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How to Deadlift 500 Pounds

How to Deadlift 500 Pounds

Build muscle, gain strength, and send your deadlift through the roof.

There aren’t many things manlier than deadlifting 500lbs. If you can deadlift 500 lbs, you’re probably a pretty strong dude. And if you can’t, it’s time to begin your march to it. But while the quest to deadlifting 500 lbs may be a long one, the tips below will make the road you’re to travel an easier one.

Why should you listen to me? Because I’ve done it. So if getting as strong as humanly possible is something that you’re interested in, keep reading, and don’t worry about the guidance, because well, I’ve done it.

The Importance of Proper Technique
To deadlift 500 lbs you have to learn proper technique. If you don’t learn how to deadlift properly, you’ll destroy your lower back. How many slapdicks do you know who have hurt their backs deadlifting less than 300 lbs? Probably A LOT! Aside from staying healthy and injury free, proper technique is also critical to progress. Regardless of the weight on the bar, what impresses you about this video below?

Not much. You are probably cringing right now thinking about what a tool this guy is. For your safety and performance, learn how to deadlift properly.

The Setup
The deadlift starts with the setup. Your setup literally makes, or breaks, your lift. You have two different options here – sumo or conventional, and you should experiment with both to determine what works best for YOU. Here however I’ll walk you through the conventional deadlift for that’s what I know best.

  • Start with a narrow stance and your toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Get your shins close to the bar. The bar should be over the middle of your foot but NOT touching the bar.
  • In order to grab the bar, push your hips back and down. DO NOT SQUAT TO THE BAR.
  • Your shins should now meet the bar and your hands should be right outside your feet.
  • Tuck your chin and get tight! Your lower back should be arched and your upper back should be pulled down and back.
  • Make sure your shoulders are over the bar and that you’re squeezing the crap out of the bar.

Performing the Deadlift

  • Now that you’re setup properly, MAN UP.
  • Breathe deeply into your belly and hold.
  • Pull the slack out of the bar.
  • Squeeze the bar off the ground by pushing through your heels and driving your chest back
  • Lead with your chest, not your hips.
  • Keep the weight as close to your body as possible. If it isn’t rubbing up against your thighs, the bar is too far away from you.
  • Finish the deadlift by getting your hips through
  • Squeeze your ass at the top
  • Reverse the motion by performing an RDL to your knee
  • Once you reach knee level, drop the bar straight down to the ground

Deadlift Fixes and Assistance Exercises
Now that you know how to deadlift, let’s talk about how to increase your strength and deadlift numbers. First, you must identify your weaknesses. Are you weak off the floor? Do you have a weak lock out? Maybe your weakness is midrange? Find your weaknesses from the list below, and apply the fixes mentioned to address them.

If your weak off the floor…

  • Add in deficit deadlifts.
  • Do not tap and go, instead reset in between each rep to build starting strength.

If your weak at midrange…

  • Try pulling against bands or chains
  • Add in low rack pulls
  • Train your back like a beast

If your weak at lockout…

  • Train your glutes
  • Train your grip
  • Pull against bands and chains

The Big Secret…
One of the biggest lesson I’ve learned is the importance of training with submaximal weight. Submaximal loads allow us to focus on technique and bar speed, which then carry over to maximal attempts. It’s why I’m a huge believer in Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 plan. Although it’s a submaximal program, it has a progression that allows you to maximize your 1RM too. Deadlifting with heavy weights week in and week out will kill your recovery and break you down. Not what we’re looking for in our quest to maximize strength and hit the 500lbs deadlift mark.

Everything you need to know and do to deadlift 500 lbs I’ve shared above. Now put this information to use and start deadlifting (and eating!) like a BEAST. Got questions? Drop a comment below to get the ball rolling.

01 / 01 / 2017 1R