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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Oguz Demirkapi
Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Oguz Demirkapi ( @demirkapi )

Project HUGE: Hit A New Years Resolution - Deadlifts At 405lbs

Published in , Comments (13)

Before I went to the gym today, my lower back was feeling a little bit tired. I had done squats at 275lb on Thursday (2 days ago) and was still feeling it in my quads and lower back. But, my back didn't feel weak, it just felt tired; as such, I thought I would try some deadlifts just to see how my body reacted. I had quit my deadlift workout the week before after the first rep - it felt like a disaster - so I was a bit eager to try it again. And boy, am I glad I did! I ended up working up to two sets at 405lbs! Not only was this very exciting, it also happened to be one of my 2010 New Years Resolutions!


The voice you hear in the background is Troy Valberg - strong man and personal trainer - coaching me through the lift. I wish I had gotten the first set on video, but I wasn't sure how 405lbs was going to feel. The first set actually went up quite nicely - the first rep felt sweet ass sweet. I've done 405lbs before, years ago; but, even back then, I was only hitting it for singles. This is the first time ever, that I can remember, really pulling 405lbs for multiple reps.

My next big goal will be getting my squat back up to 315lbs. I could maybe handle 315lbs right now as a 1RM (not that I'm gonna try); but, I want to be able to hit it comfortably for multiple reps and multiple sets. I've got 10 more months - let's do this!

Reader Comments


Very impressive! I need to work on my new years resolutions as well... Quit smoking, start working out and work normal hours (instead of insane 40+ hour sessions!).



This has been a good year for my resolutions in general. So far, I'm sticking to them fairly well.


Heck yeah big Mike. You going to any conferences this year?


Hey Ben,
Not sure about any conferences yet. Maybe if I fund my own way. I'll let you know if I ever make it to NYC again too. Keep getting huge!


Great form. I always love to watch deadlift vids before I go and do them myself.

I finally cracked the 365 barrier, but that was also after doing 2 sets of 335x5.

I have yet to max out on a 5x5 set yet.



I haven't done a 5x5 workout in a while. I remember those being really awesome workouts. Maybe, I'll throw in some 5x5 in the next few weeks.



Yeah I only do 5x5 for the big lifts, but I still with a 4-day routine.

M: Upper body (Bench 5x5)
T: Lower body (Deads 5x5)
W: Rest
T: Upper body (Rows 5x5)
F: Lower body (Squats 5x5)

The rest of each of those days I do 3-4 more exercises at 3x8, but those 5x5 really keep my strength up.


I'm just getting started and have lost 52 pounds within the last year. I have different goals but I do some lifting (I am first and foremost a tennis player - somewhere around a 4.5 level on the NTRP rating system).

Anyway Ben, I wanted to ask you what you would recommend for me in the weight room. Right now I'm doing lunges with 40 pound weights in each each hand (around 2 sets of 15 for each leg), bench press, fly (sometimes), curls, dips and a great ab routine using another person and a medicine ball. In addition to this I'm doing hill sprints and distance running 2 to 3 times per week (around 3 miles on the distance end of things).

Ultimately, I really need to be able to explode in one direction, stop and bend (footwork/balance is paramount here), strike the ball and recover quickly back to the center of the court.

I don't want to get huge. I need to be strong like a mongoose rather than a bull! Any advice is appreciated.



I tried a little 5x5 yesterday at the gym.

5x5 Weighted Dips.
5x5 Box Squats.
5x5 Bent-over rows (suppinated grip).

It's funny - while I was working out, I hardly felt pumped or anything. It was hard work, but I didn't feel wasted. Today, however, my body just hurts :)


Congratulations on the weight loss! 52 pounds is amazing. As far as what you're doing in the gym, it sounds pretty good - you just want to make sure you keep balance around your shoulder joint. Basically, anytime you can push in one direction (ie. dips = sagittal plane, bench = transverse plane, shoulder press = frontal plane), you also want to *pull* in that direction also (ie. cable row = sagittal plane, wide row = transverse plane, lat pull down = frontal plane).

Doing that will help keep your shoulders from getting to protracted and should keep them healthy. You don't have to do all the stuff in one day, just make sure that over time, you are balanced.

As for the tennis-focused stuff, the lunges are probably really good. Then happen to hurt my knees - but that's a whole other story. For sport-specific stuff, though, you'd probably be best just doing some Googling. I've never been a big athlete :)



Yeah, definitely no pump with 5x5, but damn all you want to do is lay still all day long the next day lol.

I flip back and forth every 3-4 months to keep my strength up.



I'll definitely being trying to incorporate more 5x5 in the workouts; if for no other reason, it brings some structure - right now I'm just kind of all over the place.


The 405 lb dead lift video was impressive. Where in NYC can I contact the trainer, Troy Valberg? I need the push from a good personal trainer.

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Ben Nadel