Deadlift Standards: How Much Should You Be Able To Deadlift?

Are you looking to learn how much you should be able to deadlift? Wondering what the average deadlift weight standards are?

Good, you’re in the right place!

The deadlift is the true test of strength in the gym. It’s one of my favorite exercises without doubt.

Asking how much you should be able to deadlift is a common question. From beginners to experienced weight trainers. I’ve asked myself loads of times what should I be deadlifting in comparison to other lifts, as well as my own bodyweight.

Knowing the average deadlift standards that you can then adapt for your weight training is a great way to get to grips with benchmark numbers and give you solid aims for the future.

Once you have the numbers in mind, you can then work your way up to your goals, achieve and then push on into new territory. This is what I’ve done in the past and it’s worked really well for my deadlifting.

This is all part of the steady and sustainable road to progression and building strength. And there’s no better strength exercise than the deadlift!  

So, let’s get into the deadlift standards and how much you should be able to lift. 

What are deadlift standards?

There are a number of ways you can measure how much you should be able to deadlift. This includes:

  • Age
  • How many years you’ve been lifting
  • Gender
  • Body type
  • General conditioning
  • Previous injuries

However, the most common deadlift standard to set yourself up against is your bodyweight. 

Using your bodyweight as the baseline allows you to set a good kilogram target that’s relative for you. The other benefit is that you’re only up against yourself. Remember people, it’s important to run your own race!

For this article, I’ll be using bodyweight in KG as the standard and giving multiples of this for each deadlift kg goal.

The numbers are also predominantly aimed at male weight lifters. 

How much should I be able to deadlift?

How much should I deadlift is a really common question.

I’ve asked myself a number of times over the years, which is why I thought writing this article up would be useful.

Let’s take a close look at exactly how much you should be able to deadlift. 

Deadlift standardDeadlift KG
(Percentage of bodyweight)
Completely newbie50%
Advanced Plus200-250%
Professional270% and above
Deadlift God300-400%
The Deadlift Standard Table

The deadlift standard figures discussed here are all based on bodyweight. These are general targets for gym goers. Please, take the figures with a pinch of salt as they will vary from person to person. 

For example, if you’re a weight lifting beginner, you’ll be starting off a little further behind the curve than someone who’s been lifting for several years already but without really deadlifting. You’re unlikely to have the core strength and stability, and so your numbers will naturally be lower. 

It’s also essential to work on your form and technique first. This is crucial. 

The deadlift is a tough, compound movement – lifting incorrectly with weights you’re not used to is a quick way to cause an injury. We’ve all been there with an injury from deadlifting – including me – and it’s not fun.

It’s also important to say that warming your muscles up and elevating your body temperature before deadlifting is a wise move. This will help with muscle activation and also reduce your risk of injury.

So, get the basics and foundations set first, before you start adding the plates on and trying for PBs.

Average deadlift weights KG

It’s thought that the average male deadlift weight for people who’ve been lifting for a year is 1.3 times or 133% of their bodyweight. As a starter, this is a good deadlift weight.

So, by this standard, let’s work out the average weights you should be able to lift after a year in the gym split by bodyweight. The below table shows average deadlifts weight in KG.

Bodyweight (KG)Average Deadlift KG
Average Deadlift Standards KG By Bodyweight

Here’s the same table but converted into average deadlift weight in pounds (lb).

Bodyweight (lb)Average Deadlift (lb)
110 lb143 lb
132 lb172 lb
143 lb186 lb
154 lb201 lb
165 lb215 lb
176 lb229 lb
187 lb244 lb
198 lb258 lb
209 lb272 lb
220 lb287 lb
243 lb315 lb
265 lb344 lb
Average Deadlift Standards LB

Deadlift Standard 1: Beginner Goal

Let’s get into the nitty gritty of the standards on ‘how much should I deadlift’.

For all early strength trainers and lifting beginners, the first big goal you should be aiming for is to deadlift your bodyweight. 

It’s likely you’ll start off with around 50% bodyweight and eventually work your way up from there – depending on where you are on your lifting journey. 

So, deadlift standard 1 is to lift 100% of your bodyweight.

If you weigh 80kg, your first deadlift goal should be 80kg. 

This should be more than achievable for almost all weight trainers in reasonable shape. Once you’ve learned the foundations and have been training in the gym for a little while, you’ll get this ticked off in no time.

Deadlift? No, dead light you’ll be saying!

man about to deadlift weight

Deadlift Standard 2: Intermediate Goal

Once you’ve hit a bodyweight deadlift, the ball is rolling. 

The next goal for the average weightlifter in the gym is to be able to deadlift between 1 and 1.5 times your bodyweight – that’s 100-150%. 

For example, if you weigh 80kg, the intermediate deadlift target will be between 80-120kg. 

If you hit the top end of the example above, this is 150% of bodyweight and is good going. 

Hitting 150% of bodyweight is a fine target to achieve and is the aim of most intermediate lifters. Lightweight baby!

Deadlift Standard 3: Advanced Goal

Now the deadlift heat starts to be turned up. 

The next standard is to be able to deadlift double your bodyweight – that’s 200%.

Now we’re talking! This is a very good deadlift weight. It’s a big target and in my view there are plenty of benefits to heavy deadlifts.

The likelihood is that it’ll take a little longer to progress to this level than the first two standards. Once you reach a certain level, it’s incremental gains after that. It’s also where a lot of the fun lies!

Only the dedicated will move on to the next level. It’s where our old friends patience and perseverance come in.

A 200% bodyweight deadlift is only going to be achieved by those who are serious about weight training.

Advanced lifters will have usually been training regularly for a good number of years and have built a very solid base before they achieve a 2x lift. 

So for example, if you weigh 80kg, an advanced deadlift will see you hit 160kg. Nice.

Hitting a double bodyweight deadlift is a brilliant achievement. 

man heavy deadlift

Deadlift Standard 4: Elite Goal

Ok, you have your 200% bodyweight deadlift in the bag. Well done. What’s next? 

The next standard is to hit the elite level – this is at least 250% of your bodyweight. Now we’re in serious territory.

Some think deadlifts can be be bad for you at this least, but I beg to differ. If done with a good training plan that encourages steady, sustainable progression, then you should be fine.

In our example, if you weigh 80kg, an elite deadlift would be 200kg. 

Now, this stage will also see most people get to a very tough psychological barrier. This is the 200kg wall.

It might as well be a 200ft wall you’ve got to climb over. It’s big, it’s daunting and you don’t know how you’ll do it.

Surpass the 200kg mark and you’ll enter into the hallowed territory of the #200Club. It’s a fantastic feeling and you’ll be turning a few heads in the gym no doubt. Not that this is your aim of course.

Making it to 2.5x bodyweight on the deadlift is likely to require planning and a training progression programme. I know it did for me at least. When I was close I had a 6 week plan to get me there, which worked really well.

However, if you want to get there and are willing to work for it, it’s yours to achieve! 

ben deadlift standard 200kg
Me in the 200kg Deadlift Club

Deadlift Standard 5: Professional goal

Once you’ve achieved 250% of your bodyweight, you’re heading out into uncharted gym waters and into the deep oceans of powerlifting. 

During my deadlifting heyday, I achieved a 2.6 times bodyweight lift of 220kg whilst at 85kg.

The next sensible goal would be 300% bodyweight. As we’ll see below, even some of the strongest men in history haven’t achieved this.

Let’s get into the big stuff. 

The current deadlift world record (in strongman competition) is 500kg by The Beast, Eddie Hall. Lifting half a tonne is mind-boggling and many thought it would never be achieved. 

At the time of this world record, Hall weighed around 185kg. 

A few quick calculations tell us that 250% of Hall’s bodyweight would have been 462.5kg. So, Hall’s record saw him lift 2.7 times or around 270% of his bodyweight. 

The Icelandic giant, Hafthor Bjornsson, has lifted 501kg at his gym – this was done under strongman conditions but not in an official strongman competition. However, it’s still seen as the world record.

At the time of the lift, Thor weighed in around 200kg. This makes his lift almost exactly 250% of his bodyweight. 

If you thought that was impressive, have a read of this. In 2020, Kryzysztof Wierzbicki of Poland deadlifted 400kg whilst weighing 97.5kg! That’s an incredible 410% bodyweight! 

In fact, this is so good that it’s regarded as one of the greatest lifts of all time. 

FAQs on Deadlift Standards

Wrap up on how much you should be able to deadlift

The deadlift is without doubt one of the best full-body strength moves you can practice. I hope the deadlift standards above can help you on your journey.

When people ask me ‘are deadlifts worth it?‘, I always give an unanimous yes! Essentially, it’s lifting something heavy from the floor to your hip. For this reason, it’s the barometer most people use to judge true strength. 

You can use deadlifting accessories to help you on the way, such as lifting chalk, weightlifting belt and lifting straps.

To wrap up, most gym goers and weight lifters should be able to deadlift between 150% and 250% of their bodyweight.

Being able to deadlift double your bodyweight is an advanced achievement and one that any weight lifter in the gym should be proud of. However, because of its big demands on the body, I tend not to train deadlifts early morning anymore. They can be risky, especially when your body isn’t fully warmed up. I’ve learned the hard way on this.

So, whether you’re wanting to move from intermediate to advanced or are just starting your strength journey, I hope these deadlift standards help and inspire you to lift heavy (with the right technique) and get strong!

The most important thing, however, is to make steady, sustainable improvement and enjoy your deadlifting! 

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