Special guest post by world record holding deadlift champion, Andy Bolton
The Deadlift is a superb exercise.
Now you might think I’m biased, given that I’m pretty good at it (In case you don’t know – I’m that big dude that’s pulled over a 1000lbs. Twice)… that said – by the time you’ve finished reading this article I’m sure you’ll want to start hitting the deadlift HARD.
Here are 7 reasons why the Deadlift is a superb exercise for serious Athletes…
1. If you’re a bodybuilder, or a guy who wants to be JACKED, very few things add slabs of granite-hard muscle to your body like heavy deads
2. If you’re a powerlifter or strongman – your sporting success depends a lot on how good your deadlift is. The deadlift is where power meets are won and lost and in any given strongman competition, one or more events are strongly deadlift based
3. Deadlifting builds a pretty decent grip; at least once you get fairly strong at it. In most sports, having a stronger grip will make you a better athlete.
In fact, my friend Elliot Newman recently spoke with Dr Stuart McGill and ‘Stu’ said that one very common thing he sees in many ELITE athletes is a lack of grip strength. So making those paws stronger is good – no matter what level you’re at
4. If you program your deadlift training sensibly, it will make you a lot STRONGER from head-to-toe. In particular – your glutes, hamstrings, entire back, core, forearms and grip will get stronger.
And when you get stronger, good things usually happen. For instance, you’ll probably notice that you get FASTER and more POWERFUL too. Faster, more powerful athletes are always better athletes.
5. The deadlift is relatively simple to learn (at least compared with many other barbell lifts). Sure, not everybody is ready to pull from the floor, but there is a variation to suit everybody – even if their mobility totally sucks.
The short learning curve and adaptability make the deadlift a great choice for athletes because it means that they don’t have to spend months drilling the exercise before they can actually load up some weight and see a meaningful improvements in strength, muscle mass and sporting performance.
6. The deadlift teaches AGGRESSION. If you aren’t aggressive with a heavy pull – it isn’t gonna budge an inch. This aggression is something that many sports require, so there’s a nice carry over effect.
7. The deadlift really hits the posterior chain hard (the back of the body). So if you’re one of those guys who has over-trained the ‘mirror muscles’ (front of your body), incorporating deadlifts into your training is a great way to bring balance back to your physique.
Of course – to be a good athlete – one who performs like a BEAST and is resilient to injury… it helps to be balanced.
So there you have it…
Now, before you rush off to pull a Deadlift PR, I need to tell you a couple of important things…
- You must deadlift with good form. Failure to do so can result in some extremely nasty injuries. Go to enough powerlifting meets and sooner or later you’ll see lower back injuries, tweaked hamstrings and torn biceps galore.
BUT… the prevention method is simple – deadlift with good technique!
- You must program your deadlift training sensibly. Seriously, get it wrong and you’ll likely end up overtrained faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100. No joke.
If you want to know how to deadlift with not only decent, but world class TECHNIQUE and you’d like to program your deadlifts in a way that doesn’t burn you out and builds mighty strength and muscle, grab a copy of my new book that I’ve written with Pavel Tsatsouline.
It’s called Deadlift Dynamite and you can learn more by clicking HERE.
As Pavel would say: “Power To You!”
Stay strong and get STRONGER,
Jay, back at ya here… I had the pleasure of reading Deadlift Dynamite by Pavel and Andy last weekend and can tell you that it’s a freakin awesome book and a must have for any serious strength coach or trainer.