Muscle for life

Want to Look Strong? Then You Want to Deadlift (and Here’s Why)

Want to Look Strong? Then You Want to Deadlift (and Here’s Why)

Guys like to look strong.

That’s why you go to the gym, that’s why you “do arms” in the gym, and that’s why you want a six-pack. The current fashion for a strong muscular appearance is arms and a six-pack, because that’s what you’ve been taught by fitness magazines and “gurus.”

It wasn’t always this way.

You’ve all seen pictures of 18th Century guys dressed in knickers and tight knee socks. The fashion 250 years ago was muscular calves. Calves in the 1700s were the six-pack of the era.

Even then, they missed the boat.

In my opinion – since I’m a strength coach – you should be training for strength at the gym, not abs. Abs, and arms, quads, lats, and all other aspects of muscular appearance, are a side-effect of strength.

Strength is an actual, measurable quantity, one worth working to get, for it’s own sake. And when you get really strong, you’ll look that way.

The key to a muscular, athletic appearance is your back and hips, most especially your “traps” – your “yoke” in Newspeak.

The Trapezius are the muscles above your shoulders on either side of your neck, that attach your shoulder blades and collarbones to your spine, from the base of your skull all the way down to the middle of your back – your traps are really back muscles.

Your traps, and your lats, hips, and thighs are the hallmarks of a muscular appearance. Traps are showy muscles, and they indicate strength because they stabilize your neck, which will also be muscular from the same training.

Next time you watch an action-adventure movie, look for the Muscular Protagonist character.

He may be a bad guy, like the stereotypical “Bane” in The Dark Knight Rises, or a marginally good guy, like Matthew McConaghey’s Van Zan in Reign of Fire. But he’ll have traps and a muscular neck, the first things you’ll notice.

Lots of guys have nice arms, but the difference between a Calvin Klein ad and a fearsome physical appearance is the yoke.

Most importantly, traps can be seen through your clothes. They stand proudly from your shirt, no matter what you’re wearing.

Abs don’t.

Abs can’t be seen unless you’re wearing a tight t-shirt, and you don’t normally embarrass yourself like this. Unless you spend lots of time naked in public, abs don’t really help your public muscular appearance.

You already train your arms, so start thinking about a muscular appearance from the backside forward. Traps, lats, hips, and thighs make your muscular appearance a certainty. A man with strong “posterior chain” – hips, back, and traps – stands out as a man who doesn’t just look strong.

So, how is this accomplished?

The deadlift is your most important tool in the fight for size in the right places.

The deadlift works everything you want to grow. It’s the best trap developer in the gym, and the good news is that traps grow very fast – they’re one of the fastest-growing muscles on the body, if they’re worked hard. And deadlifts build lats, hips, and thighs too, all at the same time.

The deadlift forces you to get strong the right way – with the bar in your hands balanced on your feet, the way Nature intended you to work. Exercise machines just don’t do the job, as you have no doubt already figured out.

If you want to look strong, you have to get strong. And strong you’ll get from the deadlift.

The deadlift can improve for years, with the amount of weight you’ll eventually be able to lift climbing well over the twice-bodyweight mark. The lift is perfectly safe if you make sure to do it correctly. And slow steady progress yields amazing results in a shorter time than you’d imagine.

But the payoff is huge.

HUGE traps, forearms (it’s a grip exercise too!), a thicker back, wider lats, full muscular hips and thighs, and a tighter waist are all the results of deadlift training. Along with the confidence that comes from being truly strong.

Make deadlifts a part of your routine today, and you’ll be investing your time wisely.

What’s your take on the deadlift? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

Mark Rippetoe Mark Rippetoe is the author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training, Strong Enough?, Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity, and numerous journal, magazine and internet articles. Rip was a competitive powerlifter for ten years, has coached many lifters and athletes, and has given seminars to thousands around the country.


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  • Mark Duddridge

    I love Rip! Great article! Thanks!

    I didn’t really realize the deadlift was a good trap exercise! In 18 months of lifting (including heavy deadlifting) my traps have experienced more noticeable growth than any other muscle in my body. I guess my heavy deads are why! Following BLS I’ve increased my deads from 245 lbs (3×6) to 475 lbs (3×6).

    • YW! Glad you enjoyed it.

      Haha yup. Nice work on your deads, BTW.

  • Thanks for pointing out the importance of traps and that deadlift strengthens them. I know that form is important for deadlift and I noticed you need a very strong lower back to keep your back straight. I don’t get stiff in my traps when deadlifting. I get stiff in my lower back only. Then again I have a pretty weak lower back and have problems in that area.

    • It will develop over time, Ru-an. No worries. Stay the course.

    • Daniel

      Start light (i.e. 5 or 10 Kg bumper plates per side, to get the bar off the ground), and slowly build up with weights (adding 5 or 10 Kg per week). Be sure to have someone to spot you as well as proper technique is everything. This is great for both learning proper form with weights that are manageable, and it will also help your build up your lower back.

      I found this video with coach Rip to be informative:

  • Amanda Haynes

    For women too?

    • Daniel

      Absolutely. It’s great for building overall strength (and conditioning, depending on rep range) and also to improve your posture, etc.

      A pretty good rundown on why it’s good for you:

    • Chris

      Yes, deadlifting will even improve your lower body, women love squats for the lower body development… well, deadlifts hit the hams, hips and glutes really well too, better than high-bar squats. So unless you are low-bar squatting, yes do deadlifts. At the very least, do Romanian deadlifts.

  • Chris

    Can’t wait to get back to deadlifting… I pulled my lower back trying to deadlift recently… It sucks that I can’t deadlift right now =(… Luckily my spine is still in tact according to the doctor, herniation is the last thing I want…

    • Sorry to hear that! Be sure to have a proper warm-up in the future, and double check your form as you ease back into it.

      Get well soon!

  • Greg Milius

    Hands down my favorite lift in the BLS arsenal!! Started in at 185 lbs 5 months ago and am now up to 325 for 3 sets of 5. I really focused on proper deadlift form in the beginning, as I had never DL’d previously, and would highly recommend this to anyone new to deadlifting before trying to go too heavy and risking injury. Proper form is the basis for all the lifts but is especially true for the DL.

    • Nice progress, Greg! Great advice as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Matt

    Terrific article Mike! I used to follow Kinobody’s workouts (and don’t get me wrong, he has some good stuff) but I have switched over to BLS 3 day a week routine and this lift has done so much for my physique, I freaking love it.

    Would you mind answering a question about progressive overload? If we find what BLS says about adding 10 lbs to the bar (this is a freaking huge jump tbh) what are some other slightly less aggressive methods you suggest people use to decide when to add weight? I was thinking a decent medium could be found in maybe if you hit 6 reps for the first two sets, you are ready to move up 5lbs in weight, deadlift could probably handle 10 lb jumps. That way you wouldn’t go too fast for your body to handle, and it wouldn’t be super slow either. Thoughts!?

    • Gene

      Personally I prefer to add 5 each time. That means I’m adding weight twice as often, and each time I go up in weight is a good psychological boost. I get the same motivation from adding 5 as I do from adding 10, so better to 5 twice as often!

    • With big lifts like squats and deads, I’m adding 10-15 at a time for clients. They handle it quite well with solid form and continued progression. The pace can slow down as you become a more advanced lifter, and then loading smaller increases would be appropriate.

    • the weight increase depends on the individuals strength and recovery. You can start out with 10lbs increases but will soon have to dial it back down to 5lbs increases and to only deadlift once a week once you cross 300lbs for most people. The deadlift causes a lot of stress on the lumbar section, which that is a small muscle that can take long to recover.

  • DC

    What is the recommended protocol for using straps? I usually can pull my first set for 5 or 6, but by the third set the bar is falling out of my hands at 3 reps. Current bodyweight is 175 and deadlift is 310 lbs. Thank you

    • Matthew

      Use chalk

    • Daniel

      A tip is to hold the bar a little longer in the upright position on the final rep of each set (don’t over do it though, you should still able to return the weight to the floor safely) . You might have to back off in weight so that you can manage i.e. 3 x 5 to do it, but I’ve found that it’s a great way to build up some extra grip strength (or grip stamina) without having to resort to straps or a mixed grip.

    • General guideline: Let your grip break down before you strap. Chalk will also help.

      To work on your grip, take a look at this:


      • You can also start using the hook grip (your middle finger over the nail of your thumb). That prevents the slip. It hurts pretty good at first, so I’d recommend to use it on your warm up sets until it hurts too much. Within a couple of weeks your fingers will have gotten desensitized to the pain and you gained a solid grip.

  • Camila

    Mike, I’m a woman, so I’m not sure if this article fully applies to me. You mentioned the progression of weight in deadlift. Definitely it’s the exercise I’ve been seeing most gain – I’m on TLS for 3 months now (but my diet is not great yet, so I feel stronger and with more muscle, but my weight is up, so I guess I’m not losing as much fat as I could still). I couldn’t find an article here with more of that information about progression. I see my shoulder and chest weights is not progressing as fast as I thought they would (I saw Miro B. results and in 3 months she double her bench press and squats and I’m not even near that yet – I have a very similar body type). Where can I find more info about strength progression?

  • Michael Bonet

    hey Mike, I was wondering if the only way to get stronger is to eat big and lift big or am I wrong to assume this? (I’m 5’11 280 lbs and yes i know im overweight)In other words do I gain more weight or should i just hit maintenance cals until i plateau in strength?

    • James

      Theres a natural feedback mechanism, when you are lifting heavy, you will become hungrier, if you don’t eat more, you will feel tired and hungry all the time. When you are feeling tired and hungry all the time your lifts don’t progress. There is a natural balance which you will experience first hand if you try lifting heavy.

    • In a way yes…lifting big and eating a surplus would pack on strength and size. I recommend a cut first, however:


    • Stephen E VanDerbeck

      Depends what your goals are. You can cut calories and build muscle at the same time, depending on how close you are to your genetic maximum muscle mass. If you’re new to lifting you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time with a moderate calorie restricting diet (Your basal metabolic rate minus ~500kcal/day), while keeping your protein intake to around 25-35% of that. Lifting heavy will not only stimulate muscle growth (via myo-actin synthesis and glycogen synthesis) but will aid in fat loss better than just cardio. As james said though, you will be hungry, which is inevitable at any calorie deficit. But cutting calories wont restrict your muscle gains if you make it a point to not “crash diet” and keep only a moderate calorie deficit.

  • Awesome read! Especially this line haha “If you want to look strong, you have to get strong. And strong you’ll get from the deadlift.” The deadlift will always be one of my favorite exercises.

  • Drew

    On the topic of deadlifts, question for Mike, or anyone who’s had to deal with this before –

    My gym only has Iron Grip Hex plates (the 12-sided kind), which makes deadlifting kind of a pain in the ass. The angled edges on the plates don’t allow for the bar to hit the floor evenly, which essentially means that I either have to do touch and go reps, or I have to completely reset between each rep because the bar gets all askew. Anyone dealt with this before and have any tips/work arounds? I’ve searched my gym up and down for a pair of round plates with no success, and have asked about them buying a pair or two of round 45’s specifically for DL’s but have had no luck with that either.

    It’s not like this is a deal breaker or would ever cause me to stop deadlifting, it’s just kind of annoying. I’m currently pulling 335 for 3 sets of 4-6, and I’ve heard that this becomes less of a problem as you get past 4 plates, but I’m clearly not there yet. Any thoughts/suggestions/recommendations (aside from finding another gym, which isn’t really an option)?

    • Stephen E VanDerbeck

      First of all, nice work with that weight. I just recently hit 300, which is like 3 times more than I could do last year. Second, whether or not the bar hits the floor entirely is not significant. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Hitting the floor with the bar entirely won’t effect your time-over-tension. As long as you maintain slow and precise control of your weight you’re good.

    • I encountered the hex plates myself and remember pulling my first 3 plate 315# with them at a hotel gym. They are annoying for sure, but if you align them all ahead of the pull and have a controlled pull and let them down quickly (almost but not just dropping them)you should be able to land them fairly with the bar coming to rest on the flat side. You will need to step back up into the lifting position since the bar will not have landed perfectly in front of you but that is ok. Do not let the bar bounce of the floor but have it come to a complete (dead) stop and then shuffle your feet back into position and lift. Removing the bounce (that shouldn’t be there to begin with) and controlling the negative will make it a lot more bearable.

    • ross

      To combat this, I put two yoga mats down on each side of the bar. When the plates hit the mat, they tend to roll around less. It isn’t perfect, but it is much better.

    • Great advice given here, guys! Thank you all for sharing.

  • Brianna

    Completely unrelated to anything, but that Reign of Fire reference made my day. I love that movie and it seems like no one ever knows what it is.

  • I have been weightlift for 30 months, and 10 weeks ago I started with DL. Even with close instructions and really light (50~70lbs) newbie tryouts, I couldn’t see any gain, just pain — nor results, neither evolution at all.

    Anyone experienced something like that? Perhaps it’s just some mistake of mine, but I’m not sure yet if DL is a full-recommended exercise for everybody.

    • Stephen E VanDerbeck

      50-70lbs? Your pain might be a result of the lactic acid build up from doing so many reps at that weight. Not from myosin-actin fiber tearing. To stimulate muscle growth, you need to overload the muscle (tear the muscle fibers). Thus you must lift heavier if you want to get stronger.

    • Alvaro. If you have been lifting to 30 month, 70lbs is most likely too light a weight for you to deadlift to cause gainz (disruption of homeostasis and following adaption and overcompensation). I’d recommend to increase the weight using Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength programming system.

    • Yeah, it’s too light and it’s awkward because I can’t increase weight without feel the low back turning in an unconfortable (and sometimes painfully) way. BTW, I don’t feel any effort on traps, hips or forearms, just on low back and, occasionally, hamstrings.

      Maybe I have to strengthen my back muscles some more before DL properly.

  • Stacy Montoya

    There is NOTHING sexier on a guy than nicely developed traps. That’s what makes this girl melt every time!

  • Jesse Dirocco

    I just got my XX Heavy Gripmaster and the t grips so I can push past 265 lbs in deadlifting. The grip strength is the hardest part but I agree it’s worth the effort. Just having a much stronger grip provides confidence shaking anyone’s hand and carrying heavy things. Also having a really strong lower back prevents injuries. Just make sure to keep up with some ab work to balance your body.

  • TaargusTaargus

    I’m confused as to why everyone is calling Mark Mike.

  • Jeff Pate

    I love the dead lift, and there is nothing sexier than seeing a woman dead lifting. DL is probably the most practical strength training exercise for both men and women. The most common everyday injury occurs when people pick up something off the floor/ground, and the dead lift strengthens lower back, hips, hamstrings, shoulders (traps), and hands. Form is key… be careful to maintain good form doing multiple reps with heavy weight lest you end up using too much lower back and risk injury. I do sets of single lifts, by doing a lift, dropping it, then setting up again right after and lifting again. That way, I maintain the original lift and remove the temptation to bounce the bar off the floor and/or create some kind of momentum to help.

  • Susan M

    DL is my all time fav!! I love the sumo DL because I’m 5′ and 110 lbs. I started at 70 lbs, and now two yrs later am up to 130lbs! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings. The deadlift is great for women. It strengthens the legs, butt, back, and arms, and the results are visible( given your diet is in check. ) Remember to progressively overload😉

  • Kathleen

    Ok…I am impressed with Susan M. who is 5ft, 110 and deadlifting 130. I am female as well and absolutely love deadlifts. I typically do sets and lift 90 which I hope to improve on. With good form, they strengthen my back, hamstrings, glutes and traps (which I am less into). Overall, one of the best moves in the gym. I have to throw in sumo squats and bent over rows.

  • Bernie Burton,MD

    Great article Mark!! I need to spend a few sessions with you to continue improving my DLs.

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  • Abhishek

    Have always loved DL.
    But still thanks man for these words of wisdom and encouragement.

  • Peter Jackson

    Started your routine on monday and starting deadlifting for the first time tonight the warm up was ok but i have always had a tight hamstring in my left leg, so when i upped the weights i could really feel it and had to stop, i really want to deadlift so any help in sorting the hamstring out would be really appreciated !

  • Paul

    Mike it’s ironic this article came up today. I’ve been doing dead lifts weekly now for about 18 months and my progress is staggering. I was actually doing a back day yesterday and for the first time during a dead lift a felt a small twinge (not pain) but twinge behind my right knee cap where my ac ligament is. Now I put this down to not having my feet properly angled during the lift. What is your take on foot position for dead lifting?

    • Sorry to hear about the twinge!

      Regarding foot position for the traditional deadlift, it’s really where you feel strongest and most comfortable. Typically, this is within shoulder width apart.

      Once you’ve recovered, feel free to try a few different stances and see which one you do best with.

  • michelle

    Okay so.. I know I need to get back into deadlifts and other weights etc vs machines. My problem is I tore my Labrum in my shoulder a few months ago (went through pt etc.. pending surgery) I don’t want to make it worse. What are some good things to do to keep in shape? I don’t want to fall back to much, plus it make my recovery shorter to keep up with things.

    • Eeep! Sorry to hear about the tear. HIIT cardio is always an option, and so is the leg press machine. I wouldn’t lift unless your doc clears you for activity.

    • Daniel

      Just want to mention that if you do cardio, be careful with cycling/stationary bike that has you leaning forward holding a handle/steering bar or similar, that puts a constant pressure on your shoulder. A relative of mine had a similar issue and his doc said to cut down on bicycling.

  • Kevin

    Sorry, not buying it, I see more and more skinny guys deadlifting massive weight, where you could say ‘do you even lift’…and multiple phase old school workout programs from Arnold to Zane that don’t have deadlifts in their programs. Let alone all the injuries you see from people trying to DL Max’s. Sure incorporate the DL once in awhile, but unless powerlifting/strength is your thing/goal, I don’t see it for traps hypertrophy.

    • Daniel

      In my humble opinion you can throw any program from someone who took vitamin S out of the window. With vitamin S, rules don’t apply anymore.

    • I disagree. You’d be hard-pressed to find a skinny fat dude that can pull 400+.

      Arnie did a ton of deadlifting in his early days — he was a competitive powerlifter, lol.

      I’ve worked with thousands of people and rarely hear about injuries from deadlifting. It’s not an inherently dangerous exercise.

  • stnmc

    Does whoever edited this article realize that all of the hyperlinks he inserted contradict what Rippetoe is saying? And that the end of the article is literally an ad with a book cover that is a picture of some guy’s abs? And that half the comments here think the article was written by “Mike”?

  • Gregory

    Hey mike. I haven’t done deadlift for so long so I want to start doing it again so bad. Anyway, I’d like to ask you a question:

    There are very few of the standard 35 or something pound plates used for deadlift at my gym. However, there are many 25 or 20 pound plates, so can I do deadlift with these smaller plates?

    • Sure! Rack on as many plates as you need.

      • Gregory

        Thanks for your reply. Now should I go all the way down until the smaller plates reaches the floor or thats not necessary, is it?

        • Nah, not necessary with the small plates.

          • Gregory

            I wish I had known this a long time ago. Thanks a lot, dude.

          • NP!

          • Michael Davis

            Just got into deadlifts a few months ago. I out on 1 45# plate then 25# plates after that for the sole reason that it is so much easier to unload the bar. My current PR is only 335 so I’ll eventually have to change this practice.

          • Sounds good!

  • Joe_Det

    Mike, I strained my lower back deadlifting about 3 weeks ago and feel much better now. How should I work my way back up to my working weight? I was thinking about 50% of 1RM, almost a deload type session. Thanks!

    • Sorry to hear about your back. Glad you’re feeling better, though. 50% is a good start. This is a great opportunity to start working on your form as well.

  • Lia

    Hahaha I haven’t read one of your articles in a little while…glad I came back here! You writing is even funnier than I remember (a la like Hamilton Nolan in his ‘I of the Tiger’ series (http://gawker.com/tag/i-of-the-tiger)) and that ain’t no bad thing! Thanks for another great article, Mike

  • Lei Tiger Qu

    Hi Mike:
    What are your thoughts on touch and go deadlift vs pause deadlift. Like some people direct go to next rep for deadlift. But there are also some thoughts on fully pause for a sec when the weight hit the floor then lift. Just wondering what are your opinions.

    • Hey hey! Either way is fine. The first rep should definitely start off the ground, but after that, as long as you’re not bouncing off the floor and you’re keeping your form tight, that’s fine if you want to touch and go. Personally, I pause on the floor between each rep.

  • Cosmo Montgomery

    Hi Mike,
    I had hip surgery three months ago and my doctor told me that I don’t need to do lower body workouts right now. So my question is, since I can’t do deadlift what good exercise can I do to workout my lower back?

  • Marc

    Great article as always!
    Just one question, seems funny but i stop to deadlift becouse i saw a guy at gym that was deadlift even with not so much weight but in the middle of last set his left bicep had serious injuries “a kind of alien movie scenes when the monster want to escape from the inside of the human body”
    Practical speaking i think he had a biceps tendon tear!
    Now i have a kind of psicological damage and i’m block to deadlift, there is another exercise to switch on? T-bar for example?
    I’m a king of guy that like more exercise than training, of course i put all myselfe in my workout and i track lift progress and diet but i l’ve notice that fitness world can really crush your mind and also your life if you dont have a healty relaction “with training mindset obsession”
    I think will be nice if you ll do a podcast about that!
    For example, i dont some amazing goal like to be SHHHHREDDDED, i just WANT to have a nice fit body “kind of model tipe, more lean than big, and i want try to understand how much important should be the training detail, volume rep range ecc…
    There is a point that training become hard psicological work, and i think people should first have fun and not do squat or deadlift just becouse they are THE EXERCISE!
    Sure your work with bls bbls and all article are extremly AMAZING, but somethimes we must understand for what reason we train, what real goal we want achive and at the end realize “is it necessary all this? Or i just need to do less for my goal and enjoy more my life?
    Hope you really understand what i’m taking about and will be nice a podcast about ( you must train hard, but “how hard?” )
    Have a nice day Mike
    You are always a big ispiration for me

    • Thanks Marc!

      Shit, that’s no good. The only little tip would be to avoid the mixed grip because it places more strain on the biceps of the arm that’s palm-out. Otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it. The guy got unlucky.

      You bring up a good point in that if you don’t enjoy your workouts, you’re not going to be able to stick with them for the long run. As with dieting, in some ways the “best” workout program is going to be the one that you can stick with…

  • Adam Adams

    7 years lifting and 2 years the right way (thanks mike 😉 I haven’t been able to see the DLs give me traps. Referencing the last podcast about muscle imbalance, my genetic predisposition is flat tiny traps. To overcome and simply have above average traps I have to hit them more than just DLS. I run a heavy day and a light day all shrugs. My DLS are sitting at 375 (coming back from back injury) and the shrugs are 425… And they just barely look like I even lift bro 😂😂. Maybe A year of 500 lbs deads would do the trick but at 180 it may be a while. On another note I love Love huge traps (too bad I hate steroids) I love the big trap look and so I find I have to add the shrugs to get closer yo what I’m after! #tomhardytraps anyways that is my experience. This article was a great read tho!

    • My pleasure. 🙂

      You gotta do what you gotta do! Personally, and for most guys I’ve worked with, just from heavy deadlifting and military pressing alone, the traps get enough development. If yours don’t though, it makes perfect sense to add some direct trap training.

      Keep it up!

  • Alex

    Hey Mike great article. I just wanted to ask you: what can I do if the bar is rubbing to my shin? I feel the movement a bit better if I scrub it on the shins than if I try and do it regularly but would you say it’s ok to do it like that?

  • Kevin Sozanski

    I always hurt the left side of my lower back, near my SI joint when I deadlift. I tighten my lats, descend to grab the bar, bend through the knee’s, pull the slack out of the bar, brace my core, make sure I have full body tightness and only then rise by pushing the floor away from me, pushing my glutes and hips forward when the bar has passed my knee’s and locking out.

    I feel like I’m doing it right. Even a few PT’s (not real strenght coaches, just general PT’s…) in my gym commented me on my great form, only so I can tell them afterwards how much pain I’ll probably get. My fysiotherapist just rubs my back and tells me to stop deadlifting. I can’t find a real pro that fix this issue for me. What should I do?

  • Andrew M. Cauthorn

    I agree. Deadlifts are awesome. You feel like a beast once you start lifting over 300 pounds. It’s all about nailing the form. The only thing I’d add is don’t be afraid to switch up your grip. I move the most weight with a mixed grip and go with the double overhand for my warmup sets.

  • Should I build tension in my traps b4 dead lifting? I only build tension in my lower back and shoulders at the moment

  • Random q – in your One Year challenge phase one, you have squats twice a week, back day and leg day. As someone who unfortunately despises squats but quite loves deadlifting, is it possible for me to swap out one of the squat sets for … More deadlifts? Or would deadlifting twice a week be overdoing it?

    • Hey Shanna, you could try that. It might be pretty brutal though 🙂

      If you’d rather do only one day of squats, you can replace the other with split squats, leg press, lunges, etc. I hope this helps!

      • Thanks! Might be easier to do it that way to avoid overdoing it with my beloved deadlifts, haha 😀

  • Hi Mike!
    I am a 61 year old guy who just 5 years ago was obese and could not see my feet past my 50 inch waist. The future was bleak. Enter the amazing power of deadlifts along with some other new habits. In under a year, my waist shrunk to 32 inches. And along the journey I picked up your bigger, leaner, stronger, kindle edition and still use the same basic rep range.

    I think it is important for men over 50 to know that you do not need to be deadlifting 200 pounds plus to see results. And we are not just talking about a healthier weight for your height, but also improved numbers all around, like reducing high cholesterol, high blood pressure and increasing your testosterone.

    So, deadlifts are an enormous boost for fitness, no matter what your age.

    Just become consistent in your workout habits, doing a few of the major compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, clean and press, pushups, and better food quality, just watch what can happen in six months to a year.

    So thank you for sharing your knowledge, and I consider your bigger, leaner, stronger, one of my important tools for getting fitter, even over 50.


  • Neeraj Kumar

    Deadlifts are awesome. You feel like a beast once you start lifting over 300 pounds. I haven’t done deadlift for so long so I want to start doing it again so bad.

    check out these deadlift benefits too::

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