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The DEADLIFT: The key to Bulletproofing your life

(editors note: not literally bulletproofing…..don’t play with guns)

Hey Warriors

Here at TFW Visalia, we are entering deadlift month, which means our whole month is focused on this exercise, we train each week to work up to our 1 rep max test on October 28 and I couldn’t be more pumped!

Over the week, as I have been preparing myself for gains of glory and greatness (this is literally my FAVORITE exercise) I started to think…..The crazy thing about this world is most people don’t understand the significance of the deadlift….and if most people do it, they most likely don’t have the greatest form. You see, I am blessed to have people at our dojo that are phenomenal in their form, and the main reason I say that is not to attribute their greatness to myself, but to the fact that they focus on the technique that we teach really well.

(A coach can teach an exercise all the time, but if the student doesn’t value or take in the teachings and apply them…..they will not get better. My students really are studs and studettes.)

At TFW we will ALWAYS coach you up, we want you to do it right. Lifting has a bad rap in the world because people think it’s dangerous and could hurt you…but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, I’d also like to bargain that more people hurt themselves by NOT deadlifting. The deadlift is GREAT for the entire body but specifically the hips and back (where most aches and pains reside).

Most people get injured from their daily life; in fact I would like to bargain as well that more people develop aches and pains from sitting on a couch than they do lifting weights.

People attribute lifting to injury because of the countless “fail” videos on the internet of people doing them horribly with bad form or no awareness.

Yet those same people will read a label on their alcohol bottle that reads “the contents of this package have been known to cause cancer and birth defects.” And say “well one drink isn’t going to kill me”

(I am not saying alcohol is bad either…I do enjoy it at times)

The point is simple, people will make up excuses as to why they shouldn’t do something that can literally save their life, but then make excuses for why they should continue their bad habits.

The truth about lifting is it has more health benefits than you could ever believe, and it could be a big part of whether you live (like really live…not just exist) 20 more years or not.

Strength training is the backbone of “lean”….you need muscle to be lean.
Strength training empowers minds.
Strength training builds confidence.
Strength training burns calories.
Strength training keeps you young.
Strength training reduces chance of injury from daily life.
Strength training helps you maintain your independence as you age.
Strength training protects your body from breakdown as you age.

I fancy the deadlift because in my opinion, it is the MOST used movement of the human body EVERY DAY. If we train the movement we can maintain the movement.

We deadlift when….
.. We pick up or kids.
.. We pick up grocery bags.
.. We drop something and pick them it up.
.. We lift the couch (as you vacuum…I don’t think anyone lifts a couch just for fun..”)
.. We pick up the laundry hamper
.. We move boxes
.. We grab the shampoo bottle in the shower
.. We do anything that involves PICKING SOMETHING UP and PUTTING SOMETHING DOWN.

We often hear of people throwing their back out when they bend over to pick up a pencil….the problem wasn’t old age or the pencil it was WEAKNESS.

Here are 5 tips help you get the MOST out of your deadlifts:

1.       Form is EVERYTHING

The biggest drawback of strength training is the fact that most people do not respect the movements. They think of them simply as calorie burn, they think of them as a way to exercise, but not an exercise in itself…this is where injury and pain come in at. Your FORM is the most important part of the lift to really receive any value from it and to keep you pain free. Focus on setting up a process that you go through for each rep to ensure your form is tight.

When I set up for my deadlift I literally follow a strict process of thinking and focusing on each step of the lift as I set up and pull. The more you focus on form the less pain you have and the more benefits you receive.

2.       Don’t forget to BREATHE

This is a big one, we have all seen the videos of lifters passing out…don’t be that guy or girl. Anytime you exert energy you need to breathe (or you may just pass out) Pretty much anytime that you are alive you need to breath… The breathing pattern for the deadlift should promote and improve the bracing of your core, and promote more muscular activity as you move to keep you stronger, tighter, and help you move without pain. This breathing can be different for different people so it is best to find what technique helps you the most.

3.       It is all about the BUTT

When people are deadlifting a common flow is that they will extend through their lower back at the top to appear tall in the finishing position but what they really need to do is extend through the hips and squeeze their butt.

Another common flaw is that people will lift primarily with their upper back instead of their hips and butt, when they should begin driving through their glutes from the BOTTOM of the lift, not just at the top.

4.       Progress SLOWLY

No one really cares how much you have on the bar,  Of course people want to see you succeed but I guarantee you that if someone supports you they will applaud you for lifting 65 pounds just as much as they would for 465.  The only one that truly cares is ourselves. We want to constantly improve.

My biggest tip to you in this whole blog: See the improvements…sounds simple right? The problem with our egos is the fact that they are so SIMPLE minded. We see a number, and then we are like “well next time I gotta go heavier” and that is the only measure of improvement that our ego allows. Yet we can have improvements in our set up, our breathing, by getting rid of pain etc. Start to focus on the IMPROVEMENTS not simply the PR’s and I guarantee that you will feel stronger and get stronger much faster.

5.       Hire a COACH

Of course, what kind of coach would I be if I left this one off of the list? I do what I do for a living because I believe in it! We all need coaches; I work out in Dina’s practices because I too need to be coached. I have business coaches, because I NEED coaches.

If you want to get better at something you need a coach…ideally it will be someone with enough knowledge and heart to help you.  If you are intereste in learning how to lose fat, build muscle and feel good, we would be glad to accept you into our famila.

Have a great day warriors! and please pleas remember, 

Lift heavy, Lift safe. and Lift for life.

in love and strength,


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