Why A 2x BW Deadlift Is Not Enough, Continue To Train Hard

April 16th 2019

When lifters first start deadlift, we always dream to hit a very high and respectable weight.

But what is “respectable”?

What is the general deadlift standard in the lifting community?

Powerlifting community?

For the casual gym bro at the gym, a 2x bodyweight deadlift may get you some fist bumps and head nods.

If you are a serious strength athlete, no one will look your way.

It is about perspective but one of the most important things that you need to realize is that achieving a double bodyweight deadlift is for yourself.

You should want to achieve this strength milestone because you want to.

2x BW deadlift

A 2x BW deadlift is a great achievement and can take between 6 months to 2 years to achieve. It is not an amazing feat for strength athletes but it is decent for casual lifters.

Lifters want to be accepted and respected.

It is natural for a human being to want admiration since it gives them some purpose behind lifting.

Especially with an alpha exercise like the deadlift, we want to make sure first impressions are done well.

Having a double bodyweight deadlift may get you some nods and handshake from casual and inexperienced lifters.

However, to really impress yourself and other people, you will need to get at least a 3 times bodyweight deadlift in order to set yourself apart from the average lifter.

But make no mistake about it, you absolutely need to hit a double bodyweight deadlift before even thinking about getting stronger.

It is a great milestone to check off but you need to get back to work after you celebrated for about a few seconds.

How to get a 2x BW deadlift

There are many ways to get a 2x bw deadlift. For some lifters, they were already able to deadlift 1.5x their bw in the first time in the gym. This is the making of a deadlift beast with a few years of consistent training. For other gym-goers, they may start off closer to a 1x bw deadlift since they never picked up anything heavy from the ground. So, here is how to get a 2x bw deadlift with consistent effort.

Linear progression

This is by far one of the easiest ways to get to your 2x bw deadlift, possibly even a 2x bodyweight deadlift.

Pick a linear progression, like Starting Strength or Greyskull LP, and watch your progress skyrocket.

There is really no other reason why you should pick any other program unless you are a super heavy lifter (300+lbs).

Then, you may need to be more selective about your programming.

But for almost all of the lifters in the world, a double body weight deadlift is absolutely doable in your novice stage of lifting.

In fact, a triple body weight deadlift should definitely be a goal for all novice lifters.

I find that many lifters fall short of this achievement for various reasons.

It is up to you to see how bad you want to increase your deadlifts.

The programs and tools you can use are free and available to the public.

How long did it take you to get a 2x bw deadlift?

For me, it took me around 4 years to get to a double bodyweight deadlift.

I deadlifted 365lbs for 4 reps while weighing around 180lbs. I was using starting strength again since I felt that I needed more consistency in my training.

The reason it took a while for me to hit a 2x bw deadlift was that I was practicing my double overhand grip for the first 3 years of strength training.

I was determined to not let my grip fall behind.

Whenever I failed a deadlift due to grip, I would just stop there.

Even though I had way more reps in the tank because my back and hamstrings were not fatigued, I still did not go for more reps.

It was not until I because frustrated how low my deadlift was compared to my squat that I began to use a mixed grip and to redo linear progression to truly see how far I can get my deadlift to.

For a lot of lifters, they were able to reach a 2x bw deadlift in about 6 months of consistent programming.

There were another set of lifters that achieved a 2x bw deadlift in about 2 years.

These two milestones seem to be two of the most common peaks where lifters reach their double body weight deadlift.

415 lbs deadlift any good?

For a majority of lifters asking this question, you probably weigh between 180lbs to 200lbs.

If that is the case, you just barely passed the double body weight deadlift mark.

It is great that the milestone is achieved.

Now, you need to get back to work and hit a 2.5x bw deadlift.

Three weeks ago, I hit a 415lbs deadlift at 170lbs bw.

This would put me at a 2.4x bw deadlift, which is getting my close to another milestone.

Though the bigger milestone is, of course, the 3x bodyweight deadlift, slow and steady will win the race.

Though I do have the urgency to make progress as quickly as I can, I am aware that I need to not stress over everything and to just give my workouts everything I got.

Older lifters

There seems to be a generally accepted rule in the lifting community that if you get older, you can lower your standards.

If you want to use age as an excuse, then be my guest.

If you have a history of injuries and illnesses, then only you can understand how hard you need to push yourself.

The barbell has no emotion.

Old, young, frail, strong - it does not spare anyone.

You lift because you want to.

There seems to be a lot of older lifters that convince themselves that a 2x bw deadlift is “good enough” for their age.

These lifters are usually between the ages of 40-70.

If you are in between that age, you are not that old.

You are not even “old” in any content.

I truly believe that age is a mindset and if you want to atrophy and not make as many gains as someone in your weight class, who is to blame but yourself?

Consistent training

What if you do not want to run a powerlifting style linear progression program?

Can you still hit a 2x bw deadlift?

Yes, you can.

Programs, like Fierce 5, is a bodybuilding program that also focuses on strength.

While you will make more progress if you focus on general strength programs that focus on the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press, it is ultimately your decision on whether or not you want to run a program.

Just because a majority of lifters chose to do Starting Strength and Greyskull LP, it does not mean these are the only programs out there.

It does speak to how effective these programs are.

So, just know that you are taking a risk by leaving lbs off your lifts if you do not choose a general strength training program, where the sole purpose is for you to gain strength.

Regardless, progress can be made whether you follow a general strength program or not.

All linear progression programs follow the same sort of strength training principles - progressive overloading, fatigue management, specificity, recovery adaptation, variation, and a few other golden rules for strength training.

If you want to get a bigger deadlift, you will need to do deadlifts.

There is no other bigger secret that what I just revealed to you.

You will get better at the exercise you want by doing the exercise.

And you do the exercise over and over again. With consistency.


Everyone will progress at their own rate.

I was never worried about hitting a certain threshold of strength until my ratios of squat and bench press were not in sync with my deadlift.

Unless you are a super heavy weight (300lbs+), your deadlift will be your strongest lift.

Whether you need to tweak your technique or figure out why your deadlift is not clicking, this is an issue that will only help you to get stronger.

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