T Nation

7 Principles Article



Hi Guys,
Since it looks like the LiveSpill closed, I wanted to continue the discussion on This very interesting article. There are loads of things we can, and hopefully will, get into on this. First of all, Kudos to the author. The guy presented some really great information and many discussion points. It seems as though the point that pushed most people's button was his comment about the deadlift.

Like most of us, I have been a pretty big fan of the exercise. This article is making me give it some more thought. Yes, I have had some success with it, but should I be looking for better alternatives? (This is self reflection, btw, not really looking for an answer on that.) I was thinking about guys like Diesel Weasel though. For those of you who have been around, remember that guy?

He could pick up a ton for his size (albeit with various levels of correct form.) However, he never really got any bigger! I think he was doing about 5 plates or close to it, and still only weighed about a buck fifty! Talk about some anecdotal evidence! Obviously deadlifting was not putting slabs of muscle on him, but he seemed to do it religiously with ever increasing poundage. I'd be interested in what the rest of you think about this. I mean, I can't think of any guys that size putting up big squat numbers.


Strength is inequal to size sometimes. I've seen people much bigger than I struggle with less weight, and I've also seen "regular" looking dudes who were very strong. Don't forget that in order to increase size you have to eat more. Diesel Weasel obviously wasn't eating to grow.


Well, this is exactly my point. This is why I posted in the bodybuilding forum. The article was about the best exercises for building mass. The author said the deadlift was not a good mass builder according to his principals. I guess what I am trying to get at is that maybe it is the exercise that people can get stronger and not bigger by doing, and not the individual.


I never really bought into the whole, squats and deads build size all over anyways.
For deads though I just don't see them adding much size to anything but the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and gripping muscles in the forearm maybe even traps.

Sure more body parts may be used for stabilization or whatnot but for building over all back size(lats) and maybe even traps imo atleast with me there are better options/pulling exercises.

And I feel this way about most compound lifts. Sure many people say the bench is a full body workout and we can argue all day what muscles are used to stabilize in the movement or how the legs can be used help drive force into the lift, but to my knowledge no one got big biceps, rear delts or legs from benching.

And don't get me started on people who say swimming is a full body workout. Maybe it just angers me because when I hear full body I feel like this should mean literally every damn muscle should be getting a direct workout.

I'm sure many will disagree with me. Its just my opinion.

Oh and by the way I didn't read the article it sounds cool though ill check it out.


i dont think that author has every pulled heavy for high reps


My main point was eating to grow.

"Don't forget that in order to increase size you have to eat more. Diesel Weasel obviously wasn't eating to grow."


But that's not the point of the article! Sorry, I guess I'm just not getting the discourse I was hoping for about the article. The article had a lot of interesting points about exercise selection for mass. Of course I believe one needs to eat to grow, but that is off topic here.



Done for 8 reps plus & you'll get a great mass builder.


For various reasons I went through a several month long period where I didn't deadlift all that much. (though I tried to keep it strong with squats, RDL's, and shrugs) Anyway, when I got into a situation where I could deadlift heavy again I saw some very fast growth on my previously non-existent traps and hamstrings. Visible spinal erector growth also. I don't buy the article at all. Show me a big deadlifter with a small back and legs.

Possibly related, my body isn't very efficient at deadlifts. Short arms and all that.

My brother has a better structure for deadlifting. He rather easily pulled 305, if I remember correctly, the first time he deadlifted.

So maybe the body structure factor is why you see some relatively small people who can pull a lot?


Then again, do that and you're not doing anything else, because your CNS is fried.


Careful caveman, those last few reps just arent worth it dude. Your CNS's gonna be COOKED, man. They'll be wheeling you around for weeks afterwards and you won't even remember it.

Any contrary experiences you've had don't count because this IS how it is. Don't even argue.

Xizel, I think I should refer you to chaosandpain.blogspot.com


I heard your CNS can actually explode from doing too many deads.


my cns is so fried, i smell like kfc


Let me preface my reply with I LOVE DEADLIFTS. They are fun as hell and a GREAT test of strength.

I would argue that you just werent Squatting enough weight or using enough volume. And you probably added Deadlifts ON TOP of your normal programming, instead of substituting Squats for Deads. If you take total loading into consideration I totally agree the Menno's opinion that Deadlifts are overrated as a mass builder. If you are Squatting decent weight, with decent form, normal Deadlifts are almost a waste of time.

I used to Deadlift weekly. All this got me was hurt and IMO overtrained, to the point I had a lot of trouble adding upper body mass/strength. When I cut them out and focused more on Squatting (Box Squats in particular. More hams) I started making gains on everything else as well. You might think that without Deadlifting my strength on that lift would drop. Last time I checked, I had added 15kgs to my max lift without training the Deadlift for years, and at a much lower bodyweight than my previous best. My traps/legs/erectors are as large as theyve ever been. But with much less low back pain.



^ Entire train derailed. Nice one.


Haha. Lol at the new guys who fry their CNS.


He had a log here a few months ago where you can see that he has rather large legs and a large back (go to the last page):



In all fairness, I was squatting high bar, narrow stance etc during that time. So putting deadlifts back in on top of that was certainly a big new stress to my hamstrings and erectors. Nonetheless, I was doing RDL's and good mornings during the deadlift-less time and I saw much less hamstring growth compared to when I started deadlifting again. And shrugs on their own did almost nothing for me compared to deadlifts.

I should mention, I've only been training for a year and a half or so. I'm no expert and my body probably responds differently than someone more experienced.


Probably the main reason I didn't like the article. Eating to grow was not touched on IIRC, and thats the most important thing when it comes to mass gaining, IMHO.