Deadlifting 600lbs 8 Days Straight
Why? Are you stupid?
Eight straight days ripping 600+lbs off the floor. Was there a reason? Was there a set up? Was there a freaking goal or was it a random act of stupidity?
Stupidity for sure but in reality, the biggest inspiration came from my time training under Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk. While training under Dr. B, we would do the EXACT same workout every single training day. It was monotonous, it was brutal, it was difficult, but for some reason I enjoyed it. The intensity was never overly high, which made it physically possible to go 6-8 weeks doing the exact same workout but that still did not change the monotony behind the training. My mindset by Day 3 of the 600lb challenge...why not?
By the third day I started to really recognize some goals I would have regarding the training. I wanted to see if there were days that I felt more “woke” than other days. If those days happened, I would push it quite a bit. By day 5 I came up with an even crazier goal. I wanted to finish 8 days, test my 605lb rep out and then take off from deadlifting for 10 days, push my squats and come back and try to hit 600+lbs for a set of 10.
Before I dive into this entirely, I would to preface this article with a very clear emotional statement. During this time, one of my training partners and athlete, Anthony Myers, was on his death bed. I was/am struggling emotionally with this aspect of life. He had been fighting glioblastoma, a terminal brain cancer for over a year. When I first hit 662lbs, I went to Anthony’s house afterward to see him. His mom had informed me that he was sad. One thing Anthony taught me was to remain positive at all times and to take advantage of every single opportunity presented. I talked to him for 15-20 minutes about what I had done. It was a hard conversation, I wanted him to be proud of me, to be happy and recognize that he was an inspiration behind my motivation. He couldn’t train anymore and I was going to do this shit for him. That was an emotional trigger that led me down this path. If Anthony was in bed fighting a terminal cancer that would take his life, I for sure could take down 600lbs on a regular basis.
What was the daily progression?
My progression varied. The first 4 days, I warmed up with back squats to 200 kilos. These squats were ass to grass, singles or doubles and I used them to warm up my back and wake up my aggression. During these beginning days, I would start my deadlifts at 315lbs. Every single rep I would pull as quickly as I could. I would feel my knees pushing back, the bar tucking into me and squeezing as rapidly as I could through the floor. The pulling reps went 315/405/495/565/600-605 depending on the way I was loading the plates. I would rip doubles to quads on the way up, using straps past 405lbs.
For the last four days, I altered my warm up. I would get on the assault bike and burn 50 calories around 50rpm. I would then do a short mobility routine and smash some easy jumps to focus on speed. I do believe that taking the squats away from my warm ups helped me feel good the last four days. That squat intensity is fine for 2-3 days but I believe it was leading to overarching fatigue that I did not need. My deadlift warm up remained the same with the progression, BUT I added in overhead single leg squats to open up my hips and thoracic spine. This was one of the pivotal exercises that I did for general mobility that dramatically improved my overall feeling. My stiffness would slowly go away and I would feel snappier on my pulls within 2-3 sets of this exercise. By the last three days, I started to take 2 sets of doubles at 565 and then jump to 600+. The last two days I hit 600+ for multiple reps, the last day being my absolute best day, ironically.
This was an interesting point for me. Since I dropped 60+lbs of bodyweight over 3 years ago, I typically have had a good control of my nutrition and how I feel and what I eat. I started this experiment at 237.8lbs. By the second day, I noticed I was starving within 2-3 hours of deadlifting. I decided at this point to increase my protein intake to try to prevent this hunger. By day 6, my bodyweight was already up to 241lbs. There were three days where I did smash upper body work after hitting my deadlift goal for the day, these days I counted my protein intake just south of 300 grams. My carbohydrate intake was close to 400 grams each day and I believe this was incredibly important for my energy levels. I am not entirely positive how much of my weight gain was based around a caloric surplus vs. building lean muscle mass from the difficult training regimen.
The first three nights my sleep was incredible. I was exhausted and recovered well. I tend to work around 12-14 hours every day. Adding an accumulation of deadlifts led to quite a bit of extra fatigue. The fourth night and fifth night I started to notice my sleep patterns being interrupted. I awoke in the middle of my sleep and struggled to fall back asleep. I was quite fatigued and could not fall back asleep. During the day I was still not correlating my training to my struggles with sleep. Finally, my sleep heading into the 8th day was absolutely horrific. I fell asleep rapidly and within 90 minutes was back awake, having a full blown panic attack and covered in sweat. I moved to the couch, calmed down in front our wood stove and then went back to the bedroom where I fell asleep around two hours later. The 8th night I was concerned about my sleep again, for good reason. Again a panic attack ensued about halfway through my night and another 2 hour battle with relaxation.
Looking back at these responses, I recalled Dr. B telling me about high levels of fatigue leading to two different sleep responses. One response could potentially lead to an individual struggling to just get out of bed in the morning, feeling groggy and under recovered. The other potential response is a full night of restlessness. I believe my restlessness was partially caused by my deadlifting episodes and can also be attributed to the stress I was feeling from general life experience.
Traditionally, I rarely do any form of mobility. However, after the third day of deadlifting I noticed my lats and neck were beginning to get quite stiff and sore. I had never felt a stiff neck from deadlifting before, which influenced me to take up about 15-20 minutes of mobility work each day. This included:
1A) Overhead Single leg squats
2A) Cossack Squats
3A) Snatch presses sitting in the hole
4A) Pigeon pose
5A) Duck walks
I believe these movements help my hips feel mobile, kept my lower back moving and the overhead single leg squats and snatch presses helped me feel a bit more awake in my thoracic spine. By working through that series each day for 15-20 minutes, I felt quite good for the next day...well, as good as I could feel after deadlifting 600+lbs every day.
My saving grace ended up being my supplements. Each day I laid out my supplement plan and made sure each aspect had its special role in my training session. This included:
⇨ Missing Link - Earth Fed Muscle: Helped with joint care and keeping inflammation down through the deadlift work!
⇨ Whey Back Protein - Earth Fed Muscle: Made it easy to keep my protein intake up around 300 grams!
⇨ Transcend - Earth Fed Muscle: I took 10-15 grams a day of Transcend creatine for optimal performance.
⇨ Stammpede - Earth Fed Muscle: Nothing like 5-7 grams of Beta Alanine and a whole bunch of caffeine when you’re on day 7 of pulling 600+lbs!
⇨ Earth Fed Essentials - Earth Fed Muscle: Three pills daily, as normal for me to enhance my blood work
⇨ ZMA Advanced - Earth Fed Muscle: Two pills a night until my panic attacks came about, then I added another pill for the next 5 days to prevent awakening.
⇨ Pregnenolone - MRM: I use this to maintain healthy blood work, something I have done since being diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
Two of my upper body days were simple bench workouts, hitting 7 sets of bench super setted with pull ups. The session was nothing crazy, just focused on hypertrophy work. I noticed a DRAMATIC increase in my bench press from this deadlifting series. I found my bench creeping up to 405lbs for sets of 5-6, something I haven’t hit in training for quite some time. My third day of upper body training was entirely focused around bize and trize, an easy session for recovery.
Other movements I attacked that helped my recovery and general feeling were these four specific movements that improved my trunk strength.
1. Garhammer Raise
2. Reverse Hyper
3. Hollow Rock Landmine Passes
4. Single Leg back extension
I believe these exercises helped me recover and maintain proper proprioception within my trunk, especially the unilateral back extension.
The Final Day
My final day was very interesting. I had decided after my poor sleep that it was time to shut down the experiment and get back onto my normal Ghostface Programming. As I was warming up, I took 2 heaping scoops of Stammpede, started to get the tingles and was waking up quite a bit. My body felt loose and snappy as I built up to 565lbs. I took 565lbs for a double and then jumped to 605lbs. When I took 605lbs for the first time, it felt good but in my head I was only taking it for a single. I sat down and contemplated my next step. My best set ever with 605lbs was a BRUTAL set of four. That’s when I decided I wanted to roll for a PR. I gripped the bar, thought about the opportunity at hand and smashed a set of five at 605lbs. This was a PR by a rep AND it felt strong AF. This was a culmination of knowing my test was concluding and I was extremely motivated to make this day a strong one.
I wouldn’t recommend running an experiment like this more than once or twice a year. I believe this style of test could work for something that is a little less fatiguing like bize and trize but for squats or deadlifts, the experiment should only happen every 5-6 months. I also believe it is extremely important to lay out the proper mobility work, optimize supplement and nutritional intake and pick a specific goal that can be accomplished and work toward that goal. My goal was simple, 600+lbs everyday. Keep the ideas simple and try to notice what happens AFTER the experiment runs its course. The biggest gains will be noticed 10-15 days after the experiment concludes.
Stay in touch with all of our crazy ideas and results by subscribing to our blog roll and joining our email newsletter. For daily content, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, where we consistently post about our training methods and training results. Stay tuned to our social media and stories for even further interaction!