Being involved in American Football from a young age, Jamal Browner trained in powerlifting movements from his early teens.
After his college American football career didn't go to plan, Jamal's love for training took over. Initially wanting to become a bodybuilder, but not wanting to commit to regular dieting, Jamal Browner turned to powerlifting for his competitive fix.
Jamal began taking powerlifting seriously after being inspired by a fellow graduate's YouTube channel, Russel Orhii, who also switched from football to powerlifting out of love for training.
With no previous understanding of the sport of powerlifting, Orhii's YouTube channel helped Jamal appreciate the competitive nature of powerlifting and the teams and competitions within the sport.
This led Jamal Browner to sign up for his first competition, entering just two weeks before the day, turning up in his friend's wrestling singlet and winning, which qualified him for nationals in Atlanta, where he later placed 5th in the open and 2nd in juniors.
Fast forward to the present, and Jamal Browner holds multiple 110kg raw class 1st places, with an incredible list of personal records and an all-time raw world record:
Squat - 370kg (815.8lbs)
Bench Press - 227.5kg (501.6lbs)
Deadlift - 455kg (1,003lbs) - an all-time raw world record.
During a training session in late 2022, Jamal also deadlifted an insane 500kg (1102.3lbs), being one of only a handful of athletes to ever deadlift such an incredible weight on video.
We asked Jamal Browner to share his top tips to help you get a stronger deadlift, and he was more than happy to do so. Read on to find out hist top tips...
Jamal Browner's Deadlift Tips: Powerlifting Tips For A Stronger Deadlift
After hearing of Jamal's incredible lifts, you're probably wondering how you can improve your deadlift PR too.
Luckily, we've got just the guy who can help.
Ahead of the launch of the IPF approved Gymshark 315 Performance Singlet, we sat down with Gymshark athlete and powerlifting champion Jamal Browner, and we asked him to share his six top tips on how you can improve your deadlift.
Jamal Browner's 6 Deadlift Tips:
Follow A program
Lose The Ego
Work On Your Technique
Have A Goal
Use the Proper Equipment
Follow a program
Many people just go into the gym and YOLO, thinking they're going to progress, but everyone needs a program to follow.
There's a lot of science in training and how to become stronger over time, session by session.
If you're a seasoned lifter, having singles in your program more regularly will help push your 1RM alongside your training principles.
If you're a beginner lifter, however, hitting a 1RM every week could have a detrimental effect, as you're still learning about your body and understanding the deadlift technique. Jamal suggests taking smaller steps, focusing on form to get stronger, and sticking to a structured program reducing rep ranges through each mesocycle (training block).
Lose The Ego
It's easy to see people doing stuff in the gym and think you can do that too.
And, maybe you can...
But sticking to your program is key, and letting your ego take over to impress others in the gym, by adding more weight to the bar than needed during your current training phase will have you feeling tired, increase recovery time and injury risk and derail a well-executed training program.
Leave your ego at the door, and put trust in your training program if your goal is to improve your deadlift.
Work On Your Technique
It doesn't matter what weight is on the bar; if your technique is improving, then over time, you can load up more weight as you identify the most efficient way for your body to deadlift.
Many people think they can lift like the world's best lifters, but we're all built differently. Working on your technique is a fundamental part of understanding your body mechanics and learning how to move your body correctly for the most efficient deadlift possible.
When it comes to sumo or conventional deadlifts, having both in your program is a great place to start, helping to determine which deadlift variation you feel most comfortable with as your training becomes more serious.
Hip mobility can sometimes be an issue with the sumo deadlift, so including some hip stretches and mobility exercises can help you get into the correct position - remember, don't let your ego prevent you from working on mobility and flexibility.
Lifting is not a race, so find your best technique and keep working on it, one step at a time.
The Gymshark 315 Performance Singlet
The Gymshark Powerlifting Singlet is a unisex all-in-one to be used as official wear for powerlifting competitions.
Perfected over a number of years, we're proud to debut our IPF Approved Gymshark Singlet to the world.
Meeting the technical specifications required for competition standards, this product is designed to mold perfectly to your body to ensure you're platform ready, and prepared to lift heavier than you've ever lifted before. Learn more about the Gymshark 315 Powerlifting Singlet.
Made for powerlifters, shop the Gymshark 315 Performance Singlet.
Set A Goal
Having a goal in mind, whether for a competition or just with your gym buddies, will help give you focus and motivation to train for new deadlift PR.
A lot of gym-goers don't really pop deadlifts for real; they tend to hit RDLs and slight variations of the deadlift.
So working on a proper program that places a key focus on the sumo and conventional deadlifts, working towards a goal is essential.
Choose a date 12 weeks from now, and begin by scaling back your lifts at the beginning, focussing on technique and progressively increasing the weight, building toward your PR attempt.
Have The Proper Equipment
Having the proper equipment is really important when it comes to deadlifting, maintaining correct form, and reducing injury risk.
Wearing a flat shoe can have many benefits, from shortening the bar path to improving foot stability and grip on the floor.
If you're lifting in powerlifting competitions, make sure you practice without straps, and make use of chalk to improve grip. If you're lifting non-competitively, then utilizing straps can make gripping the bar a lot easier as the weight progresses.
Lifting belts are essential for powerlifters lifting big weights, but they also help regular gym-goers avoid injury when progressing with the weight on the bar. Although lower back strength is essential, many lifters don't know how to brace properly, and as they try to lift more weight, using a belt may help reduce their risk of injury.
The most important thing is that you lift to have fun.
Don't get stressed about the weight you can't lift. Every day you go to the gym, you can PR physically and mentally; a PR doesn't just have to be the weight on the bar, either.
Each day is new, and a weight you couldn't lift last week could move easily the next. But, if it's not fun, you won't stick at it.
The powerlifting community is extremely supportive, and having new and existing friends to train with makes lifting so much more fun.
Now you've got the best tips to improve your deadlift from one of the sport's greatest athletes, and it's time to put them into motion.
Start with the basics, appreciate the process, rather than the finishing line, and most of all, enjoy your training.
Be sure to follow Jamal Browner on his social media channels:
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WRITTEN BY: CHRIS BECK
Chris Beck is Senior Editor at Gymshark, with a passion for writing informative conditioning, health and fitness tech content. Chris is an avid gym-goer and ex-international athlete, holds qualifications in Personal Training, Nutrition, and Sports Performance, and is a certified Crossfit Level 1 Trainer.
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