The deadlift, one of the core movements that should be in anybodies training program.
Yet as I spend more time in commercial gyms I don’t see people doing it, when I did my “fitness instructor” certification it wasn’t taught.
As a lift it has a bad name. It isn’t considered safe and there doesn’t seem to be any fancy overpriced machine based exercise that replicates it.
Is it safe? Like all weight lifting, or in fact any exercise there is an element of risk, it it largely dependant upon the individual. Proper warm up and good techniques will reduce this risk to a minimum, improper warmup and poor techniques will almost guarantee injury.
What is it?
Simply reaching down and picking a weight off the floor. Set a bar up, stand with your toes just under it, reach down keeping the back straight and body tight, drive through the hips and stand up.
The benefits of the lift are immediate, the entire musculature of the back and lower body is used to move the bar. Your back and core will become strong and resistant to injury, reducing or even eliminating that nagging back pain. The legs become like pistons, powerful and enduring. The hips become snappy, essential for a fighter.
Does that mean you get huge like Arnie? Not with a minimalist routine like the one Pavel Tsatsouline wrote in his book dedicated to the deadlift named Power to the People! I have it and highly recommend it.
The book goes into great detail and talks about 2 lifts that together do work the entire body and can build great strength. As a fighter, I believe adding a Power to the People! style weight programme to the training is an excellent way of boosting your explosive power, strength and resilience, without running the risk of overtraining.
Pavel does go on a bit about the side press, and while it is a fantastic lift I think I’d substitute the clean and press, at least some of the time.
I was deadlifing yesterday and feel great today, I haven’t been able to deadlift properly in a while due to injury (from other activities), so approched it with caution. I only planned a super quick workout here’s what I did:
Deadlift, 1 rep followed by 5 reps of Steve Maxwell’s Maxercist burpee (hindu pushup followed by jumping to a high bar to do a pullup).
I added weight to the bar each time round doing:
50, 70, 90, 100, 110kg, all for one rep with a set of maxercist in between. Next week I’ll go heavier as the old injuries are feeling good and there was no pain the following day.