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Barbell Deadlift 1RM

JohnC

Level 4 Valued Member
Good afternoon,
This may be a dumb question but what is the best way to determim my 1RM on deadlift? I'm new to deadlifting.
Thanks,
John
 

Steve A

Level 6 Valued Member
If
Good afternoon,
This may be a dumb question but what is the best way to determim my 1RM on deadlift? I'm new to deadlifting.
Thanks,
John
If you are new to deadlifting (or any other big compound lift), don't test for your 1RM or any other max. With DLs, put a 20 kg or 45 lb on each side and practice. When you know you are doing it right you can add a little weight the next time. Depending on all sorts of factors, it might be weeks or months before you have any reason to test.
 

Tony Gracia

Level 6 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Agreed, it would be unwise to try and determine a 1RM if you consider yourself new. Usually we start someone with 5 reps at a weight that we know will be easy for them, and as long as the form looks reasonable we add a little more weight for 5 reps, and keep that process until the form becomes somewhat challenged. There are many great programs you can try based on that format, such as Pavel's "Power to the People"
 

Andi-in-BKK

Level 4 Valued Member
Don’t if you are new.

I think it would be worth getting form down under the supervision of a certified barbell coach. Then work up to a set of 5 that feels hard but doable once you have your form down, also under the supervision of your coach. Then run some form of LP (5x5, Starting Strength, Greyskull LP, etc) where you add 5-10lb per session until you stall and can’t complete 5 reps without form failing.
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
Good afternoon,
This may be a dumb question but what is the best way to determim my 1RM on deadlift? I'm new to deadlifting.
Thanks,
John
Just in case you need one more person saying the same thing, don't test 1RM if you're new. First, it isn't safe. Second, your 1RM won't "last" for long - even if all you do is max out, you'll get stronger each time.

Why do you want to find your 1RM? Just to see where you are? Are you trying to use a percentage-based program?
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
I would like to compete in the TSC and that is one of the events. I found a training plan on this site & they use a % of the 1RM. I really need to make sure I don't injure myself being stupid,lol thanks
I really appreciate all the advice and I have a great idea. I will not try my 1RM,lol After all your input if I got injured I'd deserve it. Thanks,
John
I would really recommend working with a coach who knows how to teach the deadlift. A % plan is not what you need at this time. There are resources to learn online, but a coach will shorten and simplify the process and (hopefully) make it safer.

How long have you been training? Have you been kettlebelling?
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
Training many years Kettlebell for about 10 years.
This will give you a great head start on deadlifting because you have a lot of experience with the hinge pattern. There's still a learning curve with learning to stay tight and grind through a DL, and other fine points of technique, but having a good hinge pattern is a great base to build from.

Just start light and slowly build into a challenging weight range while you solidify your technique. PTTP has a great guide to progression and cycling without necessarily testing or estimating a 1RM, just using sets of 5.
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
Training many years Kettlebell for about 10 years.
I would suggest working up to a medium-heavy 5. Deadlift twice a week and each time add 5lbs to what your previously did.

Example of the latter - Tuesday - you work up to 225lbs with good form but it feels pretty heavy. Friday - work up to 230lbs x 5. Tuesday next week - work up to 235lbs x 5. Continue training more or less as normal, just including these deadlift sessions. Eventually you'll get to a point where you can't add 5lbs and hit it for 5 reps, and at that point I would back off 20-25% and start building volume.

My favorite go-to for getting someone deadlifting quickly is not the SF way of teaching the deadlift. I'll still share it (click! for words - click here!), but now you know. :)

If you can't work with a coach, there are a lot of great people here. Take a video of your deadlift and post it and ask for feedback.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@JohnC, my recommendation: Start by reading "Power To The People!" to understand the principles. Move on to a coach and/or posting a video here as your next step. If a video here, use a weight you'd describe as "moderate to moderately heavy" but not near a 1RM.

-S-
 

BJJ Shawn

Level 6 Valued Member
I am currently in a position similar to you, and I have been deadlifting for about 6 months now but still have not tried to find my real 1RM as I don't think it will help me any. While my "estimated 1RM" based on lifting 295 x 5 and a calculator shows about 350, I follow my program and the highest I have ever loaded on the bar is 315 so well short of my theoretical max. Unless I was going to compete, going any higher doesn't help me focus on form and gaining strength, and would only serve to stroke my ego and while it's tempting, I have resisted, haha.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I am currently in a position similar to you, and I have been deadlifting for about 6 months now but still have not tried to find my real 1RM as I don't think it will help me any. While my "estimated 1RM" based on lifting 295 x 5 and a calculator shows about 350, I follow my program and the highest I have ever loaded on the bar is 315 so well short of my theoretical max. Unless I was going to compete, going any higher doesn't help me focus on form and gaining strength, and would only serve to stroke my ego and while it's tempting, I have resisted, haha.
I respectfully disagree. There are things about strength you don't learn until you've stuck it out through a tough grind.

-S-
 

BJJ Shawn

Level 6 Valued Member
I respectfully disagree. There are things about strength you don't learn until you've stuck it out through a tough grind.

-S-

But do you think that's a smart thing to do while still developing the technique? I don't disagree that there's merit to that, my gut just tells me that the learning phase is probably not the best time for such a thing. At 6 months, I still feel like I'm trying to really hammer in the technique and while I'm certainly more consistent than at the beginning, I still think I make minor adjustments often enough that trying to max out right now wouldn't be very beneficial.
 
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