When I first started working out properly I saw many regulars at the gym performing the exercise of a deadlift and could not work out why they did it or what the point was, this was when I was overweight and not massively strong, they made perfecting a deadlift child’s play so I didn’t see much good to come of performing it.
Fast forward 2 couple of months and I had started to make some gains in strength but not what I was hoping for, I had started my research into other techniques that bodybuilders and such use to achieve higher levels of strength when I came across the deadlift, the one exercise I had kinda shunned in the past, after a couple of hours research I decided that this exercise would really help my overall workout so I decided to give it a try.
My first attempt was not what you would call successful, I put 95 pounds on the bar and started doing them thinking this will be easy with only 95 pounds on there, How wrong I was, after doing 10 reps my back started to hurt and I was struggling, although I didn’t find the weight especially heavy, my back certainly did, it was only after speaking with a personal trainer and asking where I was going wrong that I saw the error of my ways, my technique was all wrong, after correcting this and letting my back recover for a week I had another go.
This time I did 10 reps at 95 pounds as before and found it very easy!, no back ache too. so I loaded up the bar with a bit more weight and again found it quite hard but not impossible with 175 pounds on the bar, this was my limit for now, but here I am 3 years later writing this and I can tell you 300 pounds is commonplace on the bar nowadays just to keep me in shape.
As well as getting better at the deadlift exercise I found massive improvements to other areas of my workout too, so it was beneficial in more ways than one!.
Obviously if your reading this you are hopefully thinking a similar thing to what I was when I first researched deadlifts.
Getting it wrong however can be detrimental to your back and could put you out of action for while as I found out the hard way, so I have put together a small guide to help you out in your workout.
5 simple steps to get you started:
When I am at the gym I can’t help but firstly notice the limited no. of people who actually do a deadlift but mainly at how bad they let there form get when they do perform it, they either lift too much or just seem to lack an understanding of how to get the exercise right.
Having correct form is vital to success, especially if you want to gradually increase what you can lift.
When you do a deadlift, you should keep your lower back arched every so slightly, your upper back flat and neutral with your head held up, get a wideish grip on the bar and keep your feet waist width apart.
Now lift from the floor using your hips and butt to push off, never rely on your knees as this can excessively strain them, as you come up be sure to keep your head up and raise the bar to waist height pushing your chest out as you reach the top and then head back down to touch the floor again, this is one rep.
Remember to keep your back as straight as you can as this will help your workout and protect your back.
Do not let heavy weight scare you, work out what the maximum you can lift for one rep is without ruining your form.
Work to multiple sets of 3 sets lifting 80% of your max and you will be amazed at how quickly you progress and how it positively affects the rest of your workouts.
Assistance exercises will help you focus on weaker areas where you need to improve and help get your deadlift weight up.
Start performing regular exercises like barbell and dumbbell rows for your back and squats, lunges and hip thrusts for your leg and hip strength, these will also build your core strength helping you still further.
Have you ever heard the term ‘eat big to lift big’?
Well it happens to be true, You can’t realistically expect to lift a lot of weight or increase how much you can lift if your on a 1,000 calorie a day diet consisting of mostly skinless chicken breast and broccoli. Whilst there is nothing wrong with eating a healthy diet to lose bodyfat and get lean, more food does equal better gains i’m afraid.
Those extra carbs can do the body good, get lot sof protein and good natural fats that you get from nuts and olive oil.
This is the most obvious point of all really. Make sure you get a lot of deadlifts in.
It’s like anything, practice makes perfect, after all you are trying to make your technique perfect as well as improve your overall strength.
Performing deadlifts only once per month is not going to see any real gains, use sound judgment and see what your body can handle, if you can 1 -2 times a week deadlifting that will see a lot of benefit to you.
That’s it for this guide on perfecting deadlifts, I hope you have got a deeper insight into where you were going wrong if at all or are looking to start, I highly recommend you do and see for yourself how well it will benefit you.
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