Last updated on November 14th, 2022 at 01:31 pm
Have you ever been kicked out of a gym for deadlifting?
If not, I’m sure you’re aware it occurs.
However, when you consider that the deadlift is probably one of the greatest weightlifting movements ever (if not the greatest), it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
So, allow me to explain the main reasons why some gyms may kick you out for deadlifting.
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Why Do Gyms Kick You Out For Deadlifting?
Some gyms may kick you out for (or at least ask you to stop) deadlifting because they don’t want the movement performed on their premises. Their reasoning is that they’re trying to prevent noise pollution from either weights being dropped or lifters grunting or yelling. Additionally, some gyms will state that they don’t allow deadlifting as they don’t have a dedicated deadlift platform, which protects both the equipment and flooring.
SOME Commercial Gyms Don’t Like Noise
The main reason you may get kicked out of a gym for deadlifting is noise pollution.
In truth, this is mainly a “rule” in some of the best-known, multi-franchised, commercial gyms.
Then again, the same types of gyms absolutely despise loud grunting or yelling while you’re lifting weights.
Realistically, the aim of these gyms is not to promote “hardcore” weightlifting, but rather a family-oriented, quiet and safe atmosphere.
The reason I mention “safe” is simply because some people may feel intimidated by someone else making a lot of noise.
These types of gyms will typically have an overflow of cardio machines, stretching areas, and only a small weights area.
Something else to consider is that these types of chain gyms generally cater to the casual exerciser.
So, many of their members may not use the gym regularly, or even be that serious about their fitness.
In fact, there is evidence that the vast majority of gym income is actually made from people who never actually attend the gym.
Plus, many casual gym-goers may be put off by the levels of noise from someone performing heavy deadlifts.
This could lead to them leaving the gym, cancelling their membership, and never coming back.
Therefore, it makes good business sense for this type of gym to cater to the masses.
Teenager Attacked By Stranger For Deadlifting
Use Yoga Mats & Control Your Screaming
If you’ve been lucky enough to be spared the embarrassment of being kicked out of a gym, you may still have been spoken to about the noise that you’re making.
Some of these commercial chain gyms may not be adverse to you deadlifting, but they simply want you to keep your noise to a minimum.
If this is the case then there are a couple of things you can do to comply.
Plus, it makes sense to accommodate certain rules if you can, and no-one really wants to upset or intimidate other gym-goers.
Firstly, you should look to place yoga mats under the weight plates of your deadlifting barbell.
Obviously, this will ensure that noise is kept to a minimum when you lower, or even drop, the barbell.
Secondly, I will admit that there are actually benefits to yelling and grunting, but you should still try to keep this to a minimum.
In reality, none of us actually needs to scream out for every single rep of every single set.
It’s just when you’re straining for that final rep or two that you may let out a yelp.
So, keep others in mind, and be aware of just how much noise you’re making.
SOME Gyms Claim They Don’t Have Deadlift Platforms
There are certain commercial gyms that have flat-out banned deadlifting on the premises.
This generally comes down to insufficient space, expense of additional equipment, as well as health and safety concerns.
You’ll find that this type of gym will specifically claim that they don’t have a deadlift platform and therefore deadlifting is banned from the gym.
Initially, this makes a lot of sense, as you are lifting an extremely heavy barbell (hopefully), so there is the chance that you could cause damage to the equipment or the flooring.
With that being said, there are just as many gyms who don’t have a specific deadlifting platform, but have ample soft flooring all around the gym.
If I’m being honest, I believe that a gym that states you can’t deadlift because they don’t have a specific area, is probably also worried about noise, intimidation, etc.
Basically, they just don’t want deadlifts being performed in their gym.
This could of course come down to the extra expense of additional weight plates, barbells, and areas in which to deadlift.
And let’s not forget that deadlifts are typically a heavy and very technical exercise, so there is the possibility of injury to the untrained lifter.
This simply causes additional insurance expenses, as well as healthy and safety issues for a gym.
In my mind, it’s nothing more than a ploy to keep costs to a minimum, as well as ensuring that the main influx of members are kept happy.
Should You Drop the Weight When Deadlifting?
As the main issue seems to be noise I guess I should discuss when you should drop the weight when deadlifting.
In truth, there is no one exact correct answer.
Firstly, depending on how much weight you’re lifting in comparison to your one-rep max, there may actually never be a need for you to drop the weight.
With that being said, even if you’re repping deadlifts it can be difficult to perform a slow negative/eccentric part of the lift.
However, I don’t think many of us get to our true deadlifting potential, whereby you have no choice but to drop the weight.
Personally, if you’re performing deadlifts for reps, even if it’s only three reps, then you should lower the barbell slowly and under control.
Admittedly, this may involve a slight drop, but by this time your glutes and hamstrings are fully engaged, and the bar is literally inches off the ground.
This clearly would cause much less noise than dropping the barbell from upper thigh height, plus your hands will still be attached to the bar.
But, as I;ve alluded to, if you’re lifting an extremely heavy one-rep max, or even a PB, you may not have the option to slowly control the descent.
However, I will say that maintaining good form throughout, while using a controlled eccentric phase, is absolutely fantastic for building your back.
So, in reality, it very much comes down to how you’re training the deadlift and what you’re looking to achieve.
380kg Deadlift With Controlled Eccentric
So, as you can see, the main reason you might get kicked out of a gym for deadlifting is due to noise pollution.
Pure and simple, some gyms don’t like their patrons making too much noise, whether this is from dropping weights or screaming out while trying to get that last rep in.
Additionally, there are gyms that will state that they just don’t have the facilities to deadlift, i.e. a deadlifting platform, and therefore they specifically ban deadlifts.
You should of course always be wary of the noise you’re making anyway.
Therefore, if you are allowed to deadlift, don’t risk the chance of getting thrown out, and place yoga mats on the floor, while keeping the yelling to a bare minimum.
If you do happen to be allowed to deadlift in your gym then I’ve got just the thing for you. Dave Dellanave, considered the authority of deadlifting in the fitness industry, has created a series of workout programs aimed at increasing your deadlift by over 100lbs. This is achieved through Biofeedback training. You can check out my Review of Dave’s Off the Floor Workout Program.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.