Deadlift Pointers From A World Record Holder

Andy Bolton deadlifting
(Image credit: Andy Bolton)

Andy Bolton became the first man to deadlift over 1,000lb when he lifted 445kg (1,003lb) in November 2006, a record that still stands. Here’s his deadlift form guide. 

1. The Set

“Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and stand so that the bar is touching your shins. The closer you keep the bar to the body, the easier it is to lift. Begin with a double-overhand grip—with your hands slightly wider apart than your feet—but you will need to switch to a reverse grip as you begin to lift heavier weights.”

2. The Lift

“Before you lift, take the tension of the bar. You need to pull it hard and fast but never snatch it: that’s where you get injuries. With your eyes looking straight ahead, exhale before taking a deep breath and drive your heels into the floor, and push up with your legs and lower back together so that the bar reaches your knees. These muscles must lift in harmony otherwise you won’t be able to lift the bar high enough.”

3. The Drive

“Because the bar is close to your legs it can be hard to lift it over your knees. Ensure that your legs lock and back straightens at the same time. This will make lifting it easier and minimize the risk of injury.”

4. The Lock

“The final part of the move involves locking the shoulders so that the bar is held under complete control. Once the knees lock and you’re straight, retract your shoulder blades and keep your head high with the bar under full control. Then reverse the parts of the move to lower the bar back to the ground.”

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.