Dead what?

Why in the world would you want to start doing power lifting exercises? I mean, what in the shooting sports even begins to look like doing a deadlift? A dead what??? A dead back, maybe???

Well, not if you do it with proper form, and an appropriate amount of weight. The picture at the right is me, deadlifting 295#. That’s not an extreme amount of weight – the current world record is over three times that (1003#).

But, still, why power lifting, if what you want out of your fitness routine is a lean frame, and a high power to weight ratio? Hmmmm…. read on… ;)

A well rounded fitness routine, such as the CrossFit program I’ve been following at CrossFit Central here in Austin, involves more than just a half hour on the elliptical and some crunches. Doing a psuedo-random variety of things, spanning the gamut from pure “cardio” (running, rowing, etc for 5+ km) to pure power/strength (1 rep max deadlift, for instance), with a good mix in between – that comprises a well rounded regimen.

So, deadlift, how does it fit in (like the 335# 1RM I’m doing at the left)? The power lifts (deadlift, squat, bench press) and the Olympic weightlifting lifts (clean and jerk, the snatch, and their variations and assistant exercises) all work multiple groups of muscles at once, and force you to stabilize the weight in three dimensions while you move it. So, for deadlift in particular, you’re not just building the quads, glutes, and hams (all of which contribute to your power on the ground – ie, explosive speed). They also develop your spinal erectors, your back and low back, and your forearms through grip strength.

In the process, you develop a stronger core, which contributes to your ability to move quickly, remain in balance, and manage recoil. You also develop grip strength – another contributor to recoil control. And, your legs can shove you around a lot more easily, meaning getting out of odd crouches or leans is that much easier. Running from point A to point B gets easier, as well, obviously.

Don’t overlook any possible method to improve your abilities. Draw from everything that works. Find a fitness regimen that allows you to become fit in all areas, and your game will reap the benefits.

Deadlift – its not just for power lifters anymore… ;)

note: form is really important doing these things – improper form can easily lead to injury. All exercises – especially those involving heavy weight – should be done under the supervision of an expert (say, a skilled trainer, or something to that effect). Be smart, be safe….

About the author


USPSA Grand Master, NRA Instructor, http://re-gun.com/about/

Permanent link to this article: http://re-gun.com/2007/12/dead-what/

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