Lifts Archives

The Deadlift – the exercise that has received a bunch of unfair criticism, judgment, and reputation, Even the spell checker underlines it as if it wasn’t a word. In fact half of the people that I ask “How Much Can you Deadlift unless they are in a power-lifting sport or an Olympic lifting sport have no clue what I’m talking about. Even my martial arts friends say:”Deadlift, is that kinda like Squatting?” Some people that I show a video of me doing a Deadlift ask me “What is this exercise, and how is it beneficial? Doesn’t it hurt your back?” And my answer is always this – “No it doesn’t, in fact it make my BACK, LEGS, HIPS stronger, my shoulders broader, my traps bigger and overall gives me the biggest muscle gains, in fact you should do it”.

This article will explain of why people think bad things of deadlift, why they ask questions about injuries and why I answer them they way I answer(see above) and most importantly why is deadlift the most beneficial exercise for everyone!


The reason why people ask a question doesn’t it hurt your back is asked mainly due to them knowing someone or experiencing a back injury from pulling a lot of weight with their back, blowing a knee, dislocating a shoulder and even ripping calluses. All are injuries that can happen but only if one doesn’t exercise proper form. Most chiropractors would agree that if you examined the backs of middle Aged Americans in 2011 they would probably find some kind of spinal problem whether it is central cord system damage or inner-vertebral disks falling out or whatever. And the fact of the matter is that everyone is lifting something off the floor constantly, but because of the improper lift people injure their back. So I think most people that are reading this article would agree that if we had stronger back we would have less injuries, and proper deadlift is the single most useful exercise to strengthen your back especially your lower back, which is the most susceptible to injuries!

There are two ways to perform a deadlift. The standard way, which is when you place your feet narrower than the shoulders, and the sumo way(sumo-wrestler) where your feet are very wide, wider than shoulders. Each way has its benefits, I will focus on a standard one in this article just because I’m trying to prove to everyone that this is the best exercise out there!


The safest and most popular grip is grasping the bar with under/over grip with hand placement slightly wider than the shoulders. If you are doing a sumo wrestler style than sometimes you want to grip over the bar.

FORMHead and chest, shoulders, legs and feet position

Your head should be looking forward, straight in front of you. Chest should be forward as well not down over the bar.

Your feet should be placed narrower then shoulder width with toes slightly turned outward. The best way to determine feet placement is to hang from a pull up bar then release hands and pay attention to how you land. The landing width would tell you the deadlift width.

When you stand up your ankles should be touching the bar in front of you and when you squat down there should be about 4-6 inches in front of you. The starting position is sitting down with knees bent and then your position of power where the meat of the pull takes place is when your knees are about 60% from the vertical and hips being lower than shoulders.


The best step by step description that I read to this day is by Mark Phillipi – one of the strongest man in the world.

Here is the excerpt:

“The deadlift when executed correctly is a push from the floor followed by a pull to a locked out position. The force distribution on the feet places the force on the balls of the feet during the initial push off the ground followed by a transfer to the heel as the bar passes the knees and into lockout. As the bar breaks the ground, the hips must be in the power position although before starting the lift, they can be anywhere that is comfortable. This means there must be a focus on bending the knees and using the legs to drive. Do not let the legs lock out prematurely thereby placing more strain on the back. Always keep the chest above the hips. The bar should just brush the shins when leaving the ground. Try to accelerate the bar from the ground. The faster the bar moves past the knees, the easier the lockout. As the bar passes the knees, drive the head back helping your hip lockout as well. Do not hyperextend the back at lockout. Upon completion of the deadlift, return the bar to the platform slowly and under control. Do not slam the weights off the ground. Be in good position to start another rep, maintaining tightness throughout the body. Pause before starting the next rep, allow the reps to be momentum free. Do not bounce off of the ground.”


The deadlift can be used to develop the work capacity, burn fat, build muscle mass, get a wider back or create bigger strength, but whatever the goal your core strength will significantly increase.

I believe for most people, keeping routines basic is the best way. I myself deadlift once a week and think that it is sufficient to build strength. If you deadlift 2 or 3 times a week those other workouts should be kept as supplemental only and should be done using lesser weight (60% of your max weight) and higher reps. The reason is that your muscles need to properly recover and grow.

The progression should always be work capacity–>strength–>muscle mass. The reason for that is if you warm up your muscle then it prevents injury and gets the muscle used to the exercise thus resulting in quicker recovery. Then you develop strength so that you can lift heavier weights, sorta like conditioning the muscle, and once it is conditioned you go for building the muscle mass with that strength that you have acquired. If you want to be like Arnold Schwarzenegger or you are preparing for a powerlifting competition you can also add the peak phase and that is when you basically lift one time your max or above!

If you are just trying to look better, then I would do the capacity –> strength–>short MuscleMass (one two weeks) and back to capacity, with suplemental capacity (loading phase) workout second time a week.

The bottom line is Deadlift should be a regular routine in your workout. It works out the core which is the most important group of bones and muscles because everything is connected to it. You just need to do it property and than the devil becomes your best friend.

Here is the sample workout that was also published by Mark Phillipi in

It is the workout I use myself and so far have went from 295-380lbs in 6 month.

Week Phase Sets/Reps Rest Interval

1 Work Capacity 10*3 Sets @ 55% 60 Seconds

2 Work Capacity 8*3 Sets @ 65% 60 Seconds

3 Strength Phase 5*3 Sets @ 75% 3 minutes

4 Strength Phase 5*3 Sets @ 80% 3 minutes

5 Strength Phase 3*3 Sets @ 83%, 8*1 Set @ 70% 3 minutes

6 Strength Phase 3*3 Sets @ 86%, 8*1 Set @ 70% 3 minutes

7 Strength Phase 2*3 Sets @ 89%, 6*1 Set @ 75% 3 minutes

8 Peaking Phase 2*2 Sets @ 92%, 6*1 Set @ 75% 3-5 minutes

9 Peaking Phase 2*2 Sets @ 95%, 5*1 Set @ 80% 3-5 minutes

10 Peaking Phase 1*2 Sets @ 98%, 5*1 Set @ 80% 3-5 minutes

11 Peaking Phase Test or Competition

As always please leave your positive and negative comments. I appreciate it!


Yuriy Nagorny

Hello peeps. I am a computer programmer, a martial artist a poker player and simply a good man who is fascinated with technology sports and how the world evolves on the daily bases!  View profile

Dumbbell Lunge Press (aka Dumbbell Lunge and Press)

Also called a front lunge press, the dumbbell lunge press is basically a lunge combined with an overhead press. It can be performed with dumbbells in one or both hands and with a front or reverse lunge. This exercise is not only a great stability challenge and a full body strength exercise it is a great conditioning challenge and perfect for incorporating into conditioning days. Heavy weights are not required to make this exercise demanding.

The most common version of the exercise involves the following basic steps.

1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and one or two dumbbells at your shoulders, in an overhead press or “racked” position (same position you would hold the dumbbells in for a dumbbell front squat).

2. Step forward into a front lunge while simultaneously pressing the dumbbell(s) overhead. Alternatively, use a reverse lunge and step back into a lunge position while pressing the dumbbell(s) overhead.

3. Return to the starting position using a proper lunge technique while simultaneously lowering the dumbbell(s) back to the starting position.

This basic version is good for conditioning or as a secondary exercise to bring additional challenge and stability requirements to a basic lunge.

When using only one dumbbell you have the option of having the dumbbell on the side of the working leg or non-working leg. Although either choice can be quite challenging choosing the non-working side presents an added stability challenge since the load is offset from the primary base of support (working leg). This can also be done using a lateral lunge.

Dumbbell Lunge Press Overhead Version

The overhead lunge dumbbell press is a modified version the dumbbell lunge press in which the dumbbell is held in the overhead press position while returning to the starting position. The difference between this exercise and the Overhead Lunge is that the dumbbell is pressed while lunging whereas in the overhead lunge the dumbbell(s) or barbell is held overhead in the same position as a bilateral overhead squat throughout.

Follow steps 1 and 2 above and then:

3. Return to the starting position while maintaining the dumbbell in the pressed overhead position. Take care to keep the dumbbell in the same position relative to the torso and head and return upright while trying to keep your torso stable (not leaning forward, back, or weaving).

4. Once standing in the upright (starting) position lower the dumbbell back to the shoulder.

You can also do the press part of the exercise from the bottom position instead of simultaneously while lunging, using a front or reverse lunge. The dumbbell(s) can then be held overhead while returning to the upright position, mimicking an overhead dumbbell lunge.

An expert in strength training, Eric Troy writes on all aspects of resistance training, physiology, kinesiology, sports psychology, nutrition and more.  View profile

Overhead Squat – The Ultimate Exercise

Many people out there often ask the question, “If you could do only one exercise, which one would you do?” Now, that question alone is simply ridiculous. The body has so many different muscle types, and is capable of so many different motions and ranges, it would be impossible to single out one exercise to train everything. Exercises themselves, even, are focused on specific gains, so the perfect single exercise for a power lifter would not be the same perfect exercise for a swimmer.

However, for arguments sake, and for the sake of singling out ONE OF the single best exercises for any goal, I would say it is undoubtedly the Overhead Squat.

Bodybuilders, strength trainers, football coaches, lacrosse players… the list goes on. Any of those would certainly include squats in any serious training program for an athlete competing at any level. Asking just about any personal trainer at a local gym, or a professional coach for any competitive sport what the best single exercise is will result in the same answer: squats.

So, if squats are such a great exercise, what makes the overhead squat (a specific variation of a standard, or “low bar” squat) the ULTIMATE exercise? The answer really lies in the mechanics of both exercises, and the factors that make the overhead squat better, overall, simply build on the foundation of the basic squat.

A typical squat is a great exercise because it is a complex exercise with a compound motion. That is, it utilizes multiple muscle groups and works on multiple pivot points. The typical squat primarily trains the quadriceps and gluteus maximus, but also heavily utilizes the rest of the leg muscles, and most of the core (abs, back, etc.) muscles. The entire body is involved in some way throughout the motion of a standard squat, which makes them great for just about any training purpose.

Now, take that same exercise, and add in extended necessary flexibility, extreme balance requirements, and place a much heavier load on the arm muscles. That is what you get with an overhead squat. To do an overhead squat with weights, you cannot simply be strong. They also require balance and flexibility most other exercises do not train.

The overhead squat also requires your upper and lower body to work as a single, connected unit. Think of just about any exercise. Chances are, it either focuses strictly on upper or lower body muscles. For athletes, it is not only important to train these halves of your body, but they must also be in tune with each other. Your body needs to work as a whole, rather than two separate parts that are independently strong.

Tying the two halves together is exactly what the overhead squat does, in addition to building muscle, strength, and size, which is why I would classify them as the single best exercise one could do. If you disagree, grab a 45-pound bar (with NO weights on it) and try a few. After you fall over a few times, and provide some entertainment for other gym patrons, perhaps you will see things my way.

M. Holland

Andis Clippers

L Equip Dehydrator

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