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Deadlift Form Goes to Sh*t in Gym

Hello all. The title is a bit odd so I’ll explain. I pulled a 225 single in my friends garage with what I believe is good form -

However, I get into the gym and can’t even pull 135 without my form screwing up-

I think the bar in the gym is a bit shorter, and it’s not as nice. Also, my friends dad is a competitive powerlifter, so he has good equipment. I’m setting up the same, maybe it’s the fact I use iron plates in the garage vs. thicker rubber plates in the gym? Someone please please please help. I have no clue what happens in the gym, and I don’t always have access to the garage. I really need the help, someone please!

Why did you not take any of the advice given in your last “Help With My Deadlift” thread:

The very first reply you got was this one:

Actually, this video is even sillier; before the first rep, you check yourself out in the mirror; even worse, on the third rep you actually turn and look at yourself in the mirror during a rep.

So the first thing you need to do is stop turning to the side and checking yourself out in the mirror before/during reps. After you fix that, perhaps you can read the second reply from that thread:

…and yet here we are, a few weeks later, and you’re still posting videos of yourself deadlifting 135 while pausing at mid-lift to look at yourself in the mirror.

If you’re not going to take the advice you’re given seriously, there’s not much point in anyone trying to help you.

Enter at your own risk.


Sorry man, I’m 16 and still have a lot to learn. I just wanna do do do (I’m sure a lot of 16 year olds have that mentality, it’s a stupid one but we never learn). You’re right, I’m just confused because as you can tell from the 225 pull I don’t look at myself in the mirror(there actually is a mirror to look at in the garage). I know I shouldn’t look at myself, but judging from the video it’s a problem with set up when I pull 135 on gym. Again, thank you for the advice and I’ll take it to heart, just a young teen trying to learn

There’s no need to apologize for being a teenager and having a lot to learn.

Ironically enough, in this case I think you would benefit from thinking less and “doing” more.

It’s good to evaluate your technique and try to make sure that you’re using “good form” but that can go too far. When someone that can already deadlift 225 feels the need to literally pause in the middle of a rep at 135 to turn sideways and look at themselves in the mirror - which, as explained, is entirely disruptive to the technique you should be using in a deadlift anyways - that’s a surefire sign of too much thinking.

I’ve expressed this opinion elsewhere, but I think form videos taken with less than about 70-80% of 1RM are mostly pointless. Your technique looks different with weights in a working range near your max than it does with warmup weights; watching someone deadlift 135 tells me basically nothing about how they’ll look at 405.

To address a few of your other concerns - yes, it is possible that different equipment (bar, plates, whatever) can have a slight influence on what you can lift and how it feels. I changed gyms earlier this year because I realized that the CrossFit box near my place had much nicer barbells and plates than the regular commercial gym I’d been lifting at; now I’m about three weeks from moving into a house of my own and outfitting a garage gym, and I’ll be getting some good stuff to make sure that’s not a concern. But that’s not an excuse for shitty form on your lifts - do the best you can with the setup available to you, and then when you transition to better equipment, that will be reflected in your numbers.

In conclusion:

  • more doing, less thinking. It’s fine to keep checking in on your technique, but if you keep posting 135 form videos, you’re basically just spinning your wheels.
  • read the tips given above about breathing and bracing, and keeping the bar close to your shins during the pull (you don’t need to exaggerate this, but the bar should be in contact with your legs most of the way up). You’ll be given this advice every single time you come back here to ask about your deadlift form.
  • if you ever post a video of yourself looking in the side mirror before/during a deadlift again, don’t bother coming back here

Well, I went back in the gym and worked on the pointers, and I think it looks better. ActivitiesGuy, not sure if you want to check but if you could that would be great. Thanks! https://youtu.be/CMT_bd3OOaM