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Why Do Deadlifts?
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its_just_me
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Join date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2412

I'm probably going to get my head bitten off for asking this but, as a bodybuilder, why do deadliifts for building up size?

I've heard it said so many times that deadlifts build up your body overall (e.g. legs/back/traps etc)...but why do an exercise that isn't precise and doesn't directly target a specific muscle group? I understand that compound movements and core strength is good for BBing, but there are other movements that do this and make more progress.

If you want to build legs, you do squats/leg press etc, if you want to hit traps, you do shrugs etc...so why only go half way with their development by doing deadlifts?

Don't get me wrong, I have started doing them a few months ago again (just for the hell of it LOL), but I'm having dificulty seeing the superiority of them over more direct movements (e.g. pullups/shrugs/squats etc). When I stopped doing the deadlifts in the past - nothing bad happened...

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anijjar
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Join date: Jun 2008
Posts: 115

Well prepare to get your head bitten off...

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njrusmc
Level 4

Join date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1118

This exact thread already exists.

http://www.T-Nation.com/...c.do?id=2243734

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its_just_me
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Join date: Aug 2006
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anijjar wrote:
Well prepare to get your head bitten off...


haha...yeah I'm just waiting...

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Airtruth
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4316

Considering they say Test peaks after about an Hour of exercise, heavy weight packs on the most muscle, and hitting the most muscle groups causes the biggest T spike, theres nothing better than the deadlift for packing on muscle and weight. (With the exception of maybe squats)

Most people starting out can deadlift more weight then they can handle for any isolation movement, all that weight is transfered to the body more intense than a set of curls. So you will pack on more muscle OVERALL.

Now if you want you can replace the deadlift with an exercise or two for each bodypart it hits, but you will end up staying in the gym 5 x longer and will end up producing different hormone responses considering your body is getting hit in a different fashion.

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Polish Rifle
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Join date: Apr 2008
Posts: 999

Why use soap when you shower?

Why pull your pants down before taking a dump?


There's 2 guys in my gym that deadlift, ande I'm proud to be one of them.

The rest of the pussies just watch with their mouth open and give us a wide berth.

Real men deadlift...

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Sklander
Level 1

Join date: Apr 2008
Posts: 117

Deadlift is the overall best test of strength. It uses the most muscles in the body at once and it has no negative load build up like squat and bench - you can't cheat on deadlift.

Tate said it best in a recent article - you don't see people who can do huge deads without a big thick back, but you see the guys who can do the whole stack of plates on lat pull down with scrawny backs. Do deadlift - it is good for you. Period.

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its_just_me
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Join date: Aug 2006
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Polish Rifle wrote:

Why use soap when you shower?

Why pull your pants down before taking a dump?


There's 2 guys in my gym that deadlift, ande I'm proud to be one of them.

The rest of the pussies just watch with their mouth open and give us a wide berth.

Real men deadlift...



Don't get me wrong, I do deadlift - I love them and like you said: the look on people's faces (mainly fear lol). Plus I agree, the testosterone boost from them is phenomenal (my wife is guaranteed some "action" after a deadlift day...ehum...)

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its_just_me
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Sklander wrote:
Deadlift is the overall best test of strength. It uses the most muscles in the body at once and it has no negative load build up like squat and bench - you can't cheat on deadlift.

Tate said it best in a recent article - you don't see people who can do huge deads without a big thick back, but you see the guys who can do the whole stack of plates on lat pull down with scrawny backs. Do deadlift - it is good for you. Period.



My back's one of my best features, and I built it up using pullups not deadlifts...

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Scott M
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Join date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4303

this is why

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Rockscar
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Join date: Jun 2005
Posts: 6111

its_just_me wrote:
Sklander wrote:
Deadlift is the overall best test of strength. It uses the most muscles in the body at once and it has no negative load build up like squat and bench - you can't cheat on deadlift.

Tate said it best in a recent article - you don't see people who can do huge deads without a big thick back, but you see the guys who can do the whole stack of plates on lat pull down with scrawny backs. Do deadlift - it is good for you. Period.



My back's one of my best features, and I built it up using pullups not deadlifts...



It's a matter of personal choice. I'd do them if they did not injure me. That is why I don't do them, but let's say you add them and do them hard for a few months....you will notice a difference you can't argue with.

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GuerillaZen
Level 3

Join date: Jan 2008
Posts: 366

Personally, I do deadlifts because on those days, more than any other(s), I cannot wait to get to the gym and set a PR. I'm strongest on DL's of the big three and I get a rush from them. It is obviously one of the great mass builders in anyone's arsenal, but even if it were not, I would do them just to do them.

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njrusmc
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Join date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1118

Overall I think these kinds of discussions are rather worthless. To the OP ... if deadlifts are not working for you, don't do them. If you think your back looks good with your current selection of exercises, great. Not everyone can pick a stock routine and see the same results. I would be willing to assert that no two people can, actually.

Some people do not see excellent development from squats either. I sure as hell don't get much out of benching with a barbell. Using dumbbells with a lesser aggregate weight is more effective for me. But thats just ME. Clearly you have been lifting long enough to know what works for you ... so keep it up.

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njrusmc
Level 4

Join date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1118

Overall I think these kinds of discussions are rather worthless. To the OP ... if deadlifts are not working for you, don't do them. If you think your back looks good with your current selection of exercises, great. Not everyone can pick a stock routine and see the same results. I would be willing to assert that no two people can, actually.

Some people do not see excellent development from squats either. I sure as hell don't get much out of benching with a barbell. Using dumbbells with a lesser aggregate weight is more effective for me. But thats just ME. Clearly you have been lifting long enough to know what works for you ... so keep it up.

EDIT: Sorry for the double post. Mod, please remove this.

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Airtruth
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Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4316

its_just_me wrote:
Sklander wrote:
Deadlift is the overall best test of strength. It uses the most muscles in the body at once and it has no negative load build up like squat and bench - you can't cheat on deadlift.

Tate said it best in a recent article - you don't see people who can do huge deads without a big thick back, but you see the guys who can do the whole stack of plates on lat pull down with scrawny backs. Do deadlift - it is good for you. Period.



My back's one of my best features, and I built it up using pullups not deadlifts...


What are these Kipping Pull-ups that built up your posterior chain so well?

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OooahhhCANTONA
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 643

You hardly look huge on your picture "its_just_me", so I don't think pullups have give you as much as some heavy deadlifts would.

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derek
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Join date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3637

If you've seen the development of life-long deadlifters, you wouldn't be asking that question.

ScottM's picture is awesome and just a small example of what big deadlifting can do for you.

Do you really think 225lb shrugs can compare to a 500lb deadlift as far as upper back and trap thickness goes?

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juanjromero
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Join date: Jan 2007
Posts: 720

I think that deadlift is (if not only the) one excercise that start a synergistic effect on body. I think that almos any deadlifter will agree that the effect of working this excercise is much larger (has a multiplicative effect) that the sum of the parts worked one by one.

(this has been hard to put in english, be kind if you don't get me).

This is taken from wikipedia:

* A mutually advantageous conjunction where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
* A dynamic state in which combined action is favored over the sum of individual component actions.
* Behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately. More accurately known as emergent behavior

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juanjromero
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njrusmc wrote:
Overall I think these kinds of discussions are rather worthless. To the OP ... if deadlifts are not working for you, don't do them. If you think your back looks good with your current selection of exercises, great. Not everyone can pick a stock routine and see the same results. I would be willing to assert that no two people can, actually.

Some people do not see excellent development from squats either. I sure as hell don't get much out of benching with a barbell. Using dumbbells with a lesser aggregate weight is more effective for me. But thats just ME. Clearly you have been lifting long enough to know what works for you ... so keep it up.


I think is good to know the whys, it help you to take informed decisions. I agree with you that there is people who don't ger results from some excercises, but knowing the why, the how gets improved.

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irishpowerhouse
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Join date: Aug 2005
Posts: 239

Heres the muscles it works in no particular oder;

lats
Traps
legs
Hamstrings
forearms
biceps

Now tell me another movement that works all those areas at the one time. Not to mention the overall mass it adds to your back and legs. It also make you stronger in exercises like rows, shrugs, pull ups, and squats.

it is also great for strengthening the core muscles which prevents injury and allows you to perform better in other lifts.

above all else its damn hard exercise which seperates the men from the boys and sends the Testosterone levels through the roof, and lets face it, it makes you feel strong.

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YoungBull
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Join date: Feb 2008
Posts: 91

Personally I think they are essential for taller lifters that have narrow clavicles. I never used to do them but ever since I started I have put tons of beef on my back.

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juanjromero
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Join date: Jan 2007
Posts: 720

irishpowerhouse wrote:
Heres the muscles it works in no particular oder;

lats
Traps
legs
Hamstrings
forearms
biceps

Now tell me another movement that works all those areas at the one time. Not to mention the overall mass it adds to your back and legs. It also make you stronger in exercises like rows, shrugs, pull ups, and squats.

it is also great for strengthening the core muscles which prevents injury and allows you to perform better in other lifts.

above all else its damn hard exercise which seperates the men from the boys and sends the Testosterone levels through the roof, and lets face it, it makes you feel strong.



I agree with all your post, with emphasys on the last sentence, maybe it does not increase my T-levels, but make me feel like so.

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Der Candy
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Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1337

If you can get up to pulling 600 from the floor, I have a hard time imagining that your back and traps will NOT be huge.

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shawnhavoc
Level 100

Join date: Jul 2004
Posts: 113

Heavy deadlifting produces a certain thickness and myogenic tone that is extremely hard to replicate by those that do not deadlift. You show me someone that pulls 500 lbs or more and I you will see a thick, strong looking dude. Deadlifting builds the muscular foundation from which you can then sculpt with your isolation exercises if you want to.

There is nothing more beautiful than every muscle in your body contracting in harmony to rip the 500+lbs of dead weight from the floor.

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jstines
Level 10

Join date: Feb 2008
Posts: 517

Personally, deadlifts (and their variations) as a mainstay in my lifting for the past year have made me thicker and "harder" all over. I'm not a huge dude by any stretch, but what I've got is solid. I attribute that to deadlifting.

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