leg press against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Dumbbell stiff legged deadlift, 2 x 20-25, 2/2/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #10: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort box squat against bands (wide stance / parallel box), 6 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (4 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Reverse hyperextension, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raise, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #11: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Sumo block deadlift (4 inch blocks), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Spider bar squat (narrow stance / heels flat), 2 x 5-6, 3/2/1/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: 45 degree leg press against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Dumbbell stiff legged deadlift, 2 x 20-25, 2/2/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #11: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort box squat against bands (wide stance / parallel box), 6 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (4 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Reverse hyperextension, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raise, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #12: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Good morning to pins, 2-3 x 3**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Spider bar squat (narrow stance / heels flat), 2 x 5-6, 3/2/1/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: 45 degree leg press against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Dumbbell stiff legged deadlift, 2 x 20-25, 2/2/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd triple but stop after that.

Week #12: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort box squat against bands (wide stance / parallel box), 6 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (4 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Reverse hyperextension, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raise, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #13: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • Perform light accessory work only. Back extensions, glute ham raises, reverse hypers, belt squats etc. are all fair game. 

Week #13: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • Skip this workout – your meet is tomorrow!

Week 13: Saturday / Competition Day

  • Break your old deadlift PR!

Words words words

Conclusion

There are many great ways to train for a world-class deadlift. However, the Westside Barbell training program is easily one of the best.

So many of the world’s strongest deadlifters have used Westside principles such as speed sets or accommodating resistance to blast through training plateaus.

Of course the Westside Barbell training program is constantly evolving.

Many years ago Louie Simmons had his powerlifters max out on good morning variations 70% of the time for their max effort workouts. Today Louie uses a variation of the deadlift for 50% of his max effort workouts.

The dynamic effort deadlift workout is also constantly evolving. Today Louie Simmons uses speed rack pulls against bands at least as often as he uses speed deadlifts from the floor.

The Westside Barbell deadlift program is constantly evolving and you should be to. After all, the deadlift program that gets you to a 600 pound deadlift is different from the one that gets you to an 800 pound deadlift.

Here is a great quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger to help prepare you for your next max effort deadlift workout:

“If you can go through the pain barrier, you make it to be a champion. If you can’t go through it, then forget about it.

And that’s what most people lack, having the guts – the guts to go in and just say ‘I’ll go through and I don’t care what happens.’”

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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