Hail to the Dinosaurs!
A reader asked me if he needed to do
any back exercises other than the
So here's the answer.
Yes, you do -- and here's why.
If you want to build maximum muscle
mass from head to toe, the deadlift
is definitely one of the exercises
you should include in your program --
but you also should include barbell
or dumbbell bent-over rowing, pull-ups
or pull-downs, and shoulder shrugs.
You need those exercises because you
need to develop the upper back to the
maximum -- and deadlifts alone won't
do the trick.
Rowing and pull-ups (or pull-downs)
are also important because they help
to work the shoulder girdle from a
variety of different angles -- and
that helps to keep your shoulders
healthy and strong.
If you did nothing but deadlifts and
bench presses, for example -- as some
powerlifters will do -- you often
start to run into shoulder problems
caused by unbalanced shoulder
That's not to say that deadlifts are
not important. They are. It's just
that you should include other basic
back-building exercises, as well.
Of course, there are exceptions to
One of them is a deadlift specialization
program. I outline this kind of program
on Chalk and Sweat. It's an advanced
program for advanced trainees, and it's
a SPECIALIZATION program -- which means
you use it for a limited period of time
(usually six weeks to three months) --
and then you go back to a balanced
Back in the day, a top strongman went
on a specialized deadlift-only program,
and in a short period of time, gained
something like 20 pounds of muscle and
increased his deadlift to the point
where he was able to set a world record
in the lift.
But he didn't stay on the deadlift program
forever -- he used it for a brief period of
super-intense, focused specialization.
And then he took the strength and muscle
mass he built on the deadlift program,
and used it to build all of his lifts
when he went back to more balanced
That's an old-school way of doing things --
and it's a good way of training for strength,
muscle and power.
As always, thanks for reading, and have
a great day. If you train today, make it
a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. You can read more about deadlift
specialization in Chalk and Sweat --
along with plenty of other result-
producing workouts to build maximum
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "There is a
time and a place for everything under the
sun -- including a time in your training
career to do some serious specialization
on the deadlift." -- Brooks Kubik