T Nation

Intro and Deadlift Question


First a little background. Never an active kid, video game nerd, book reader, etc. Until 6 I was a stick, then I got fat. Fat throughout school. Now I am 19, a sophomore in college.

11th grade decided to join the walk-on varsity football team, went in at 6'2 and fat/weak 205. Came out thinner and about 235, most of the muscle went to my legs. Also gained some fat.

12th grade decided football wasn't for me, I joined video year book instead lol, but joined a gym, the free personal training session assigned me some chest machines, shoulder raises, no legs, high reps.

Freshmen year of college I started reading this site, but not seriously, started trying squat and deadlift. Came out at about 250, maybe a bit stronger then the begining of the year.

May of this year, I was like, fuck this, I'm 19 and still a virgin, never even gotten to first base.

So I did a ton of research, started following the 7 rules of healthy eating and whatnot, got some Flameout and Grow! Whey (poor, no Surge or Metabolic Drive lol)

So, now its november, I'm down to 215. The most I've DLed was 300, squat 245. I can now do 6 pullups, and 35 pushups. I probably lost some muscle, beacuse I cannot afford to eat 200g of protein every day.

Rationing my Grow! Whey, I can only get about 100g of protein a day, which is why I'm sure I've lost some, but not too much muscle.

I don't eat processed food except for scheduled weekend cheats. I don't drink and don't smoke.

I have a bunch of loose skin on my stomach, and flab under my arms, but other than that, my pecs and shoulders are pretty defined, for the first time in my life, so I'm planning on bulking next semester to try to fill up the extra skin.

Also, since I buy my own food, I will probably stay on this lower cal diet until next semester, when I will try to get a chepa meal plan, for unlimited chicken breasts lol.

I love deadlifting, hate squatting, so i squat almost every workout.

Since I have been eating a reduced calorie diet since june, my weights in everything but deadlift have stayed the same or decreased slightly. Squatt used to be about 245 in the begging of the summer, now I can end my 5x5 at 225. So this went down a bit, dumbell press has gone down from ending a 5x5 at 70 to about 55. However, pushups have gone from 10 to 35, and pullups from 1 to 6. Military press has gone from 45 to about 85. I can't do dips, I've tried, and I don't do any direct arm work.

Now, I know my deadlift form is terrible. All my friends are nerds, so I don't have a workout partner. I never see anyone at my gym at school or home doing deadlifts, and I can't afford a PT.

How to I perfect my form? I also don't have a video camera.

I know I have arching in my lower back, but when I try to do the deadlift motion with no weight, I still can't get the roundness out of my back.

Does anyone else have this problem, and any tips/hints?

Thanks for your time on this long read.


I know what it's like to train alone. What you should do is watch videos of people deadlifting properly. Crossfit.com and EliteFTS's section of YouTube are good starts. Since you'll have no one to critique you, you'll have to be very honest about yourself. You might want to consider purchasing Mark Rippetoe's book called "Starting Strength." It will teach you all you need to know about the deadlift, squat, bench, military press, power clean, and barbell row. And as a beginner, if those exercises are all you do then you'll be on a great road to getting jacked.

In addition to watching videos of deadlifts, you might want to give Rack Pulls a try if you have a power rack available. Perfect your form and get progressively lower and lower until you're pulling the bar from the floor instead of the safety bars in the rack.

Eat more real food. It's cheaper than "Grow! Whey"


No need to tell us this.

Good, get a job.

Again, get a job.

Are you eating regular food too? You should rely on Grow! Whey for your protein intake. I spend about $100 per week on groceries per week. FOR THREE PEOPLE! You should be able to get groceries for about $40 bucks a week. Meat, veggies, oats, cottage cheese, fruit. That's about it.


Also good.

Your lifts will go up when you start eating.

Find someone in your gym that is doing them right and ask for a little coaching. Any guy or gal will gladly help you if they are a true brother or sister in iron.

You're welcome.


Pretty good


Don't see how you're really helping him all that much. Don't be a dick.


If you have problems pulling with a straight back, it is most likely a mobility problem. Figure out what is the problem (since you don't have a video camera, an overhead squat test would be best, though I'm betting its tight glutes and hamstrings).

Stretch and foam roll (a foam roller or piece of PVC will only be about $10. The alternative is wrapping a liquor bottle in duct tape), and work on doing rack pulls and lowering the height regularly as your flexibility increases. Eventually your goal is to pull from the floor.

Also, look up one of the many threads on this website about how to eat as a poor college student. I think you might find some great alternatives if you look hard enough. I did.


Pretty much my MO growing up and through college

Getting in shape will help with that and should provide some amazing amounts of motivation.

I have a $60 weekly budget including all activities and gas for the car. I have Surge every workout and wouldn't have it any other way. I'd probably rather have a chicken breast or something preworkout and Surge after if I could only afford either Grow! Whey or Surge.

Congrats on the progress and weight loss. Yes you probably have lost some muscle. a 6.5lb bag of chicken breasts is $15 at sams/costco go buy yourself a couple bags and go from there. Real protein is cheaper than shakes and I would choose real over powder anytime except PWO Surge.

I did for about two months after I dropped a bunch of weight. With your age it's probably only a matter of time before it firms up.

There is a great three part series of articles on T-Nation on deadlifting. Do an article search. It was this summer sometime that I remember reading it. It has videos and tips for common issues people have. I know my form isn't perfect either and I don't have anyone else to workout with either as my friends are basically the same as yours but after I'm stretched out and warmed up I like to do some singles at about 135lbs since it puts the bar higher up and concentrate on my form. You could also do this with a empty bar but I find that I 'feel' things more with a light weight on the bar instead of nothing at all. There is also an article titled 'a joint by joint approach to training' or something like that which was helpful to tell me where to start troubleshooting.



Agreed. Granted, tough love is better than no love, but this is the beginners section so what did you expect? There's about 1/3 of every post I read that I think to myself "no need to tell us that", but it's the intraweb.

But I do agree with you that buying groceries shouldn't cost that much if you shop well. I'm guessing that me and my gf spend roughly $100 a week or so but we don't really try that hard. You figure eggs, tuna, and some lean ground beef would be a good protein start and wouldn't cost a ton.