"Originally intended as a book, these are the training methods of Eddie Kowacz. Marine, Corrections Officer, SWAT Operative and life long martial artist & strength trainer. When I spoke to Eddie about publishing his training logs and commentary as a book,.. he refused. He told me that this information was meant to be free. That is what you are getting. The real deal, workouts, comments and log entries." — Tom Furman
Rather than start with some rules or guidelines [they will come in time], let us jump into a routine that can benefit you now. It's the Green Ghost Volume Deadlift Routine. I have to thank, "HLVN" on IronGarmX for saving this in a notebook. The quotes are from Eddie's training journals.
Within this routine you see some very specific patterns which define the GG training method.
1. Low reps
2. High sets [density type training]
3. High emphasis on pulling. Two reasons. Eddie Kowacz started like many of us with a Sears Barbell set. He had no bench. He therefore focused on pulls. The other reason is he had some severe knee injuries and squatting caused pain and swelling. Deadlifting in the max effort fashion could be managed every so often. Volume deadlifting for work capacity, over all body strength and cardio seemed to work.
Here are the rules. This list has been printed elsewhere. I will provide workouts from his journal to show you how he implemented it.
Green Ghost Volume Deadlift Routine
Percentages of deadlift 1RM: no less than 50%, no more than 65%
Reps per set: 3-5 Sets per workout: 10-20 Rest: No less than one minute, no more than two minutes Frequency: Every third day, i.e., Mon/Thu/Sun/Wed/Sat
Mix n' match sets/reps/percentages as needed.
Every third or fifth workout: Deadlift for 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps with tolerable percentages.
Other moves are okay as long as they don't compromise the deadlift. Presses are good on off days. Also work abs 3-5 days per week.
Now some thoughts and workouts from Eddie-
"Strength base was built by using a combination of Max Effort, Dynamic Effort and Volume Deadlifts".
"IMO, you can never have a too strong back. If it's a weakness it should be addressed".
"My pulling movements have always been dominant over my pushing movements. Whether it's low reps, high reps or even long volume sessions, pulls rule. Maybe it's because when I started lifting back in the middle 70's ( I was 15 then ) I had no bench. I got a 110 lb. weight set from Sears ( gold ) and the first exercise I ever did with it was a Deadlift. I had some marathon sessions for sure. I remember doing 100 rep sets (DL) with it when I was a sophomore in H.S. DLs, Rows, Power Cleans and even Curls were the favorites. Military Presses came later as did Bench work".
–Volume Deadlift Workouts–
Deadlifts done using 315 for 12 sets of 5 reps. 30 seconds rest between sets. Great cardio!
Deadlifts done using 365 lbs for 10 sets of 5 reps. 1.5 to 2 minutes rest between sets. The 365 is just more than 2x bodyweight.
Deadlifts done using 405 for 10 sets of triples. 60 seconds rest used between sets. For the last 4 sets I used straps.
Deadlifts done using 405 + 100 lbs chain for 5 singles. Halfway through lift bar weight = 455 , at top 505.
Finished with Deadlifts using 315 for 1×12, 1×10, 1×8.
Deadlifts done using 315 for 25 sets of 5 reps. 60 seconds rest used between sets.
With a few warmup singles this was a 40,000 lbs + volume day. Good cardio!
Right now I'm DLing 2x a week. 1 session consists of Density Training using between 60-65% of 1 rep max for a minimum of 10 sets to a maximum of 20 for 5 reps. Since this is primarily a cardio drill I keep the rest periods to no more than 60 seconds between sets.
The 2nd DL session is done for 10 sets of triples using @ 80% of 1 rep max.
Rest period between sets is anywhere from 2-3 minutes. For example: yesterday I did 425 for 10 sets of 3 and a week or 2 back I used 405. This is mostly a strength maintenence drill for me since pulling anything heavier causes excessive knee swelling. I pulled 3 singles at @ 90% ( 475 ) a few weeks back and it caused a problem.
I will be adding another DL workout to the mix soon which will consist of 1 or 2 sets of high rep work ( 20-30+ ) using the same 60-65% ( 315 ) as my 1st session. This will change my 2x a week program to one which will have me DLing every third day. This will be mainly a posterior chain endurance strength drill. On this day I will also add my 1 Arm KB swings using my 150 for some low rep, low volume work. KB first and DL last as a finisher.
Below is a question about a deadlifting problem.
Question- My weakness in the Deadlift is pulling off the floor. What do you suggest?
Answer- "I've always liked Speed Deadlifts w/Chains to help with a weakness off the floor, using between 60-65% of max for 10 sets of triples with a 60 second rest between each set.
AS far as KBs are concerned my 2 favorite in helping to increase speed at the bottom of the DL, I've loved both 1 KB Swing High Pulls and 2 KB Dead Cleans. ( I've never done swing cleans, no need. )
Swing High Pulls – 1 Heavy KB using either 150, 170, 190. I do this movement with 2 hands on the bell and swing back as far as I can and explode up into a high pulling position. 190 KB is used for ME and the 150 is DE work. I've also used chains for DE KB Swing High Pulls. The feel is unreal. Bands can be used but I find it much easier on my body to just stick to chains. — [This will be a future article]
Try this following routine. ( Based on your post for a 3 day a week schedule ) : Day 1 – 3 X 5 @ 75-80% … Day 2 – Speed Dls ( outlined above ) … Day 3 – 3×3 @ 85 % .
Now that's just BB work. Feel free to switch the Speed DLs with an explosive ballistic KB movement such as the 2 that I listed above. I consider them interchangeable."