VAULT DWELLERS SERVED

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Deadlifts are Better Than Any Doctor In The World

I swear to you, it is true.

You could go to a doctor for what ails you for the rest of your life and never get tangibly better. Or you could deadlift and get over it. The medical industry is one of the most powerful and profitable industries on earth and they don't have anything in their cabinet of crank remedies that can come within a million miles of deadlifts.

Embarrassing and sad but I have not deadlifted in 7 years. I am ashamed. You are wasting your time in the in the gym if you can do them but don't do them.

I have been deadlifting 3 weeks and with little else changed have lost 9 kgs by just getting proper sleep in tandem.I am only guessing but I would say I added 5 pounds of muscle at the same time. This is pretty good for a living mummy born before they started work on the pyramids.

You're not deadlifting until you use wraps. Your grip will always fail before your lower back and legs will. Use wraps to hold your hands on the bar and lift slowly and carefully to failure.

Deadlifts are different from other exercises. You don't necessarily have to aim for a certain number of reps. Aim for failure around 6-10 reps (most people) and you'll be doing them correctly. Resist when lowering even after you have failed.

Words cannot really do it justice. I am supposed to be too old to benefit but two days after deadlifting it feels like every pair of pants I wear is two sizes too small, if you know what I mean ... and I think that you do.

The most amazing thing that never fails to astonish me is the indirect effect. I had been working my upper body as hard as is possible without a training partner but was only making very gradual progress. I added deadlifts and within three days of 9 hours a night sleeping I had changed from John Goodman into Arnold Schwarzenegger. Seriously. I got up one morning rubbing my eyes and when I opened them in front of the mirror promptly crapped in my own briefs. I have not seen that looking back at me for about 25 years. It is incredible how if you put in sincere effort you can make sincere results in a very short time. I bet if I had a training partner I could move from pretty darn good into incredible results. It is hard when you train by yourself but add deadlifts and suddenly things start to roll there.

Do you know what you really need to do deadlifts properly? A will to live. If you have that, you got everything.

It's not just these physical metrics, either. Your mind is sharper. Oxygen tastes better. It feels like your spine is not feeling any pain just moving around. It is really, really nice and it gets better the more you deadlift.

34 comments:

Ryan Tremblay said...

Great to hear when others make this discovery. At 60, deadlifts are my Friday lift. Have been for ten years.

I weigh 190. Usually do 10 sets of 5 with 225, then 10 sets of 5 with 275.

After the warmup I do a few sets of 5 (or less) going up to 355. No straps. And my hands & wrists are medium size.

These aren't impressive amounts, just wanted to say guys may not need straps until they get to twice their body weight or so.

No back issues. No health issues. Just strong and healthy and intend to stay that way. Great post, BTW.

Ted Walther said...

How about lifting a wheelbarrow? Does that count as a deadlift?

bicebicebice said...

I would not recommend straps because of joints, if you are a Troo Thal then its okay, use that grip powder or whatever you americanos call it instead if you are not.
Instead of a belt, use a pair of jeans, im serious. You get excellent "balance", there is no wobbly shit going on at all and that "up down" motion becomes like a machine.

Thats one original thing i can contribute because i have never heard of anyone doing that. Get a normal pair of strict jeans and the only "loose" part should be the "bulge area", for obvious reasons. I swear by this.

Arrgh said...

Good form videos...

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mark+rippetoe

SergeiSiminov84 said...

Two good Twitter accounts to follow in this regard.
Little to no bullshit :

https://twitter.com/Mangan150

https://twitter.com/AJA_Cortes



Otherwise :

@Qafzeh 6h

Amud 1 skull - largest Neanderthal brain volume at 1736 cc (Modern avg = 1350 cc) - 41,000 years old from Israel

Twitter link - https://twitter.com/Qafzeh/status/914593489693769728


- deadman

Midnight Avenue J said...

My favorite lift. I've never used straps though, I compete periodically for fun, so I use chalk instead. Pulled 325 once, barely trained. Considering I weigh 145, I think that's pretty good. I wonder how high I could go if I was healthy enough in brain and body to really stick with it.

It's one of the few lifts that doesn't bother my shoulders, and when my back is healthy it helps my recovery so long as I stick with volume instead of load. Training density varies depending on whether or not my spine is behaving, but I can almost always do some variation of the DL and feel good.

Ted, the motion of lifting a wheelbarrow is the same but not full range. It's more of a partial or rack pull. But I push a wheelbarrow around a fair amount in my yard, and it's terrific exercise. We're heading into the cold season here, so more gym time for me. I think I'll deadlift today. It's been months but I'm feeling ok so no time like the present

Midnight Avenue J said...

My favorite lift. I've never used straps though, I compete periodically for fun, so I use chalk instead. Pulled 325 once, barely trained. Considering I weigh 145, I think that's pretty good. I wonder how high I could go if I was healthy enough in brain and body to really stick with it.

It's one of the few lifts that doesn't bother my shoulders, and when my back is healthy it helps my recovery so long as I stick with volume instead of load. Training density varies depending on whether or not my spine is behaving, but I can almost always do some variation of the DL and feel good.

Ted, the motion of lifting a wheelbarrow is the same but not full range. It's more of a partial or rack pull. But I push a wheelbarrow around a fair amount in my yard, and it's terrific exercise. We're heading into the cold season here, so more gym time for me. I think I'll deadlift today. It's been months but I'm feeling ok so no time like the present

August said...

When I first went to the gym, all I did was trap bar deadlifts. And I went to the gym because of pain. I had some sort of nerve pain in my face, and some in my side. Damn doctors couldn't find anything.

The deadlifts didn't make it go away, but it seemed to help make it easier to deal with.

But I got annoyed because I couldn't see to get above 295lbs. I still do them, but I have not tried to go heavy in a while. I've been using a smith machine and focusing on using them as a hamstring exercise.

Maybe I'm too tall. But your post did remind me. Maybe I should start trying to go a little heavier.

LDiracDelta said...

diff --git a/campaign.txt b/campaign.txt
index 14e0056..87046f9 100755
---"A chicken in every pot."
+++"A squat cage in every garage."

molon labe said...

professional bodybuilders only add 2-5 lbs of muscle per years genius

molon labe said...

professional bodybuilders only gain that much muscle in a year genius

Jake said...

Good info. I had been going to a gym and using weight machines for years and was a mess. Then I read Pavel's book "Power to the people" and started deadlifting. It may be the best all around exercise you could do.

As far as using straps, one fellow put it this way: "If you're going to use straps, why not just hire some mexicans to lift the weight for you?"

Sir Sweetstick said...

i put down some plywood covered by thick rubber matting, in my garage, so i can lift out there. beats getting herpes off a bench at the local mall "gym".

personally would not use straps; would work on building grip strength to match what I can pull :)

Texas Arcane said...

@Molon Labe

I instantly knew you don't do much weightlifting and what you do is probably not very productive.

I'll go you one better. If you lift like the other 99% of people I see in the gym, you won't even gain 1 pound of muscle a year. It's no wonder they turn to steroids. One other thing these sorts have in common is that they avoid nearly all the hard stuff including deadlifts but particularly the ass-to-calves squat.

At my peak at age 27 I gained 34 pounds of muscle (verified by water scales at YMCA) in five months without any steroids. I went from 181 to 224 pounds purely from weightlifting and a hell of a lot of supplements like arginine and ornithine. I did develop a little gorilla gut during this period but that was from fat, no really muscle. Gorilla gut is common amongst athletes who gain a lot of mass in a short time without steroids. I would say my calorie intake was well above 6000 calories a day.

One good thing I can say about Americans is that one in six Americans kept records while training, the sign of a serious athlete. In Australia over the past 25 years I have never seen a single Australian ever keeping records in the gym. I am actually using the second half of my workout diary right now that was originally started in 1994. That's how serious I am about what I am doing.

Majority of people are just screwing around in the gym including roid heads. No shock they barely gain even 5 pounds a year.

Will be running before and after photos later this year, you won't believe the contrast between now and say six months ago. I've put on some major beef despite being over 50 years old. Of course, I train like I am serious about what I am doing.

Texas Arcane said...

@All

If you want to see one of the most amazing things imaginable for weight training have a look at the progress Kevin Levrone made at age 53 despite having dropped to a 150 pound weakling built like PeeWee Herman. It's incredible, especially at his age. We're talking major amounts of muscle packed on in very short time. I don't know if steroids were involved, probably were.

Midnight Avenue J said...

@ August, a few things you can do if you're tall:

Deficit Deadlifts. Elevate your feet 1-2" on a platform but keep the bar on the floor, and do a standard DL from that position. The slightly larger ROM means more time under tension on the bottom portion of the lift, and forces better upper body control and stability. Throw a set of deficit deads into your rotation once a week as an accessory and you should see your conventional DL weight increase rapidly. You've got to train your weak links.

Sumo Deadlift: a wide stance and a narrow grip puts taller lifters at an advantage here. The wide stance means shorter travel for the bar and better posterior chain muscle activity. Taller lifters tend to compensate with their upper body, sumo reduces some of that tendency.

Both of these should be done with an Oly bar, not the trap bar, as the trap bar can sometimes induce more of a squatting motion rather than a true DL. Especially as fatigue sets in.

All the best!

Texas Arcane said...

@All

If you lift without wraps you are going to improve your grip strength very quickly in a very short time. Nothing improves grip strength like deadlifts.

If you don't use wraps, you are not training the largest muscles in the body to failure. Your grip will always fail before those muscles do. It's the additional 2-3 reps you can do with wraps that will cause major amounts of natural growth hormone to be released from those muscles going into failure. It is good to have a strong grip but you will be missing out on one of the biggest benefits of deadlifts - the indirect effect.

Midnight Avenue J said...

Thanks Tex, I'm ordering wraps today. I'm not really interested in being competitive, I'm interested in being WELL, and strong. My grip is strong enough for my daily tasks, and then some.

HalibetLector said...

So you train all the way to failure? Interesting. I typically avoid that because I had problems completely recovering in under a week. Then again, that was back when I had a terrible diet and chronic inflammation. Do you find yourself having issues recovering? Is your anti-inflammation regimen a key factor in faster recovery?

Herman said...

Deadlifted 435 switch grip at age 17 no roids no supplements just me. Maybe it's because I'm Norse Samoan (no one can tell I'm Samoan though) I wonder what I can do now

Texas Arcane said...

@HalibetLEctor

Spot on, I am having trouble making it back to recovery in 5 days. I think sleep is the most important factor there including getting inflammation to go down.

I have just been making it by the day when it arrives but if I had a week of terrible sleep (common) I would wait more than a week to do it again.

You're very correct that if you're not recovered you are stacking damage onto more damage which is not going to make you healthier.

This is particularly important over 40 to watch.

If you do recover in time you can feel it, you feel fantastic on that day when you bounce back. No pain in back or neck or anywhere.

Texas Arcane said...

@Midnight Avenue J

The only thing I get from it I want is the feeling of almost all your aches and pains from sitting, walking and just getting up to go away. It makes you feel fresh and movement starts to seem effortless like when you were younger. That has been the best thing for me. About three months ago I just felt like a blob of dough with no bones that was kind of sloshing about. Everything hurt. The DL just fixed me up. Even squats did not do that.

Gary said...

This is good news Tex.
I started weight-lifting just over 2 years ago at age 48.
I enjoy the deadlifts more than any other lift, probably because the weight is highest.
I (sadly) lost weight due to lifting, from 72kg down to 65kg, although I have gained some muscle. I can deadlift 80kg currently.

I wonder if anyone else has ever suffered from a gut reaction to weight-lifting? I always get gas about 5 hours afterwards, and it often lasts for a while, and affects my sleep, which hampers recovery and muscle building. Never get that with any other sport.

I have a small gut and really struggle to eat more than 3,000 calories a day, my gut just can't take it. Nevertheless, I intend to keep on lifting.

mojo said...

Started lifting serious 3 years ago at age 51. Got really aggressive and have suffered injurys which in long term have slowed my progress. Latest injury was a glitch in my lower spine about 6 months ago which still nags me a little. I stopped lifting when it happened and haven't lifted since.
Im thinking about resuming, as deadlifts seem to have helped back issues in the past and I'm anxious to get lifting again.

Midnight Avenue J said...

Mojo, I’ve had lower back issues on and off for years. It started with periformis syndrome, the small pear shaped muscle that connects hips to thighs bone in the interior of the pelvic girdle. It was too tight, and pulled my lumbar vertebrae out of position. I started working on flexibility and also on releasing the psoas muscles, and I got better almost instantly. A lot of our minor injuries tend to be imbalances in strength and flexibility. Flexibility is often overlooked.

Lift. Lift heavy. Lift often, but not every day. And pay attention to flexibility. You don’t have to take up yoga (though it can help), just spend ten minutes a day on a whole-body flexibility plan. And consider foam-rolling and trigger point therapy. Helped me immensely when my shoulder and neck were out of alignment.

Texas Arcane said...

@MAJ

I have felt incredibly better from arching my back and rolling around on one of those inflatable balls. Still helps to this day, I wish I did it more regularly.

Sir Sweetstick said...

lifting "aggressively" at 50+ is a guaranteed way to get injured; over and over again. and for what? you get all the benefits of lifting with moderately heavy weights, as you do with maximally heavy weights, with far fewer injuries.

most lifting injuries occur due to bad form as the lifter becomes exhausted, so make good form your top priority.

mojo said...

I'll look into those stretches, thanks.

Texas Arcane said...

@Sir Sweetstick

Those are all popular fallacies. I challenge you to do, not just pass on what you have heard from others.

Most injuries from weightlifting are fast reps jerking light weights.

If you had done any lifting you would long ago have found out that it is on the first couple of reps when you are fresh and strong you will pull a muscle with bad form. Later as you get tired you are almost incapable of tearing the muscle at that point, you simply put it down.

Don't believe me, though. Trust somebody with thousands upon thousands of hours of hands-on data like Ellington Darden or Arthur Jones or any Nautilus research. All these things you listed are part of pop culture mythology about weight training, none of them are true.

I would say that of all the exercises, none is safer than the deadlift. You would find many people who would agree. If you lift slow and steady, the worst that happens is you simply put the weight back down. The squats by contrast have all kinds of angles and sticking points that can cause injury if you try to do them quickly with jerking motions. Lifting slow and steady the worst thing that happens is you simply fail and lower the weight back down.

Texas Arcane said...

@All

... in case nobody ever tells you this, never do squats without failure bars. The younger and stronger you are the lower you can set those bars but squats without failure bars to put it down on is suicidal, you could obviously hurt yourself really badly.

HalibetLector said...

never do squats without failure bars.

Don't back squat either if you can avoid it. Go front, overhead or zercher. http://www.fitocracy.com/knowledge/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/backsquat-vs-front-.jpg

If you lift slow and steady, the worst that happens is you simply put the weight back down. The squats by contrast have all kinds of angles and sticking points that can cause injury if you try to do them quickly with jerking motions. Lifting slow and steady the worst thing that happens is you simply fail and lower the weight back down.

By "jerking motions" you mean twisting, right? The more explosive movements (clean and jerk, push presses, etc) are still plenty safe, aren't they? I haven't had an issue with them yet, but I'm still fairly young (35).

Sir Sweetstick said...

well, if you are using light weights and fast reps, you are doing body building :) ballistic lifting is definitely a no-no especially for older lifters.

i don't claim to have your experience or knowledge on the subject, but i am quoting people who do. you are implicitly saying bad form is "ok" which is clearly not the case.

Texas Arcane said...

@All

Over the past 30 years, I would say 8/10 of all muscle tears and injuries have come not from when I am lifting the weight, rather when I am loading, unloading, moving or picking up weights in the gym. Honest.

Once I leaned over to just pluck a dumbbell from where I dropped it to put it back on the rack and as I jerked it off the floor I pulled a muscle in my shoulder. That was one of the worse injuries, it was torn about three months.

mojo said...

My last one was while doing warm-up. I had altered my position. Turned out to be a mistake.
Just did a good workout tonight (after a three month break). Of course it was a light one, but did include deadlifts. It'll take a bit to get back to full speed.
Feels good.

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