Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DEADLIFT: NO EXCUSES! - By Alfred Page

Like many trainees, I began strength training in the 'conventional' manner, recieving all or most of my instruction through the media hype magazines. I was very niaive to say the least and made some serious training errors like multiple exercises, poor form and silly 'no-carb' diets. I have trained with abbreviated methods now for over a year. I train less but harder, sleep more and eat a lot more good food instead of too many needless supplements. As a result I 'GROW MORE'.

However I feel far and away my biggest mistake was not training the Deadlift seriously and progressively. Previously I had convinced myself the exercise wasn't for me because it hurt my back and knees where i have slight limitations. In fact the honest truth was that I was using poor form and the exercise was just too damn hard! I wanted an excuse! After careful observation of my body and progression and lengthy study of hardgainer texts and 'NaturalStrength.com' related materials I began to seriously train the Deadlift. After four months of serious application and hard work (using now correct form) I have progressed in both size and strength. I can confidently state that in order to progress in muscle and might one must use (health permitting) the major lower body exercises. Avoiding these exercises is pitiful if you are not restricted by health issues. My 'weak mindedness' kept me trapped in a weak body. I use the 'Trap Bar' deadlift due to genuine structural limitations. The exercise is by no means 'easier' as it incorporates the same musculature of both the squat and deadlift simultaneously and I think it is excellent. Currently I train upper body (weighted Dips, OverHead barbell press, chins) on wednesday and lower body (TrapBar deadlift,a partial modified straddle lift and crunches) on Saturdays. I do 2x8 reps each and add the 'breathing pull-over' after deadlifts. My long term goals by the age of 25 are Deadlift 400 lbs x 1, Dip + 100 lbs x 6, Bench 300 lbs x 1 and Overhead press bodyweight x 1. I am a way off but averaging 0.5kg closer per week or two.

Important Reminder

Always use impeccably good form and correct technique. If deadlifting for the first time, use only the bar until you master the technique, then add weight slowly. Here is a brief outline of good form: 1. Back straight, arms straight, feet shoulder-width apart facing forward. 2. Keeping the shoulders back, breathe in and bend at the knees first followed by the hips (feel the weight through the heels). 3. Shrug the shoulders vertically against the bar, squeeze slowly off the ground pushing with the legs (through the heels) and pulling with the back. 4. While ascending, keep the shoulders pulled back, breathe out and imagine pushing your heels through the floor.

NOTE: Keep the back flat throughout - not arched or rounded. For more in-depth information on deadlifting form, check-out 'The Insider's Tell All Handbook on Weight Training Technique' by Stuart McRobert at CS Publishing. Better still, get instruction from a professional strength coach or expert.


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Bob Whelan

Bob Whelan

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