Deadlift Max Calculator
Calculate your max deadlift by entering your weight and reps.
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How to Calculate Your Max Deadlift
The deadlift is a quintessential strength training movement, targeting numerous muscles throughout the body and providing an unmatched gauge of overall strength. Because of this, the U.S. Army has adopted the deadlift as a measure of a soldier’s strength for the Army Combat Fitness Test.
Calculating the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a single repetition (often referred to as a one-rep max or 1RM) provides valuable insights into your strength level.
While the most accurate method to find your one-rep max is to actually find the maximum weight you are able to lift a single time, doing so can increase your risk of injury, and be time consuming. Fortunately, you can calculate your max deadlift while minimizing risk of injury and optimizing your time by using a 1RM formula.
One-Rep Max Formula
The calculator above uses the Brzycki formula to estimate a max deadlift. To use this formula, you will select a weight you are capable of lifting and perform repetitions to failure.
The number of repetitions achieved is then inserted into the formula to calculate your estimated 1RM. Keep in mind for all 1RM estimations, the greater number of repetitions you perform, the less accurate the formula becomes. Ideally you select a weight that you can lift no more than 10 times.
The Bryzcki formula is as follows:
1RM = weight lifted × 36 / 37 – reps
This formula was developed by Matt Brzycki and is a popular method to estimate a lifter’s one-rep max.
Alternate One-Rep Max Formulas
While the Brzycki formula is widely used, there are several other formulas that can also be used to estimate a 1RM. These include:
1RM = weight lifted × (1 + reps/30)
1RM = weight lifted × reps0.10
1RM = weight lifted × (1 + (0.025 × reps))
Each formula offers a slightly different estimate based on the weight and reps input. It may be beneficial to try multiple formulas to get a range of estimated max deadlifts to determine the most realistic one-rep max.
It’s important to note that these formulas provide an estimate for the max weight lifted, but are usually accurate to within a few pounds when used with 3-5RM tests. However, the estimates are much less accurate as the number of reps for the test increase.
Tips For Improving Your Max Deadlift
There are several ways you can improve your max deadlift.
- Progressive Overload: In order for an individual to achieve a certain training adaptation, the body must be stressed by working against a stimulus or load that is greater than that to which it is accustomed. For continued adaptation, the training stimulus must gradually and constantly increase. However, if increases occur too quickly, poor technique, and injury may result. If increases are progressed too slowly, improvements and adaptations may be slow or minimal. Gradually and progressively increasing the weights you lift over time will ensure you challenge your muscles to continuously grow and adapt. One method for increasing training load is known as the 2-for-2 rule. This conservative approach dictates that if an individual can perform 2 or more repetitions over their goal during their last set, for 2 workouts consecutively, weight should be added to that exercise during the next training session. Absolute load increases of 2.5-10lbs or relative load increases of 2.5-10% can be safe and effective when determining load increases.
- Periodization: Depending on your goals, you may implement different sets, reps and intensities to most efficiently induce muscle adaptation. For example, when training for muscular strength, it is recommended that you utilize loads that you can perform <=6 repetitions, and you perform 2-6 sets. For training muscular endurance, performing >= 12 repetitions during 2-3 sets is recommended. Varying workout intensities and periodizing your training program can help prevent injuries, plateaus, and overtraining.
- Perfect Your Technique: Proper form not only ensures safety but can also maximize the weight you can lift. Consider engaging a trainer for technique checks and advice. While your max lifts may decrease in the short term as you perfect your technique, you will see the benefits in the long run.
- Incorporate Accessory Exercises: Exercises like Romanian deadlifts, bent-over rows, glute bridges, and core strengthening can bolster accessory muscles used in the traditional deadlift, improving your overall lift.
- Optimal Recovery: Don’t underestimate the importance of rest and recovery. Muscles build and repair during downtime, not during active lifting. Adequate rest and recovery between sets and sessions is essential for optimizing muscular adaptation and performance. Depending on your goals, different rest periods between sets are recommended. For example, the NSCA recommends a 2-5 minute rest between sets when the goal is muscular strength, or less than 30 seconds when the goal is muscular endurance. It is also recommended to give your muscle groups a 24-hour period of recovery between sessions before working them again.
- Nutrition: Ensure your diet is rich in protein and provides adequate calories to support muscle growth and strength improvements. Use our calories burned lifting calculator to estimate how many additional calories you need. Depending on your sport or training, the NSCA recommends different nutrient intakes. For example, proper nutrition for strength includes a protein intake of 1.4-1.7 grams per kilogram body-weight daily, with 20-30 grams of protein consumption within 2-3 hours following training. 5-6 grams per kilogram body-weight of carbohydrates per day, with 30-100 grams of high-glycemic carbs being consumed following training is recommended, and adequate hydration to prevent water weight losses exceeding 2% of body-weight.
- Sleep: Our bodies recover and adapt while we sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, adults should consistently achieve at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night in order to optimize recovery both physiologically and psychologically.
- Mental Strength: Visualization, mental prep, and confidence can have a substantial impact on your deadlift performance.
You might also be interested in our target heart rate calculator to improve your workout.
- Brzycki, Matt, Strength Testing – Predicting a One-Rep Max from Reps-to-Fatigue, The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 1993, 64.1, 88-90.
- Ribeiro Neto, F., Guanais, P., Dornelas, E. et al., Validity of one-repetition maximum predictive equations in men with spinal cord injury, Spinal Cord, 2017, 55, 950–95. https://www.nature.com/articles/sc201749
- Macarilla, C., Sautter, N., Robinson, Z., et al., Accuracy of Predicting One-Repetition Maximum from Submaximal Velocity in The Barbell Back Squat and Bench Press, Journal of Human Kinetics, April 26, 2022, 82, 201–212. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9465738/
- Klein, D., Post-Workout Nutrition—Nutrient Timing and the Anabolic Window, National Strength and Conditioning Association, https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/ptq/httpswww.nsca.comeducationarticlesptqpost-workout_nutrition_nutrient_timing_and_the_anabolic_window_u2014nutrient_timing_and_the_anabolic_window_/
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Seven or more hours of sleep per night: A health necessity for adults, https://aasm.org/seven-or-more-hours-of-sleep-per-night-a-health-necessity-for-adults/