Deadlift is one the most popular exercises within the fitness industry. It builds muscle, helps with weight loss, improves strength, and strengthens your core. For some people, it can be a challenging movement to learn, but for the majority, it’s easy, intuitive, and with a short range of motion.
That easiness makes the deadlift the perfect target for loading the barbell with heavy weights, which causes the deadlift weight standards for men and women to be as high as it can get. For example, the current deadlift world record for men is set at 540 kilograms (1,190.5 pounds) by Rauno Heinla, while for women, it is set at 318 Kilograms (700 Pounds) by Lucy Underdown.
But the standards are different for the general population, non-elite athletes and regular gym goers. That is because many variables play in hand when it comes to determining those standards.
In this article you’ll learn about the average deadlift weight for men and women.
- Average Load for the Conventional Deadlift
- How Much Should I Be Able To Deadlift? (Men)
- How Much Should I Be Able To Deadlift? (Women)
- What Are the Current Deadlift World Records?
- Your Body Type Affects Deadlift Ability
- How Can I Improve My Deadlift?
Average Load for the Conventional Deadlift
The average weight for the conventional deadlift is generally measured based on body weight and sex. Although height and age play a role, that is how strength standards are determined.
For example, the average weight for a conventional deadlift in women is approximately 83 lbs (beginners) and close to 200 lbs for intermediate. In other words, female beginners should be able to lift around half their body weight, while intermediate lifters could lift 1.5x their body weight.
In the case of men, the average deadlift weight for novice lifters sits around 173 lbs, while intermediates can lift up to 336 lbs. Contrary to female lifters, a beginner male can lift his body weight in pounds with relative ease, while an intermediate will deadlift 2x their weight.
This phenomenon is evident due to the natural and biological differences between men and women. However, when put into proper context, a woman lifting twice her body weight is just as impressive as a man.
There will always be outliers, both men and women, but these deadlift averages consider the most essential variables: weight and sex.
How Much Should I Be Able To Deadlift? (Men)
How much a man can deadlift depends on fitness, height, weight, age, and sex. Although all of them are important, we’ll revisit weight and age.
According to Strength Level, this is approximately how much a man should be able to lift.
It’s evident that the more you weigh, the higher your level of strength; hence, your ability to deadlift more weight skyrockets.
As mentioned above, age is a crucial determinant of how much weight you can put on a bar. A 70yo male will never lift as much as a healthy, trained 21-year-old lifter regardless of how much strength training the elderly can endure.
Here’s a summary of the average weight by age, courtesy of Strength Level.
In this table, we can notice how the maximum weight peaks around 25yo and starts to decline after the 40s. Although there are outliers, this is the case for most of the population.
How Much Should I Be Able To Deadlift? (Women)
The deadlift standards for women are very different from men for obvious biological reasons. And just like we did with the males, I’ll share the average a woman should lift according to her weight and age.
The following table shows the body weight and all the lifts in pounds (lbs).
It is clear how the body weight affects the amount of weight you can deadlift on a single repetition.
As observed with men, the strength peak happens around the mid-twenties, with the decline somewhere between 40-45 years old. Muscle mass begins to decrease, which makes the upper body and the posterior chain less capable of managing heavy loads.
What Are the Current Deadlift World Records?
When setting deadlift world records, some standards have to be met, like performing at an approved and supervised event and specifying the equipment you’d be using (deadlift suit, belts, straps, etc.).
Let’s classify the records by sex:
- Rauno Heinla: Standard Equipped Deadlift (with deadlift suit and straps) – 540 kg (1,190.5 lb) at the 2023 Tartu Rammumees ja Rammunaine contest in Tartu, Estonia.
- Benedikt Magnússon: Standard Raw Deadlift (no deadlift suit or straps) – 460.4 kg (1,015 lb) in 2011’s Ronnie Coleman Classic.
- Danny Grigsby: Raw Sumo Deadlift (no deadlift suit or straps) – 487.5 kg (1,075 lb) in 2022 WRPF American Pro.
- Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson: Elephant Bar Deadlift (Raw with straps) – 474 kg (1,045 lb) in 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic.
- Oleksii Novikov: Hummer Tire Deadlift (from 15 inches) with deadlift suit and straps – 549 kg (1,210 lb) in 2022 Shaw Classic.
- Rauno Heinla: Silver Dollar Deadlift (from 18 inches) with deadlift suit and straps – 580 kg (1,279 lb) in 2022 Silver Dollar Deadlift Estonian Championship.
All these impressive lifts are from experienced lifters with decades of training and dedication. There’s a reason why competitive powerlifters can push the boundaries of what’s humanly possible.
- Lucy Underdown: Standard Raw Deadlift (no deadlift suit or straps) – 318 kg (701 lb).
- Tamara Walcott: Elephant Bar Deadlift (no straps) – 290.5 kg (640 lb) in 2022 Arnold Sports Festival.
- Andrea Thompson: Hummer Tire Deadlift (from 15 inches) with deadlift suit and straps – 363 kg (800 lb) in 2022 Arnold Sports Festival.
Underdown is from the UK, while Walcott is from the United States.
Your Body Type Affects Deadlift Ability
The anatomy of our bodies determines an enormous part of our success in lifting activities like the deadlift. This exercise requires a mobile hip joint that allows flexing and extending the hips through the range of motion.
The deadlift has the bar loaded on the floor from the starting position. Our shins are close to the bar, with our hips hinged and our torso leaning forward, keeping a neutral neck and spine.
From this position, the lifter stands up, keeping the bar close to the body until a full lock-out position is achieved.
So, how can your anatomy (body type) influence how you deadlift? There are many ways.
This could mean having the hips too high, a rounded back or shins too vertical. All these elements play a crucial role on the bar path, which translates to your ability to perform the deadlift safely and efficiently.
Having long/short femurs (leg bone) and humerus (arm bone) also has a say on the starting position. The longer the arms, the easier it is to get the chest out and hold a rigid torso position.
The shorter the legs, the lower you can keep your hips, which allows you to use more of your quads.
Range Of Motion
The range of motion is another element to consider when lifting as heavy as possible during the deadlift. In theory, the shorter you are, the less distance the barbell will need to travel to secure the rep.
However, this isn’t always the way it works. The current deadlift world record is held by the Icelandic Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (6 ‘7” tall) at 501 kg. And to add to the contrast, the American Eddie Hall (6’1″) had the previous record at 500kg.
This proves that, although size matters, it isn’t always the obvious answer to having the heaviest deadlift.
Yes, how much you weigh impacts how many pounds you can deadlift. The more your body weight, the more relative strength you should have. However, this is not always the case since all bodies are different.
Some elite lifters weigh hundreds of pounds, but if their body composition is primarily fat instead of muscle, it will have a say on the total weight the person can lift.
That is also one of the reasons why powerlifting and weightlifting meetings have their categories based on weight.
How Can I Improve My Deadlift?
The best way to improve your deadlift is by understanding your limitations and doubling down on fixing them. For example, your deadlift will hurt if you have hip or ankle mobility issues.
Another example could be your form. Deadlifts are very responsive to a proper form and technique. If you’re lifting weight without paying attention to your movement pattern, then chances are you’re leaving gains on the table.
Following the right training program is also crucial for improving your deadlift. Many people need to learn how to progressively increase the volume and intensity of their lifts, which leads them to either over-train or under-train.
Feel free to invest in a good coaching program and trainer. That will put you far ahead on your fitness goals, compared to doing random workouts from different individuals on the internet.
And even if you have everything else locked down, sometimes it comes down to strengthening your muscles individually. Isolate your glutes, hamstrings, and core training, and you’ll notice a rapid increase in your deadlift without lifting heavier weights all the time.
That’s one of the differences between a beginner and an advanced lifter. Understanding where they are failing and having the humility to ask for help and correct them.
What Is A Good Weight To Deadlift?
As a general rule, you should be able to lift at least your body weight in pounds if you weigh 150 pounds and deadlift 150 for at least one rep. Although this varies in terms of sex, age, weight, and height, it’s a good indicator of where to aim from the beginning.
Is A 225lb Deadlift A Lot?
It depends on your sex, height, age, and weight. For someone who weighs 250 pounds, a 225lb deadlift would feel easy. However, if you’re a 20yo female weighing 130 lbs, a 225lb deadlift will seem like a lot.
How Much Should I Deadlift For 10 Reps?
How much you should deadlift for ten reps depends on your 1 rep max (1RM). As an estimate, if your 1RM is 300lb, you should deadlift approximately 225 lbs for ten reps, which would be 75% of your 1RM.