T Nation

Giving Up the Deadlift


well after numerous deadlifting related injuries, i think its time for me to kick this movement. Seriously after sustaining a bad injury over the summer i just started deadlifting again, and when i came back to it i was super weak....just the other day i lifted a measily 205 for two sets of 6, sure my form probably got loose towards the last 2 reps or so, but i felt great right afterwords.

anyways waking up the next morning sucked, as i had re irriated the injury i had in the summer. I don't think it will take as long to heal as it did the summer, but injuring yourself lifting 205 is a joke.

Anyways, its really annoying constantly injuring myself with deadlifts especially when all the information on this site says its practically a requirement to get as big and strong as possible

so what do you guys think, can you get as big and strong as possible without deadlifting?

PS i just wanted to say that i had a solid warmup right before i deadlifted last, and that i did about 5-10 minutes of mobility drills before hand.


Requirement to get as big and strong as possible my ass...

You have to tell us some more about that injury and your routine before we can give you any recommendations. Maybe a vid of you dling if you have one?


Can you get big and strong without it? Sure. Can you get as big and strong as possible? Nope.

I do think that you can gain alot of mass without the deadlift. Can you do nothing deadlift related? Maybe try sumo style, romanian deadlifts and other variations?


sorry no video....but seriously i know the deal when it comes to proper form, i just find it impossible to keep form tight for the last few reps. after i initially hurt myself i read AS much as i could on deadlifting and injuries asociated with the movement.

as far as detials on the injury, i never got a specefic diagnosis but the inital injury occured when i had been seriously training for maybe about 2 months....

I was deadliting 225 for sets of 6-8, with terrible form, and i think i most likely partially tore or really badly sprained a muscle in my low back, either the right spinal erector or the right Ql (quadratus lomborum)

anyways it could just be a matter of me needing more core strength or something, or it could im just meant to deadlift anymore


yeah, id be willing to give sumo a shot....romanians i might still include in my leg routine as i can lower the weight and focus on the contractions of my hamstrings and glutes

EDIT: i remember P.X arguing and saying that any benefit one would get from the deadlit, one could be reap from other excersises.....well although i can probably guess what they are....it would be sweet to know exactly which movements he was thinking of...


If you can't keep tight on the last few reps, drop the weight, sets or reps and add them back slowly. It's that easy.


Are movements like power cleans and snatches out of the question. Also rack deadlifts for me are easier to keep good form throughout, I prefer them to regular deadlifts.


Give Rack pulls a try, in the smith if necessary (works perfectly fine for me).
Those eliminate the lower part of the movement (where people usually end up getting hurt).

If even dl variations are out of question... Then Kroc rows, T-bar rows... Some HS stuff until you make the stack+added weight your bitch...

I'd say regular bent-overs would likely give you the same trouble you get from dl's at some point, due to the crappy position you're in when doing them.

Maybe the more upright version that yates did would work for you.
But imo Kroc's beat the fuck out of regular bent-overs, unless you get to repping out 415 with textbook form like LDC over at the IM forums...

Gotta say that if you're not particularly gifted in the back-genetics department, you're not going to get the kind of back-thickness that someone who rack-pulls (or deadlifts) superheavy weights for 6+ reps gets.

Width is unaffected (obviously).


I agree on rack deads, but I don't see how olympic stuff could help him.


i might have to give rack pulls out of a smith a try (my current gym doesnt have a power rack)
also, as for snatches and powercleans...i dont really know, ive never done them

as for lowering the weight/reps, yeah you make a good point, but if was to stop when i felt my form wasnt picture perfect i dont think id get any benefit out of the set

anyways keep the resposnes coming guys, i really appreiciate it!


The point shouldn't be to just try and 'choose exercises to make up for not deadlifting'. What you should do is choose exercises that you feel work your back hard and work on getting brutally strong on them.

Say pick a row or two (that you feel allow you to progress safely on as well as feel in the right places) and a movement for your hamstrings, as well as shrugs if you aren't doing them already.

The reason why deadlifts are considered so good for back mass is because of the large amounts of weight you can hoist up on them, as well as the common mentality that the deadlift is an exercise you should actively push the poundages on hard. Apply this same mentality to each of your chosen back-builders and you will make do without deadlifts.

I personally love Yates Rows. T-Bar rows are very good as well. I agree with the points that Cephalic_Carnage made.


I have had several occasions when my back has gone out due to either too much weight or bad form on the dead lift. My only way of recovering was to DROP the weight back down to 135 and begin all over again. Never let your ego or pride wreck your body.

If you are getting injured in the low 200s, then go bad to basics. What I did was do several WEEKS twice a week of 10x10 at 135, then several more at 150, then several more at 175, then several more at 200, then at 225.

Once I hit 225, I would come out of the 10x10 into a 5x5 or what ever else and take my time to work up to 300 and 400lbs. I am quite content at a single 475 right now. My goal is 500lbs. I know that it is going to take much more time. But I am in NO hurry.



Why do people believe this?


I was at the same point and started deadlifting again at a maddeningly low weight and a snail pace weight increase. sets of 6-8? maybe try lower if you are hurting yourself in the last few reps. 10x3 is still 30 reps, lest my math failed me


because practicatlly every article and poster here screeams deadlift heavy or else.


Oh, SHIT.... to think that I've been trying to improve my DB pressing by pressing progressively heavier dumbbells and eating more.

I should be DEADLIFTING more for maximum chest/triceps strength.

I feel so silly about this.


Hey while we're at it, why don't we talk about how no one needs to squat. The form is kind of hard to get down and I don't want to look like a sissy by dropping the weight, but leg presses and lunges are just as good right?


no, since improved my hip mobility and glute strength i dont have any trouble squatting

only problem is my gym doesnt have a damn power rack


You injured yourself "deadlifting" 225? I assume that was in kg?

And if you sustained lower back injury DLing, wouldn;t bent over rows and T-bar rows (the obvious alternatives) be dangerous for you as well?


This is getting dumb. Regardless of what you might believe, some people may see even BETTER strength gains and development by doing other movements for the same muscle groups.

Just because some of you have had it drilled into your skulls that you simply NEED deadlifts, it does not mean the rest of us who know better are somehow training wrong because we do other movements to get the job done.

This shit gets out of hand when the people acting like you simply MUST do deadlifts to see optimal progress are all much smaller and weaker.

Deadlifts are a great exercise. They are not, however, doing anything magical that my own routine isn't getting done without them.

Yes, there are people who will see even better development from leg presses and hack squats than free weight squats.

The fucking results are what is important, not specifically what exercises you proudly claim to do.

If you think exercises are being avoided because they are "hard" then you are an idiot.