Return of the Dead: Easing Back into Deadlifts

It’s been a while since I’ve done these. Probably over a year. I have to be extremely cautious with my lower back issues, as many of you know. But I’m easing back into one of my favorite exercises. Deadlifts.

Return of the Dead! I’ve never been super strong on this lift and I’m not attempting to be a powerlifter. So I don’t plan to be handling super heavy weight. But I love this exercise and I always feel great (and winded) after doing them.

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Benefits of Deadlifts

Deadlifts are simply one of the best exercises you can do. I’ve heard many experienced weightlifters and bodybuilders say that if they could only do one exercise, this would be it.

I want to list a few benefits of doing deadlifts:

  • Overall dense muscle mass
  • Increasing strength
  • Increasing explosive power
  • Compound exercise that works multiple muscles
  • Conditioning
  • Functional exercise that can help athletes of various sports

Primary Muscles that Deadlifts Build

Many weight trainers, myself included, do deadlifts on back day. Your back is the primary muscle that deadlifts build. This exercise is known to add what I like to call slabs of beef to your back and overall physique.

Another primary muscle that deadlifts build are your hamstrings. When you perform this exercise, you have to use your hamstrings to pull the weight up. So those muscles are targeted. You’ll feel your quads a little as well.

Your shoulders and traps also get some stimulation from doing deadlifts. In fact, you can usually tell when someone foes deadlifts on a regular basis by the size of their traps. There are also many secondary muscles that get worked with deads.

Deadlifts: Multi-Purpose Exercise

As we can see with the benefits of deadlifts I listed, you can use this exercise for multiple purposes. In other words don’t mistake deadlifts for only powerlifters. Yes, they help gain strength. But bodybuilders can use deadlifts too for gaining dense muscle mass and thickness. Light Deadlifts Finish

Deadlifts can also be used whether you’re wanting to bulk up or get lean. I made a statement above about being winded after a set of deadlifts. This exercise will raise your heart rate like no other.

Many athletes will add deadlifts to their workouts as they help strengthen supporting muscles. This exercise can be beneficial for an array of sports.

Workout with Deadlifts

I want to end by including one of my typical workouts with deadlifts. This is catered to a bodybuilding workout.

  • Deadlifts
    • 5 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Bent Over Rows
    • 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Seated Rows
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Lat Pulldowns
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

You can play around with the order. If you do them in the beginning you’re obviously going to be stronger. But I’ve also put them at the end of my back workout to finish with a full body pump.

Deadlifts Twice a Week

With my current workout schedule I’m hitting each muscle between Monday and Thursday. This leaves Friday open to train other muscles for a second time that week. I usually throw in a little back, quads, and biceps.

I may start doing deadlifts twice a week. I’ll do them on my back day, which is Monday, and again on Friday. I actually started this morning’s workout with some deads.

I’m happy I started doing deads again and will continue. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and I encourage you to start doing them in your workouts if you’re not already. Also, stay tuned for a ‘how to do deadlifts’ post in the near future from me.

Train with Passion,



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