So, how important is the Deadlift?
This is a question asked among many trainees who have heard some mixed opinion about this infamous exercise. Some professionals would argue that the Deadlift is the ultimate strength exercise, while others link it to back injuries and herniated discs.
So, I decided to write a series of installments to talk about anything related to Deadlifts. Starting by its role in strength training programs, its variations, the reasons why people suck at Deadlifts and how to dramatically increase your Deadlift.
in this article, which will be Part I of the series,we will discuss the benefits of Deadlift for muscle building. so you can decide whether it is worth it or not.
How Important Is The Deadlift
The deadlift can be considered as one of the best tests of overall body strength (Groves, 2000). It is a multi-joint movement that involves picking up a barbell from the floor and standing to the erect position.
If your goal is to gain muscle and strength, then you need to Deadlift.
Deadlift is the single most effective move that you can do at the gym to increase your strength and muscle mass. Also, nothing looks more manly and savage then pulling tons of weight from the ground.
The Deadlift is the most complete movement in all strength training exercises. It will work your entire Posterior chain.
Deadlifts will recruit the muscles of the hip, lower back, upper back, quadriceps, hamstrings, and abdominals.
Furthermore, it will increase your grip strength and forearm size.
I guess it can’t be better than that. As you can see, the deadlift alone will nearly target 60% of your entire body. Which is crucial if you are a regular gym trainee who doesn’t have the time to be in the gym 6 days a week.
Deadlifts could also be used to bring up your weak body parts. Simply by changing your grip width or range of motion, you can emphasize a certain muscle group with the deadlift.
Targeting Your Weak Points With Deadlift
For more hamstring emphasis, you can use stiff leg deadlifts or Romanian deadlifts:
For Lower back and traps you can use the Rack pull variation where you go only half the way down to eliminate any glutes and hamstring stimulation. This variation will allow the use of heavier poundages due to the leverage advantage it represents over regular deadlifts:
For lats emphasis, you can do snatch Grip Deadlift which will place tremendous stress on your lat muscles and help you to grow some wings. Dorian Yates was a big fan of Snatch grip deadlift, and we all can agree that he has one of the best backs in all bodybuilding history.
My Experience With Deadlift
Incorporating Deadlifts into my routine was a game changer for me. When I first started out, I didn’t give a damn about them. They were just hard and I didn’t want to do them. So, for the first year, I never did a single deadlift. All my back routine was doing multiple variations of lat pulldowns and one or two rowing movements at the end.
You may guess, but my back looked like shit. and I was weak as a kitten. I Couldn’t even hold 70 lbs dumbbells in my hands and I was struggling to progress in every single exercise. Then I was told by one of my Gym veterans to start incorporating deadlifts in my routine if I am serious about progressing.
So, I did. My first Deadlift max was a pitiful 185 lbs, After 1 year of training! I was disappointed and I decided to prioritize the Deadlift for the next 3 months.
The results where stunning. I increased my deadlift to 315 lbs for 4 reps. All my other lifts went up significantly because of the overall strength gain and the increase in grip strength. I was able to handle heavier weights in my Bench press, my Barbell rows, and all my dumbbell movements.
After 3 months of Deadlifting, I added 130 lbs to my deadlift max, 22 lbs to my bench press max and I gained 2 inches in my chest circumstances. I finally got thick.
Therefore, my advice to you guys is if you are really serious about getting big and strong is to start doing Deadlifts.
I guess you can clearly tell that I am a Deadlift advocate as a staple in every strength training routine. But, for people with herniated discs and lower back pain, it is a no go. Also, with Deadlifts it is very crucial to properly learn the technique before you start adding weights to the bar. Because once you are used to a certain pull, you will always pull that way. Along the way that may lead up to lower back injuries and even Biceps tears if you like to pull with your arms.
One of the best places to learn proper Deadlift techniques and cues is the channel of Powerlifting payoneer Mark Bell. He is a genius in a sense when it comes to using as many cues and techniques to progress any of your 3 big lifts. So, I would greatly recommend checking his youtube channel.
That’s it for today guys, in the next installment of the Deadlift series, we will discuss the 3 main variations of Deadlift and which one is the best for you.