T Nation

I'm 16, And My Deadlift Sucks


This. How long have you been lifting? It usually takes a couple years at least to get into the 400s.


A bit more than 2 years. I’ll admit I had no idea what I was doing until around a year and a half ago. Side note I thought I knew everything back then now I feel like I know almost nothing lol


“The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.”


The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. It’s endless. Just keep striving to set 5 pound PRs and rep PRs. Know your 1,2,3,4,&5RMs. Beat these consistently. That will keep you busy for a few years.


Just means you’re on the right track. A good stepping stone for real progress.


I didn’t even lift till I was 20. Slow and steady brah. You’ll go far


It looks ok. Your hips do shoot up some as the bar gets heavier and that ends up tipping you forward early which makes life more difficult than necessary.

Try squeezing oranges in your armpits, dropping your butt a tad more and jump into the pull.


I used to squat wide. When I went narrower. Like shoulder width and found it drove my deadlift. It’s not necessarily the 320x2, it’s that the speed looks more like 75-80% than 95% if that makes sense. You looked like you had 6-7 reps in you if you had grinded em out.


Was your deadlift max closer to your squat on 5/3/1 or was it always behind?

Either way I wouldn’t worry as long as you are making progress. You are obviously good at squatting, maybe so much that your deadlift can’t keep up.

As far as hip position, you could experiment with setting them higher or lower but a lot of the time hips will rise because you try to lift with them too low and there isn’t enough tension on the hamstrings until they rise a bit. I honestly wouldn’t even worry.


Dead lift looks fine, maybe its harder because of the heavy squats or less upper strength compared to your lower body.


Discrepancies happen brother. Just keep pushing along. Always look for ways to tweak things and move forward. As far as your squat and deadlift now, they both look great and are close enough to not worry. My deadlift is miles away from my squat due to past injuries. I’m not worried because it’s all a part of the process. Just gotta keep adding 5 pounds and moving forward.

Also, you’re 16 and lean. I know a lot of guys at the gym I go to that are ~200 pounds in their twenties not pulling or squatting 4 plates. You’re a strong kid and have a long amazing lifting journey ahead of you.

Side note: The way you win in this game is to be the one who can progress the longest without injuries. That’s how you get ahead.


well, that very clearly wasn’t a 2 rep max. so there’s that. looked like you had 5+ in you. 4 plates is not exactly a conservative guess, lol. but it’s not crazy.

After seeing this, I’m even more convinced that you just don’t know how to pull through heavy deadlifts. I think your mind is probably focused on absolutely perfect technique, and you’re losing the aggressiveness that is needed to deadlift a high level. The long pause between the 2 reps of 320 shows me you were worried about getting the lift, but it practically flew up.

Have you ever done any higher rep deadlifting with reasonably heavy weights? I would try it sometime if I were you, some all out max rep sets, as many reps as you can do in a minute, with a reasonably heavy weight. Something you think you can only do for 5-6 reps. And get 10 with it. Get aggressive and tell yourself there’s no fucking way you’re leaving the gym without getting those 10 reps. Dominate the weights.

What this will do is force you to pull reps that you don’t think you can pull. It will help change your mindset, and it will help you learn to pull through difficult reps. It also has the added benefit of not putting the strain on you that very heavy weights would, particularly weights you don’t have much experience lifting. So maybe do this with something like 290-300, something that feels ok in your hands, not easy but not something you’d ever worry about failing in a low rep set.


Despite the fact that most people seem to avoid high rep deadlifts, this can actually work well if you can do it without your technique completely falling apart like some people. My deadlift was stalled for a while and back in the summer I started pulling for sets of 10, gradually increasing the weight each week and reducing reps as necessary. Once I got back to heavy triples I was setting PRs every week for about 2 months, I think I added about 45lbs to my 3rm. It’s not something you would want to do close to a meet, at least not exclusively, but it’s definitely worth trying if you aren’t making progress with low rep work.


Boy- just keep doing what you’re doing and eating.

( You’re on the right track, form looks good, weight will come with time and confidence )


I’ve never done that, I’m pretty sure the Candito program was the first time I’ve ever deadlifted sets over 5 reps. Also after the Candito program finishes would probably be the perfect time to try doing those sets of 10. If I decide to do the meet at the end of April, I’d have 3 weeks before starting my 6 week peak (maybe on Canditos again if I like the results). I could try a bunch of those in that period. Kind of side note is it a bad idea to do this meet? I think I’d like to.


First of all, is your deadlift making progress? If you are going to do this meet then going from high reps to peaking in such a short time is not a great idea. If you are totally stalled then it might make some sense, but there are other ways to go about it as well. Decide whether your want to do this meet or not and then based on that you can figure out the next step.

Why do your think it would be a bad idea to do this meet?


Thank you

My deadlift was behind my squat when I started 5/3/1

What do you mean by this?

Thank you


How were you training before 5/3/1? Did you do Starting Strength or Stronglifts? It seems that a lot of people who use those programs end up with a relatively decent squat and a lagging deadlift due to the main focus being the squat. If you were training the deadlift in a more or less appropriate manner then I would have to assume you are just gifted when it comes to squatting.


yea for sure. It’s not peaking, it’s strength building.

I used to hate high rep deadlifts. Actually still do. But when I go through phases where I practice them frequently (generally while prepping for a strongman show that has a deadlift for reps event), I always get stronger.


Basically if I’m remembering correctly it was similar to starting strength (even tho I didn’t know what starting strength was). I would do a 3x5 or 5x5 on squat bench and deadlift and add 5lbs each session and that was my whole program followed usually by a bunch of bodybuilder type accessories. When that got too hard I did sets of 6 adding 5lbs per session till I couldn’t, then continued on sets of 4. When 4’s stalled is around when I started 5/3/1. Basically I never had a period of higher squat volume than deadlift volume. There was a pretty long time where I did front squats after every squat day, and was pretty lazy with deadlift accessorys because I didn’t know what to do lol. That could maybe be part of it