So it turns out if you want optimal results, whether it’s strength gains or fat loss, you should actually stop deadlifting.
Turns out it’s not that great. Who would have thunk?
Since we’re on the topic of things that aren’t good for you, squatting isn’t all that great either. Stop squatting.
Now some of you may be reading this and thinking I have no idea what I’m talking about and you’re beginning to question my credibility.
“No more deadlifts or squats?! WHY DON’T YOU JUST ASK ME TO GIVE UP CHEAT MEALS AND BINGE WATCHING NETFLIX WHILE I’M AT IT?!”
But you’re right for thinking that. For some folks, the thought of giving up those two exercises is just straight up blasphemy. I mean, they are incredible exercises…in the right context.
Let’s say someone wants to lose 15lbs but has less than stellar hip mobility. You as a trainer (or educated fitness enthusiast) know that high rep deadlifts are FANTASTIC (one of the best methods actually) for burning fat. Should they still deadlift? After all, fat loss is the ultimate goal right?
What about the client who complains about low back pain but wants to start getting into shape because his men’s pickup league is starting up and he wants to show he’s still got it?
He’s gotta be able to jump and needs to build strength, right? Back squats are incredible for just that! Should he do them?
And do these two clients absolutely have to use a barbell for this?
The point I’m trying to drive home is that even though these two exercises are incredible, and I love them both, they are not a necessity for everyone. In some cases they may be more detrimental than beneficial given certain circumstances, like the two previous examples.
Poor hip mobility can affect your ability to get into proper position for a deadlift, resulting in increased lumbar flexion, which puts your intervertebral discs at an increased risk for injury. So even though deadlifts can burn calories like a mother flubber, they might not be right for this client.
The client with low back pain could have a myriad of issues going on causing his low back pain. Back squatting is usually a higher level progression in terms of squatting, meaning you better damn well know how to squat properly to avoid exacerbating any low back issues. So even though squats turn you into a beast, are they worth it for this guy?
You can always switch to a single leg RDL or split squat for either of these guys to still train the legs hard but take away a large portion of stress on the back. Or maybe you deadlift with the barbell elevated 6 inches off the floor to allow the client to get into proper position since his hips wont allow it. Swap trap bar for the barbell. Perform double KB front squats instead of back squatting. Find what works for you and your body instead of trying to conform to “the norm” because “that’s just how people have always done it.”
If anyone ever tells you you ABSOLUTELY have to deadlift, squat, or perform exercise ‘X’ to see results, politely tell them to fornicate themselves with an iron stick. Especially if it’s someone you’re paying good money to train you.
No exercise is ideal for everyone. Not everyone needs to perform conventional deadlifts from the floor. Not everyone needs to barbell back squat. Some people might benefit from only doing unilateral (one leg a time) exercises. It all depends on your training age, injuries, etc.
You are a special snowflake and your program should reflect that.