Why Every Middle Aged Man and Woman Should Be Doing Deadlifts & Compound Exercises

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    Your unique genetic make-up determines the optimal types of exercises to promote muscle growth and to help slim the waist line. For a vast majority of individuals, compound movements are by far the best option. Let’s look into why…

    First, let’s talk about the deadlift. There are many variations of the exercise. In the video, I presented a conventional deadlift. It is the one I train with most regularly and I find it the easiest one to teach to clients. Dr. Bird does a great job explaining the variations in the journal article “Exploring the Deadlift”. He makes an argument that the Sumo deadlift has significant bio-mechanical advantages including less force on the L4-L5 disc and better erector spinae (back muscles) recruitment. I recommend identifying the ideal form based on your body type as the sumo, conventional, Romanian or other.

    Secondly, let’s address why you want to do these exercises. How about hormone improvement? As men and women age, testosterone reduces. It has two major effects, androgenic (male like) and anabolic (muscle building) effects. Multi-joint movement training like strong man exercises have been shown to increase testosterone and muscle growth. Additional studies document androgen hormone improvement from heavy resistance training.

    Finally, deadlifts help to address your posture. Thick rhomboids (mid-line to your shoulder blades), wide lats and muscular thighs will easily change your gait and upright stance. Proper training will aid in recruitment of your diaphragm as a low back stabilizer and over time will shift your breathing patterns from accessory (shoulder driven) to a more natural belly breath. Overall, your physique should add muscle in the right places to improve your posture, allowing you to keep your head up, chest out, spine straight and project more confidence.

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    1. Bird, S., & Barrington-Higgs, B. (2010). Exploring the Deadlift. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(2), 46-51. doi:10.1519/ssc.0b013e3181d59582

    2. Barnes, M. J., Miller, A., Reeve, D., & Stewart, R. J. (2017). Acute neuromuscular and endocrine responses to two different compound exercises. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,1. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000002140

    3. Heavy resistance exercise training and skeletal muscle androgen receptor expression in younger and older men

      Juha Ahtiainen-Juha Hulmi-William Kraemer-Maarit Lehti-Kai Nyman-Harri Selänne-Markku Alen-Arto Pakarinen-Jyrki Komulainen-Vuokko Kovanen-Antti Mero-Keijo Häkkinen - Steroids - 2011

    4. Ghigiarelli, J. J., Sell, K. M., Raddock, J. M., & Taveras, K. (2013). Effects of Strongman Training on Salivary Testosterone Levels in a Sample of Trained Men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(3), 738-747. doi:10.1519/jsc.0b013e3182578115

    5. Briñol, Petty & Wagner (2009). Body posture effects on self‐evaluation: A self‐validation approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.607


    Dr. James Leonette