The deadlift should be called the healthlift. The world just doesn’t feel right if you’re not deadlifting. Picking things up get easier, that whole bad back thing doesn’t rear its ugly head anymore. But make no mistake, it is a technical lift that will hurt you if done improperly.
Treat the deadlift with respect.
Deadlifts and squats make everything better. Want bigger arms? Deadlift. Need mass? Deadlift. Bodybuilding is fun and I enjoy it, but I always leave in the squats and deadlifts because without them you put a damper on your gains. And it just doesn’t feel right leaving them out.
How to Deadlift
At its core, the deadlift is simple. Walk up to the bar and pick it up. The problem is when the load becomes heavy. If you don’t know how to deadlift, you’ll try ripping the bar and lifting with the back, both of which will leave you back problems. Deadlift properly and those back problems go away.
Everyone has a deadlift ritual, so we’re going to fast forward past that and get to the actual movement. Your stance should be hip width apart while your grip is just outside hip width.
Your arms are but ropes, keeping the bar close to your body. It should scrape up your shins and legs on the way up. If you don’t want scraping, dress appropriately.
The deadlift starts with a heel drive. Drive your heels into the ground and lift with your hamstrings, NOT your lower back. This means get your ass down! Your thighs will be close to parallel to the ground in the starting position. Start with the heel drive and pull through. Remember the heel drive cue.
Most men after they finish a deadlift just let the bar fall to the ground. If you’re trying to build some muscle, you had better guide it down. The negative rep is where muscle growth happens. This also gives you an opportunity to reverse the rep and hammer good form.
Keep your back rigid. Curling of the back shouldn’t happen. If it is, the weight is too heavy. Build muscle, not your ego.
Deadlift sets shouldn’t be greater then five reps with exceptions. Your heavy sets must be under five. The deadlift is the most taxing lift you will do in the gym. The better you get at it, the longer you’ll take to recover from it.
There are two methods of doing multiple rep sets.
First, you can do what is called touch and go. This is where you let the bumpers touch and then you immediately go after your next rep. This can be done, but be wary of your form because it will degrade. If you have any kind of history of back problems I don’t recommend it.
Second you can reset each rep. Don’t take your hands off the bar, but let it come to a complete stop. This will give you the opportunity to get into a good pulling position with the ass down and the heels ready to drive.
This is only a primer to the deadlift. I’m certain books can be written just on the deadlift. Go get some!