Benefits of Deadlifts – Introduction
The extraordinary benefits of deadlifts will help you get leaner, stronger, and faster.
Have you gone on diets, weight machines, and the treadmill, but you’re still overweight or out of shape?
I can relate.
When I was desperate to lose weight and get into shape, I tried many low-carb diets.
And a ton of cardio.
I spent many years wasting time doing plenty of both.
But I did not change my body from fat to fit until I started to deadlift.
Only then did I lose 75 pounds in 6 months as well as 18 inches off my waist.
I knew I had to share this great news with anyone else who wants to get fitter faster.
And here it is – the deadlift is your best go-to exercise if you’re going to transform your body quickly.
Therefore, this article highlights the most remarkable health benefits of deadlifts to change your life.
Table of Contents
- The King of All Exercise
- Deadlift for Weight Loss
- Total Body Transformation
- An Uncomplicated Exercise – How to Deadlift
- A Simple Plan for Results
- Don’t Waste Your Time Working Out
- Increase Your Testosterone (Without Drugs)
- Deadlift Testosterone Boosting Proof
- Benefits of Deadlifts for Women
- Seniors Can Recover Mobility
- Look More Attractive
- Look like an Athlete
- Improve and Maintain Good Posture
- Sculpt Your Core
- Less Time for a Total Workout
- A Simple Deadlift Workout Routine
- You Only Need a Small Area for Deadlifting
- Strengthen Your Posterior Chain
- Build a Spectacular Back
- Prevent Back Pain
- Strengthen Your Grip
- Progressive Resistance Training
- How to Use the SAID Principle
- Proper Form Deadlifts are Safe
- Activities of Daily Living
- High-Intensity Cardiovascular Workout
- Lift Your Mood
- Alternative to Antidepressants
- Build Confidence
- Classic Measure Of Strength
- Special Appeal
- Suicide Prevention
- Are Deadlifts Good For You?
- Warning: Respect the Deadlift
- Train Smart, Train Safe
- Deadlift Muscles Used Infographic
- Deadlifts are for Everyone
- What’s Next
- Related Posts
- Please Share
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
#1. The King of All Exercise
Bryan DiSanto is a personal trainer, fat loss, and muscle-building expert.
Look at what he writes about the deadlift:
“In the weightlifting realm, deadlifts reign king.
Deadlifts are far and away one of the best all-around compound exercises that exist.
They build an all-around powerful, muscular, shredded physique faster than any other exercise.
It’s cheating the weight-lifting system.
And they are equally beneficial for women.
Deadlifts shred body fat, and build muscle all over your body.”
When you find the best, forget the rest.
#2. Deadlift for Weight Loss
Deadlifts are not only to build muscle.
The incredible deadlift benefits weight loss as well.
I know, because without deadlifting I would not have lost 75 pounds in 6 months ending too many decades of obesity.
Don’t let that happen to you.
If you are overweight or obese today (and there is a 75 percent chance that you are), consider the deadlift for fat loss.
First of all, because the deadlift is an intense full-body exercise, and you will burn plenty of calories.
Second, one significant advantage of deadlifts over other exercises begins after your workout.
Since your body packs on muscle everywhere, your metabolism will rise, and your weight loss will accelerate.
Third, a deadlift workout program is much more fun than a weight watcher meeting, and yes, I speak from experience.
#3. Total Body Transformation
Losing weight is not enough to transform your physique.
You also need to build muscle to change your body composition.
For example, nine years ago, I had a 50 plus inch waist.
There was no way to hide that gut.
But, I did my best by wearing extra-large flannel shirts and sweaters to hide my stomach.
I had no idea back then that deadlifts help you burn belly fat by building muscle all over your body.
But, when I started to deadlift, the fat burning process kicked into high gear.
I could see the difference the same day after a workout.
In less than a year, I took 18 inches off of my waist.
Start deadlifting, torch your belly fat, and redesign your body.
#4. An Uncomplicated Exercise to Do
Learning the deadlift is not like learning how to do round-off back handsprings as a gymnast.
The deadlift is a fairly straightforward movement to perform.
You bend down and pick up the weight.
That seems simple, right?
But for your own safety, make sure you know that deadlifting requires the best form possible, therefore, you should never stop working on mastering your technique.
How to do the Deadlift
While the deadlift does not look very complicated, you still must work on your technique to deadlift safely and effectively.
You can hurt yourself doing the deadlift unless you use the proper form.
Deadlifting at 64 – Image Credit Hashimashi.com
Here is an overview of how to deadlift as I demonstrate in the above video:
- Warm-up for at least five minutes, either walking or on an elliptical or treadmill, floor bridges, good mornings, and stretches.
- If you don’t have time to warm-up, you don’t have time to deadlift!
- Depending on your condition, start with a 5-foot (25 pounds), 6-foot (35 pounds), or 7-foot (45 pounds) Olympic size barbell and 10-pound bumper plates on either side.
- This is either 45, 55, or 65 pounds of weight.
- If this is too heavy, then start with dumbbells.
- Place your feet hip to shoulder-width apart under the barbell.
- Do not touch the barbell with your shins, which should be about an inch or so from the bar.
- Your stance should be the one in which you can jump the highest off the floor.
- However, different people will be comfortable with different stances, for example, Strongman Brian Shaw uses a shoulder-width stance.
- Line up the barbell over the middle of your foot.
- Estimate the middle of your foot by the laces on your shoes.
- To lower yourself to the barbell, hinge your hips back as if you’re trying to touch the wall behind you with your rear
- Start with a double overhand grip, especially with lighter weights.
- The overhand grip has two pros, 1) it makes it easier to pull the bars into your shins and contract your lats, and 2) this grip is safer for your biceps than the alternate grip.
- Grab the bar with a firm grip.
Flatten your back
- Straighten your back by lifting your chest and squeezing your lats.
- Keep your back straight and never round your back.
- Your head should be in a neutral position, so keep your chin tucked a bit.
- Your hips and knees are below your shoulders, again, do not round your back.
- Brace and keep your body tight by contracting your stomach.
- You should still be able to breathe even though your core is braced.
- Practice this by breathing in deep, and then exhaling quickly, you will feel the tension in your torso, but you can still breathe normally.
- Hold a full breath into your abdomen to create more stability in your core.
- This applies to squats and deadlifts to create a firm, stable core.
- If you do not hold your breath, you might relax your body too much.
- I did that once and immediately felt lower back pain, which was not good!
- You can draw in your breath at the top of the deadlift, at the bottom, or at both stages. See the video below for more details:
Deadlift Pillar of Breathing and Bracing – Juggernaut Training Systems
- Use the power in your hips, legs, and posterior chain to lift the weight, not your arms.
- Instead, imagine your arms as hooks
- Think of doing a standing leg press, and when the bar gets close to your knees, drive your hips forward and pull with a flat solid back.
- Keep moving the bar in a straight path, up from and back down to the floor.
- Use this One Great Beginner Deadlift Workout Routine for Powerlifting and Fitness
- And do not forget to see The Top 15 Proper Deadlift Form Tips For Beginners.
#5. A Simple Plan for Results
- Do squats, deadlifts bench press or push-ups at least 1 or 2 times a week.
- Walk, swim, bike, or do the elliptical for 30 minutes 5 times a week.
- Avoid processed food and eat real food; it is that simple.
- You can never out-train a bad diet.
And along with the deadlift, use these five simple steps to lose weight.
#6. Don’t Waste Your Time Working Out
The most common weight lifting mistake is going to the gym only to do dumbbell curls, or worse, machine curls.
So, do not spend 30 minutes of your precious time working on only one muscle group.
Instead, do an exercise where the majority of your muscles work at the same time.
Focus on the deadlift, which targets the main muscle groups of your entire body, such as:
- Lower, middle, and upper back
- Trapezius muscles
- Spinal erectors
- Grip strength
- Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus
Deadlifting is a total body workout. (And you do not need to lift heavy to get results).
#7. Increase Your Testosterone (Without Drugs)
Deadlifts have no equal (other than squats) to increase your testosterone dramatically.
As you age, your testosterone decreases, as well as your interest in sex, and the ability to perform.
Living a longer life also becomes more difficult.
This is why testosterone is so vital for a man:
- Testosterone enables your body to build denser bones and prevent osteoporosis.
- Testosterone helps you build muscle mass.
- More muscle growth helps you prevent or reverse diabetes, which is critical for good health.
- Testosterone helps you prevent impotence.
- Active sex life is healthy and helps to prevent heart attack and stroke.
- Higher testosterone levels are essential for weight control, energy, confidence, and ambition.
- Testosterone stimulates the male organs to develop and is what makes a man, a man.
- Weight lifting has a more significant effect on testosterone than almost any other exercise.
- A man must keep his testosterone levels in the normal range because of its importance to male health.
- The more muscles that you use, the higher the impact that your workout will have on testosterone.
- Testosterone is beneficial to your body, your mental health, and your spirit.
As a result, stop squeezing hand grips only and start doing deadlifts too.
#8. Deadlift Testosterone Boosting Proof
For instance, before I started to deadlift, my testosterone was not in the normal range.
Low T or low testosterone is common for men over 50.
As a result, my doctor recommended that I begin testosterone replacement therapy immediately.
Instead, shortly after that, check-up:
- I cut out processed food
- Had 3 – 4 real meals a day, and
- Walked or did the elliptical 30 – 45 minutes a day.
After I lost 75 pounds, it was enough weight that I could bend down easier.
At that point, I started to do squats, deadlifts, and push-ups.
Ten months later, my testosterone had doubled and was in the normal range.
My doctor asked if I had been taking testosterone replacement therapy.
I told him no and that I switched from processed to real food and started to deadlift.
The increase in testosterone shocked him.
He commented that the deadlift was better for testosterone than testosterone replacement therapy.
In short, increasing low-T or low testosterone might be the greatest gift of a deadlift workout program for men.
How To Raise Your Testosterone
- Keep your deadlift reps in the 4 – 6 rep range.
- You can handle the heavier weight with lower reps.
- And lifting heavier weight has the most significant impact on raising testosterone.
- Once you get up to 6 repetitions, increase the weight by 5 pounds, and start again with four repetitions.
But remember, don’t ever try to lift a weight you cannot handle.
#9. Benefits of Deadlifts for Women
Some women fear that weightlifting will leave them looking bulky.
However, since women have less testosterone than men, they will not build bulky muscles like a man.
Here are some of the best deadlifting benefits for women:
- Get leaner and stronger.
- Build your confidence.
- Reduce stress.
- Strengthen your bones. Studies have shown that weight lifting can prevent osteoporosis.
- Improve your athleticism (see how the deadlift transformed Allyson Felix into an Olympic gold medalist in track and field).
- Best of all, have fun.
Watch this video of HangTightWMarcie lifting 235 pounds off the floor.
Notice that Marcie is lean and strong, not bulky.
#10. Seniors Recover Mobility
One important purpose of the deadlift is to keep you lean, strong, and functional.
No matter how old you are.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re over 50.
You are never too old to benefit from the deadlift.
Do you think deadlifting over 50, 60, or 70 is impossible?
Watch this video of Shirley Webb deadlift 255 pounds at age 80:
Shirley Webb regained her mobility because of the deadlift.
Deadlift results before and after female no matter what your age is! See Shirley’s remarkable story here!
The moral of the story is – don’t wait till you are 76 to start deadlifting.
#11. Look More Attractive
Do you ever wonder how to look more attractive?
What can you do that will make yourself look better?
Whether it is for business, romance, or yourself, the deadlift comes to the rescue.
A key benefit of deadlifts for men and women is to look more attractive besides feeling better than ever.
Women are as attracted to physical appearance as men.
I have heard from women that physical appearance is more important to a woman than men believe.
I thought that women were not as fixated on physical attraction as men are.
But, as usual, I was wrong.
Do not believe that women could care less if your belly is hanging over your belt.
Women want you to look stronger than them.
They are not craving the man who is also a size zero.
Therefore, a significant benefit of deadlifts for men is to help transform your physique to look better than ever.
Change your body from a skinny teenager, flabby adult male, dad, or grandpa bod, into a more muscular man.
Start deadlifting and attract (or keep the attraction of) the love of your life.
#12. Look Like an Athlete
Eat real food, add deadlifts, squats, and pushups, and your body will transform.
This transformation will happen over six months to a year, depending on how out of shape you are now.
If you eat and train like an athlete, you will start to look like an athlete.
However, do not expect immediate results.
Be patient, be consistent, focus on your progress, not perfection.
And don’t forget, the best deadlift workout routine is the one you stick with!
#13. Improve your Posture
Do you need to improve your posture?
Are you curious about what exercise you can do to improve posture?
Well then, you’re in the right place.
The deadlift targets the major muscle groups responsible for correct posture.
As such, you improve your core strength and stability.
This enables you to hold your back straight in daily activities.
The deadlift also strengthens all the muscles of your waist, backside, hips, and lower back.
Core strength is important to maintain your balance and posture, whether in sport or daily life.
As a result, you walk taller, with better posture and more confidence.
Poor posture is not attractive.
Start to improve your posture with the benefits of deadlifts.
#14. Sculpt Your Core
The deadlift sculpts your obliques, upper abs, lower abs, and transverse abdominis.
The transverse abdominis is your inner abs.
Of course, you must eat real food as well.
Deadlift results before and after six months
You will not find your abs while having french fries every day.
So, do not make the mistake of thinking that deadlifting alone will build a better body.
Few training exercises can beat the benefits of deadlift exercise.
But, the negative effects of processed food will always win over weight training.
As a result, you will remain fat, no matter how much you workout.
Remember – you can never out-train a bad diet.
You need a total approach to see the effort you put into the deadlift benefit your abs, for example;
- eating clean by focusing on real food,
- cardio, and
- strength training.
Think real food like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, and beans.
Eat well, and train:
- jump rope,
- resistance band exercises,
- dumbbell training,
- kettlebell training,
- bodyweight exercises,
- treadmill, and
- the amazing deadlift to dramatically change your body.
#15. Less Time For a Total Workout
Are you having trouble finding time to workout?
I get it, you commute to your office, help your kids with homework, and have errands.
How much time do you have during the day to do a workout?
Not much, right?
You’re busy and have little free time.
But, 30 minutes is enough time for a full-body deadlift workout.
#16. Simple Deadlift Workout Routines
You can get fantastic results with a consistent 30-minute workout 1 – 2 times a week.
- Warm-up with a few sets at 50% – 75% of your one rep maximum.
- Watch how Dmitry Klokov, World Champion weight lifter warms up with the halting snatch deadlift.
- For example, let’s say your one-rep max is around 200 pounds.
- First, warm up with a couple of sets of 100 pounds which is 50% of your one-rep max.
- Gradually add 10 to 20 pounds of weight to the bar for another round of sets to dynamically prepare for your deadlift workout.
- Last, do three work sets of 5 – 8 repetitions with 150 pounds.
- This workout will not take you more than 30 minutes.
- Gradually increase the weight you lift every workout, every week, or every month, depending on your strength level.
Routine B without using 1 rep max
Another way to begin deadlifting without estimating your 1 rep max:
- You begin with the barbell alone and get accustomed to the hip hinge and lifting the barbell only, basically doing Romanian deadlifts.
- See this post – Romanian Deadlift VS Deadlift: What’s The Difference + How-To to learn how Romanian deadlifts can help you with the conventional barbell deadlift.
- You cannot go wrong with this method as it is recommended by powerlifter and strongman Alan Thrall.
- Once you understand the hip hinge from the Romanian deadlift, you can start with a weight that you know you can handle, for example, a 7-foot Olympic bar with 10 lb bumper plates, that adds up to 65lbs.
- Also, you can use a 6-foot Olympic bar that weighs 33lbs or a 5-foot bar that weighs 25lbs.
- Once you have your starting weight set, do the following progression 2 – 3 times a week:
Step 1. Do 2 sets of 5 repetitions with your original starting weight to warm up.
Step 2. Then, do 2 sets of 5 repetitions with the same weight as your warm-up set.
Step 3. Last, do one set of AMRAP (As Many Repetitions As Possible) for the last set of your work set.
Doing As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) on the last set
When you can do 10 reps on your last set, increase Step 2 by 5 pounds using 2.5lb plates on either side of the barbell.
Of course, you could increase the weight by 10 pounds as well, but I think 5 pounds is a safe way to progress.
How much weight you add depends on your age and athletic condition.
It doesn’t matter how much, all that matters is that you stick to your training and try to progressively add weight every week until you can’t.
As you increase weight in Step 2, you will still do warm-up sets as in Step 1, but the weight will go up there as well.
For example, let’s say that you started with 65lbs for your work set, and now you can lift 140lbs, here is how that workout will look.
Step 1 – Warm-Up
- one set of 5 reps x 105lbs
- 1 set of 5 reps x 125lbs
- 1 set of 5 reps x 135lbs
Step 2 – Work Sets
- 2 set of 5 reps x 140lbs
Step 3 – AMRAP (up till 10 reps)
- 1 set of AMRAP x 140lbs
When you hit 10 reps with 140lbs, now you can increase Step 2 to 145lbs or 150lbs.
This Routine B is a simple method for progressive resistance training the deadlift.
You could shoot for 12 reps for your AMRAP set, but, I have found that I start to lose form when aiming for 12 reps.
While 12 – 20 reps might be fine to train for muscular endurance with other exercises, the deadlift is not something you can play around with.
There is always a risk of injury if your technique starts to degrade, even a bit.
So, you will have to see how you feel, but my suggestion is that you should stop lifting as soon as you feel you can no longer maintain proper form.
#17. Minimum Area + Equipment for Deadlifting
You do not need a football field to deadlift.
On the contrary, all you need is a small area and a minimum amount of deadlifting equipment.
For example, to set up a beginner home deadlift studio, all you need is:
Barbell and Plates
#1. 7 Foot Olympic Barbell
Get a solid Olympic barbell that is suitable for powerlifting (squat, bench press, and deadlift ) to start.
#2. Bumper Plates
A must for a beginner in deadlifting.
Bumper plates typically start at 10 pounds, which means you can start deadlifting 55 pounds, instead of 135 pounds.
An Olympic barbell is 45 pounds.
The standard deadlift bar height, when loaded with 45-pound plates, is 8.875 inches (22.5 cms) for the middle of the barbell.
Two 45-pound plates equal 90 pounds plus the weight of the bar (45 pounds) is 135 pounds.
Even though you might be able to lift 135 pounds off the bat, why risk injury?
First perfect your deadlift form, by starting with a lighter weight and progressively increasing the weight you deadlift.
Bumper plates come in 10 lb, 15 lb, 25 lb, 35 lb, and 45 lb pairs.
Another benefit of bumper plates is the reduction of noise and damage to your floor as opposed to iron plates.
#3. Olympic Fractional Plate Set
The objective of any weightlifting program is to steadily increase the resistance to build more muscle mass.
At first, you will be able to add 5 or 10 pounds for weeks, or months.
But, sooner or later, the gains will slow down and you will not be able to increase 5 or 10 pounds every week.
That is where fractional plates come in handy.
You can increase the weight by as little as a quarter or half a pound.
#4. Greententljs Quick Release Collars
These collars secure the plates, are easy to put on and take off, and comes in multiple colors at a low price.
#5. Adidas HVC Wrestling Shoes
To make the best progress and prevent injury never squat or deadlift without using a pair of one of the best deadlifting shoes in 2021.
Adidas HVC wrestling shoes are great for deadlifting because they have a flat hard sole, as opposed to typical gym or running shoes that have more cushion.
While added cushion is great for pounding the pavement, it is dangerous for deadlifting because you never want any instability in your body when you are pushing hard against the ground to power your lift of heavy weights.
#6. Moxy Deadlift Socks
Protect your shins with deadlift socks.
I endured too many bruises and shin scrapes until I started wearing proper shin protection for deadlifting.
This is why I highly recommend Moxy deadlift socks.
#7. THEFITGUY Weightlifting Shin Guards
These shin guards offer additional shin protection, and are easy to put on and take off without taking off your shoes.
One of the most critical aspects of proper deadlift form to prevent injury is keeping your back flat.
In order to accomplish this, you need to learn how to engage your lats, and one of the best cues is to imagine that you are bending the barbell across your shins.
The barbell must stay in contact with your shins throughout the lift.
THEFITGUY’s additional shin protection is a useful tool to gain mastery of the deadlift.
Safety and Technique
#8. Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Belt
This durable weightlifting belt is excellent for beginners and if you plan to compete, you can wear it for a powerlifting competition.
It is sturdy, supportive, and comfortable.
#9. Horse stall rubber mat flooring 4′ x 6′ x 3/4″
#10. Starting Strength
Mark Rippetoe’s classic book on basic barbell training – Starting Strength:
A Deadlift Beginner Also Needs
- One Great Beginner Deadlift Workout – gets you started with the right warm-up and progression
- A 12 Week Beginner Deadlift Workout Program – following a plan leads to success
#18. Strengthen Your Posterior Chain
From the soles of your feet to the top of your head, the deadlift will build a phenomenal posterior chain.
The posterior chain is the entire backside of your body.
You know, the part of your body you cannot see in the mirror.
These are some of the biggest and most powerful muscles in your body.
Excessive sitting aka sitting disease is the primary reason that your posterior chain is underactive and weak.
Not only is it a shame to neglect them, but weak posterior muscles are the main culprits in lower back pain and limited mobility.
Pay attention to your posterior chain.
Build your hamstrings, glutes, and back.
You will get leaner and stronger than you ever thought possible.
#19. Build a Spectacular Back
For building muscle thickness, check out this comparison of John Stone’s back before and after deadlifts:
Amazing deadlift before and after back transformation results
Lifting with proper form will help you build a powerful back.
Use the 5 point deadlift setup for proper form.
Never deadlift with your lower back.
Or a rounded back.
Lifting with a rounded back is a sure way to lower back pain.
Do you think that your back is not strong enough to lift weights?
Then, read about Lamar Gant, who became a great powerlifter despite having scoliosis of the back.
On the contrary, deadlifts are great for your back, not dangerous for your back as long as you use proper form.
The safest way to lift is to engage your posterior chain, your hamstrings, and your gluteal muscles.
You engage your hamstrings and glutes in a proper setup position.
The deadlift is more of a leg press push, hip drive, and pull/drag up your shins than a lift.
As soon as you pass your knees, you drive your hips forward to stand tall.
Keep your core tight, chest up, back neutral, and drag the bar.
Drag and pull the bar straight up, against your shins, and over your knees.
This way, you engage your upper back and not your lower back.
My Favorite Deadlift Cues
- Starting position of your feet is hip to shoulder width
- Barbell should be mid-foot
- Hip hinge back (imagine touching the wall behind you with your rear) to start your descent to the bar
- Exhale as you lower to the bar
- Use a double overhand grip just outside of your legs
- Lift your chest, take a deep breath and brace your body while you imagine pulling the barbell around your shins
- That cue will help you englage your lats and flatten your back
- Stay tight all throughout your body
- If you lose form, you run the risk of injury
- Think of your arms as hooks only
- Do NOT attempt to lift the bar with your arms
- Do NOT try to lift the bar with your back
- Instead, push your feet against the floor, try to push the ground as hard as you can
- This vertical leg press will power the bar up
- Keep the bar against your shins
- When you reach your knees, drive your hips forward with your glute muscles to help you stand
- Do NOT lean back or hyperextend your back when you reach the standing position
- Hip hinge back to return the barbell to the floor, but remember to stay braced as you lower the barbell
#20. Prevent Back Pain
Practicing proper form strengthens your back and prevents injury like lower back pain.
But, never load up the bar with the most massive one rep max weight you can handle.
While there are heavy deadlift benefits for building maximal strength, hypertrophy, and power, never attempt to do a heavy deadlift, if you are not yet up to the task.
Do not ruin your lower back, because you feel like showing off.
One of the greatest Strongmen in history, Hermann Goerner, never deadlifted his 1 rep max, even when performing.
Increase the weight you lift gradually and reap the many rewards of deadlifts.
Note: Trap bar deadlifts are easier on your back, and an excellent conventional deadlift substitute with many benefits.
#21. Strengthen Your Grip
Before deadlifts, I did not have good grip strength.
Since beginning deadlifting, my grip strength has improved.
It is impressive when you can open up a jar of spaghetti sauce for your wife.
She can do it herself, but she wants to see you do it.
Use an overhand grip for your deadlifts until you get to heavier weights.
Then, use the mixed grip where one hand is overhand, and the other is underhand.
Again, never attempt to lift the barbell with your arms, especially with a mixed grip, as that could lead to a biceps injury.
Dave Robson says that deadlifting with bare hands will skyrocket your grip strength.
And that it is not uncommon to work up to 300 plus pounds without using deadlift wraps or gloves.
#22. Progressive Resistance Training
Milo of Croton was a 6th-century BC Greek wrestler.
To achieve his legendary strength, Milo began lifting a young bull.
He continued to do this every day, and as the bull grew in size, Milo gained strength to match.
This story of Milo illustrates progressive resistance training and the SAID Principle.
What is the SAID Principle?
The SAID principle states that the human body adapts to imposed demands.
For given stressors on the human system, biomechanical or neurological, there will be a Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands((https://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol21/sale.htm)).
The SAID principle is a fundamental strength training concept.
Your body will respond to the imposed demands of increasing the weight you lift.
You will get progressively stronger just like Milo of Croton.
The deadlift is a perfect example of the classic model of progressive resistance training.
#23. How to Use The SAID Principle
If 50 pounds is easy for you to lift, great.
Go home and come back two days later.
Do the same deadlift workout the next time.
Five minutes for your warm-up as mentioned above, but this time, add another five pounds to the bar.
This is where fractional plates come in handy, 1.25 – 2.5 pounds on either side of the bar.
Even if you could go up twenty pounds in weight, don’t.
It is much more effective to go up in weight 5 – 10 pounds a week.
Gradually increase the weight you are lifting to see the best results.
Even if you only do one set of 5 deadlifts every workout, you will keep getting stronger.
As always, make sure you focus on great form.
Imagine if you rely on deadlifts for your main strength exercise, for an entire year.
A 15 to 30-minute workout every other day, with weekends off.
Increase your weight 5 pounds every week.
At the end of the year, you can be deadlifting 250 pounds.
The spectacular benefits of deadlifts have helped:
- runners like the GOAT Allyson Felix, Olympic gold medalist
- bodybuilders, for example, Franco Columbu
- seniors such as Shirley Webb, the Powerlifting Grandma
- actors like Hugh Jackman and
- basketball players such as 2 time MVP, and 3 times NBA Champion Stephen Curry
- rappers like Rick Ross lose weight, and
- strongmen like Eddie Hall and Brian Shaw shatter the world record for raw deadlift
- electrifying football players such as Saquon Barkley
- circus performers and strongmen like Hermann Goerner
#24. Proper Form Deadlifts are Safe
Squats put you at risk because you bear the weight on your shoulders.
Whereas, the most significant risk of deadlifts is when your back is not straight.
Unlike squats, you are not at risk to have the weight fall on top of you.
If your grip, forearms, or back give out, you can immediately drop the weight.
Deadlifting is risk-free and safe to perform.
If your form is correct, you will not stress any of the major joints or kill your shins.
There are many aspects to learn to deadlift safely; from gripping the bar, how to hip hinge, and a full range of motion.
Use these 50 best deadlift tips for beginners to help you achieve the best form possible.
Remember, it is much better to obsess over perfect form than how much weight you can lift.
You do not have to lift heavy weights to see results.
#25. Activities of Daily Living
Another critical advantage of deadlifting is that it has real-life applications.
Deadlifts will help you lift heavy objects in real life, an actual functional benefit.
For example, the ability to lift heavy groceries, furniture or luggage, while avoiding injury.
Start doing deadlifts and impress your friends or your wife.
You might even impress your mother-in-law the next time you load her suitcase in the car!
#26. High-Intensity Cardiovascular Workout
Deadlifts work your heart and help raise your VO2Max.
Your VO2Max is your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise.
This is an indicator of your level of cardiovascular fitness.
An unknown benefit of deadlifting is the development of cardiorespiratory fitness.
Deadlifts will tax your cardiorespiratory system if done with enough intensity.
This has positive ramifications for cardiovascular health.
High-intensity deadlifts work out your entire body.
Next time you do a few sets of deadlifts with even only five repetitions, you will feel the workout intensity.
#27. Lift Your Mood
The deadlift is a natural mood stabilizer.
A shocking 26 percent of adults over 20 have depression.
This figure translates to 57.7 million people and is higher today in 2021.
Some people think they have no options other than taking antidepressants.
But, there is another way to help depression.
Deadlifting can also improve your mental health.
These mood-boosting benefits are how the deadlift can change your life if you struggle with depression.
#28. Alternative to Antidepressants
Instead of using Prozac, Zoloft, et al. to treat depression, why not first try a deadlift workout program?
- Maximize real food and reduce processed foods.
- Establish a schedule of 3 real food meals and a snack every day.
- Take a 30 minute to one-hour walk with friends/family or by yourself, get moving.
- Train six days a week alternating between your upper body and lower body
- On lower-body days, do
- squats or
- On upper-body days, do
- shoulder presses,
- bench presses,
- pull-ups/chin-ups, and
- dumbbell rows.
- Once a week, take a break, spend time with family and friends, eat whatever you want (within reason.)
There is no guarantee that you will not need medications.
But, there is a good chance that Hashi Mashi’s SIGECAPS roadmap could help you manage depression without antidepressants.
And if the only side effects are a leaner and stronger body, what do you have to lose?
#29. Build Confidence
Here are two reasons why deadlifting can even help treatment-resistant depression.
First, deadlifts raise your levels of testosterone and endorphins.
The more testosterone and endorphins you have, the better you will feel.
The second reason comes from inspiration.
As you successfully meet the challenge of deadlifting, so too will you better handle the stressors that weigh you down.
You will be more optimistic that you can overcome the challenges you are facing in your life.
Deadlifts have the particular effect of giving a person a sense of strength and power.
And it is higher power and confidence that is missing from anyone mired in depression.
See my book “ZEHHU: Crossing the Bridge from Depression to Life” – How to train to fight depression naturally and rebuild your body and life.
Dave Robson added the following two unique benefits of deadlifts:
#30. Classic Measure Of Strength
The deadlift is an accurate measure of overall strength because deadlifts use most muscle groups of your body.
As a result, deadlifts are a better test of full-body muscle strength.
Deadlifts are such a good measure of total body strength that the US Army now includes deadlift testing in their Army Combat Fitness Test!
#31. Special Appeal
Deadlifts have a unique appeal.
Picking a weight off the floor has a special primordial appeal.
Deadlifting is like ripping a gigantic tree out of the ground.
Standing and holding the massive weight also promotes a feeling of immense power.
#32. Suicide Prevention
Did you know that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the USA?¹
In particular, male suicide is a silent epidemic.
A deadlift workout program is a perfect solution for men.
So, before checking into a hospital, pick up a gym membership or set up a simple home deadlift studio.
This is because deadlifts are a great way to prevent suicidal ideation and suicide.
And if your psychiatrist recommends antidepressants, see if your doctor agrees to let you first try a 12-week deadlift program.
Depression or suicidal ideation will not fix the issue upsetting you.
Of course, whatever you can do to rectify a situation, do it.
But, many times, depression and suicidal ideation are the results of circumstances beyond your control.
For example, you might feel suicidal because of a broken relationship, divorce or job loss.
The mental health benefits of deadlifts help you regain your composure and even rebuild your life.
As a result, you’ll feel stronger than ever because heaving progressively heavier weight off the ground will improve your mental and physical fitness.
Just as you get physically stronger, so too will you get mentally stronger.
Most importantly, the deadlift will help you lift the dead weight of depression and suicidal ideation out of your mind.
#33. Are Deadlifts Good For You?
To clarify, why are deadlifts so important?
Because this powerful compound lift builds muscle all over your entire body.
For this reason, deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises that you can do.
A consistent deadlift training program will change your body like no other weight training exercise.
Imagine, you can get lean and muscular without spending hours in the gym.
And, with every workout, you build muscle and lose fat.
Therefore, if you only have time for one strength training exercise, choose the deadlift.
#34. Warning: Respect the Deadlift
A word of caution, always lift with a neutral, flat, and straight back.
The deadlift requires that you practice the best form possible.
You must warm up before a deadlift workout.
This means to run, walk, or do the elliptical for at least 5 minutes.
Also, you must keep your back neutral straight once you lift.
Never arch or round your back, you must keep your core tight and back flat.
For this reason, it is vital to continue learning how to deadlift with the best form possible.
This means never to arch your back.
Proper deadlift form helps your posture.
Learn to practice bracing.
This means tightening your entire core.
You need tension in your body to generate power.
Learning to respect the deadlift will benefit you in all your other athletic activities.
Always use your best form.
Never sacrifice form to lift a heavier weight.
This way, you will continue to make progress without unnecessary injuries that cause you to lose valuable time you could be training.
See An Uncomplicated Exercise – How to Deadlift for more details.
#35. Train Smart, Train Safe
Like most people, if you are a beginner, you are afraid of hurting your back by deadlifting.
On the contrary, deadlifting will help build and protect your back, as explained above.
Learn more about the deadlift from the following free resources:
- What Is A Deadlift And Why You Need Them
- 7 Greatest Deadlift Muscles Worked That Can Change Your Life
- 27 Sensational Ways How Deadlifts Change Your Body
- How to Deadlift for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide
- 15 Ways How to Protect Your Shins When Deadlifting
- 50 Essential Deadlift Tips and Tricks Every Beginner Should Know
Therefore, an excellent resource for a deadlift beginner is Starting Strength, the Bible of basic barbell training.
Learn how to squat, deadlift, squat, and bench press, the basic powerlifting lifts.
Starting Strength by powerlifting coach Mark Rippetoe will help reduce your fear of deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.
You must learn to train smart and safe, and Starting Strength is a great place to begin strength training.
#36. Deadlift Muscles Infographic
Deadlifts are so powerful because they are a full-body compound exercise for most major muscle groups of your lower and upper body.
Muscles used by deadlift infographic
Please share this deadlift muscles used infographic by HashiMashi.com:
#37. Deadlifts Are For Everyone
To sum up, the health and fitness benefits of deadlift workout routines are for everyone.
And not just for bodybuilders or young people.
Once you know the tremendous advantages of deadlifts, you will no longer avoid the free-weight area.
Instead, you will abandon the machines and tackle the ‘King of All Exercises.’
Because now you know that the deadlift is a powerful multi-joint exercise that will develop your entire body.
As well as give you functional strength for real daily life activities.
Also, deadlifting will also enhance your athletic performance as well as prevent injury.
Even if you are over the age of 50, deadlifting will help you look and feel better than ever.
And faster than you thought possible.
Deadlift Variations and Benefits
For the advantages of additional deadlift variations, see the following deadlift blog articles:
- Sumo Deadlift Benefits: What are they and Why You Need Them
- 11 Greatest Trap Bar Deadlifts Benefits That You Didn’t Know
- 7 Best Romanian Deadlift Benefits to Maximize Your Athletic Potential
- 9 Hex Bar Deadlift Benefits to Get Fit Without Barbell Deadlifts
- 5 Most Important Stiff Leg Deadlift Fitness Benefits to Improve Your Posterior Chain
- Dumbbell Deadlifts Benefits (Romanian): Why and How to Do This Important Exercise
However, this post focuses on the regular deadlift, also known as conventional barbell deadlift benefits.
Now that you know about the great benefits of deadlifts, the next step on your fitness journey is to learn A Step by Step Guide – How to Deadlift for Beginners.
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- 5 Best Deadlift Shin Guards on the Market Today in 2020
- Squat and Deadlift Workout on the Same Day or Not?
- 9 Essential Deadlift Workout Tips for Beginners
- What Muscles Does a Hex Bar Deadlift Work?
- 15 Ways How to Protect Your Shins When Deadlifting
- Deadlift to Lose Belly Fat; The Fastest Way to Lean Out Your Body
- 11 Best Steph Curry Deadlift and Training Secrets
- 23 Best Eddie Hall Deadlift Program Tips
- 5 Best Shoes for Squats and Deadlifts on the Market Today in 2020