The deadlift is one of the three basic powerlifting exercises and arguably the best strength training exercise for the posterior chain muscles.
But, most athletes want to know: “How much should I be able to deadlift?”
In other words, what are the deadlift standards by age and weight? What is the deadlift record for women and men? What is the average deadlift by age? What is a “good deadlift weight” for men and women?
In this guide to deadlift standards, we will look at the average deadlift weight by sex, age, body weight, and training level so that you can get an idea of what a good deadlift weight is for you.
We will look at:
- What Is the Deadlift World Record?
- What’s A Good Deadlift Weight?
- How Much Should I Deadlift?
Let’s get started!
What Is the Deadlift World Record?
Before we look at deadlift norms, let’s look at the deadlift world records.
Interestingly, there are different deadlift records based on the type of deadlift world record or competition (raw deadlift record, deadlift record with a weightlifting belt, StrongMan deadlift record, etc.).
The unassisted or raw deadlift world record for men was set on March 26, 2022, at the USPA Virginia Beach Classic 2, where Danny Grigsby set the deadlift record of 465 kilograms (1,025.2 pounds) in the 125-kilogram weight class.
This means he deadlifted nearly four times his body weight!The deadlift world record for women for the raw deadlift without a belt was set in July 2022 at the World Raw Powerlifting Federation American Pro.
There, the women’s deadlift max was set by Tamara Walcott, who deadlifted a record 290 kilograms (639.4 pounds).
Competing in the 140-kg weight class means that the women’s deadlift world record represents deadlifting 2x bodyweight (and then some).
What’s A Good Deadlift Weight?
There are various websites that report different deadlifting standards, such as deadlifting standards for powerlifters and competitive weightlifters.
While these deadlift weight standards are good for advanced strength athletes, if you fall under more of the recreational weightlifter category, you might wonder: “How much should men be able to deadlift?” or: “How much should women be able to deadlift?”
Understanding that there is a difference between competitive powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters and everyday men and women deadlifting in the gym.
Strength Level reports average deadlift weight for men and women by age and body weight based on fitness level by aggregating data from their community members through 16,996,114 lifts.
Based on this data, here are the average deadlift standards for men by age:
The deadlifting bodyweight average for men by body weight is also available.
The following table shows the average deadlift weight by body weight in pounds and kilograms for each level of athlete.
Find your body weight in pounds or kilograms on the left, and then you can see the average deadlift standards in pounds or kilograms for each strength training level in the columns to the right of your body weight.
So, how do you interpret this data?
If you ask the question, “How much should I be able to deadlift?” you should look at your training level and then see the average deadlift by age and the average deadlift weight by body weight for those in your same training level and see how you compare.
A “good deadlift weight“ would be deadlifting a weight that is at or above the deadlift norm or deadlift standard for your age or body weight and training level.
According to the training levels given on Strength Level for deadlifting standards:
- Beginners have just started weightlifting.
- Novice weightlifters usually have less than six months of training.
- Intermediate lifters have been training for six months to 1-2 years.
- Advanced lifters have been lifting weights for more than two years.
The other way to look at these deadlift standards charts is to look at how much you can deadlift and then see where it falls in the training levels.
If you are below the deadlift weight standard based on your training level and age or weight, your strength is below average, and if you can deadlift more than the average deadlift for men of your age or weight, you can deadlift more than the average male in your peer group.
One important caveat to bear in mind when looking at these average deadlift weights is that the deadlift weight was self-reported by users on a website.
That said, with nearly 17 million logged lifts, the average deadlift weights here are certainly crowdsourced from a very large pool of data.
How Much Should Men Be Able to Deadlift?
The following chart shows the average deadlift in pounds, kilograms, and body weight for men using Strength Level data:
|Strength Level||Weight (kg)||Weight (pounds)||Bodyweight Ratio|
|Beginner||78 kg||173 lb||1.00x|
|Novice||112 kg||246 lb||1.50x|
|Intermediate||152 kg||336 lb||2.00x|
|Advanced||200 kg||440 lb||2.50x|
|Elite||250 kg||552 lb||3.00x|
Based on these deadlifting standards from Strength Level, when all of the deadlifting data is aggregated, the average deadlift weight for men is 152 kg or 336 pounds at the intermediate level, which represents deadlifting two times your body weight.
Thus, men who are deadlifting bodyweight loads with their deadlift 1RM are considered to be at the average beginner deadlift load.
If we are trying to look at the average deadlift weight for men overall, we can look at the deadlift standards and the body weight standards.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average body weight for an adult male in the United States is 199.8 pounds.
For men, deadlifting body weight is the average load for beginners, so a good beginner deadlift weight for the typical man would be at or above 200 pounds.
For intermediate lifters, a good deadlift weight for the average man would jump up to 373 pounds, while a good deadlifting weight for advanced men would be 467 pounds, or at least 2.5 times body weight.
How Much Should Women Be Able to Deadlift?
We have similar deadlifting standards for women that we compiled based on the data from Strength Level.
This table shows the average deadlift weight for women by age, presented in pounds and kilograms based on training level:
The table below shows the average deadlift for women by body weight.
Here again, you can find the deadlift standards by body weight in pounds and kilograms based on training level:
Finally, you can see the overall deadlift averages for women when all of the female deadlift standards are aggregated in the table below.
|Strength Level||Weight (kg)||Weight (pounds)||Bodyweight Ratio|
|Beginner||38 kg||84 lb||0.50x|
|Novice||60 kg||132 lb||1.00x|
|Intermediate||87 kg||193 lb||1.25x|
|Advanced||120 kg||265 lb||1.75x|
|Elite||157 kg||345 lb||2.50x|
The average deadlift weight for all women at the beginner level is 84 pounds for 38 kg, or deadlifting half your body weight.
For intermediate-level lifters, the average female deadlift weight is 193 pounds or 87 kg, which equates to deadlifting body weight times 1.25.
As with the average weight for deadlifting for men, we can determine a good deadlift for women using these deadlift norms for females along with the average body weight for adult women.
According to the CDC, the average body weight for an adult female in the United States is 170.8 pounds.
Therefore, a good deadlift weight for women who are just starting out is 108 pounds. A good deadlift weight for women at the intermediate level is 221 pounds.
Again, keep in mind that these standards for deadlifting averages are based on the average American woman in terms of body weight.
You can find out how much weight you should be able to deadlift based on your actual body weight using the tables provided earlier.
How Much Should I Deadlift?
Regardless of whatever deadlifting standards are provided above, or common goals like deadlifting body weight or deadlifting two times body weight, it is essential to distinguish that the answer to the question: “How much should I deadlift?” is often distinctly different than: “How much should I be able to deadlift?”
When you are considering the question: “How much should you be able to deadlift,” you can use the above tables of deadlifting standards to see what is a good deadlift weight for your age, the average deadlift weight by sex, and the deadlift standards based on body weight.
From there, you can use your level of training to find the right column that shows how much you should be able to deadlift based on your training level, age, sex, and body weight, as described before.
However, you personally may be above or below the average deadlifting weight for your body weight, age, or sex.
Thus, the answer to the question: “How much should you deadlift?” really has nothing to do with what constitutes a good deadlift weight for men or women, a good deadlift weight for seniors, etc.
Instead, you should deadlift the weight that is appropriate for you and your fitness goals, whether you are above or below the average deadlift load for lifters like you.
How much you should deadlift is also informed by your primary training goal.
If you are trying to increase strength, you will perform fewer deadlift reps in each set at a higher percentage of your one-repetition maximum, which are the deadlifting averages shown in the tables above.
Generally, you will lift at least 85% of your 1RM for 2 to 5 reps and 3 to 5 sets to increase deadlifting strength.
If your goal is to build muscle, also known as hypertrophy training, you should use lighter loads for your deadlifting weight, typically somewhere between 70 and 85% of your deadlift 1RM weight for three sets of 8-12 reps.
All that said, your strength training program should be individualized to you.
Thus, the answer to “How much should I deadlift?” is really however much you are capable of lifting with proper form and technique for the correct number of reps and sets you want to do based on your training goals.
Even if you are well below the average weight for deadlifting for women or men based on your sex and training level, you can always get stronger and better at deadlifting with consistency.
For the best exercises to strengthen your posterior chain muscles to improve your deadlift weight, check out our guide to the best posterior chain workout here.