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Importance of dead lift
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that guy Offline
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Post: #1
Importance of dead lift
So most people I know who work out regularly stress the importance of the dead lift for a strong back and core. My question is how much should I really focus on this exercise?

I've seen some forum members state they can do 315lb or more, which I can do 1 or 2 times top, but then their bench is slightly more than half of mine. I can bench 295lb, and with a dead lift of only 315lb I fear I may be out of proportion. However most people I know who can do significantly higher deadlifts also don't really have good abs, and are typically built like a bear.

So should I stick to light weights for deadlifts like 225lb or 275lb and just do lots of reps, or is it important to also increase my dead lift weight in proportion to my other lifts?

I am 6 foot and weight 185lb, I consider myself maybe about 5 to 10 pounds overweight based on my muscle mass, though I have never taken an official body fat calculation. Having clearly defined abs are very important for me, I prefer aesthetics to brute strength, though I am definitely not going for the emaciated 6pack look.

Thanks guys
03-05-2012 11:28 AM
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Aliblahba Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Importance of dead lift
Some fitness guru's I've talked to said if you only do 2 exercises in the gym, make them the squat and dead lift. I love squats, but hate dead lifts, and usually do lower weigh, higher reps.

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03-05-2012 11:32 AM
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Giovonny Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
It kind of depends on your body. Are you skinny with a flat ass? If so, the deadlift is great for adding some thickness to your frame. Are you already a "thick" guy? Are you happy with your legs and ass? If so, you probably don't need the deadlift and you can just focus on "fine tuning" the specific parts of your body that you need to work on like chest, arms, etc.

I like to do dead lifts because I am a naturally skinny guy and I need that type of exercise to get bigger. If I only do chest, back and arms, then only the top third of my body gets bigger. But, when I do deadlifts, my whole body gets bigger and stronger.

So, if your skinny, do them.

If you need to work legs and ass, do them.

If your already happy with your "thickness", you don't need them.

If your a big guy trying to lose size, focus on your diet!
03-05-2012 11:47 AM
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Alfonzo Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
The thing is the abs and your low back are connected . If you have strong abs and a weak low back , your back will be even weakier and you will have pain . You need to work both together .
03-05-2012 12:18 PM
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Basil Ransom Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
Are you approaching girls shirtless? Otherwise, I don't see how a six pack is worth the effort. Just curious.

Why do you want to add the deadlift - what is it you're trying to address by incorporating it?

Yeah, you're pretty disproportional. I'd be more concerned about getting an injury from having an unbalanced physique, eg chest that's much stronger than your back. I do 1 set of 5 reps on the deadlift, conventional stance, switched grip. If you're less concerned about maxing, I'd just go with a double overhand grip. Once I started doing pull-ups, I suddenly found it way easier to deadlift conventionally.

You'll only look like a bear if you have the bone structure and weight of a bear. Googled and found this - this guy has a nearly 800 pound deadlift and still looks pretty thin, pretty insane.





(03-05-2012 11:32 AM)Aliblahba Wrote:  Some fitness guru's I've talked to said if you only do 2 exercises in the gym, make them the squat and dead lift. I love squats, but hate dead lifts, and usually do lower weigh, higher reps.

Let's be honest, squats and deadlifts alone will not give you a terribly aesthetic physique, especially for the ectomorphs.
(This post was last modified: 03-05-2012 12:53 PM by Basil Ransom.)
03-05-2012 12:20 PM
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canucktraveller Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
6' 185lbs and benching 295?


Shit, you either have a massive chest and no back/legs, or ridiculous genetics.


How many days a week do you work chest and arms?


I'm 6'3" 215 only bench around 235 and dead 405.



The general rule is that you should always squat more than you bench and deadlift more than you squat, for most people the difference is around 100lbs between each lift
03-05-2012 12:20 PM
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Parlay44 Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
I don't see any reason to dead lift 300lbs unless you're picking up fat girls Laugh

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03-05-2012 12:24 PM
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Moma Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Importance of dead lift
(03-05-2012 11:28 AM)that guy Wrote:  So most people I know who work out regularly stress the importance of the dead lift for a strong back and core. My question is how much should I really focus on this exercise?

I've seen some forum members state they can do 315lb or more, which I can do 1 or 2 times top, but then their bench is slightly more than half of mine. I can bench 295lb, and with a dead lift of only 315lb I fear I may be out of proportion. However most people I know who can do significantly higher deadlifts also don't really have good abs, and are typically built like a bear.

So should I stick to light weights for deadlifts like 225lb or 275lb and just do lots of reps, or is it important to also increase my dead lift weight in proportion to my other lifts?

I am 6 foot and weight 185lb, I consider myself maybe about 5 to 10 pounds overweight based on my muscle mass, though I have never taken an official body fat calculation. Having clearly defined abs are very important for me, I prefer aesthetics to brute strength, though I am definitely not going for the emaciated 6pack look.

Thanks guys

Firstly, ignore that crap about 5 to 10 pounds overweight crap. I've been 'overweight' all my life because of my lean muscle mass. I am supposed to weigh 195 to be in shape and I haven't weighed that since I was 16.

Secondly, forget what other members can do. You don't even know if their form is correct, firstly. You don't know if they are just padding numbers and most importantly, we are all different. We have different bodies and different capacities of power within us.

Deadlift won't give you clearly defined abs. This has been discussed many times. Do you know what will? Low body fat percentage. Period. I know guys who couldn't crunch shyt nor deadlift a fluffly cat out of a coal cellar but had abs that one could wash Levi jeans off of. Why? Because they had low body fat.

Deadlifts are an important exercise for ensuring one has a strong core. Please note that any exercise involving the back should focus religiously on technique and not worry about loading up with weight.

I think we should have a Q and A on certain things that are crucial to health such as weight lifting. There are some comments in here that can really injure a noob.

Comparing any physical stats such as deadlift, bench and squat numbers to others is ok for a friendly sharing of stats between friends. But to do so as a mark of progress is STUPID.

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03-05-2012 12:41 PM
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velkrum Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
@ that guy

ALL OF YOUR LIFTS SHOULD BE INCREASING !

Fitness levels do 2 things. They Improve or Decline...nothing should ever stay constant.

As far as your deadlift, most tall guys are pulling at a deficit when pulling from the floor. I make all my taller clients pull from an elevated position.
It is safer and will bring the greatest results when it comes to overall back development.

[Image: dl1.jpg][Image: 06.jpg][Image: rack-pull-1_1.jpg]

p.s. ignore the hateful ignorance of people who don't understand or deter you from constantly improving your health and strength. These are words of envy from people who are disappointed with their own shortcomings.
03-05-2012 12:58 PM
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that guy Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
Thanks for the replies everyone. . .

(03-05-2012 11:47 AM)Giovonny Wrote:  It kind of depends on your body. Are you skinny with a flat ass? If so, the deadlift is great for adding some thickness to your frame. Are you already a "thick" guy? Are you happy with your legs and ass? If so, you probably don't need the deadlift and you can just focus on "fine tuning" the specific parts of your body that you need to work on like chest, arms, etc.

I like to do dead lifts because I am a naturally skinny guy and I need that type of exercise to get bigger. If I only do chest, back and arms, then only the top third of my body gets bigger. But, when I do deadlifts, my whole body gets bigger and stronger.

So, if your skinny, do them.

If you need to work legs and ass, do them.

If your already happy with your "thickness", you don't need them.

If your a big guy trying to lose size, focus on your diet!

I have well toned legs, the part holding me back with my dead lifts is my lower back. I did notice when I started doing dead lifts, I was able to get over a few of the exercises where I had kind of leveled off, most noticeably was my bench press.

I used to be able to only barely bench 225lb when I wasn't doing dead lifts at all, when I included dead lifts I'm up to 295lb, though I am kind of at a plateau on bench press now. Honestly from an aesthetics perspective I feel I don't need to increase the weights in many of the exercises I do, I just need to focus on my diet to lose the few extra pounds.

"6' 185lbs and benching 295?
Shit, you either have a massive chest and no back/legs, or ridiculous genetics.
How many days a week do you work chest and arms?
I'm 6'3" 215 only bench around 235 and dead 405.
The general rule is that you should always squat more than you bench and deadlift more than you squat, for most people the difference is around 100lbs between each lift "

I work out chest and back on Mondays and Fridays.
Tuesday is squats, dead lifts, lunges, biceps, and abs.
Wednesday is shoulders and running
Thursday is squats, deadlifts, lunges, triceps and abs
Sunday is full leg workout including squats and leg press, no dead lifts or lunges though.

I can actually squat 315lb 7-10 times, I don't try more for fear of my back, but am pretty sure I can do more.

@ basil

Basically I just want to stay proportional and ensure that I'm not plateauing on other exercises because I'm neglecting my back. Approaching girls shirtless where I'm from only happens in the summertime so I have plenty of time to prepare.

@ velkrum

Yes, I see alot of people at my gym doing dead lifts from an elavated position. I figured they were just cheating but now that I think about it it was mostly taller people who did it.

I'm thinking based on the feedback I'm going to stick to lower weights, high reps, and try to move up gradually. That and work on my diet.
03-05-2012 02:07 PM
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Moma Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
Velkrum, what can you recommend for taller guys who want to incorporate squats? I've read somewhere that one should do it with their heels slightly elevated. Some guys state oh just keep going in the regular fashion until ankles become more flexible.

Prior to elevating the heels, I never felt my thighs working (we are talking back squats here).

What do you recommend for your taller clients?

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03-05-2012 02:12 PM
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Chad Daring Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
I'm 6'3" and do RDLs from the floor. I fight like hell when I do them, but I've never had an issue with them.

My opinion, if you can only do 2 reps at 315lbs, thats fine, do 2 reps. Pull of 10lbs and do 3 reps. Pull off another 10lbs and do 6 reps. This is how I do my RDLs, first set I only get 2-4 reps at very high weight, then I do two more sets and back the weight down each time, but never taking off so much that I'm doing more than 10 reps.

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03-05-2012 03:13 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
(03-05-2012 02:12 PM)Moma Wrote:  Velkrum, what can you recommend for taller guys who want to incorporate squats? I've read somewhere that one should do it with their heels slightly elevated. Some guys state oh just keep going in the regular fashion until ankles become more flexible.

Prior to elevating the heels, I never felt my thighs working (we are talking back squats here).

What do you recommend for your taller clients?

i'm 6'4" and squat

get some weight lifting shoes. rogue fitness.

squatting for tall guys will never be as easy as for short guys. but the results in terms of impact on your body will be as good

the levers and just too long and there is too much distance to travel to compete with those short guys who can just power up a ton of weight.

my max ever is 345lbs but now stick to lower weights for reps
03-05-2012 03:16 PM
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Stitch Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
Wouldn't stress it as a MUST LIFT MASSIVE AMOUNTS, but if your bench is 295 and deadlift only a little above that (both much higher than me, BTW) that sounds out of balance. DL's just a good overall body lift.
03-05-2012 08:47 PM
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WesternCancer Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
(03-05-2012 02:12 PM)Moma Wrote:  Velkrum, what can you recommend for taller guys who want to incorporate squats? I've read somewhere that one should do it with their heels slightly elevated. Some guys state oh just keep going in the regular fashion until ankles become more flexible.

Prior to elevating the heels, I never felt my thighs working (we are talking back squats here).

What do you recommend for your taller clients?

I don't know how tall you are, but I use a super wide powerlifting stance for my squats. Play around with the width of your stance and see what feels the best.
03-05-2012 09:10 PM
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MrXY Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
The deadlift used to be my favorite exercise but I quit doing it because I became concerned about the risk to my lower back.

No matter how good your form is, it is one of the highest risk exercises, especially as you get older.

To me risk just outweighed the benefit, so i reluctantly gave it up.

I substituted heavy rack pulls and moderate weight romanian deadlifts, which I think work my lower back sufficiently.

Squats continue to be a fundamental part of my program

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03-05-2012 10:02 PM
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Perseus Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
Deadlifts are overrated and not worth the hassle IMO.

It's not worth it in the short AND long run, not to mention high injury risk in the short run due to improper form and in the long run (with age), the start of lower back problems.

I have been body building for almost 5 years, and never used Deadlifts.

You can still have that photoshopped, chiseled chest, six pack body without Deadlifts that girls will drool over.

Unless you're super skinny, like no ass and 20 inch thighs, then do low-medium weight Deadlifts, I'd say 70lb-80lb more than what you bench for 3-4 reps.
03-05-2012 10:24 PM
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Hencredible Casanova Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
I just busted out some DL's and Squats at the gym. Felt an amazing high as I was leaving. Went home and took some ACV w/ water and heated up some green tea. I'm good to go!



03-05-2012 10:26 PM
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velkrum Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
(03-05-2012 02:12 PM)Moma Wrote:  Velkrum, what can you recommend for taller guys who want to incorporate squats? I've read somewhere that one should do it with their heels slightly elevated. Some guys state oh just keep going in the regular fashion until ankles become more flexible.

Prior to elevating the heels, I never felt my thighs working (we are talking back squats here).

What do you recommend for your taller clients?

No special adjustments are needed for taller guys and squats. WesternCancer's advice on playing around with foot stance is solid.

The easiest way to ensure optimal form on squats should be squatting in your socks (take your shoes off) or barefoot.

What I personally do is 100 body weight squats a day. The repetition will help you develop the proper movement patterns.

While your banging out your 100 reps be sure to make adjustments to your feet and how you sit back into the squat (remember keep your chest up and and facing forward).

The small adjustments will teach you how to feel your body moving comfortably and safely.

and once again always squat barefoot or in socks ! it is an INSTANT fix to most technique issues.

Bodyweight squats everyday will also increase your overall max.
(This post was last modified: 03-06-2012 12:35 AM by velkrum.)
03-06-2012 12:34 AM
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WesternCancer Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
Do you do your 100bw squats in one set or spread out throughout the day?
03-06-2012 02:25 AM
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Spike Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
I had lower back problems my whole life and i was always scared to death of dead lifting. i started doing them since last week but very low weight, just 50 pounds. So far so good.

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03-06-2012 04:25 AM
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Jackhammer Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
I messed my lower back up doing deadlifts with too much weight. I think I was up to 405 lb. at one point, and I'm only 5'8" and weigh 190.

My back is pretty much healed nowadays, and I've recently begun deadlifting again. I can't see myself doing more than 135 lb. though, to make sure I don't mess my back up again.
03-06-2012 06:32 AM
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kosko Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
I've been reading tons that the deadlift is highly overated. Lower back muscles don't increase in size much, this notion of 'size' is a myth. You end up putting more stress on your back then its worth, an old gym instructor I had whom used to compete strait up said you will only just end up fucking your back up, he compared to the drug game "you either get out early or you end up in jail or dead" lol.

There is room for it though, light weights and high reps will build up great strength. I feel pushing it is to risky because all it takes is one fuck up, to trash your back. On the flip side I know kats whom are deadlifting mad weight (more than I ever attempt) but when we do Roman back raises with plates they struggle. Just my opinion though, a lot of people vouch for the deadlift, I have found it not to be critical to build a strong lower back.


One lift I just started doing which I think is under-rate is the hip thrust. It hits your glutes, back and core way fucking harder without the pin-point stress on your back. Eventually you will get horse thrusts in the sack and rip apart lizards. Lol. YES!
03-06-2012 12:29 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
in the deadlift your back is only meant to be the lever by which you use your hips and legs.

you can lift high weights and keep back safe but you need someone to watch you and coach you, i fully believe.

i deadlift over 400 pounds safely with no back issues at all.

how can it be over rated when it is the method by which your body can move the most weight around and thus cause stimulation to your cns,muscles, bones, etc?



with respect to BW squats, start with sets of 20. you should be able to bang out 100 in just a few minutes maybe 4-6?

for a drill, do them facing a wall with your toes just a couple of inches away from the wall. be sure to actively push your knees outward. this will help you learn to keep your chest up.
03-06-2012 12:34 PM
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Chad Daring Offline
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RE: Importance of dead lift
(03-06-2012 04:25 AM)Neil Skywalker Wrote:  I had lower back problems my whole life and i was always scared to death of dead lifting. i started doing them since last week but very low weight, just 50 pounds. So far so good.

I have fallen arches, which has always caused issues with my back, dead lifting actually helped my back pain

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03-06-2012 04:11 PM
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