Word Count: 652 NF Difficulty: Advanced
I’ve been going to the gym here in Atlanta for about a year and a half now, and you know how many people (other than myself) I’ve ever seen do a deadlift? ZERO.
Not a single person in the entire time I’ve been in there has done a deadlift. I’m sure there are some that I just haven’t seen yet, but it’s pretty crazy to think that I have yet to run into somebody doing one, considering how often I’m there. After all, it is the most basic, primal, mass-building, testosterone pumping, results driven exercise out there. It’s the exercise that separates the men from the boys, the heroes from the chumps. You’re not a chump, are you?
Deadlifts work your legs, butt, back, arms, forearms, shoulders, traps, and abs. Not bad for one exercise! Oh, and it also pumps up your whole body and can even release extra testosterone, which will help you in your muscle building. If you’re a skinny guy looking to bulk up and you’re not doing deadlifts and squats (read my squats article here), you’re just wasting your time.
I think I have an idea why nobody else is doing deadlifts at my gym – because they’re scared of getting hurt. I was scared of deadlifts for a long time too; in fact, it probably took me a year of doing them (with light weights) before I realized that I was doing it wrong (using way too much of my back). However, since I’ve studied the exercise and put in some time, I’ve seen massive gains in my deadlift maximum and it’s beyond exciting – I’ve added 50 lbs to my deadlifts in the past month and a half.
Think about our ancestors: they didn’t have a weight rack to deal with, or a Smith machine to help them out – they had heavy rocks, logs, and carcasses they needed to move from one place to another. Simple enough – you can either pick it up, or you’re too weak. If you’re too weak, you might not have dinner for your family that night, or you might not have a place to sleep, so you found a way to GET strong enough. Be more like the cavemen!
Deadlifts work your entire body. Forearm curls? Waste of time. Shrugs with dumbbells? Useless. 500 sit ups? Why bother? I guarantee you by the time you’re deadlifting big weight you’ll have massive arms and legs, forearms that you can hammer nails with, a crazy strong lower back, and abs that are beyond ridiculous.
Rather than explain it to you in 1000 words, I found a great video that shows great form and emphasizes proper technique. After the video, I’ll describe the most important things to keep in mind:
Things to keep in mind when doing deadlifts:
- Don’t arch your back (or roll it in the other direction). Keep your abs tight the ENTIRE TIME, and keep your back straight (the guy in video does really good job with this).
- Keep the bar as close to you as possible – almost roll it up your shins until you get to your knees, and then almost roll it up your thighs until you’re upright.
- As you bring it past your knees, don’t think about pulling up with your back, thrust in with your hips (um, that’s what she said? COME ON)
- Keep your head up and chest out as you lift - this will help you keep your back aligned properly.
- As you bring the weight up, you want your legs to straighten out simultaneously as your hips come in completely - form a straight line at the same time with your hips, knees and feet.
Did this article help you? Was it enough of a motivator to get you to want to do deadlifts? Let me know at [email protected] if it didn’t and let me know what I can explain better.