Dan Wohleber’s 900lb Deadlift Secrets!

In 1983, the 22-year old Dan Wohleber set the lifting world on its collective ear by totalling 2274lb weighing a mere 264lb.

The most incredible part about this world record total was that it achieved with only a 402lb bench press. Dan squatted 965lb that day and became the first man to ever pull 900lb with 904lb effort.

Dan burst onto the scene as a teenage phenomenon. He was billed as the world’s strongest teenage lifter after squatting 900lb at a 258lb body weight.Unfortunately, Dan had torn his right pec so severly that he would never be able to compete on a equal footing with the army of lifters who routinely bench 550lb to 570lb in the 275lb weight class or the super heavyweight class.

In spite of this handicap, the only man capable of going toe-to-toe with Dan in the 275lb class was John Gamble. John was a 550lb plus bencher.

Workout routine and secrets
The training technique that moved his deadlift from 820lb to 904lb was a version of the “Finish Deadlift Routine”. Basically, these are regular deadlifts done off a four inch block. The bar should rest just over the top of the foot, Ankle Deadlifts is another name for it.

He never used straps and he gripped the bar at the crease, where the fingers joing the hand, not in the palm.

He did not grip with the fist closed around the bar! According to Dan you hold the bar mainly with the fingers. This is the best grip developer he knew. 

He could not hang on the bar before he started using this routine. This routine changed everything!

Of course with this routine the poundages he used can’t be near what he used in regular deadlift. His best was 625lb for 5 repetitions, but the next workout when he picked up his regular deadlift, he lifted 770lb for 5 reps with no straps.

Dan Wohleber cited it would be a great feeling to go regular deadlifts after six weeks and 12 heavy sessions on the block.

Dan Wohleber: “It’s like the bar comes up a mile, you don’t have to bend over to grab it and your grip is unbelievable.

It’s a big mental and physical boost to your training when you begin.

Finish Routine Six Weeks 12 Heavy Sessions
Saturday (HEAVY) Wednesday (HEAVY)
3 Weeks/sets of 10 reps same
3  weeks/sets of 5 reps same

Note: He did these Finish Deadlifts for six weeks, twice a week heavy. He trained all of his lifts a week.

Regular deadlift – 6 heavy – 6 light sessions
Saturday (HEAVY) Wednesday (LIGHT)
2 weeks/sets of 5 60 % of Sat.
2 weeks/sets of 3 60 % of Sat.
2 weeks/sets of 1 60 % of Sat.

Assistance Work: Lat Pulldowns, shrugs on Saturday, the heavy day. He did all three lifts and it took five hours to complete.

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