Since 2004, Stan Efferding has been creating deadlift programs that are completely unique. Not only have his programs been winning competitions, but some have even changed the way the sport is played and perceived. His programs are updated and improved to work not only with the current rules, but with the way we as lifters are training these days.
I came across the “Deadlift Program” when I was researching a new program for my clients. I was impressed with the simplicity in the design, and how the program directly translated to helping my clients achieve the goals they had set out. I began to look into the creator of the program and discovered that it was actually written by a man named Stan Efferding!
The world of fitness is filled with programs that promise to help you lose weight and get stronger, but few of them deliver on their promises. The Stan Efferding Deadlift Program! – Revolutionary Program Design is a unique program designed by the legendary Stan Efferding, to help you lose weight and build strength. The program takes you through 5 phases, with a deadlift training program and one-on-one assistance with Stan Efferding.
Stan Efferding knows a thing or two about training for a big bench press. Stan has lifted over 800 pounds on multiple occasions in his career, including 837.5 pounds during the 2013 competition.
Here’s a video of Stan doing this facelift:
Unbelievable. With his tremendous weight, Stan broke the world record for weightlifting in the 275 pound class.
So how did Stan achieve his incredible strength in the deadlift? Stan didn’t make his world-class push-up overnight. After all, Stan was 45 years old and had been training for over 25 years when he finally put on 837.5 pounds in competition. The biggest reason for Stan’s success is his consistency and discipline over the years.
As Stan got stronger, he realized he needed more and more rest days between his deadlift workouts to recover. By the end of his career, Stan was only doing pull-ups every two weeks.
Yes, you heard me right: Stan only did deadlifts once every two weeks, and trained to lift 837.5 pounds! Here’s how Stan organized his squat and bench press workouts:
Stans Squat / DeadliftTraining Plan
- Week 1: A heavy deadlift.
- Week 2: Heavy knee bends
- Week 3: A heavy deadlift.
- Week 4: Heavy knee bends
Yes, you read that right: At the height of his powerlifting career, Stan only did a squat or deadlift once every two weeks! Most powerlifters would have a hard time moving forward with this plan, but for Stan it worked like magic.
The breakdown of Stan Efferding’s training is even more bizarre: Before powerlifting, he only trained twice a week. For example:
Stan Efferding Powerlifting Split training
- Monday: Bench Press
- Saturday: Squat / cross body lift
Stan was so strong and explosive that he needed rest between workouts. This Lillibridge-style training worked better for him than anything else he tried.
Stan Efferding used a very simple form of linear periodization to train the deadlift. Stan did his first bench press workout about 10-12 weeks before his next powerlifting meet.
He worked up to a triple heavy in the deadlift and then did some leg and back support work. As the match approached, Stan performed doubles and singles with heavier weights to reach his peak strength.
Here’s an example of how Stan planned his squat and bench press training cycles:
Stan Efferding’s Squat and Bench Press 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: The week of unloading
- Week 12: Week of the competition!
Stan could do about 5 heavy lifts for the next powerlifting competition by training this way. That’s all Stan could handle before he got burned out and overtrained. Stan says that every time he tried to train longer than 10-12 weeks, he started to fall behind and lose strength right before the race.
Now let’s look at a typical bench press workout that Stan did before a powerlifting competition. Look at this:
Stan Efferding Bench Press Training
- A1 : Regular deadlift, 1 x 1-5, 1/0/X/0, rest 5 minutes
- B1: leg press with bandages, 2 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
- C1: Pull-ups with wide grip, 2 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
- D1 : Rows of rope sitting (arms in V), 2 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest.
Here’s a video of Stan lifting a huge triple weight during training:
Stan Efferding does a short and effective bench press workout. The most important part of the workout is a heavy set of 1 to 3 reps on the bench press. That’s the only sentence that really matters.
Sure, Stan does some assistance exercises after the deadlift, but they’re not that important. Stan only worked a few heavy sets to failure in each exercise and that was the end of it.
I know some of you are watching this training and saying: This volume may not be sufficient. I could never progress in such a routine. Because how can Stan progress if he does 1 set of heavy cross lift every 2 weeks? There are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all: Stan Efferding is one of the strongest powerlifters in the world. He is also one of the most explosive athletes in the world. When Stan practices, he creates very deep entries in his ability to rebound every set. He needs much more time to rest and recover than the average practitioner.
It should also be taken into account that Stan Efferding was alternating between bodybuilding and powerlifting throughout the year. Stan trained as a bodybuilder for 3-6 months before switching to a powerlifting training cycle.
During his bodybuilding programs, Stan trained twice a day, six days a week, with a very high training volume! This means that Stan’s performance level was extremely high before the powerlifting competition began. He didn’t have to do much extra work to develop his weaknesses during his powerlifting workouts because his strength training programs took care of that.
Unless, like Stan Efferding, you alternate between strength training and power training, you may need more volume/frequency for optimal progression.
To learn more about Stan Efferding’s unique approach to training, read the following articles:
Finally, here’s one of my favorite Stan Efferding quotes about coaching:
How many sentences and exercises? It doesn’t matter. I can build an entire workout around one or two sets of maximum effort and go home feeling good. Volume does not improve results, intensity does.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your strength training!
Dr. Mike Jansen.
Thanks for stopping by my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT. I am the creator/owner of Revolutionary Program Design. My goal is to make RPD the best strength training resource on planet Earth. if you are from another galaxy, anything is possible! So lean back, kick back and relax. There has never been a better time to train or learn the art and science of developing strength training programs.
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