Most men aren’t doing deadlifts, so here’s 11 reasons why you need deadlifts in your life.
When I was in high school, every guy was concerned about his bench. It was the adolescent measure of strength. You had some guys with chicken legs, but they could bench 300 lbs (136 kg).
As I entered my 30s and had more children I encountered more and more men with “bad backs.” That’s when I realized that the goal of fitness is the entire human body. Strength + Limberness + No Injuries = Active Man.
Around this time I was introduced to the deadlift and it has become my all time favorite lift. When I meet another guy who lifts, his deadlift is the only number I want to know, because it is the single best determinant for overall body strength.
Here are 11 reasons why you need to deadlifts:
- Prevent future back problems. If you sit at a desk all day (or sit in car for more than 45 minutes per day), the power train of your back (knees > hamstrings > glutes > lower back > upper back > shoulders) is weak! It’s awful. Years of sitting at a desk has made your entire back train ready for injury. Deadlifts are ordered for you. So start light (95lbs) and do one set of 5 reps every week.
- Abs. The deadlift will give you stronger abs. It works better than situps because the deadlift contracts all the muscles in your entire torso and core.
- You will gain strong and large glutes. There is a Greek word for this: callipygous. Your wife will dig it.
- Posture. With a strong back and abs, you’re posture will become more healthy and more attractive.
- Your testosterone will increase naturally. Some studies show that the deadlift raises a man’s testosterone instantly after the exercise. You want a high testosterone without damaging your body with supplemental testosterone. Besides eating a low carb and low alcohol diet, the next best thing you can do is deadlift. The contraction of so many muscles and stress on the skeleton leads to a natural increase in your t count.
- Spine health. We’ve spoken about your back, but the tissue surrounding your spine will become stronger over time (remember, start with only 95 lbs and work up very slowly).
- Your handshake will become strong. One of the things that limits men on the deadlift is their hand strength. Over the months, you will attain the grip of death.
- Hip mobility. Your hips will become strong and flexible. It gets even better if you add squats (again, I highly recommend StrongLifts 5×5).
- You get high. The endorphin rush from deadlifts compares to the runner’s high – and you don’t have to run a marathon to get it.
- You’ll be leaner. By doing deadlifts, you’ll likely acquire 5-10lbs of total body muscle mass, primarily in your two largest muscles: the glutes and hamstrings. And muscle mass burns calories all day.
- It’s nature’s movement for the human body. The motion of the deadlift conforms most closely with God’s design for the entire human body. If you follow proper form and don’t get cocky by slapping lots of weight and maxing out all the time, you will be performing a safe and natural body movement.
Let’s study perfect form:
If don’t do this rightly, you can hurt yourself. That’s why you should start with only 45-95lbs for the first week or two while you study the form and get the feel for the deadlift.
Keep your weight on your heels. Your butt out. Your head looking forward. You should begin with low weight. Place a 25 lb on each side of a 45 lb olympic bar and do one set of 5 reps. If you are at a gym with deadlifters (they are rare), have them watch your form. They will be happy to do so because deadlifters respect deadlifters. On the next week, add 10lbs and do one set of 5 reps. On the third week, add 10lbs and do one set of 5 reps. (I highly recommend StrongLifts 5×5 program with the Stronglifts 5×5 app.)
After watching this video, you might think: “Dang, that’s going to wreck my back.” Yes, if you grab a bar with 225lbs on it with your weak desk-job back, you’ll hurt yourself. However, if you start at 95lbs and increase slowly month by month, you won’t get hurt, and your back and spine will become safe from future injuries. When you start repping over 300lbs, get yourself a lifting belt and wear it properly.
If your gym doesn’t have the equipment for deadlifts or doesn’t allow them, get a new gym.
I don’t get paid by StrongLifts 5×5, but it put it me in the best shape of my life. I became leaner, bigger, and stronger than my 18 year old self. It’s a free program of 5 lifts that you do 5 sets of 5 reps.
- military (overhead) press
- barbell row
Check out: Stronglifts 5×5.
Please leave your comments and questions below. (What’s your deadlift?)