Newton’s 3rd Law:
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
The 3rd law states that if you perform an action, your body will react in the same manner. For example, lifting weights. If you lift weights with perfect form, your muscles are not only strengthened but they get bigger too!
But if you do something wrong, your muscles won’t grow because it causes pain or damage.
So what does this mean?
Well, when performing a movement such as deadlifting, the weight must be lifted in one motion. When you lift the barbell up, all other parts of your body have to move at the same time. You cannot just keep your legs straight while lifting the weight; you need to bend them as well so that your back doesn’t round and hurt. Similarly, your arms and hands have to move simultaneously. Your shoulders have to stay down and don’t let your head droop forward. All these movements are done in one motion. Therefore, if you perform a movement incorrectly, then the result could be injury or even death!
Lifting heavy weights requires perfect technique and coordination.
If you’re not using proper mechanics, then how can you expect to lift heavier weights?
That’s why training hard is always good for your health!
Dumbbell Deadlift vs Barbell Deadlift:
There are two types of deadlifts that can be performed: barbell deadlifts and dumbbell deadlifts. In a barbell deadlift, the bar is gripped with your hands and lifted off the floor as you stand up straight. Meanwhile, dumbbell deadlifts require each side to be gripped and lifted in one motion.
Both exercises are great when it comes to building strength and muscle mass. However, each one has their own advantages and disadvantages.
For one, barbell deadlifts are easier to perform. When grabbing the bar with your hands, it is easier to lift the weight when both hands are situated in one place rather than when each hand is positioned on opposite ends of the dumbbell. This is especially true when you are using heavy weights.
It is also easier to maintain proper form as you won’t need to compensate for the weight of the dumbbell.
However, dumbbell deadlifts are easier on the knees and lower back. This is especially true when lifting lighter weights. When you use dumbbells, your body is in a more natural position as the weight is distributed evenly.
However, this won’t be as effective when using heavy weights since all the pressure is on your hands and arms. The good thing is that there is more room for error when doing this exercise. It is easier to get the weight from point A to point B since you can swing the dumbbell if you need to.
As you can see, both barbell deadlifts and dumbbell deadlifts have their pros and cons. It all boils down to personal preference when it comes to deciding which one is better for you.
Do You Need to Go Really Low When Doing Deadlifts?
One of the most common problems that people have when doing deadlifts is that they cannot go low enough without leaning forward. This is the wrong way to perform a deadlift and can cause back pain in the future. The proper way to do a deadlift is by bending at the knees while keeping your back straight. In this position, your arms and legs should be slightly bent as well. From here, you should pull the bar so that your hips rise while your shoulders stay in place. This is the proper form of a deadlift.
If you are having trouble with this, then you can always try using a taller weight collar to increase the height of the bar. This will give you the extra space that you need to perform the exercise without slouching forward or rounding your back.
Deadlifts are Great for Building Strength and Muscle Mass, Right?
Yes, deadlifts are great for building strength and muscle mass. In addition, they can also help to prevent back pain. When it comes to muscle building, it is all about proper form and using the right techniques when performing an exercise. With deadlifts, you should always make sure to use perfect form as this helps to build strength in the muscles that are needed for this particular exercise.
For example, good upper back strength and core strength is required when doing deadlifts. The muscles in your back and core area need to be strong enough so you don’t end up hurting your back from rounding it or slouching over.
Deadlifts are also great for building muscle mass since you use nearly every muscle in your body when lifting the weight. There isn’t a single muscle that isn’t being used when performing a proper deadlift. This is why it is so important to maintain proper form so you don’t put unnecessary stress on your muscles or hurt yourself in the long run.
Can Anyone Do Deadlifts?
Just about anyone can do deadlifts as long as they have a healthy back and they aren’t suffering from a serious medical condition. If you are unsure about your health, then you should consult with your doctor before attempting this exercise. He or she will be able to give you the go ahead.
Even if you do have a healthy back and no medical issues, it is still important that you learn how to perform proper form when lifting weights. Without proper form, you can injure your body and do more harm than good.
If you are a beginner to weightlifting, then you should always seek advice from a trainer before performing a new exercise for the first time. A trainer can show you how to perform proper form on deadlifts and help spot you so you don’t get hurt while performing this exercise.
What if I Can’t Do One Repetition?
(One Straight Up Rep)
Not everyone will be able to do one straight up repetition when they are first starting out. This is especially true for those who don’t do any sort of physical activity on a regular basis. You should never feel discouraged if you can’t do one straight up repetition when you start out.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
Don’t worry if you can’t do one straight up repetition when you first start out. You will be able to do one eventually as long as you continually work at it. It may take several months for some people, but as long as you stay consistent with your training you will get there.
In addition, you can always try using a shorter weight collar when performing your deadlifts. This will make the bar lighter so it is easier for you to lift it off the ground at the start of each repetition. Slowly but surely you can increase the weight until you are able to lift the standard 45 pound plate on each side.
How Often Should I Perform Deadlifts?
How often you decide to perform deadlifts is going to depend on your workout plan as a whole. If you are following a full body routine, then you may want to perform deadlifts every 48 hours or so because you will be doing a lot of heavy lifting in your workouts. If you are following an upper/lower body routine, then you may want to perform deadlifts on both days because that will be the focus of your workouts. Again, it all depends on your individual program, but in general deadlifts can be performed 2-3 times a week.
In addition, you can also choose to superset deadlifts with other strength training exercises such as squats or bench presses. Doing so will allow you to rest a little more between sets while still keeping your heart rate elevated and burning more calories during your workout. Of course, if you choose to superset, then you will have to rest for at least 90 seconds before starting your next exercise pair.
What If I Don’t Feel Comfortable Performing Deadlifts?
If you don’t feel comfortable performing deadlifts for whatever reason, then there are other exercises that you can substitute in its place. You can try hex bar deadlifts, rack pulls, or trap bar deadlifts. Of course, all of these substitute exercises will target your lower back and some more than others, but they can be a good starting point for those who aren’t comfortable with the regular deadlift for whatever reason. As you get more experience with strength training in general, you will get more comfortable with regular deadlifts as well.
What if I Have an Injury or Am recovering From Surgery?
If you have an injury or are recovering from surgery, then you should not perform deadlifts. You can still follow a strength training program as long as you are careful to choose exercises that do not aggravate your injury. If you aren’t sure of how to go about doing that, then you may want to hire a professional to create a program for you such as a personal trainer.
If you are injured and have no choice but to follow a strength training program, then you should choose exercises that place less stress on your joints and muscles. That means you will primarily want to focus on exercises that use free weights and machines rather than body weight exercises and calisthenics. Here are some example of some good exercises to choose from.
Low to medium cable rows
Incline dumbbell curls
Low to medium reps (4-6)
Rest 30-45 seconds between sets
If you want to gain strength and muscle while injured, then it is important to choose the right exercises. You will want to choose exercises that don’t place as much stress on your injured joints or muscles such as the low to medium rep range exercises listed above. You can still target the same groups of muscles such as your back or biceps by following this guideline.
For example, seated rows can be great for targeting your back muscles because they allow you to use your body as a lever without having to support much of your own body weight. Since there isn’t a need to lift a significant amount of your own weight, you can focus more on lifting the weight of the cable itself. In this case, you would use a weight that is roughly equivalent to your own weight.
In addition, by focusing on using the weight stack more than your own weight, you can use a higher weight load which will result in greater gains in strength and size.
In general, most people should be able to gain at least a little muscle while recovering from an injury as long as they are focused and dedicated to doing so.
Should I add Cardio?
If you want to lose fat and have a balanced physique, then yes, cardio is recommended. However, if you want to gain muscle and strength as fast as possible, then you will want to minimize the amount of cardio that you do. Doing too much cardio and not enough strength training can actually impede muscle gains because your body will channel all of its energy into recovery instead of adding new muscle tissue.
There are two main types of cardio and which you should choose depends on your goals.
(High Intensity Interval Training)
H.I.I.T is a form of cardio where you include a warm up, go all out, and then have a cool down periods.
You don’t spend too much time at either the warm up or cool down, typically just a few minutes in each case. The “all out” period is where you draw out all the stops and go 100% with maximum intensity. The “all out” periods are what make H.I.I.T effective for burning fat and improving your aerobic fitness level.
H.I.I.T can be an effective tool for increasing your aerobic fitness and burning fat, however it should not be the focus of your training program.
You want to add a certain amount of H.I.I.T to your program, but not over do it. You still want to make sure you are gaining strength and size as well as losing fat.
Ideally, you should be doing H.I.I.T cardio after you complete your weight training routine because this is when you body will already be warmed up.
The warm up portion of your cardio should be kept short, just long enough to bring your heart rate up and get your blood flowing.
Follow your warm up period with a period of high intensity work. This is the part where you really push yourself. You want to go all out for as long as you can.
Typically, this will be in the form of intervals. Go all out for 30-60 seconds and then follow this with a 60 second break. After 4-8 sets, take a longer 90 second break. This is one complete H.I.I.T cycle.
You can do a few of these cycles during your cardio session or just do one and wrap up after that. It is up to you, but the idea here is to really push yourself during the high intensity periods. This will be hard and you should only attempt this if you are already in good shape and very fit.
Otherwise, it is not going to have as much of an effect because you won’t be able to keep up the intensity.
2. Steady State Cardio
This type of cardio is much less intense but much longer in duration. This can include things like jogging, biking, swimming or anything else that you can do for at least 20-30 minutes without interruption. The idea here is to keep a consistent pace and continue for the entire time period.
This is not as effective as H.I.I.T for losing fat, but it is better for maintaining and even increasing your aerobic fitness level.
It can also be easier to fit into your day because it requires less time commitment.
Performing either of these types of cardio won’t interfere with your G.A.S.M strategy and should only be performed once your weight training routine is complete.
Eating right is just as important as working out if you want to get in the best shape of your life.
Many people make the mistake of focusing all of their time and energy on working out and then just eating whatever they want. If this is you, you need to re-prioritize and remember that nutrition will be 50-70% of your success or failure. You can’t out train a bad diet!
Remember the Big Picture
It is important to understand that you need to eat for more than just building muscle and losing fat. You also need to eat to have enough energy to work out and keep your body functioning each day. Just eating protein and veggies all day is not going to give you enough calories to build muscle, nor will it give you the energy you need to work out effectively.
Balance and moderation are the keys to success. You should not be eating anything “illegal” or “unhealthy” but you do not need to eat organic vegetables and wild caught sea bass every day.
The most important thing, is that you are eating consistently each day, providing your body with the nutrients it needs and therefore having enough energy to perform your workouts and have the endurance to complete your cardio.
Weight Loss VS. Muscle Gain
If your goal is to lose weight, then you are going to have to adjust your diet yet again, and this time, in a different way than if your goal was to gain muscle. When trying to lose weight, we focus more on protein and veggies, eat less starchy carbs and focus on eating every 2-3 hours.
This may seem easier than eating for muscle gain, but it is actually more difficult because you are eating less food and therefore less calories overall. Your body is in a “starvation state” most of the time and as a result fights back by slowing down your metabolism.
This is why so many people can’t lose those last 10-15 pounds. Their metabolism has adapted to their lower calorie intake and is fighting against them. This is also why most weight loss methods don’t work long term and why you see so many yo-yo dieters who gain all of their weight back (and often more).
So if this is the case, isn’t it just easier to bulk up and then cut later?
Not exactly. While it is certainly easier to bulk up and then cut, most who try this end up gaining a lot of fat and very little muscle. This is because bulking and cutting doesn’t work long term either, at least not if you are doing a significant amount of cardio each day.
Once again, we are going to have to adjust our strategy in order to fit our goals and our lifestyle.
If you are cutting, then you are going to eat more frequently throughout the day and make sure each meal is balanced with a protein, carb and fat. You can either eat three full meals or six smaller meals. Each case is going to be different, so you are going to have to play around with the numbers and see what works best for you.
You should also increase your cardio while cutting in order to boost your metabolism.
If you are bulking, then you are going to eat less frequently and make sure each meal is balanced with a protein, carb and fat.
You should also decrease your cardio while bulking in order to spare your muscle glycogen.
However, if your goal is to gain muscle size while losing fat, then you are going to need to focus on both your diet and your cardio.
You are going to want to eat more frequently, make sure each meal is balanced with a protein, carb and fat and give your self smaller portions. You should also increase your cardio while cutting in order to burn off the fat that is covering up your muscles.
You should be doing some form of weight training or resistance training while you are trying to gain muscle mass whether trying to lose weight or not. This is important because it helps to boost your metabolism, which in turn helps you burn more calories. Lifting weights also builds strength and stability throughout the muscles, bones and joints in your body.
While it may be tempting to skip the gym while cutting in order to spare yourself from building muscle you don’t want, this will actually make your cuts much harder since you won’t have the strength and stability that lifting weights provides.
You can either lift weights for an hour 3-4 times a week or you can lift weights for 30 minutes every day. The more you can do each week, the better. It’s best to focus on compound movements like deadlifts, squats, bench press, shoulder press, etc.
However, don’t fall into the trap that many beginning bodybuilders do where they only do a few exercises and endless repeat them. You should be striving to find quality variations of whatever exercises you are doing.
For example, instead of just bench pressing you can do incline pressing, decline pressing, narrow grip pressing, wide grip pressing, etc. Instead of just doing dumbbell curls, try doing dumbbell hammer curls, alternating hammer curls, incline curls, etc. The more different ways you can do a certain exercise, the more muscle fibers you will be targeting.
This will be more of a challenge at first, but it will pay off in the long run.
The same rule applies to whatever cardio you do and how often you do it. If you are going to be doing some sort of cardio, try to do some that burns a lot of calories like running, sprinting or anything that gets your heart rate up.
You should be doing cardio on your off days from the gym or else you will start to lose muscle.
Don’t overdo it though, because that will actually end up hurting you in the long run and you definitely don’t want to lose any muscle that you have built up.
When cutting, your body is going to crave food more than ever. It is important to stay away from “bad” foods like candy, cookies, pizza, etc. even if they sound really good.
Try to satisfy those cravings with healthier alternatives like fruit, oatmeal or even a protein shake.
It is also very important to keep yourself busy so you don’t end up mindlessly eating because you aren’t satisfied with your current state. Find something else to keep your mind off of food: a hobby, a favorite sport, spending time with friends and family, etc.
You should also be doing something called “flexible dieting” while cutting. This means that you don’t stick to a strict low-calorie diet throughout the entire week; you just make sure that your average for the week is where you want it to be.
For example, one day you are really hungry and you have been busy at work so you ended up not eating since breakfast. Your co-workers go out for lunch and you join them so you can spend some time with them. You end up getting a huge sandwich that has 1000 calories.
Later on in the week you were really craving some ice cream so you went and got a huge dish of it that had 2000 calories. As you can see, if you just kept track of the average of those two days, you still ended up under your goal for the week.
This is why flexible dieting is effective since it allows you to not feel deprived all the time while still achieving your goals.
Sources & references used in this article:
The effects of the trunk, arm, thigh and shank lengths on the initial lift-off position of the deadlift movement by TH DeLong – 2005 – search.proquest.com
Quick Navigation by HV Carter – strength-forge.com
Kinetika mrtvého tahu z hlediska laterální asymetrie Diplomová práce by MM Kalichová, BJ Krůta – is.muni.cz
Resistance Training-Part I: Considerations in Maximizing Sport Performance by S Plisk – 2001 – elitetrack.com
The Russian kettlebell challenge: Xtreme fitness for hard living comrades by P Tsatsouline – 2001 – books.google.com