Home Blog Are You STILL Doing Stupid Stuff in the Gym?

Are You STILL Doing Stupid Stuff in the Gym?

Written on November 15, 2007 at 9:26 am, by Eric Cressey

Earlier this year, I wrote an article called “Are You Doing Stupid Stuff in the Gym?” Several people took issue with the following statement:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: any healthy male under the age of 50 can deadlift 400 within two years of proper training — and most can do it even faster than that.”

In that article, I also mentioned how my old college roommate, Pete Dupuis (now my business partner at Cressey Performance), had taken up lifting and seen remarkable gains. When Pete first started out last November 15, he lacked the flexibility to even pull from the floor safely. In his first session, he used 40kg (88 pounds) with a sumo stance just so that he could get down to the bar with a neutral spine.

Today, 364 days later, Pete pulled 400. That 364 days includes a 3-month hiatus from lifting when he was wrapping up his MBA.


The take-home lesson? Whether a big deadlift is a goal of yours or not, Pete’s deadlift tells us several things:

1. Cressey is always right.
2. Arguing on the internet will not make you stronger (Pete hasn’t spent a minute on a strength training forum in his life).
3. Work on technique, optimize range-of-motion, and create stability within that range of motion, and the strength is sure to follow.
4. Surround yourself with the right people, in the right environment, with the right programming, and you’ll do exceptional things.
5. If you want to be strong, train around people who are already strong.

Article link:

  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series