T Nation

Deadlifts Are Good For You


I've read all kinds of garbage recently that deadlifts are "bad for your back".
Well...let me tell you a little story.
Three months ago I had a doctor tell me that I had probably herniated a disk.
I had lower back pain from doing heavy standing military presses.

This doctor told me to stop lifting weights. What did i do? I began an intensive deadlift routine and whala! 3 months later the same doctor has given me an all clear signal.
What does this lead me to believe...

1) doctors don't know shit from shinola
2) deadlifts are good for strengthening your back.
3) doctors don't know shit from shinola.

Conclusion...deadlifts are our best friend and doing them right gives total body strength.

Finally.....I will never stop deadlifting.




I am actually starting deadlifts aswell, have been slowly trying to find the perfect form by lifting relatively light, if i may, what are your numbers now, what numbers did you start at, and how fast did you find you could increase your weights? I believe I found the right way to do it, (i refuse to increase weights unless my form is perfect), but now im trying to figure out when i should increase my weights, or how fast the climb will be, just trying to get an average idea from you,



I think deadlifts are good for a healthy back, but come on dude, telling people with already weak, injured backs to deadlift is an invitation to trouble.


I agree. I used to get lower back aches alot,nothing really serious but it bothered me alot. Always shyed away from the deadlift figuring i'd just end up hurting myself. Stupid! Enter the deadlift. Ever since ive starting doing them and going up and up in weight, i havent had any problems since.


It kind of runs along the same lines as Squats will destroy your knees. I can't tell you how many people have told me that before. One dumb guy who claimed to be a doc told me I am going to end up having my knees replaced from doing such an outdated lift. That statement told me all I needed to know about him.

It is just that people like to avoid lifts like the squat and deadlift because they are difficult to do, but at the same time they are the best lifts for you.


Do you guys use mixed grip for dl? If yes, woudl you say that alternating every set can avoid possibility of developing imbalance?


I use an alternate grip.

I never switch it, They way I see it the arms arnt doing anything but holding on. So they really arnt going to get trained doing deadlifts.

I love deadlifts. Just got a new PR yesterday and it felt great.

To the guy wondering about weight. It took me about a month of doing low number until I was confident in upping the weight. Once I did gains came super easy for the first bit.


Yeah, I used to get lower back pain from work and lifting, so I always avoided deadlifts for fear it would destroy my fragile lower back. But pulling actually alleviated most or all of the problems I had (with my lower back, at least).


Generally agree with ya and most Doctors are so dogmatic in their beliefs it really limits how effective they are.With that said as a Pre-Med student I know some very competent MDs. Very smart men that love and are very good in their field. Its pretty much like any field, your gonna have your dipshits mixed in with quality practitioners.



I don't know... how many other lifts are there with the word 'dead' in them? Kind of creepy.


I agree but if you do have an injury be 100% sure you have the correct form when performing deadlifts.


i agree, however for some people with different types of back injuries , deadlifting super heavy might not be a great idea!

i.e. i have severe compression of L5/S1, and i only do partial deads in the squat cage from around my knees


I am really getting in to them because I have had to go bare-bones for a program. Between the familly, work, etc, it is just hard to find the time to lift. My program is revolving around the squat on one day, deadlift a day or two later, and finally cleans for the next one.
I was told by a chiropractor a few years ago to not deadlift. Just bad advice.
I deadlifted tonight and my back feels hurt but I hope it is just a muscle spasm. My back hurts everyday anyhow.
I lifted 265lbs for 17 reps for my first set. I only got 8 for the next. I smoke too many cigars.
My last heavy day was 365lbs for 5,4,4,3,3,2. Not great but I am just getting into them again.
Keep deadlifting!!!!!


I love doing them but I have to say that I've also tweaked myself doing them (bad form) and never really let shit heal up. Consequently for the last year or so I've kept subluxating L3, L4 &L5.

I've laid off of deads and squats for a few weeks and I'm feeling great. I'm going to give my back a little time, incorporate the "Magnificient Mobility" into my routine and start back slowly. Before I stopped doing them I started using Dave Tate's technique from his DVD and holy shit did I feel strong, do your self a favor and go buy his squat/deadlift video.



I have ruptured my L5/S1 about three times doing squats. Doctors always tell me that I have been very lucky that this hasn't caused me to be in life long pain.

Luck has got nothing to do with it. Rack pulls, back extentions, reverse hypers and aggressive rehab have everything to do with it.

This is doctor logic for you - "If you have a weak back, never exercise it or try to stregthen it".

What sort of policy is that?


I just started doing deadlifts when I found this site (relatively recently) and I do not currently use the alternating grip, it feels really akward to me. Should I just get used to it? what are the benefits?
Also, are weight belts necessary if you don't lift that much yet? I use them but I feel sorta silly.


agreed, but if you've got compression in particular vertebrae, certain back movements serve to further wear the cartilage down.

you need to remember to rehab APPROPRIATELY!


What do you guys think about taking days off from doing heavy sets of deads. What i do is go real heavy one weak, and the next week stick around 225. Give the back time to catch up in my opinion. I think deadlifting is key, but 400 pounds for multiple reps does scare me. gotta do it to grow though.


I'll chime in as well. For years, I had lower back problems. Eventually, I asked my chiropractor about doing deadlifts. He was not opposed to them, although he did mention that he sees about one or two people a month who come in after hurting their back deadlifting with shitty form. I find this surprising, because I find it hard to find one or two people who deadlift at my gym, never mind finding people who deadlift heavy (everyone does 135 lbs).

Anyway, long story short: I started doing deadlifts. Initially, I started pretty damn light using a powerlifting routine from M&F. Even with just that program, my back problems came back less and less.

These days, I never have any back soreness unless it's muscle soreness from working out. In fact, the only time I ever tweak my back is when I do squats, so it's still obviously not my strongest muscle group.

Deadlifts kick ass, but I also think good mornings should get some props.