T Nation

Why Is My Deadlift So Weak?


I can't seem to get to my goal of 500 on deads. I've been around 400 for a set of 5 for 3 months. Maxed at 450 a month ago.I just can't seem to get anything over 400 up more than 1 or 2 times. Some days I cant get 400 x 5 on my last set. I need help.

my stats are:
I've been lifting for 15 months now, doing starting strength for 8 months.(Great program)
37 years old 5'10" 255 pounds 30% body fat by scale
Bench 275x5 x3 sets 315 max
back squat 380x5 x3 sets, haven't tried to max yet.
over head press 155x5 3 sets
dead lift 400x5 450 max
From my other lifts I feel my dl is lacking.I don't know if it's a mental thing or what.
Thanks for any help you can offer on training ideas.


You doing a split routine or Total Body Training? If split routine - are squat and deads on the same day or different days?


if you want help, the first step is always to check form. get a video up so we can take a look.


well i had the same problem. id say, mix up yor deadlift workout and maybe try deadlifting from the floor every other week, and the other weeks, do good mornings, rack deads, deads with bands, chains, and some amstring work. i did that. and my dad went up from 385 to 470 and i havent even maxed out on deadlift yet this week.


And a fuller picture of your routine. What steps are you taking to achieve 500.


I'll get a video up by the weekend.

I workout M,W,F with an A and B workout.
workout A squat, Bench, Deads
Workout B squat, oh press, power cleans
I lift heavey every time I lift. I add more weight to the bar every workout unless I failed to get 3 work sets of 5 the time before.

My Monday workout looked like this
squat 45x10,185x5,275x3,325x2,380x5 3 sets
bench 45x10,150x5,205x3,245x2,275x5 3 sets
deads 135x5,225x5,315x3,350x2,400x3 failed to get 5 pussed out I guess.Shit felt real hard.


Many years ago when I was young (grasshopper) I found that the closer my squat got to its max during a cycle the more my dead was on maintenance rather than growth.

Found it easier to max my squat while holding my dead with minimal work, then doing reverse. Before comps I always pushed the squat and just maintained what my dead had done in previous cycle.

Could move them both at same time but found got better results if had a few months pushing squat then few months pushing deads.

Remember one workout in particular when I squatted around 415 x6 plus several other benchmark squats and then could not pull more than 496 for a dead. Was deadlifting around 550 then but the big squat PBs took it all away.


gmh makes a good point. Also, I think youre trying to pack too much into one day. you might want to try

A: Squat, good mornings, Bench
B: Deadlift, heavy ab work, Bench.

The problem I see is that you are going pretty heavy on Squats 3 times per week, and trying to go heavy on deads on the same day squat pretty heavy.

My personal preference is to take a 4 day lifting microcycle like westside or 5/3/1. So on your 3 lifting days per week you would concentrate on OHP Monday, Deadlift Wednesday, Bench Friday, Squat Monday, OHP Wednesday, and so on. This generally gives you either 4 or 6 days between your squat and deadlift days - better recovery means better lifts. IMO anyway

Train Harder
old lardass


Do you deload ?
Do you switch up your rep ranges ?

And my take on your lifts if you like your A/B/A style
A= sqaut or deadlift,good mornings,bench
b= oh press,power cleans. lat exercise.

I think you are starting too stall with all the volume of sqauting movements you are doing and really your deadlift is your strongest lift by 20 pds for reps so you are ok.

another question is your deadlift a sumo or conventional style?


I deload once a month or so when I just don't feel like going heavy.
Only on my deload day do I change my rep range.
My dead lift is conventional, I try and do it as it is described in starting strength.


What's your dad got to do with this?


Tee hee.