Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

Best Deadlift Dynamite review which will make you pull more [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jul 26, 2017 12:32:10 PM

Best Deadlift Dynamite review which will make you pull more

This is my write up of the Deadlift Dynamite book authored by Pavel Tsatsouline and Andy Bolton. I am currently on a quest to move my deadlift north of 200kg for which this book was ideal. Here is my summary and as always I recommend to buy and read if you want to improve. Everything else is cheating and cheaters do not hit their goals sustainably.

Get the free deadlift calculator

Andy Bolton

Andy Bolton won the WPC World Powerlifting Championships three times in 2000, 2001 and 2008 representing England in the -140kg and +140kg weight class. He also .placed fifth in the 2002 Arnold Strongman Classic.
His best lifts are
550.5kg Squat
350kg bench press
457.5kg Deadlift
Bench press 272.5kg
Deadlift 437.5kg
His best-known feat of strength as to be the first person to have ever pulled 1.000 pounds. He did this equipped and since then Eddie Hall holds the current raw world record for the deadlift at 500kg. Together with Pavel Tsatsouline, he authored Deadlift Dynamite sharing his technique and also the programming for reaching his 1.008-pound record Deadlift.
Andy Bolton world record deadlift
Andy Bolton world record squat
Andy Bolton bench press 342.5kg

Pavel Tsatsoulin

Pavel Tsatsoulin was born in Belarus in Mins in 1969. In the 1980s he was a physical training instructor for Spetsnaz where he built up his knowledge for his public break through when he became a kettlebell instructor in the United States in 1998.
He is most re-known for making the kettlebell a more popular exercising tool in the US after having the opportunity to train Navy Seals, Marines and Army Special Forces. His publisher is Dragon Door and he was also awarded the "Hot Trainer" badge by Rolling Stones magazine in 2001.
What I personally like most about him is his no nonsense style and that he has a great sense of humour. Just watch them of his instructional videos on YouTube and you will know what I mean.
Pavel Tsatsouline Enter the kettlebell reel
Together with other coaches he also runs Strongfirst, the school of strength. There you can currently choose from 34 different courses to become strong like a Russian.
Pavel Tsatsouline bibliography

Deadlift Dynamite details

  • Stretches
Especially in the early part of the book, you will find useful stretches from Pavel and Andy Bolton described in detail with high relevance to strength athletes. You will find all of the movements illustrated and explained in great detail. After reading the book I implemented the 90/90 and straddle stretch into my morning meditation routine. There are also partner stretches and drills explained to find your optimal powerlifting squat stance based on your personal build. Really useful once you got addicted to the iron game. Pavel excels in this section.
  • Face to wall squat
I always struggled with my hip and ankle mobility and still do. Based on the feedback from Tim Ferriss in his book tools of Titans I implemented Cossack squats in my routine. Out of Deadlift Dynamite, I am taking face to wall squats away. As they were professionally explained I now know all the little details to look out for and have a wide stance stretch which is very effective. Did not think of it before even though it is very simple.
  • Powerlifting squat and bench press
Besides the deadlift, the bench press and squat are also explained in the book. After reading this you will be fully equipped to start training for a powerlifting meet. Bolton goes over his style of the squat in the detail so if you squat with a wide stance this book is for you. If you prefer a narrow stance you might want to look for a different mentor as there is not a lot of detail given to the high bar squat or Olympic weightlifting style squat as the powerlifting squat is assumed superior. Which is fair as the book is aimed at powerlifters.
For the bench press, you will also find basic instructions to intermediate instructions which last you for a lifetime of training. If you want to become an expert the book falls short on explaining how to bench press with boards, utilise bands and chains. In addition deadlift suits, squat suits and bench press shirts are not explained in detail. This is an excellent book to bring you from zero to upper intermediate knowledge. For expert knowledge, there is too little attention being paid to variations of the lifts which Andy deems inferior. To be fair I have to say that he has a total I will never reach, so please form your own opinion and consult the Amazon reviews for further impressions.
  • Deadlift hinge 
The instructions on the hinge and how Andy executes it are absolute gems. They will take your thinking about the Deadlift to the next level. For me it was the first time I read about different ways of setting up the Deadlift by wedging into it or bringing your body under maximum tension before even touching the bar to pull it up like a spring.
  • Straw breathing 
Straw breathing is another new technique I learned from the book which is also covered in detail in Kettlebell simple and sinister. While lying flat on the ground you will breathe through a straw for ten minutes into your stomach. Once you can do this comfortably you upgrade to two straws. This is a nice addition what I have already learned from Chris Duffin's insights about how to use correct breathing to maximise tension.
  • Weakest lift first in the week 
A tip I took away from Andy Bolton is to swap your days around that their weakest lift comes first in the week and applied to my current Juggernaut method. Most program templates for intermediates seem to have the bench press on the first day of the week as there are quite a few powerlifters out there who deem it to be their weakest lift. That is not the case for me as my squat really stinks (170kg Squat compared to 150kg bench press at the time of writing).
  • Programming
The programming tips from Andy are simple and effective. No Bullshit. This will probably save you years of training the wrong stuff and over complicating principles and approaches. Intermediate lifters who are stalling will find clear 4 to 12-week cycles to peak and Andy's progression to his historic 1000 pound pull which I will not disclose here as you should pay him for his knowledge and hard training.



As I am already researching and reading about lifting far and wide I could not take a lot from the book for basic principles. That is the bad news for me personally. This is hugely outweighed by the few but very important insights about stretching, programming and using the kettlebell to support the deadlift. On top of that Pavel and Andy also go to lengths to make the read entertaining, as fitness instructions can become a very boring read if it is not spiced up a little.


Further reading 



Topics: Lift stronger, Deadlift, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Strongman