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How to Increase Deadlift Max With Simple Hacks

Jan 29, 2018

Everyone has plateaued in the gym at some point. Want to know how to increase deadlift max?

In this article, we will be going over three incredible and simple hacks that will increase your deadlift max. How to Increase Deadlift Max - Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Belt

But, before we continue, take a look at our Dark Iron Fitness leather lifting belt (hint: it has to do with one of the hacks).

One big benefit using a belt provides is safety, but there’s much more to it than that.

With deadlifts, when you are trying to progressively get better and lift heavier, then you need to make sure you are implementing everything possible.

Optimizing any type of workout and striving for a better one rep max (1RM) or overall maximum weight is beneficial.

Having something to work towards will keep you motivated in the gym.

If you are content with lifting the same amount and easily breezing through the workout, you’re less likely to see results.

Not attempting to progress will help you avoid plateaus, but only because you never tried to even reach a plateau.

Don’t sell yourself short, invest in your fitness and you’ll eventually be able to increase your deadlift max.

You’ll be able to increase your max for all your exercises.

Now, let’s discuss some of these easy hacks to utilize in order to make your deadlifts the best they can be!

Related: How Often Should I Deadlift?


Deadlifting Conventional and Sumo

How to Increase Deadlift Max with Conventional Deadlifting

How to Increase Deadlift Max - Heavy Conventional LiftConventional deadlifts are pretty much the bread and butter when it comes to deadlifting.

This is usually where — if you’ve been lifting for some time — you’ll eventually hit a plateau.

The problem with plateauing is that you can either try to increase strength over time doing an exercise (deadlift) or you can perform other movements to supplement that exercise.

For conventional deadlifts, it is good to practice other movements that will help activate the muscles in such a way to strengthen your lift.

Even doing dumbbell deadlifts or stiff-legged deadlifts will help you break through a plateau.

Depending on your weight, as well, you can fluctuate up to increase strength.

If you are lifting for competition, this may be less desirable, but for personal records, you can attempt a bulk.

What bulking will do is allow you to put more weight and power in your lift.

Have you ever noticed even beginners in the gym who are overweight can still usually move a lot of weight?

This is because usually, not always, but usually weight will infer your lifting strength — mostly for beginners and intermediate lifters.

Someone weighing 150 pounds vs someone who is 200 pounds will most likely deadlift according to their weight, especially as newbies.

Conventional deadlifting can benefit from a bulk if you plateau, and hopefully when you cut down you’ll maintain most of the strength gains.

Related: 8 Proven Ways to Increase Your Deadlift


How to Increase Deadlift Max with Sumo Deadlifting

Now, increasing your deadlift by doing sumo deadlifts is another route you can take. How to Increase Deadlift Max - Sumo Deadlift Heavy

Sumo stance will usually allow you to shorten your range of motion and be able to lift slighty heavier weight.

If you plateau doing conventional deadlifts, you can always switch to sumo and see how far that can take your gains.

Plateauing during your sumo deadlifts means you’ll probably want to focus on a few different factors.

In my opinion, hitting hamstring exercises and doing stretches to increase ROM and flexibility will help a lot.

Basically, performing sumo deadlifts can help with conventional deadlifts and vice-versa.

Let the variations of an exercise, like deadlifts, be the steam that fuels potential strength gains.

Related: Should You Deadlift Conventional or Sumo?


Deadlifting Using Chains, Resistance Bands, and Thick Bar Grips

How to Increase Deadlift Max with Chains

You’ve seen it before; maybe you’ve even done it — used chains.

Chains can appear intimidating at times, especially for casual gym-goers.

However, implementing chains can help with strength gains as they add uneven resistance to your workout.

For deadlifts, if you have chains on each side, you’ll have to activate your core a lot more.

The instability of heavy, loose chains will cause you to focus on stabilizing the weight and the lift.

You can even throw the chain around your neck before performing the deadlift to add resistance at the top of the movement.

Be careful, though, as sometimes the risk outweighs the reward — do what is within your experience level.

Related: 5 Tips for a Stronger Deadlift


How to Increase Deadlift Max with Resistance Bands

How to Increase Deadlift Max - Resistance Band DeadliftAs with chains, resistance bands will add, well, resistance!

A great way to implement bands for deadlifts is by attaching them to the ends of the barbell and placing your feet on the center of the band.

When you pull the deadlift, you’ll feel the added resistance of the band keeping you from using full momentum.

The awesome part is that limiting the momentum makes the movement harder at any weight and helps build your strength.

Similarly, using the Smith machine will create this effect, but gives you less control of the bar’s movement.

For those of you really interested in building strength from different resistance sources, I’d say bands are a great place to start.

Related: Improve Your Deadlift With Strength Bands


How to Increase Deadlift Max with Thick Bar Grips

It’s simple — the thicker something is, the harder it is to grasp.

Your average barbell is fairly thin and universally fits all hands.

If you change that dynamic, and use a thicker bar, then ease of grip goes out the window.

Utilizing thick bar grips, which you can buy, or thickening the bar another way will force you to strengthen your grip.

Doing deadlifts with a thicker bar, and eventually getting stronger with them, will translate back to a normal barbell.

For example, if you are a golfer then learn to play hockey and go back to golf, just imagine how much strength will be behind your swing.

Obviously, be safe when using a thick bar, thick bar grips or anything that challenges your grip.

This is a basic, easy tip to implement, but it needs to be treated with professionalism and respect.


Deadlifting With a Belt

Why Using a Belt will Increase Deadlift Max

Bad form, a weak core, and a loose spine are all things that can affect strength. How to Increase Deadlift Max - Dark Iron Fitness Deadlift

When you don’t practice perfect form, you rarely get perfect (or even decent) results.

For some people, it is ignorance, laziness or ego that makes them forego form.

However, some have injuries or pain that makes their form weak under heavy weight.

Whatever the reason, if you aren’t 100% on form, or are lifting extremely heavy, then a belt can be the key to success.

Securing your form will allow you to perform stronger, more powerful deadlifts.

Just like lifting boxes, furniture or children — when you wear back support these activities become easier and safer.

Throw on a weightlifting belt and your deadlifting will also become much easier.

This is mostly due to the way it supports your form, but I believe it also has a lot to do with mental reassurance.

Knowing that something is helping protect your back, core and form will put your mind at ease.

This allows you to focus on the lift and optimize your gains.

Dark Iron Fitness provides one of the best genuine leather weightlifting belts on the market.

Use a belt to your advantage and the strength gains will come.

Related: The Best Powerlifting Belt for Squats and Deadlifts


The Importance of Using a Belt

Outside of the added benefit to building your strength, wearing a belt is downright important to your health.

You should always lift, workout and train in the safest way possible according to what is being done.

For deadlifts, there’s no reason to not use a belt.

How to Increase Deadlift Max - Deadlifting

Think of deadlifting like driving a car.

Before you learn to drive, you always wear a seatbelt and you understand its importance.

Once you drive for some time, you gain confidence but still need to wear that seatbelt.

Sometimes, you’ll forget to put your seatbelt on because driving becomes second nature and you just take off.

However, the potential risks and dangers are always there, no matter your experience.

Then, if you become a track driver or stunt driver, your safety belt becomes more secure and far more necessary.

These rules apply to lifting as well, in my opinion.

Once you learn form, as a beginner, why not solidify those ideals by implementing a belt?

After getting better, you can still use that belt for back support (it’ll become a part of you).

Then, when you go for those insane, out of this world lifts, your belt will be there to help and protect you.

Don’t take any unneeded risks while lifting; always treat your body with the utmost most respect.

Related: 13 Ways to Improve Your Deadlift


Conclusion: How to Increase Deadlift Max

A Guessing Body is a Growing Body

The goal is to keep your body guessing. How to Increase Deadlift Max - One Rep Max Deadlift

To build strength and achieve a max deadlift, you need to constantly change it up.

If your body becomes too aware of your mundane routine, you’ll adapt and stop growing.

Growth will lead to more muscle and more strength.

Take these tips into consideration and pick and choose what works best for you.

Maybe one of these will help you break that plateau, maybe all three will.

So, remember, practice all types of deadlifts, utilize different resistance types and use accessories, such as the Dark Iron Fitness weightlifting belt.

There’s nothing worse than a plateau, but nothing better than overcoming it.

This is how to increase deadlift max: use variety and be unpredictable.

Related: How to Warm Up for a One-Rep Max Deadlift