As a beginner, you may think you need to lift the heaviest weight, or you think you should not deadlift at all and should skip it entirely. Deadlifting is a very great exercise if done correctly, but how much is enough?
How much should I deadlift for my weight?
There are some guidelines to go by, that lay out the numbers that you should work toward when getting stronger and working on specific lifts. Sometimes it goes by body weight, but that is inefficient because people have different strengths at different body weights, so it is not a good marker to go by.
What you should go by are training years and the goals you should work towards in those years. But sometimes if you do not train optimally enough and have good or bad genetics, you can misjudge that number by a lot.
So, using relative strength is a suitable alternative. Strength relative to your body weight is called relative strength.
Relative strength is used to measure your body weight in comparison to your strength and is used when talking about powerlifting and lifting in general.
Basic goals for beginners’ relative strength-wise wise are 1.4% of bodyweight for deadlift, 0.9% of bodyweight for squat, and 0.8% of body weight for the bench press. Different trainers recommend different standards to go by, but these are the novice numbers for a male.
For a female, the numbers for a novice are 1% of bodyweight for deadlift, 0.8% of bodyweight for squat, and 0.5% of body weight for the bench press. The stronger you get, the higher the ratio will be, and the less bodyweight matters.
But usually, the lower your body weight the more impressive a lift can be. This also has to do with height, because the shorter you are the less lean body mass you can attain, but your strength numbers can be just the same.
The deadlift will be the lift you can lift the most in, depending on your genetics, but as a base, going for 1.4% of your body weight for your one rep maximum is a good start.
For your working sets, or for the exercise that you do when you are not testing your maximum strength, 70-90% of your one-rep max is the safest and most effective weight to lift to build muscle and strength in low and high rep ranges.
How many deadlifts should a beginner do?
A beginner should focus on form and not the amount of weight or sets. As a beginner, doing the traditional or sumo deadlift for 3-4 sets, not more than twice a week is perfect.
You do not need to do any more than that. Any more than twice a week will put you at risk of injury.
Also lifting in the 6-8 rep range is enough to lift heavyweight and get stronger, but not heavy enough to injure you. You do not need to use heavyweight yet until you master the proper form of this lift.
The deadlift is easy to do incorrectly. Injuring yourself on this lift with heavyweight is the last thing you want to do.
You run the risk of fracturing a disk in your spine or tearing a bicep. Deadlift injuries can take a long time to heal and can ruin careers, so take your time with mastering form, using a slightly higher rep range, and resting accordingly.
Should you squat or deadlift first?
Squatting and deadlifting on the same day is not a good idea. Any exercise you do after each of those lifts will be done with lots of fatigue and will be difficult to complete.
Squatting and deadlifting should be done on different days of the week to be the most effective in an exercise regimen. You can have squats on leg days and have deadlifts on back days.
But make sure you have a day of rest after each leg day so that you can fully recover from the damage and fatigue you give your muscle fibers on that day. You can also rotate squats with deadlifts for leg day, this is what I recommend over putting deadlifts on a back day.
I do this because you can have different days with different focuses. One leg day can have a focus on anterior muscles, or the quads and calves, with minor work on the posterior muscles.
The next leg day can have a focus on the posterior leg muscles, or the hamstrings, glutes, with minor work on the quadriceps and calves if you choose.
How many days rest after deadlifts?
Deadlifts are an exercise that works a lot of upper and lower body muscles, like squats.
The deadlift is a hinge movement, which means it works the lower back and hinges at the waist, unlike the squat in which you bend back at the hips and go down, not putting as much strain on your lower back as the deadlift.
Because the deadlift works numerous muscles and is usually lifted with heavy weight, one or two rest days are enough to rest before working out again. If you choose to deadlift again after the previous day of deadlifting, you should consider if one day of rest is enough.
You also need time for your central nervous system to recover after being taxed under a heavy load. One day can be enough, but if you feel a little fatigued or even tired still, taking another rest day away from deadlifts would be a good idea. Exercises opposite the deadlift can be done on this day.