Firstly, lifting 3 plates either side is no mean feat, so even if your deadlift is stuck at 315lbs, you’ve done well to achieve this.
However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it can be extremely frustrating.
In fact, if you’ve been stuck at 315 for any length of time, you may even start to believe that this is your max deadlift.
That being said, I’d like to explain why your deadlift is stuck at 315 and what you can do to push past your plateau.
Deadlift Stuck at 315
There are various reasons why your deadlift is stuck at 315lbs. Initially, you may want to change the way in which you deadlift, as it’s likely that your body has adapted to what you currently do. This could involve deadlifting more often, using less weight for higher reps, using more weight for fewer reps, or using a completely different deadlift variation, or even rack pulls. You also need to ensure that you’re eating enough to support muscular growth and increases in strength.
1. Change Your Rep Scheme
If your deadlift has been stuck at 315lbs for a while then it’s time to change things up a little.
As Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over-and-over and expecting different results”.
You should follow this saying in practically every walk of life, and deadlifting is no exception.
Basically, if you’ve been stuck at 315, but you’re still trying to pull 315lbs every time you deadlift, it’s no surprise that you’ve hit a plateau.
Realistically, progressive overload on deadlifts should see you adding approximately 5lbs to the bar with each subsequent workout.
However, you know as well as me that this 5lbs weekly progression isn’t going to last forever.
In effect, we all have an upper limit where things tend to stall.
That’s not to say that you can’t push past this plateau, although this will require a lot more than simply deadlifting regularly (more on this in a moment).
But, for me, I would want to change things up completely if I seem to be stuck at a particular weight.
This could involve deadlifting for higher reps with a lighter weight.
Then again, you may even decide to deadlift more regularly, say 2-3 times a week, as opposed to once.
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You could also attempt an even heavier weight, but obviously with fewer reps.
And there’s no issue with simply performing a different type of deadlift for a few weeks, e.g. sumo, Romanian, trap bar, etc.
In other words, stimulate your body and your muscles in a different way and you should find that this helps to burst through a plateau.
2. Use Rack Pulls
Okay, so I’ve spoken about using deadlift variations to try to burst out of a plateau.
However, something else you can try is rack pulls.
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Now, while rack pulls and deadlifts almost work identical muscles, deadlifts do allow for a greater range of motion.
However, this also means that you should be able to pull more weight with rack pulls.
In essence, you can actually train yourself to get used to lifting more weight than 315lbs.
Okay, I’ll admit it’s not exactly deadlifting, but you are essentially training your central nervous system to become used to lifting that amount of weight.
Furthermore, rack pulls can also help you to train your potentially weaker muscles, while also avoiding any stress on your lower back.
In fact, rack pulls are a great way to improve grip strength, as well as your upper back and trap development.
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Granted, deadlifts are mainly about using your glutes and hamstrings, however, your upper back and traps do go through isometric contraction.
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Plus, let’s face facts, grip strength is typically the weak point for many of us when it comes to deadlifts.
So, using rack pulls could certainly help you to improve on your potential weaknesses.
And let’s not forget, you can also get used to pulling more weight.
3. Are You Eating Enough?
Something you should always look at if you’ve hit a training plateau is your nutrition.
Basically, are you eating in a way that supports your training and body composition goals?
Or are you consuming calories in a way that works totally against you?
Additionally, not only is your nutrition extremely important, so is your rest and recovery.
So, if you don’t have all these factors on-point, this will probably explain why your deadlift is stuck at 315lbs.
If you’re looking to build muscle, as well as increasing strength, then you need to be taking in enough calories.
Furthermore, protein also happens to be your best friend.
That being said, you also need to ensure that you’re taking on enough carbs, which will not only fuel your workouts, but also speed up your recovery.
I will also say that a lot of people simply don’t consume enough calories in order to sustain regular increments in weight lifted.
So, I would first suggest that you calculate your maintenance calories here.
You’ll generally want to add a minimum of 200-300 calories per day to this.
Your aim here is to put on weight, but through your training and sensible nutrition, this should convert to increased muscle and strength.
Additionally, I would aim to be consuming a bare minimum of 1g of protein per 1 pound of body weight.
However, depending on your starting point and overall goals, there is absolutely no problem with consuming 1.2-1.6g of protein per pound of body weight.
Finally, you must ensure that you’re getting adequate rest between workouts, especially if you’re deadlifting more than once a week.
And of course, you must get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
4. Figure Out Your Weak Link
I’ve already spoken of your grip typically being the main limiting factor during deadlifts.
However, there are certainly many more muscles that could potentially be holding back your deadlift from increasing.
These include your glutes, hamstrings, core, erector spinae muscles, upper back, lats, and traps.
Even though I have always viewed deadlifts as a lower body exercise, as I’ve mentioned, your upper back, lats, and traps will go through isometric contraction simply to hold the bar up off the ground.
So, you need to determine whether any of these muscle groups is literally holding you back, and is your weak link.
You’ll then need to work on this specific muscle group, so that it eventually catches up with all your other muscles.
And this is when you should be able to smash through that 315lbs deadlift plateau.
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So, as you can see, there are quite a few reasons why your deadlift is stuck at 315lbs.
Firstly, if you’ve been struggling to progress from 315 for a while, it’s time to change things up a bit.
So, this may involve deadlifting more often, using lighter weights and higher reps, using heavier weights and fewer reps, or even changing the type of deadlift you do for a few weeks.
Basically, your body has adapted to the stress you place upon it through deadlifts, so changing things up could soon see you burst through that plateau.
Additionally, rack pulls are a great way to lift more weight, while using pretty much exactly the same muscles required for deadlifts.
You should also ensure that you’re eating enough, as well as getting ample rest and recovery.
Finally, you should figure out your weak link that is potentially holding you back from deadlifting more weight, e.g. upper back, traps, lats, glutes, hamstrings, grip, or erector spinae muscles.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.