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I have only just bought this, so haven't had time to try it yet.
On the plus side: it is good to see a programme that focuses on the Deadlift (DL) and gives it reasonable volume. Overwhelmingly, powerlifting programmes seem to focus on Squat and Bench, the assumptions being that the DL doesn't need much work, that it doesn't reward extra work and that it grinds you down. In addition, improvements in the Squat are supposed to improve the Deadlift, but the carry-over won't go the other way.
I have long suspected that the Deadlift will do all those things - if you try to work it as hard as Squat and Bench while still going flat out on both the latter. But what might happen if DL was the main lower-body lift and Squat was secondary?
The author claims this is the program that boosted his DL numbers.
I do have some concerns: the book appears to aimed at intermediate/advanced lifters, but a good chunk (including poor photos that don't work on the Paperwhite) is about how to do the DL. There is quite a bit of repetition and the structure is less than helpful.
The meat of the book is a chart of 2 workouts per week for 12 weeks. It is ok that you have to read past this to find warm-ups and assistance work details, although I think it would be better before. What is missing from the main chart and really needs including is that sometimes you are meant to do additional work on these main lifts; either, AMRAP (as many reps as possible) or working up to a sort of max - but without overloading or going too intense!
A read through of the chart suggests errors or missing information. This creates uncertainty, as the load variation doesn't fit a predictable pattern and there may be errors that the reader isn't aware of and cannot find.
What is odd is doing up to 10 singles with 90%+ of max in week 11 [Dan John suggests 6 heavy singles is about the most anyone can handle] - this weight is your competition opener (if you compete) and "your max in week 12 will be about 110% of the weight from week 11".
110% sounds great. BUT … just using the author's suggested percentages :110% x 90% = 99%! You would have lost strength after 12 weeks work!
In reality, you should be stronger, but, if the author is correct, ou would have to lift above 90% for up to 10 sets to end on a positive improvement. And the author even suggests reducing the load if you don't hit the minimum reps.
All this won't bother the recreational lifter, they can keep adding attempts above 99% until they hit their true max. But an inexperienced competitor who uses 90% as an opener and aims to hit a new max based on "110%" of that is going to be disapponted. The author hypes the book as the route to 600 lbs and then presents such low goals. A lot of work for zero progress.
In contrast, after 9 weeks on "Reload" by Pavel Tsatsouline and Fabio Zonin I had a new max at 111.111 of my original DL. I expected to add 4-5%, got that, hit 107%, then 109% and finally, the top set. An over 11% improvement in 9 weeks.
(The original plan is only 8 weeks, but I added an extra week because I had recently been focusing on higher rep work and hadn't really gone heavy - except the pre-plan test weeks - for a few months.)
By the way, I only did DL on the "Reload" plan and the main workout - much lower volume than this book. I have Cerebral Palsy and can't Squat - not "won't", can't - and did this about a month before my 64th birthday.
All in all, I guess there must be a mistake in Ryan Mathias's book; perhaps the author meant a new max based on 110% of your original max? That may be doable for intermediate/young advanced - 105% or even less may be true for older and more advanced lifters
I am worried that this programme will cause inexperienced lifters to burn out and week 11 might mean leaving the best lift in the gym.
On top of all that, the book needs proofreading. There are missing words, duplicate text, typos, poor grammar and the author's email - so you can ask questions - simply doesn't work. The core plan needs checking and the book needs a rewrite!
This book goes over the basics of set up, technique, programming, etc. Be ready to put the work in with these workouts. I suggest every beginner start here and even if you are an intermediate lifter to read it to adjust workouts.
This book is great ! From the start I was impressed with the straightforward, understandable format. If you want to get serious about your deadlifting, then this is the book for you. Also, the author is true to his word. I reached out to him with a question and he provided timely, pertinent advice on how to make my lifts better. I'm thoroughly happy with my choice to purchase this guide !
Great easy to read book. This book is more talented for beginner & intermediate lifters for sure. The program is easy to follow and the book goes into straight easy to read instructions. I also like how it has links to the author’s site.
Quick read, with instructions that are simple to follow. Had some questions about a particular work out, reached out and received a response in less that 24 hours. Looking forward to picking up his other books.