The Amazing Magnusson & Ortmayer Deadlift Program


This is a fantastic and highly successful deadlift program created and used by the legendary strongmen “Benedikt Magnusson” and ” Travis Ortmayer”.

This is a brutal deadlift program, it is hell and I can absolutely guarantee this because I underwent this self torture routine. HOWEVER, I added 22.5 kilograms to my deadlift in 12 Weeks.

In addition, I must mention that I threw in other lifts in the program to create a degree of variation. I will explain this in the YouTube Tutorial and in the notes section of the spreadsheet.

Who is Benedikt Magnusson

Benedikt Magnusson I DEADLIFT World Record - YouTube

 Benni is an Icelandic strongman and powerlifter, you might have seen him challenge Eddie Hall at the Giants Live Deadlift Championship in 2016 for the 500 kilogram deadlift world record.

However, before Eddie Hall and Thor there was Benni, he held the Raw Deadlift World Record with a lift of 460.4 kg in 2011 and then 461kg in 2014 which stood until Hall broke in in 2015 lifting 462kg.

To my understanding Benni is still the current WPO powerlifting world record holder in the deadlift lifting 440kg in 2005 Helsinki. In addition he olds the Log Lift Icelandic Record at 180kg. What the above highlights is Benni set the standards for Deadlifting in strongman and powerlifting.

Benni I believe was more of a powerlifter than a strongman, however, his brothers Magnús Magnússon who won Worlds Strongest Man in 2002 probably lured him to the strongman world. Some of his notable achievements are as follows:

  • Iceland’s Strongest Man 2003 – 1st
  • Iceland’s Strongest Man 2004 – 2nd
  • Iceland’s Strongest an (IFSA) 2003 – 1st
  • Iceland’s Strongest an (IFSA) 2004 – 1st
  • Arnold Classic 2006 – 5th
  • IFSA Strongman World Championship 2006 – 7th
  • Iceland’s Strongest Viking 2007 – 1st
  • Arnold Classic 2008 – 5th
  • Iceland’s Strongest Man 2010 – 2nd

Below is some clips of Benni doing his magic with the Deadlift

Who is Travis Ortmayer 

America's Strongest Man Athlete Series: Travis Ortmayer

Travis is an American Strongman who came from Powerlifting (the same as Benni) however Travis is a bit more of a diverse strongman and not just successful in static events like Benni.

In addition Travis has had a bit more success in the Strongman world, however Travis’s life has been very up and down with many injuries and battling addiction issues.

However, I had the below table of all his accomplishments and achievements to really highlight how talented of an athlete he really is:

World’s Strongest Man 
IFSA Strongman World Championships 
Arnold Strongman Classic 
IFSA Pan-American Championships 
IFSA Strongman World Team Championships 
2nd2005 Team Pan-America
1st2006 Cyprus Grand Prix
All-American Strongman Challenge 
Giants Live 
2nd2009 Mohegan Sun Grand Prix
1st2009 Viking Power Challenge
Strongman Super Series 
1st2008 Madison Square Garden
Strongman Champions League 
2nd2008 Latvia
3rd2008 Holland
3rd2009 Serbia
1st2009 Germany FIBO
2nd2009 Ukraine SCL 2009 Finals
3rd2010 Germany FIBO
3rd2010 Finland
5th2010 Ireland
4th2010 Bulgaria
1st2010 Holland
6th2011 Germany FIBO
6th2011 Canada SCL 2011 Semi-finals
1st2021 Portugal
America’s Strongest Man 

Program Breakdown

Rep Scheme

This program consists of just one training day per week whereby you will be performing three rep schemes which are as follows:

  • 4×4=16 reps
  • 2×2=4 reps
  • 1×8+=8 reps or more

This program has a range of rep schemes from moderate 4×4 then heavy doubles for two sets then a volume set for eight reps. This is a total of 28 reps minimum, however, it could be more if you are able to do more reps on the set of eight.

Percentages of 1RM

The program actually does not linearly progress in terms of percentages, you add a fixed amount of weight to the base percentages seen below and as the program progresses the weight increases.

2×280% and 90%
Starting Percentages of 1RM

Linear Progression

As mentioned below the strength adaption in this program is created by following a linear periodization training method. You add 5kg, 10kg, 15kg, 20kg then 25kg to all the rep schemes stated in the above table.

This is done throughout the 11 week training program then you test your new 1RM or peak for a meet on week twelve.

I’ve illustrated the progression in the below table, as you can see you take two weeks off during the program for rest and recovery.

This is due to the intensity of the program, DO NOT do any deadlifting during these weeks.

LBS0lbs0lbs10lbs 10lbs20lbs30lbs 30lbs40lbs50lbs
11 Week Weight Increase Progression Table (kg/lbs)

As you can see in the above table week one and two you add no weight, you just train at the starting percentages.

This is your introductory preparatory phase. Week three to six is your accumulation phase whereby you add 5-10kg or 10-20lbs whereby the intensity is starting to increase.

Week seven-ten is your transmutation phase whereby the intensity is close or at maximal level and you are starting to feel fatigue.

Then week 10-12 is your peaking tapering phase whereby you are at maximal effort, max loads and aiming to set a new PR in the gym or at a meet event.

My Suggestions

Accessory Exercises

I personally added the Trap Barbell Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift and Hip Thrusters to my training program. I felt their wasn’t a high enough degree of variation to create a strength adaption and help fix my sticking points. This was my timeline for accessory second lifts:

  • Week 1-3: Trap Barbell Deadlift: 3×5@85% of DL 1RM
  • Week 5-7: Romanian Deadlift: 3×5-6@55-65% of DL 1RM
  • Week 9-11: Hip Thrusters: 3×8@70% of Squat 1RM

NOTE: if your an intermediate or novice lifter the above might not be necessary also make sure the above does not effect your main training or create fatigue due to overtraining. It’s optional and something maybe an advanced lifter or someone who is able to handle high work load training can implement such as myself.

Assistance Exercises

This is less of a priority, however, you might want to incorporate some isolation hypotrophy exercises to create muscle mass and isolate specific muscles to create strength. I implemented the following exercises

  • Lat Pulldowns: 4×10
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 4×8-12
  • Face Pulls: 4×10

Again this is optional and maybe time will not permit you to incorporate the above, I train twice a day totally about 2-3 hours four times per week.

Lifestyle Adjustments

You should not attempt this whilst cutting and you should not attempt this is your lifestyle does not permit you to sleep 7-8 hours per night or you are not able to train consistently. You can’t skip weeks, you cant redo weeks, you must follow the program down to the T! In addition, if you are a novice lifter I wouldn’t advise this program is suited for you, its best for intermediate lifter and advanced lifters.

FINALLY, you might want to take a deload week before testing your new PR, or before the meet rather than test on week 12. This is what I did when implementing this program,.

Spreadsheet Download



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