T Nation

600lb Deadlift Possible for Everyone?


Answer to OP is no! Many men won’t even be able to bench 225 for a few reps.

Anyone look at average people outside of gyms, or even in gyms? Lol!


That’s the beauty of what most of us have accomplished! I’m nowhere near elite. Hell, I’m not even good at a lot of things by this site’s standards. Fortunately this site is a small portion of the world’s population. I’m still stronger than most, bigger than most, and more athletic than most of the people around me. More importantly, I can apply my strength to the real world. I can suplex a 180lb man (probably heavier but that’s how heavy he was LOL).

The majority of the world is weak and frail and that makes the average T-Nation member superior by comparison.

(sorry for the rant; I’ve been drinking rum) :slight_smile:


I think if any healthy male wants a 600 DL, and is willing to do what it takes to get it, he will achieve it.

Any healthy male.

No will or want is an obvious disqualifier, so they don’t even count as criteria for the OP’s question.


Forget 10 years/15 lbs a year, this is a great base! -you prob could have 600 within 6 months if really wanted, just need to get the bodies neurology, hands and grip etc used to heavy deadlifting


BW at pull was 224.


I’m going to work on it but I’m not giving it my all yet. I’m one cycle in to 5/3/1. I’ll be starting my new year with a deload and then it’s back to work for 6 weeks. I try to beat my rep max every week so hopefully I’ll see all my numbers creep up this year. I’m still chasing the macho standards of pulling 500, squatting 400, and benching 300. I hit a 300lb bench a long time ago but still chasing the others. I may not be built for all that but they’re worthy goals.

Better to chase the stars than make excuses.

Thanks for the motivation!


You have been in bat country lately Hunter , the game has changed, the germans won the war.


Does this go for people who have the structure of Woody Allen too?


OK, I am back to write my definitive treatise on the subject.

The key word here is what exactly is meant by the word could.

My hunch is that most men (with the possible exception of some guys that have an especially small frame) could pull 600…but here is the key…

If the number was “500” instead of “600” my answer would be exactly what these guys have written. I am not as sure about 600 being possible for any healthy adult male, but I do agree with the basic gist of these quotes.

Also, we should cover something else. This:

…is absolutely NOT normal. With all due respect, @brady888, that makes you some sort of anomaly. I first pulled 405 at age 16, but I weighed 225 pounds and had been lifting for several years to train for football and wrestling. Merely strolling into a gym and deadlifting 405 at 140 pounds bodyweight without any other backstory (farmer’s kid that spent childhood tossing around hay bales and sacks of flour) makes you a rare breed, I believe.


Hey, that’s me! And I actually think I’ll be an interesting n=1 case study over the next year or two…one thing to clear up, I do weigh over 200 pounds (currently sitting at about 220 after the holidays…and just a little fluffier than I would like to be). More discussion of that to come on my New Year’s Day log entry that will follow my workout later this morning. I do want to give a tip to @furo because he correctly points out that, while generally unremarkable, I have an extensive athletic history that did include barbell training, so although I’d not picked up a heavy barbell in several years, I was probably a little different from your average untrained individual. But I did take my deadlift from 405 to 505 in eleven months while doing…

No offense taken at all, and I agree with everything said here.

I also chuckled at the mention of the Beginners’ forum…and when you think about it, doesn’t my progress over the past year illustrate how silly some of those discussions ultimately are?

But anyways…

This is a critical point. A little bit later in the thread @BrickHead seems incredulous that we’re even discussing this noting that many people never get past benching 225, but I think that’s a little bit off from the original question. It’s not whether most people WILL get there, but whether most people COULD get there, and even that has two layers to it:

As @twojarslave mentions above, not everyone is willing or able to do the things necessary, and that’s no indictment of people who aren’t. I intend to pursue this goal in the next year or two, but only under certain conditions (I don’t want to add more body weight, need to stick with a training schedule that fits around my work and personal life, etc). Basically, I would love to have a 600 pound deadlift, as long as I can achieve it on my terms. More discussion about me later today, on my own training log…

Ouch. Be careful with the broad generalizations. I have made progress deadlifting a couple times a week, but I am certainly not under the illusion that it’s the ONLY way to make progress. People who speak in absolutes…

This is another fascinating angle. It’s good to be humble, but I think this undersells our strength achievements a little bit. I have a similar story, and I expect that others who train in commercial gyms do as well…and while we should keep in mind our proper place in the strength hierarchy, it is good to remember that not everyone is willing to put in the work to do this.


@ActivitiesGuy I actually meant many men CANNOT get there, rather than if they have the potential to get there if they put in the hard work. Uncoordinated men with diminutive statures CAN’T get a 600 pound deadlift and CAN’T get a 225 x 10 bench press set.


Right, I understood you…

Most of us posting on this thread seem to believe differently: the thread semi-consensus seems to be that most people do have the potential to get there if they put in the work, but that most will not do the things necessary to get there.

You provide the dissenting opinion: that many people are physically incapable of getting there, regardless of work ethic, training, etc. We’ll never really KNOW the answer for sure! We do know that most people will not get there; the question is whether they never had the possibility, or whether they did not sufficiently dedicate themselves to accomplish the feat.


Where did I say that deadlifting once a week won’t let you progress ? Where did I say that ONLY deadlifting twice a week is the way to progress?
I was trying to help point out a very important factor in getting this 600 pound pull and frequency is king surely.


I apologize then.

It’s just that I believe that many gym nuts, bodybuilders, powerlifters, and the like have a rather myopic view of this world as a whole. Yes I might sound sarcastic in asking this (not just to you): Does anyone take a look around at the hundreds or thousands of people they see everyday? Do you think that uncoordinated men with diminutive statures COULD get a 600 a deadlift if they put in the necessary work and lived the appropriate lifestyle? Actually I’ll be ballsy and say I know many can’t. Same goes for a 500 pound squat and a 400 pound bench press or even a 300 pound bench press for many men.


I deadlift about 3 times a year… Pulled 640 last week after not deadlifting for 4 months. Frequency may have a factor but it isn’t a huge factor in my opinion. I have a client I took from 600 pull at SHW to 725 at 308 in a year and half and he only deadlift 9 times in that time and 3 of which were done on the platform at meets. There are many many many ways to get there.

To the OP I strongly believe any male of average bw and of no glaring injuries can pull 600lbs IF they put in the time and effort. The question wasn’t can an average coach Potato just walk in and do it. With proper training, nutrition, recovery and time I strongly feel any man can do it.


I find this is true if SKILL is what is holding back one on the deadlift. In many cases, poundages can be rapidly added to a movement by simply getting better at it, and one of the best ways to get better at something is to practice it frequently. It’s why Starting Strength has trainees squatting 3x a week; to rapidly develop the skill of squatting, which permits adding 5lbs per session.

Some people end up tapping out their skill potential growth early by essentially mastering the lift, but still don’t have the strength needed to move the weight. In their circumstances, less frequency of the movement proper might be the solution, so that they can spend time building up the strength in lacking areas to pull the weight.

And, of course, you could always just Paul Anderson it; get so strong that skill is immaterial to your ability to move the weight. I like that approach myself, haha.


@BrickHead is coordination not a skill that can he improved on?
I started at 6’, 130 lbs. Small ankles and wrists. Chronic pain and semi-serious injuries requiring surgery to repair. My stature and structure were pretty frail.
But I’m the cheater outlier, so my opinion doesn’t count :smile:


@ActivitiesGuy I have no problem agreeing with you about my deadlift. It has always been pretty strange.

Bench started at 70 lbs for an assisted single, squat with 135, groaning/whining, and 1/8 range of motion. But deadlift just moved.

When I first deadlifted 405 I actually failed it 13 or 14 times before getting it. I’m a bit stubborn.


Hahahaha thanks man now I get it


To a degree, yes. But there are men out there who are inherently unathletic and uncoordinated. If you believe they aren’t out there, that’s fine. I believe they are. Hence the words spas or klutz.

If you’ve read enough of my posts, you see that I generalize much of the time. I don’t feel the need to go into each and every individual situation, such as some hardgainer-turned-hulk case in which the subject does indeed have the ability to get a 600 pound deadlift. The fact remains that many don’t.


@BrickHead, The smiley face was to (hopefully) denote a playful tone. To be honest, you’re probably right. I also think that things like mindset, resiliency, and dedication are somewhat influenced by genetics.

But I don’t think I would have progressed in strength to where I am now if I had that mindset starting out. I needed the cheesy “rah-rah”, you can do it junk. I think we could all use a bit more of it.