Basic Strength Programme: Deadlift

 Basic Strength Programme - Part 3: Deadlift

In this week's blogpost, we will be talking about the deadlift.

As opposed to thinking of this as merely a "leg" or "back" exercise, the deadlift can actually help you develop a stronger core while working your entire body at the same time. Imagine your body as a lever that moves the bar from point A(the floor) to point B(above the knees as you stand upright). During this motion, having good form is extremely important in ensuring that the lever works well.


    How do I execute a good deadlift?

    Set up

    1. Stand with your feet at shoulder width. You can point your toes forward.

    2. Bend your knees slightly and reach for the bar. Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width


    1. Take a breath into your belly. Keep that air in your belly!

    2. Stand upright.
    Think of:
    - pushing your feet into the ground
    - squeezing your glutes together
    - pushing your hips towards the bar


    1. Exhale, and lower the weight to the floor.

    That's it! One repetition of deadlift is complete.

    How do I find the starting weight to work with for deadlifts?

    1. Start by warming up with an empty bar. Follow the steps above as closely as possible. Do 8 repetitions with the empty bar.

    2. Make small increments to the bar - add 2.5kg or 5kg a side each time. If your gym has 2.5kg or 5kg plates that are big, use those. Do 5 repetitions for each warm up .

    3. Increase the weight until you are unable to keep your deadlift form. You may feel yourself losing balance as your body-weight shifts to your heels. You may have difficulty keeping your legs and body straight at ready position.

    4. If the weight you are last able to execute a good deadlift is at 60kg, then 60kg will be the final weight to use for your working sets!

    Remember, the purpose of warming up is to kick start your body's engine and increase blood flow throughout, not to tire you out before the actual working sets!

    General Strength Template 
    Here's a sample program that is perfect for beginners, consisting of 2 deadlift sessions that you will repeat one after another. 
    In the example below, we have used 60kg as a starting weight, but do replace this with the weight that you have found on your own.

    Session A Session B
    Working Sets(S) X Reps(R) 5S x 5R (60kg) 90% of 60kg

    4S x 6R (55kg)

    Repeat Sessions A and B every 2 days for 2 weeks. After which, increase the working weight for Session A by 2.5kg, and adjust accordingly for Session B. If you feel confident, you may also increase the working weight after 1 week!

    At the end of the day, having proper technique is still key. Keep in mind to follow the instructions above as closely as possible in order to perform a safe and efficient deadlift.

    Be patient with your progress and do not rush to put on weights. Our emphasis on low repetitions ensure that you focus on building up good form, so put conscious effort into each step from the set up, to the process, and to finish. Learning how to properly perform a deadlift ensures its effectiveness and that any risks of injuries are reduced. 

    What SBD products can I use to deadlift?

    1. 13mm Lever Belt 2020

    2. 10mm Lever Belt 2023

    Deadlifting requires core strength and stability, both of which can be achieved through having a strong lower back and abdominal muscles. These prevent unnecessary strain from being placed on your back, which can cause injury. Read about how the belt serves as a cue for you to create abdominal pressure in order to perform a safe and efficient deadlift.


    P.S. if you are looking for footwear for deadlifts, you may consider a minimalist wide toe box barefoot shoes such as Avancus:

    Avancus Singapore (

    Avancus Malaysia (

    These shoes would help you feel more grounded and stable when performing a deadlift.

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