You are in a crowded workout camp which is also short on equipment, so every individual is allowed only one exercise and has access to the gym once per week.
What would you chose? What would be your best workout?
OK this may sound like a hypothetical problem, but it is not so hypothetical, it can happen in real life; often times you are on a busy schedule, or on a business trip or even on vacation where you cannot visit the gym as often as your workout schedule dictates.
I don’t know about your choice, but if it was my turn I would think for a while, you see
I have only one day to access the gym and I have many objectives to achieve:
- I want to work a lot of muscles, preferably the big ones.
- I want to stimulate my anabolic hormones.
- I want to burn a lot of calories.
Well, I know one exercise that can give me all of those benefits, dead lift.
- Dead lifts work almost all major muscle groups, legs lower back,upper back and abdominals.
- Dead lifts have a strong stimulant effect on your hormones and metabolism, trials show that heavy workouts lead to testosterone and growth hormone elevation. I will tell you later how to stimulate each.
- Dead lifts burn a lot of calories,the more muscles you work the more calories you burn.
All in all dead lift is the best workout
Now that I explained my choice let’s get more specific with the numbers i.e. frequency and volume.
Well we have one that we already agreed on that is the frequency,although in our hypothetical situation it was obligatory, in reality you may chose to willingly cut your frequency even more since dead lifts are very taxing and they need a long time for recuperation.
Now for the second number the volume i.e. sets and reps:
Dead lifts are best done with heavier weights and moderate reps
- Choose a weight that allows you to do 6 to 8 reps.
- Do 6 ascending sets i.e. increase the weight on each consecutive set.
- Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.
Later I will suggest another volume for a different goal, so hang on.
Now a word on technique
Technique is very critical not only to get the full benefit of the exercise but also for safety,this is a serious exercise and should be performed with text book technique
- Feet should be shoulder wide, Bar on the middle of your feet.
- You can use alternate hand grip on your heavy sets.
- Go down with your hips flex your knees raise your chest keep your back flat all the time I repeat never allow your back to round.
- Now push the floor with your feet, stick your butt,look forward,simultaneously raise your back as you straighten your knees, do not allow your knees to extend too early or you will put extra pressure on your back.
- Pull all the way till lock up.
- Lower the weight under control.
And now here is that tip I told you about earlier
You can use dead lifts to increase both your testosterone and growth hormone.
- Testosterone is elevated on your heavy conventional dead lifts.
- And you can kick your growth hormone into high gear by the following trick:
Combine stiff dead lift with the conventional one
Studies suggest that a moderate intensity exercise done with higher volume and shorter rest periods stimulates GH release.
- In this case you should use a lighter weight,one that you can lift for 8 reps on your stiff dead lift.
- Start by doing 6 reps of stiff dead lift.
- Then without rest follow with conventional lifts for 6 more reps.
- Repeat for 10 sets.
- Limit your rest periods to no more than 1 minute.
Now back to that camp, if some one dropped out and you were offered to take his now free day I do not think you would even consider accepting it.