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I Love Emails Like This…

Written on September 10, 2008 at 8:21 am, by Eric Cressey

Over a year ago, I wrote an article called Are You Doing Stupid Stuff in the Gym? In that article, I made a somewhat bold statement that seemed to ruffle some feathers:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: any healthy male under the age of 50 can deadlift 400 within two years of proper training — and most can do it even faster than that.”

Several people took issue with it, but as they say, opinions are like a**holes; everyone has got one. We proved that two years was a conservative estimate for a lot of folks when my business partner Pete pulled 400 after just 364 days of lifting.

Anyway, it’s been a while since this statement of mine received any attention, but I just got this email the other day:

A while back you wrote an article on T-nation, and in it you wrote your belief that anyone could achieve a 400-pound deadlift in two years of training. Anyway, here’s another point of data to support that.

I started working out July 06. I attempted my first DL that October and didn’t start deadlifting regularly until February 07. I used a measly 215 lbs then. I made tremendous progress initially, hitting 385 in August 07. Then I stalled for a long time. In February 08 I made a slight gain to 390 then went cold again. I took a long break from DLing then started on the Coan DL program 7 weeks ago. Finally, 3 weeks ago I pulled 400 for a double, and this week I got 405 for a single.

That’s been a goal of mine and I’m pumped to have finally achieved it.

Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea what kind of program this guy used to get to where he is, but it only took him 18 months from when he first started deadlifting regularly. Again, I’m not saying that your deadlift is the absolute measure of your progress or efforts, but I’d say that it’s a reasonable consideration for those who are healthy and training regularly.

Get your deadlift up with Maximum Strength.

5 Responses to “I Love Emails Like This…”

  1. JavierArmendariz Says:

    Yup! After reading that I set a goal to pull 400 w/i a year. After less than a year of training I went to my first powerlifting comp and pulled 407. Now I want 500. I can see it w/i the next year. Also, you didn’t finish the quote…”Opinions/Excuses are like A** holes everyone has one and they all stink.” 🙂

  2. Albert Suckow Says:

    I’ll vouch for this. I have a medium (not large) frame and build, and I was in terrible shape at 26 when I started deadlifting. With no coaching at all, and just a copy of Pavel’s book, I DL’ed 410 in about 18 months of on-and-off (but mostly on) practice. I don’t consider that an impressive or extraordinary achievement at all. I’m sure I’d be doing 500 with a competent PL coach.

    Strength and Honor

  3. Christopher Davis Says:

    I started DLed around january of 07, before that I was a “back extension and leg press” kind of guy.

    I pulled 405 for a single a few weeks back.

  4. D Says:

    I trained the deadlift for a total of about 5-6 months (5×5 and then westside-style) and pulled 430. I believe it’s definitely possible for anyone to pull 400 with proper training within a year.

  5. power rack Says:

    Eric, if you are at all curious about the Coan/Phillipi deadlift routine you can see a writeup on it at my site..it initially was designed by Ed Coan for Mark Phillipi, then later passed on to me. I believe I was one of the first to actually publish it on the net for Ed so others could enjoy it..its not a routine you can do continously, but if your current routine is not anything like this it can definately jump start your deadlift.

    Just as a note, this was published 6 years ago and some of my views on the routine overall have changed and the routine has been tweaked a little for others with good success.


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