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What's a Good Deadlift for Untrained Lifter?

For someone who is 220lbs and 6’2ft and has never trained, whats a decent weight to deadlift?

I got a gym membership with friends and I’ve tried it a few times. Im more comfortable with a trap bar, does that take any credibility from the deadlift? should i specify what type of bar i’m using when talking about how much i can lift?

Trap bar is much easier to deadlift with. I would think every untrained male should be able to deadlift 1-1.5 of their bodyweight.

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I dunno. 400 would be impressive first time. 300 plus be pretty good first time

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Who cares? Why does it matter what “good” is for something you’ve never worked at? How would you even relatively measure that?


At this stage I would only worry about what you can lift with good form.

I assure you, nobody cares about how much you can lift.

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If you’re bragging about how much you can lift to people who don’t lift, not at all. If someone asks me how much I deadlift when I’m bragging to them about how strong I am I just add 100lbs to my straight bar deadlift and use that number. Trust me, they’ll be none the wiser and considerably more impressed with you as a person.

Not necessary at all, unless someone starts calling you out on your numbers when you’re bragging about how strong you are to people. Then you need to start adding in qualifiers. “Yeah I deadlifted 800lbs. It was with reverse bands and off of blocks on the trap bar with high handles and straps and my training protocol doesn’t involve locking it out. It was dead on the floor to start though, so it’s a deadlift. You don’t know what you’re talking about broseph.”

Things can get tricky if they call you out at the gym or somewhere else where you might be expected to duplicate the feat you’ve described. Luckily you can always fake an injury to get out of this. Start with saying you messed up you knees, then you can rotate different body parts in to keep the excuses fresh. Hips, back and shoulders are always good body parts to claim injury on. Just make sure there isn’t a safety squat bar around if you’re claiming you can’t squat because you can’t get your shoulders into position anymore. Trust me, that can get awkward.

Hope this helps. Don’t just dream about talking about how much you can lift. Get out there and do it!


A decent weight to deadlift is the one that gets you bigger and stronger.


@twojarslave wins this thread. That was hilarious and relevant - a masterful combination.

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no credibility taken away at all. I compete in strongman, we have side handle deadlifts in competition all the time. But that being said, I can deadlift close to 200 lbs more with a trap bar than a deadlift bar. So yes, it would make sense to specify which lift you’re doing if you’re sharing your numbers. These are 2 entirely different lifts, very different leverages.

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405 on a straight bar would be pretty beastly to hit for the first time

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@bonshi A regular deadift would be fine, but… Make sure you are even able to perform a deadlift pattern. Is your mobility ok? Do you know how to control your breathing? Which muscles should you activate? All that kind of stuff. So the very beginning can be very basic with just a wooden stick or an elastic band. The weight should be the very last of your concern.

Prerequisites (mobility, etc.) --> learning the pattern (say barbell deadlift, can be with little weight to start with) --> variation of the pattern (trapbar, stiff-legged, etc.) --> performance (adding weight to your barbell deadlift).

This process can take a while. But at least you have, to some degree, mastered the pattern and are injury free.

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I personally think beginners are better off building their squat before going into the complexity of the deadlift. My wife doesn’t like doing deadlifts without me there, so I have her do RDLs to build up her “deadlift potential”

I’m curious. What’s complex about deadlifting compared to squatting?


From my professional experience most (not all, and should be investigated thoroughly per individual) beginners struggle with the activation of the posterior chain and are quadriceps dominant. A deadlift is an easier exercise to address this issue. Within a squat people tend to go towards their quadriceps dominance, because that’s where they are strong and stable. In terms of motor learning you need to make to many adjustments. This can be very confusing. That why I mentioned before that people should start small… break the pattern in pieces. Once you figure out what it takes to stabalize the spine or hinge from the hips, you can progress from there.

what @arthur3_16 said, and also dealing with recovery from doing both

Exactly. Squats are more complicated.

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I’m 100% with you @MarkKO. I find the squat to be FAR more technically challenging than the deadlift. The deadlift requires more aggression and mental readiness to perform correctly, but the squat has a whole lot more moving parts, and things that can go wrong. A movement pattern that has an eccentric loading phase prior to the concentric movement is naturally going to be much more technically demanding, because you’re dealing with the entire load while trying to find proper positioning for the lift. Whereas, with the deadlift, you can do 100% of your preparation for the concentric phase in the absence of a load.

In other words, you can fail a squat before you even start the squat. lol.


Even regular people have picked shit up their whole lives (maybe with bad movement patterns but still). Nowhere near as much squatting going on (maybe when I was a baby pig of something)

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I agree the squat is more technically challenging but I think the deadlift has more injury potential. Probably because the weight is on your back with the squat making you nore cautious.

I remember training with my brother and getting him to deadlift. It took a long time to get him to stop coming off his heels. Hen got it eventually, he looked at me pretty proud at breaking 100kgs and I could only say “That looked pretty rough” lol

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