How to load a barbell to deadlift without straining your back

Stop straining your back trying to load the barbell for deadlifts!

Did you ever have to do that awkward dance when you’re trying to load more than one plate on a side of the barbell to deadlift? You know, where you’re bending over and simultaneously trying to lift the barbell so you can get the second plate on? But it never quite goes on easily and then you end up pulling a back muscle?

Well let me show you the best couple bucks you’ll spend that will save you time and energy at the gym.

Here’s a small but useful piece of gear in my gym bag, called the Dead Wedge.

 Get it here off Amazon!

Check it out. It’s a super light weight, wedge shaped hunk of orange rubber that you can throw in your gym bag easily. Here’s how you use it:

  1. Load your first plate onto the barbell
  2. Place the Dead Wedge right behind the plate
  3. Roll the plate and bar onto the wedge. This will left the end of the barbell just enough off the ground to make it easier to load subsequent plates.
  4. Roll the barbell off the wedge.
  5. Repeat on the other side!


Now, how to deload all your weights off the barbell

Alright, so you loaded your barbell, worked your tail off on your deadlifts, now it’s time to take the plates off the barbell.

Well, there’s an easier way to do that too!

Take off the plates on one side first – you can use the Dead Wedge deadlift jack alternative just in reverse order of when you loaded it.

Then, instead of removing the plates one by one on the other side, just take off the bar clip and lift the bar end straight up vertically – leaving the plates laying on the floor after you take out the barbell!


I’ve tried the DIY trick of rolling the plate onto a 5 or 10 lb plate before, and it’s just not as easy. This wedge had a nice ‘wedge’ shape (duh, hence the name!) that makes it so much easier to roll your barbell and plates on.

I’ve also used this when deadlifting with a trapbar or hex bar without any issues.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *