Deadlift Strength Standards for Teens

by Damon Verial Google

    Teens hitting the gym alone put themselves at risk for injury, especially without prior training or a personal trainer. Independent teens who insist on lifting weights can benefit from knowing the standard weights they should be lifting. This is nowhere more true than for riskier exercises such as the deadlift. Unfortunately, due to each teen being different in his physical structure and adultness, no single standard for how much a teen can deadlift exists. But teens can find their own standards through safe in-gym experimentation.

    The Deadlift

    The deadlift is a useful strength-enhancing exercise that is simple in concept: You pick up a barbell from the ground. However, without proper practice or a guide, an untrained teen might haphazardly engage in deadlifting too much weight, making injury possible. The deadlift itself has a proper form that teens must use to protect their lower back from injury. To perform a deadlift properly, a teen should place his feet beneath the barbell, squat, grab the barbell with a shoulder-width grip and stand up while keeping his back straight. The deadlift works many muscles throughout the body, including the lower back, gluts and thighs.

    What’s The Right Number?

    When gym-goers talk deadlift, they usually talk in terms of weight or “plates,” the number of weight plates they put on the barbell before they engage in a deadlift. But to ask what the standard deadlift weight is for a teen is a question that comes without a specific number. The reason is that teenagers are still growing and tend to grow at different rates. While some professional resources provide charts to help weight lifters find standard deadlift weights based on bodyweight, such charts cannot easily apply to growing teens.

    Does a Standard Exist?

    Of course, a negative answer to whether a standard deadlift weight exists is unhelpful to teen gym-goers. But standards do not have to be entirely specific; they can be rules of thumb. A teen who wishes to deadlift should ignore any charts or statistics about other teens and focus on himself. Lifting more than he is capable of is a one-way ticket to an injury and long-term recovery process, during which he cannot continue deadlifting. So, teens must find their own standards by safe and useful rules of thumb. The answer for a deadlift standard for a teen lies in the gym, not on a piece of paper.

    The Rule of Thumb

    According to, the amount of weight a gym-goer will be able to deadlift relies on his training experience. Teens are unlikely to have much experience in weight lifting and should stick to a safe weight that still can help them grow. Teens should therefore experiment with how many reps they can deadlift, starting with low weight. Too many reps means too little weight, while too few reps means too much weight. To gain the benefits of a deadlift, a teen should find a standard that allows him to hit about five reps with proper form.

    About the Author

    Damon Verial has been writing since 2001. Verial is an applied psychologist with specialties in evolutionary psychology, relationships and attachment theory. His thesis investigates the evolutionary adaptations of sex differences and preferences.

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