05 Jun Learn How To Deadlift (And Become Instantly Powerful)
No doubt, an exercise that will make you feel powerful is the barbell deadlift.
The deadlift is the king of all strength exercises (although you could make a strong case for the barbell squat, as well).
There may not be a better example of raw, functional strength than a heavy barbell deadlift.
Imagine the incredible feeling of loading a barbell, getting set in position, and pulling the weight up perfectly to standing.
It’s really an amazing and powerful experience.
If you’ve pulled a heavy weight off the floor in a good deadlift pattern then you know exactly what I mean.
Deadlifting is truly one of the most “functional” strength movements we have in our exercise assortment.
Unfortunately, some people lose their ability to perform such a fundamental and functional movement.
The good thing is it can usually be restored with proper coaching and practice.
I’ll be honest, as a young bodybuilder I never truly understood the value of the deadlift, but now I can’t imagine not deadlifting in some capacity as part of my training system.
Who should deadlift?
Men, women, kids, seniors, athletes, everybody (yes, seriously).
I’ve taught all these groups how to deadlift properly with great success.
That’s right, everyone should deadlift, in some variation, as a foundational strength exercise.
Here’s my guarantee.
Pick up a loaded bar off the floor and you will feel instantly powerful.
Now, just like the kettlebell exercises I write about, the barbell technique must be really dialed in, as well.
You must learn the proper technique with this lift (and other barbell lifts) to get the best results.
For tips on position and technique, see this Simple 5 Point Checklist as a starting point.
For a great reference on deadlift technique (and all other barbell lifts), I highly recommend the great book, Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.
In my opinion, this book is absolutely essential if you’re serious about barbell lifting, in general.
And, if you want a real “deep dive” into the deadlift, definitely check out the great book Deadlift Dynamite by Powerlifting champion Andy Bolton and Pavel Tsatsouline.
This book is outstanding, as well.
The deadlift is hard.
And, truth be told, that’s why most people prefer not to do it.
And, they simply may not understand all the benefits that this monster lift provides, which is a real shame.
Benefits of the deadlift include:
- Increases total body functional strength
- Recruits most major muscles and muscle groups
- Builds total body muscle mass
- Stimulates growth hormone and testosterone release for muscle building, fat loss, and other health/performance benefits
- Significantly improves trunk strength and stability
- Improves grip strength
- Optimizes fundamental human movement patterns
- Builds mental toughness
- Helps to prevent injuries by increasing muscular strength, improves connective tissue strength and bone health, and literally “bullet proofs” your body
- Builds self confidence and self esteem
- Contributes to improved posture and optimal spinal positioning
- Helps to improve strength in other lifts and exercises
- Makes you feel “superhuman” (when you pull a new PR, yes, you definitely feel superhuman).
That’s quite a list of benefits and I’m sure I probably missed a few, but I think you can see how valuable this lift is.
I’ve said before that 80% of your results comes from the most important 20% of what you do.
The properly performed deadlift is a big part of that 20%, no doubt.
If you want to feel instantly powerful, I recommend you incorporate deadlifting into your program, if you’re not doing this already.
And, if you are deadlifting, always work on refining your technique as you build your heavier lifts.
Here’s something interesting.
Want to know what kind of weight you should be pulling (based on age and weight)?
Check out these DEADLIFT STANDARDS for men and women by Dr. Lon Kilgore.
This chart is a fantastic gauge to see where you are and what you should be shooting for (I’d print this off and hang it somewhere).
I’ll close out with one big technique tip.
Here it is.
One of the most important technical considerations in optimizing your deadlift is position of the spine.
Remember to keep your spine in a slightly arched position (lumbar and thoracic) during the pull.
Do NOT allow the low back (lumbar spine) or upper back (thoracic spine) to round (or flex) at any point during the pull, as this is a key for injury prevention.
To get tips and see how I perform the deadlift, make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel as I’ll be rolling out consistent video tips on kettlebells, barbells, and mobility techniques.
I’ll see you there.
As always, if you like this, please share it.