T Nation

600lb Deadlift Possible for Everyone?


I’ve never applied myself to any one particular lift. I’ve always used an all around approach and always made sure to do plenty of leg and back work. I’d put myself in the bodybuilding camp although I’ll never compete and doubt I’ll even cut for the hell of it. I train to be strong, athletic, and more muscular than average.

That being said, I think I have slightly above average genetics (maybe I just appear that way b/c I’ve never adopted the sedentary American lifestyle). I’m 6’5" with long legs and I just pulled 450 on my first real all out max on deadlift. I’ve only recently started doing deadlifts but I’ve done power cleans for awhile so I haven’t been completely without a pull.

I state all this because I should have the potential to pull 600 based on most of the input here. What do you guys think?

My concerns–I’m 32 and past my prime; I’ve had back problems in the past (L3/L4 disc); and hard work vs smart work (if I run into injuries is it worth it to continue pushing?).

Also, with the exception of @Reed have any of you pulled 600 or more while maintaining a 6 pack?


I’d say yes you absolutely have the potential to pull 600.

I started lifting at age 33 with no real athletic background. I could pull 275 the first time I touched a barbell. 495 came after a few months, 600 after 3 years. I did and continue to do many, many things sub-optimally.

I have no idea if you can get to 600 without ever losing your six pack. That’s where you start getting into the question of whether its possible on your terms. The more qualifiers you add in, the more difficult it will be to achieve. A good example of this is Rich Froning, who cannot pull 600, but can do many, many, many things very well.

And for the record yes, I believe Rich Froning could pull 600 if he wanted to.


I would not like to discourage anyone. But I think most men, meaning less than 50 % of smaller men than 200lb men with lighter frames would struggle. They have to pull over 3 times their bw , whereas larger people pull at a lower percentage.

I think if we were allowed to do athletic tests on some of the population, it would determine who is more likely to be able to do so. For instance while my 80% 1RMX test is good and has remained roughly the same 3-5 normally, my explosiveness has decreased over the years (37) i.e. standing broad jump , vertical jump test which is to be expected partly through age though mostly I expect through obesity.

For instance the chap jumping 9 feet should have a good chance IMO.


Definitely. Another part of my terms would be back health. Last time I aggravated my disc I ended up losing the function of my medial quad for about 4-6 weeks. Strangest injury experience of my life. Couldn’t flex the muscle. Once the swelling in the disc went down I was good to go.

I think I’ll keep it a part of my program and work at it and see what happens “on my terms”. If/when I get closer to 600 then I might adjust my training to focus on the lift.


Although he uses, Derek Poundstone pulled like 900 with a herniated disc.


@twojarslave id like to point out that I did no bragging or attempted bragging, @Yogi1 is the one with the manhood comments.

Also, I feel like the deadlift is a sneaky lift that people don’t have to necessarily be muscular or technically proficient in order to move big weight.

With bench or squat you need one or the other, or some combination of both.


LOL, I understand this, but I mean that if a lot of these people who are presumed “incapable” of a large pull would pour the same effort and focus into their training that you have for the past several years, I surmise that they wouldn’t look so incapable. Just as you said…

How many people who are really, honest-to-goodness trying to achieve a big deadlift fail to get beyond four plates?

The thread title and initial question asked if it was possible for most people. If someone does not pull 600 because they were never trying for it in the first place, or they weren’t willing to put in the necessary time and effort, that misses the entire point. Brick’s contention seems to be that (some) of those people are incapable of a 600 pull regardless of whether they put in the time and effort to reach their potential; those of us on the other side believe that most people who actually did put in the time and effort to reach their potential would find that a 600 pull was reachable if that was a primary goal.

I also chuckle a bit at @on_edge’s story above. If a 6’1" 180 pound 52-year-old who doesn’t really focus on powerlifting or limit strength pulls over 400, is it really far-fetched to believe that 20 years ago, in his physical prime while spending a couple years dedicated to a big pull, 600 would have been impossible?

I think there’s one other sorta-misperception floating around here, this idea that saying a 600 pull is possible for everyone somehow diminishes the feat. On the contrary, I think it elevates the feat, because it suggests that those who achieve it are among a select few that actually did channel the necessary combination of time and effort to get there!


I think most adults have a herniated disc around L3/L4 or more commonly L4/L5. It’s just a matter of experiencing symptoms or not.

I’m not saying this is a limitation; just a consideration for me. It’s more along the lines of risk/reward. I prefer to live a long, healthy, and capable life. If pursuing any strength feat would intefere with that then it’s not worth it to me. That’s my preference and could mean I’ll never pull 600. However, I now intend to pursue it as long as it is a healthy pursuit. I’d like to think I can achieve it with smart training.


Check out ALpha’s log if havent already -went from 500 to 700 with 2 fractures in his back and has year round abz


I do want to emphasize this, lest anyone mistake my position that a 600 deadlift is physically possible for most people as “calling out” people that do not pursue or achieve monster pulls. There’s no reason (short of being a competitive powerlifter or strongman) that anyone needs to deadlift 600 pounds. We all can and should make our value judgements of risk/reward and try to do things within our own parameters (i.e. I would like to deadlift 600 pounds in the next year or two, but if that means gaining 30 pounds and being unable to run 1 mile, that’s a price I am unwilling to pay).


I just pulled 600lbs, while not claiming to have a 6-pack, I will argue I have a ‘fluffy’ 4-pack at just over 200lbs.
Video to follow.

EDIT: I forgot to tag @brady888 here, because weak.


Hmmm I guess im in the 95% bracket :blush: 405 x 3 @ 210 when i was 20


@BrickHead If it means anything i agree with your view point…and I have pulled 600 in the past .

I dont understand why guys for some reason get bent out of shape when the word genetic or potential gets brought up :hushed:


Thanks to all for chiming in on my questions. And I forgot to say “Mad respect to all who have pulled 600…hell even 500!”

Genetics, training age, gear, I don’t care. Guts and strength are to be commended!


I took this photo 1 week before pulling my first 600lb pull in a meet

Not sure if we call that full 6 pack, but it was pretty lean.


Not to brag (i’m bragging, don’t give a fuck) but I barely missed a 375 push jerk at 220 bodyweight and 23 years of age being completely natural. Sure, I can’t even deadlift over 650lbs, but if I can do that, there’s virtually no good reason someone can’t pull 600. Come on people.




Question…is this a friendly debate or a argument ?


I’d say subpar genes and stature are reasons.


Imagine if someone came in here and said anyone, even those with IQ’s of 80, can be physicists and engineers.