The deadlift is the undisputed king of all exercises. There is you, a bar, plates of iron, the floor and the oxygen that fills the room and possibly some lifting straps if you’re lucky. That is all you have to play with, nothing else. There are no shiny machines involved in this journey to help you through the ‘’optimal’’ planes of motion, oh no. You squat down, grip the bar and pull upwards through your hips as though you are trying to pull the Earth’s core up through your heels. Your palms will burn as the metal bar tries to escape your grip, if you’re lucky you will be left with a pinch, if you’re not you will be left with flaps of skin oozing with blood – the ultimate token of your efforts perhaps? Probably not, I never saw the appeal of such extremities in the gym to prove your worth, lifting weights the equivalent of 2 or 3 times your body weight achieves this remarkably well on its own. The deadlift is then the true measure of raw strength; if you can lift big here you will probably look like it.
And there’s more, a lot more. Deadlifting big can unlock new levels of growth for you to exist within. Here are they.
1 – CNS Stress
Not so long ago I delved into the benefits of ‘’stress’’ albeit the right kind of stress. Stress at work generally isn’t good, the right amount of stress resisting weight usually is. Deadlifts generate untold levels of stress on the CNS, the kind which wakes your body up and makes it go ‘’damn, we need more muscle. . . .Everywhere!!’’ Show me someone who can deadlift heavy and I will show you someone with a great physique.
2 – Hormones
To build muscle and strength we want to stimulate testosterone and growth hormone production, obviously. There is nothing like a workout built around heavy deadlifting which will drive anabolic hormone production through the ceiling. Again, all about stress and stimulation.
3 – Bigger Arms
Those gym monkeys who crave sleeve tearing arms to parade around with often spend too long in front of the mirror, curling weights when they should be spending more time lifting heavy poundages off the floor. Sure, deadlifting certainly isn’t an ‘’arm’’ exercise but you see how sore they are after you pull a 3 rep max, 5 times the day before.
Master this exercise, learn to love it, learn to use it and your body will learn to grow.