I have this weird confession to make: I’m kind of in love with deadlifts.
Now, I know it’s not really possible to be in love with a movement (even if it’s legal in 11 states), but of all the lifts I’ve loved, deadlift love has stayed with me the longest. It even beats front squat love, and that was strong for many years because it played to my strengths and my freakish flexibility.
But there’s just something about the deadlift.
The deadlift is primal. It’s basic (and not “basic” like in the slang insult that word can connote). The deadlift is fundamental. You have to bend down and pick things up in this life, from the time you’re a toddler to the day that you’re lucky enough to be an old lady and drop your cane or your pie or your lifting shoes, or all three. (I’m planning to be a kick-ass old lady. They’re going to have to boot me from the gym to go die.)
Plus, the number of cues involved with the deadlift are minimal in comparison to jerking or squatting. You squeeze the bar. You clench your butt. You stand up with the weight.
I mean, I know that coaches have a lot more to say regarding the deadlift, and Mark Rippetoe devoted 30 pages to the deadlift in “Starting Strength” including important warnings: “A wrong deadlift is a potentially dangerous thing” and “The deadlift is easy to overtrain.” There are ways to place your feet and your hands, as well as lumbar extension and flexion to worry about, but, in essence, the deadlift is a more simple movement than many barbell exercises. The deadlift is just not as complex as the other lifts, and I really like that in a girlfriend. Whoops, I meant to say lift. I really like that in a lift.
Also, I think there are probably at least 6 more reasons to love deadlifts:
1.) Deadlifts are hard.
Maybe not technically hard, but hard in the old school brutish way. You have to recruit a bit of your inner beast to lift them—and I mean mentally as well as physically. If “Strong Starts in the Mind” then deadlifts are a basic building block of that strength in your head as well as your hands. You have to believe you can lift that bar when you step up to it.
2.) You have to be smart about when and how to use deadlifts in your training.
Use them too much? You’re a rundown mess who’s not recovering well from your training sessions. Use them too little and your pull won’t grow stronger. Use them just right and the heavens open and the angels sing. Or Beyonce does. Same thing. (I’m betting Beyonce likes deadlifts. I’ve seen her glutes.)
Next to back squats, the deadlift is your booty’s best friend. And many of us like a little junk in the trunk. (See above: Beyonce.)
4.) Once you stand up with the deadlift, the hardest part is over.
It’s not like the squat, where the move is easy down, and then tough up. The deadlift gets work done right away, and then the party starts. This lift is Friday morning and Friday afternoon, baby!
5.) Deadlift has the word “dead” in it.
How badass is that? That’s tough, like it could kill you or somebody else. Or like you killed somebody and now you have to hide the body. How do you move a dead body? You dead-lift it. (Nobody squats or jerks or thrusters a dead body. That’s just weird.)
6.) The deadlift really makes you stronger.
No joke. If you’ve decided that life is about what you can do, not just how you look, then the deadlift is your new best friend because you can get hella strong! Booyah!
I love the deadlift so much I made a deadlifting crossword puzzle. Fun, right? Print it out and fill it in!
Latest posts by Lisbeth Darsh (see all)
- Lift the Heavy Stuff by Lisbeth Darsh - November 19, 2016
- Why Taking Control of Your Fitness Is the Best Thing You Can Do Right Now by Lisbeth Darsh - November 12, 2016
- 10 Things Strong Women Won’t Tell You - November 5, 2016