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Do You Need to Deadlift to Be Strong?

has anyone seen any strongman competitions from 80,90s? thats the kind of strength i am referring to.

my leg workout as of now, is like this: squat, leg press, straight leg deadlift, calf press and hyperextensions.

so no conventional deadlift, but i am still training all the musclegroups that are involved in picking stuff up from the ground, so shouldn’t i become just as strong?

Zercher squats.

or you could just deadlift?

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
or you could just deadlift?[/quote]

i could, first session deadlift then squat and then leg press, next one squat then deadlift then leg press?

but thats not really the question is it.

I like to put deadlifts on back day and make sure theres a few days between leg and back day. Is there a reason you are avoiding the conventional deadlift?

[quote]justinpalmz wrote:
I like to put deadlifts on back day and make sure theres a few days between leg and back day. Is there a reason you are avoiding the conventional deadlift?[/quote] i train pull/push/legs/conditioning so there is only 1 day between leg day and back day.

i stopped doing conventional simply because i hadn’t made any progress in a while and since my form wasn’t perfect i thought it would be best to drop the exercise so not to injure my back.

i guess i could start again alternating between having squat and deadlift first, not really sure how that would go. I am very happy with my program as it is which is why i am wondering if you need the conventional.

after watching some strongman lately, bought the 80 and 90s set from theworldsstrongestman.com i got pretty motivated to get strong not only in the gym. So i started wondering

It would be hard to get good at picking up heavy things if you don’t practice picking up heavy things. Also, every strongman who has ever competed trains their deadlift in some capacity. This should tell you something.

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
or you could just deadlift?[/quote]

i could, first session deadlift then squat and then leg press, next one squat then deadlift then leg press?

but thats not really the question is it.

[/quote]

No. You want to know if you can become proficient in picking up heavy things without deadlifting. My answer is: You can’t.

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:
i stopped doing conventional simply because i hadn’t made any progress in a while and since my form wasn’t perfect i thought it would be best to drop the exercise so not to injure my back.
[/quote]

The best way to keep sucking at something is to keep avoiding it. Strongmen from the 80’s and 90’s did shit loads of deadlifts. I remember vividly an event in fact with Jon Pall and Kaz deadlifting a cart for a 1rm that they kept adding weight too until no one could continue.

Here’s a quote from a strongman of the era you mentioned as well:

“There is no reason to be alive if you can’t do deadlift.”

-Jon Pall Sigmarsson

[quote]caveman101 wrote:

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
or you could just deadlift?[/quote]

i could, first session deadlift then squat and then leg press, next one squat then deadlift then leg press?

but thats not really the question is it.

[/quote]

No. You want to know if you can become proficient in picking up heavy things without deadlifting. My answer is: You can’t.
[/quote]

This. No need to add anything to this statement, just deadlift.

You’re training muscles out of context of the deadlift movement. This means the only way you can get as strong as you want is to deadlift. The deadlift taxes the nervous system in it’s own way. Hence why people become so strong after training it long.

[quote]strongmanvinny wrote:
You’re training muscles out of context of the deadlift movement. This means the only way you can get as strong as you want is to deadlift. The deadlift taxes the nervous system in it’s own way. Hence why people become so strong after training it long.[/quote] ah well i better start then.

i will be trying alternating having squat and deadlift first, i tried last time having deadlift after squat and leg press. there was too much fatigue in the legs by that point my form was terrible.

A better question would be “Do I need to max out the deadlift that often to get better at deadlifting?” The answer there is “No.”

However, despite what many have attempted to do, if you want to pick stuff up you have to pick stuff up.

Honestly, I’d dump squats before I’d ever dump deads. There’s tons of ways of making your legs stronger without taxing your back.

[quote]frozenkilt wrote:
Honestly, I’d dump squats before I’d ever dump deads. There’s tons of ways of making your legs stronger without taxing your back.[/quote]

This. Especially since you’re also doing leg presses.

[quote]frozenkilt wrote:

Honestly, I’d dump squats before I’d ever dump deads. There’s tons of ways of making your legs stronger without taxing your back.[/quote]

um. Are you saying squats tax your back more than dead lifts? If so, you may need to reevaluate your technique…

Also, how are you making your legs stronger without squatting? Not saying you can’t, but I don’t know too many people who think dead lifts are a good idea and squats aren’t.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
It would be hard to get good at picking up heavy things if you don’t practice picking up heavy things. Also, every strongman who has ever competed trains their deadlift in some capacity. This should tell you something.[/quote]

well what muscles are used when your picking stuff up from the ground,

quads and lower back: quads trained in squats and leg press. Lower back trained in squat, hyperextensions and probably in bent over row too as i am going with 225 on that

hamstring and glutes: straight leg deadlift, hyperextensions, squat

grip: i am doing dumbbell holds for 60 seconds each set on pull days so thats continuously getting stronger.

so basically my question was that as i am training all the muscles required in picking stuff up from the ground. do i still need to implement conventional deadlift to effectively improve my ability in picking stuff up. i would like not to as i am perfectly happy with my program as it is, but i don’t want to be strong only when we are dealing with barbells and dumbbells.

[quote]csulli wrote:
“There is no reason to be alive if you can’t do deadlift.”

-Jon Pall Sigmarsson[/quote]
Very cool guy. I forget though, how’d he die? Bungee jumping accident? Mauled by a honey badger? :wink:

[quote]buildsomemusclewithoutdeadlifts wrote:
so basically my question was that as i am training all the muscles required in picking stuff up from the ground. do i still need to implement conventional deadlift to effectively improve my ability in picking stuff up.[/quote]
If I wanted to improve my flat barbell bench press, do you think I’d end up getting great results if I focused on flat DB flyes, incline barbell presses, triceps pressdowns, military presses, and front raises?

I’m not comfortable saying that any one, single exercise can make or break your entire training program, but the deadlift or “safely and efficiently picking random heavy object off the ground” is a fundamental human movement pattern and it should be incorporated into most routines for that reason.

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
It would be hard to get good at picking up heavy things if you don’t practice picking up heavy things. Also, every strongman who has ever competed trains their deadlift in some capacity. This should tell you something.[/quote]

well what muscles are used when your picking stuff up from the ground,

quads and lower back: quads trained in squats and leg press. Lower back trained in squat, hyperextensions and probably in bent over row too as i am going with 225 on that

hamstring and glutes: straight leg deadlift, hyperextensions, squat

grip: i am doing dumbbell holds for 60 seconds each set on pull days so thats continuously getting stronger.

so basically my question was that as i am training all the muscles required in picking stuff up from the ground. do i still need to implement conventional deadlift to effectively improve my ability in picking stuff up. i would like not to as i am perfectly happy with my program as it is, but i don’t want to be strong only when we are dealing with barbells and dumbbells. [/quote]

How strong are you in the first place? How strong do you want to be? Unless your dumbbells are 200 lbs each, or more, there is a limit to how useful they will be in training grip strength. If you’re doing dumbbell holds with 100 lb dumbbells, how well is that going to translate to a 500+ lb deadlift? The answer: not very well. Maximal grip strength is different from endurance grip strength. Your 60 second holds are good for endurance, not for maximal strength.

Deadlift also trains your upper back and traps. How are you addressing those?

I can assure you that even if most of your training centers around lifting barbells and dumbbells, you will be able to lift things that are not barbells and dumbbells. Most strongmen only practice their actual events sparingly (depending on who it is, some do more than others). This is important: ALL COMPETITIVE STRONGMEN perform heavy compound lifts on a regular basis, with barbells.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

I can assure you that even if most of your training centers around lifting barbells and dumbbells, you will be able to lift things that are not barbells and dumbbells. Most strongmen only practice their actual events sparingly (depending on who it is, some do more than others). [/quote]

Flip I agree with pretty much everything you’re saying in this thread, but I think most strongmen do put a fair amount of emphasis on the actual event training…

The takeaway from this thread should be that the more specifically you train something, the better you’ll be at it. Taking the example of lifting things up, apply it to helping someone move. Someone who trains his whole body at the gym, but doesn’t deadlift, will be better than the guy who doesn’t lift. Someone who lifts, and includes deadlifts, will be better than that guy. But the guy that moves couches for a living will be better than him, even if he doesn’t deadlift. Specificity.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]frozenkilt wrote:

Honestly, I’d dump squats before I’d ever dump deads. There’s tons of ways of making your legs stronger without taxing your back.[/quote]

um. Are you saying squats tax your back more than dead lifts? If so, you may need to reevaluate your technique…

Also, how are you making your legs stronger without squatting? Not saying you can’t, but I don’t know too many people who think dead lifts are a good idea and squats aren’t.[/quote]

I never said more. But if you don’t find squats at least a little taxing on the back, you’d better re-evaluate what you think “heavy” is.

Split squats, lunges, step ups, glute ham raises, sled drags and pulls et all can bring up good strong legs. They won’t necessarily make you a better squatter but your legs will be strong.

Heavy dumbell swings, hungarian core blasters, kettlebell work, pullthroughs, power shrugs etc will get you a decently strong back but probably not increase your deadlift.

One of the guys mentioned specifity. That’s key. If this guy wants to be a strongman, he needs to deadlift. He needs to pick up rocks, sandbags, odd objects. THAT will build that kind of strength and muscle.

I know this: I’m built to pull not squat. So I said if I was going to drop anything, it’d be squats. YMMV.