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What is the best deadlift program for a beginner in fitness? You know the impressive benefits of deadlifts to get lean, gain muscle, and want to transform your body.
Or you want a deadlift program to compete in powerlifting.
The aim of this post is to provide a 12 week program for you to accomplish either goal. No matter what your age.
Deadlifting for Weight Loss and Fitness
Did you ever think of deadlifts as a tool for weight loss and fitness? There is a good chance that you have not.
Walk into any gym, and you will see many more treadmills than deadlift platforms. Go to the weight training area, and you still will not see many deadlift workout stations. You will find various isolation machines to work individual muscles. As well as benches for dumbbells, bench presses and incline bench presses.
In fact, you will rarely see a deadlift workout area (unless you’re in a powerlifting gym.) You will find power racks for squats and Romanian deadlifts. Barbells and kettlebells, but you will not find a specific workout station to do deadlifts. When you want to deadlift, you have to improvise where you can do your deadlift program.
Inside a power rack, with the safety rods removed. Outside the power rack, but you run the risk of getting in the way of people walking by. Find some other patch of gym turf where you can set up for deadlifts.
The point is that when people go to a gym to workout, they are usually not thinking deadlifts. Especially people who are overweight. Those who fight the battle of the bulge gravitate to walking or sitting exercises. The treadmill or the leg extension. The sitting bench press machine or the leg curl machine. When do you see an overweight man or woman doing a deadlift workout?
The Power of a Simple Deadlift Program
A simple deadlift program can help and accelerate your quest to get fit or fitter. If you are overweight now, stop thinking about machine workouts and start thinking about free weights. The weight room is intimidating, granted. But, you can really make great fat loss progress if you stick with a deadlift program.
The deadlift is not a very complicated move. But, it is not easy either. You have to stand up, bend down, keep great form and lift the weight off the ground to a standing position. You can read more about how to deadlift with proper form here and here.
The main point of this post is to make you aware that a deadlift program is an excellent tool to lose weight and get fit. And, I will spell out a simple deadlift program that you can start (with your doctor’s permission) and grow with. You need to eat right, deadlift and rest. If you do these three things, your body is going to change.
You only need to deadlift once a week. Some people advocate deadlifting every other day or twice a week. But, I think that once a week is sufficient to see results. Especially if you also do a squat and bench press workout one other day of the week. If you do squat, do your deadlift workout about 3 days after your squat workout. They both work your legs hard and you need to rest in order to increase your muscle mass.
Why the Deadlift?
The simplest answer is that the deadlift works more muscles than just about any other weight training exercise. Other than the squat, the deadlift reigns king over all other weight training. Why go to the gym and sit in a chair to lift weights? You are just isolating specific muscle groups. You will gain much more by targeting all the muscles of your body at the same time. The deadlift is the full body weapon to accomplish that goal.
Many great athletes have just focused on the deadlift to improve their skills. Even in sports that on the surface, have little to do with deadlifting. Take running for example:
Allyson Felix Deadlift Programming Results
Barry Ross, US Track and Strength Coach, created one of the most famous strength programs for Allyson Felix back in 2002. He chose the deadlift as the centerpiece of her strength training workout. Because the deadlift works a greater percentage of the muscles and involves multiple joints.
“Why waste time and energy on squats or leg press machines?” Ross wondered aloud in his 2004 article ‘The Holy Grail of Speed Training”.
In ten months, Allyson’s deadlift went from 125 pounds to 300 pounds. As a result, her 200-meter sprint time improved and she ran the fastest 200 meters in the world (without resorting to drugs) for all women.
The deadlift helped Allyson Felix win gold at the 2012 Olympics in the 200 meters. As a result of becoming a phenomenal Olympic champion, Allyson Felix’s net worth is now over 8.5 million dollars. If world class athletes can benefit from deadlifts, so can you. You just have to start.
12 Week Deadlift Program to Crush Obesity
- Deadlift once per week.
- Leave a rest period of 3 – 5 days between squats and deadlifts.
- For example, if you deadlift on Monday, do your squats on Friday, or vice versa.
- If you are a beginner, start slow, with light weights or even no weights.
- Focus on form, never sacrifice form.
- Estimate your 1 Rep Max also known as 1RM.
- Are you wondering how much you should be able to deadlift? John of Physicalliving.com reports that “Strength training and weightlifting experts, Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore, estimate that an average 198 pound male can lift 155 pounds even without training (i.e. untrained beginner lifter). After a couple of years of proper training, that same lifter should be able to deadlift 335 pounds (i.e. intermediate lifter)
- For example, if you can lift a 45 pound olympic bar with proper deadlift form.
- And that feels heavy to you, then that is your 1RM.
- If you can lift 100 pounds on a barbell, one time, then that is your 1RM.
- Don’t go crazy trying to figure it out, just make an estimation based on what feels heavy to you.
- Always warm up before your deadlift workout.
- Walk, run, do elliptical, jump rope or jumping jacks for at least five minutes and stretch out your legs.
- Focus on excellent nutrition.
- Eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean protein
- Learn how to cook for yourself
Don’t Make These Deadlift Mistakes
Week 1 of Your Deadlift Programming
- Every deadlift workout will follow the same pattern.
- We will use an estimated 1RM of 200 pounds to illustrate a sample deadlift program.
- First deadlift warmup set: 12 reps using 100 pounds or 50% of your 1 Rep Max.
- Rest 3 to 5 minutes.
- Second warm up set: 8 deadlifts using 120 pounds or 60% of your 1RM.
- Rest 3 to 5 Minutes.
- Third warm up set: 5 deadlifts using 150 pounds or 75% of your 1RM.
- These are your deadlift work sets.
- Rest 5 minutes
- 2 sets of a rep range of 4 to 8 reps with 160 pounds or 80% of your 1RM.
Weeks 10 – 12 of Your Deadlift Program
- When you can comfortably handle 8 reps at 80 percent of your 1 rep max, now you can increase the deadlift weight.
- Gradually increase the weight, using 5 or 10 pounds additional weight.
- Start your work sets at a new weight using a rep scheme of 4 reps and build up to 8 reps. Then you can increase your deadlift weight again.
Take a Break
It is not a bad idea to schedule a break of 1 week after every 12 weeks of deadlifting. You can do accessory work like stiff leg deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts or good mornings, and then begin a new 12 week deadlift program cycle.
You have to go on vacation or do something else a few times a year, right?
You do not have to become the strongest guy or woman in the gym to benefit from deadlifts. In fact, you do not need to use heavy weights, insane volume or heavy deadlifts to get leaner and stronger than you think possible.
This 12 week deadlift program will help you lose weight and get fit.
The deadlift is one of the most powerful tools I used to lose 75 pounds and 18 inches off my waist in 6 months. Yes, I was as shocked as you will be.
Food is your friend, not your enemy. Just eat the right foods and you will see results. Deadlifts are one of the most powerful exercises in your arsenal. Feeling and getting fit, getting as healthy as possible is the real goal, not just losing weight.
Please share your experience with this or your own deadlift program. And or make some suggestions for improvement, thank you.
- Eat Real Food
- Drink Enough Water
- Start Moving Every Day – Walk and/or run/do the elliptical/swim/jump rope for at least 30 minutes a day
- Do Squats
- Do Deadlifts
- Do Pushups and/or Bench Press
- Think Good Thoughts
- Get Good Sleep
- Take a Complete Rest at least One Day a Week
- Use the Best Tools for Mind and Body Fitness
Introduction To Deadlift Body Transformation
What if I told you that the benefits of deadlifts are not just for gym rats, bodybuilders, powerlifters or young folk?
Lifting a seven foot 45 pound barbell with two 45 pound iron plates at each end off the floor looks and sounds intimidating, right?
How long have you used weight machines, treadmills and dumbbell curls but still find yourself to be bored and overweight?
Imagine if you can get lean and strong without spending hours in the gym.
With every workout, you put on more muscle mass and blast away your belly fat.
Until you look and feel like an athlete.
But right now, that feels like an impossible dream, doesn’t it?
Your weight is through the roof with no end in sight.
The amount of time that you do any exercise is less than the average sneeze.
And, your waistline is so big, that your stomach hangs over your high school sized jeans and belt.
You’re a few days away from throwing in the notion of ever getting fit and giving up.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way:
The secrets of the most powerful benefits of deadlifts are only a few scrolls away.
And, all you have to do to learn them for absolutely free is scroll down the page.
Because in this article I’m going to show you exactly how great the deadlift is and help inspire you to start deadlifting.
Even if you are a middle aged guy over 50.
Once you know the staggering advantages of the barbell deadlift, you will no longer be shy.
You will be ready to abandon the machines, go to the free weight area and tackle the deadlift, the king of all exercises.
Let Me Explain…
Iwent from fat to fit in under a year because of the powerful benefits of deadlifts.
I couldn’t believe how simple it was.
And neither will you.
Along with pushups, squats, jumping rope and the elliptical, deadlifts are one of the best exercises for you to lose weight and get fit.
Like many people, I thought the deadlift was only for bodybuilders or powerlifters.
Boy, was I wrong.
The powerful deadlift is one of the best exercises you can do to get into shape – fast. Even if you are not doing heavy deadlifts.
The reason is that the deadlift works the major muscles of your upper and lower body.
This is how the deadlift can transform your body, boost your mood, and even help rebuild your life.
Deadlifts can keep you lean, strong and functional.
My results are not special. Believe it or not, even if you are over the age of 50, 60 or 70, you are still not too old to start deadlifting.
If you want to get back into shape and only have time for one strength training exercise, let it be the deadlift.
Here are the the most important benefits of deadlifts:
1. How To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories?
Enter the deadlift.
The deadlift is an intense exercise, and you will burn plenty of calories.
You will not need to count calories in order to lose weight.
Deadlift once a week, do push ups and jump rope every day, walk 10k steps a day, and eat real food.
Eat real food daily
- (Remember, you can never out train a bad diet. Avoid processed food and eat real food, it is that simple.)
Walk/swim/bike/elliptical for 30 minutes 5 times a week.
2. Are You Making This Common Weight Training Mistake?
What is the most common weight lifting mistake?
Going to the gym to do dumbbell curls, or even worse, using a machine to do curls.
Are you going to spend 30 minutes to an hour a day to work only one muscle group?
Does that make sense?
You want to change your body, you want to get stronger, right?
Don’t focus on one muscle only.
To change your body, focus on the one exercise that targets and activates your entire body.
By now you know that is the deadlift, because the deadlift benefits your upper and lower body.
Unlike the squat which targets the leg muscles.
How Deadlifts Change Your Body in 27 Ways
7 Deadlift Muscles Worked That Will Change Your Life
Deadlifting Can Even Boost Your Mood
The Best Exercise to Lose Weight
Romanian Deadlift Benefits
Benefits of Trap Bar Deadlifts
3. Do You Still Look Pregnant? The Fastest Way To Fix It!
4. Sculpt Your Entire Core
5. Build A Powerful Back
6. Prevent Lower Back Pain
7. Strengthen Your Posterior Chain
8. Develop An Attractive Physique
9. Improve Your Grip Strength
10. Walk Taller And Improve Your Posture
11. Deadlift Results Before And After
12. Health Benefits Of Deadlifts – Even Over 50
The truth is that you can deadlift and get into a better shape, no matter what your age is.
If you think that deadlifting over 50, 60 or 70 is not possible, watch the following videos.
Ric Flair was widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.1) Watch Ric Flair Deadlift 400 pounds at the age of 67:
A Ric Flair Deadlift of 400 Pounds.
78 Year Old Lady Starts Deadlifting and Regains Her Mobility
13. Benefits Of Deadlifts For Women
Watch this video of HangTightWMarcie deadlifting 235 pounds.
Notice that she is lean and strong, not bulky.
Here is an excellent post about the main benefits of deadlifts for women:
14. Deadlifts Require A Small Area And Basic Weightlifting Equipment
You can set up a home gym for deadlifting in a small area of your basement or garage with the following gym gear:
Rage Fitness Olympic Bumper Plates – bumper plates are useful for deadlifting lighter weights with the barbell at the right height.
CAP Barbell 2-Inch Olympic Grip Iron Plates – iron plates are great if you love iron, have good mats, and like the noise.
Greententljs 2 Inch Barbell Clamps Quick Release Collars Pair Locking 2″ Pro Olympic – safety first, you must always secure your plates on the barbell to prevent injury to yourself and others. Having an extra pair is handy in a gym as well.
Ader Fitness Olympic Fractional Plates – you need fractional plates to gradually increase your deadlift weight
XMark Fitness XMat Ultra Thick Equipment Mat – you need a heavy duty mat to protect your floor.
ASICS Men’s Matflex 4 Wrestling Shoes – wrestling shoe which many reviews like for deadlifting and lighter on the wallet. Up to $100 less than Adidas weightlifting shoes.
Rocktape Rock Guard Deadlift Shin Protectors – sometimes you need more than high knee deadlift socks to protect your shins.
Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt – this belt ensures your back, abs and entire core are evenly stabilized for extra power and strength, especially for heavier weights.
Rip Toned Wrist StrapsRip Toned Wrist Straps – the only training straps endorsed by 2014 World Champion Powerlifter Kevin Weiss. Eliminate grip strength fatigue from getting in the way of your deadlift progress.
Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd Edition – my fav book to learn the most effective way to train with barbells including deadlifts.
15. Benefits Of Deadlifts Are Not Only For Athletes
Eat real food, add deadlifts, squats, and pushups, and your body will transform.
You will start to look like an athlete, even if you are not.
This transformation will happen over six months to a year, depending on how out of shape you are now.
Do not expect immediate results from the benefits of deadlifts.
Be patient, be consistent, think progress, not perfection.
Eat Real Food and Conquer Your Own Mount Kilimanjaro
16. Deadlifts Are Great For Busy People
How much time do you have during the day to do a workout?
You commute to your office, help your kids with homework and have errands.
You’re busy and have little free time.
But, if you can get to a gym, your garage or basement for 30 minutes, you can still deadlift.
- First, warm up for at least five minutes, either walking or on an elliptical.
- Then, start out with an Olympic size barbell and 5 pound bumper plates on either side.
- This is 55 pounds of weight.
- If this is too heavy, then start with dumbbells.
Proper Deadlift Form
- Read my review of the Starting Strength 5 step deadlift setup.
- This is a must and is not negotiable.
- This will help you make sense of the rest of this section on deadlift form.
- Keep your feet shoulder width, put your left hand and your right hand on the bar in an overhand position.
- Start out with an overhand grip.
- Keep your back straight and pick the weight up off the floor.
- Grasp the bar with a strong grip.
- Keep your hips below your shoulder.
- Take a deep breath at the top and tighten your core.
- Hold a full breath into your abdominal to create more stability in your core.
- This will apply not only to the deadlift when picking up the weight, but to the squat as well.
- You must have a firm stable core to deadlift or squat.
- Take a deep breath and hold it to stabilize your core.
- Do not make the mistake of not holding your breath.
- I did that and immediately felt lower back pain, that was not good.
- Use the power in your hips, legs and posterior chain to lift the weight, not your back.
- Then lower the weight.
- Watch Mehdi from Stronglifts and learn how to do proper form deadlifts.
How to Deadlift Basics – Learn to Use the 5 Step Deadlift Setup
17. Deadlifts Are A Perfect Illustration Of The SAID Principle
What is the SAID Principle?
The SAID principle says that the human body adapts to imposed demands. In other words, given stressors on the human system, whether biomechanical or neurological, there will be a Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID)2).
For example, Milo of Croton was a 6th-century BC Greek wrestler.
To achieve his legendary strength, Milo began lifting a young bull.
He continued to do this every day, and as the bull grew in size, Milo gained strength to match.
This story of Milo illustrates the SAID Principle.
The SAID principle is a fundamental strength training concept.
Your body will respond to the imposed demands of the deadlift.
As well as any other progressive resistance training.
How To Implement The SAID Principle With Deadlifts
If 50 pounds is easy for you to deadlift, great.
Go home and come back two days later.
Do the same deadlift workout the next time.
Five minutes for your warm up as mentioned above, but this time, add another five pounds to the bar.
This is where fractional plates are handy, 2.5 pounds on either side of the bar.
Even if you could go up twenty pounds in weight, don’t.
Even if you only do one set of 5 deadlifts every deadlift workout, you will keep getting stronger.
As always, make sure you focus on using great deadlift form.
Imagine if you rely on deadlifts for your main strength exercise, for an entire year.
A 15 to 30 minute workout every other day, with weekends off.
Increase your deadlift weight 5 pounds every week.
At the end of a year, you can be deadlifting 250 pounds.
The benefits of deadlifts for runners and sprinters can have spectacular results.
Read how the deadlift helped Allyson Felix become one of the greatest Olympic runners of all time.
And how the Hugh Jackman deadlift can inspire you to start deadlifting.
18. The King Of All Exercise
Fitness authorities know how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
Bryan DiSanto of http://leanitup.com is a fat loss and muscle building expert.
See what he says about the benefits of deadlifts:
“In the weightlifting realm, deadlifts reign king. Deadlifts and squats are far and away the best all-around exercises that exists. They build an all-around powerful, muscular, shredded physique faster than any other exercise. It’s cheating the weight-lifting system. Deadlifts are equally beneficial for women. Deadlifts shred body fat, and build muscle all over your body.”
19. Benefits Of Deadlifts For Males – Boost Your Testosterone
If you are a man and have any interest in your health and sex, you should consider starting a deadlift program.
As we age, our testosterone decreases, as well as our interest in sex, and the ability to perform.
Living a longer life also becomes more difficult.
- Testosterone enables your body to build denser bones and prevent osteoporosis.
- Testosterone helps you build muscle mass.
- More muscles help you to prevent diabetes, which is critical for good health.
- Testosterone helps you prevent impotence.
- An active sex life is healthy and helps to prevent heart attack and stroke.
- Higher testosterone levels are important for weight control, energy, confidence, and ambition.
- Testosterone stimulates the male organs to develop and is what makes a man, a man.
- Weight lifting has a bigger effect on testosterone than almost any other exercise.
- A man must keep his testosterone levels in the normal range because of it’s importance to male health.
- The more muscles that you use, the bigger the impact that your workout will have on testosterone.
- Testosterone is beneficial to your body, your mental health and your spirit.
Improving your testosterone levels will have a positive impact on your health.
Stop squeezing hand grips and start doing deadlifts.
20. Deadlift Instead Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Before I started to deadlift, my testosterone was not in the normal range.
Low T or low testosterone is common for a man over 50.
My doctor recommended that I begin testosterone replacement therapy.
Instead, shortly after that check up I started Hashi Mashi.
I ditched the 3 common habits that make us fat.
I cut out processed food, made a regular schedule of 4 real meals a day, and started to walk 30 minutes a day.
When I lost enough weight and could bend down easier, I started to deadlift.
I started to squat, do pushups and began walking or using an elliptical 30 to 60 minutes daily.
Ten months later my testosterone had doubled and was in normal range.
My doctor asked if I had been taking testosterone replacement therapy.
I told him that I switched from processed to real food and started to deadlift.
The doctor was shocked.
He said that the benefits of deadlifts for testosterone were better than testosterone replacement therapy.
If you have low-T or low testosterone, consider the benefits of deadlifts for testosterone.
21. Proper Form Deadlifts Are Safe
22. Strengthen Your Activities Of Daily Living
For example, the ability to lift heavy furniture or luggage, while avoiding injury.
Start doing deadlifts and impress your friends, or your wife.
You might even impress your mother-in-law the next time you load her suitcase in the car.
23. High-Intensity Cardiovascular Workout.
Deadlifts work your heart and help raise your VO2Max.
The VO2Max is your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise.
This is an indicator of your level of cardiovascular fitness.
A little known benefit of deadlifting is the development of cardiorespiratory fitness.
Deadlifts will tax your cardiorespiratory system if done with enough intensity.
This has positive ramifications for cardiovascular health.
High-intensity deadlifts workout your entire body.
Next time you do a few sets of deadlifts with even only 5 repetitions, you will feel the workout intensity.
24.Boost Your Mood
25. A Call To Doctors: Forget Prozac, Try Prescribing Deadlifts
Maximize real food and reduce processed foods.
- Establish a schedule of 3 real food meals and a snack every day.
- Take a 30 minute to hour walk with friends/family or by yourself, get moving.
Train six days a week alternating between your upper body and lower body
On lower body days, do squats and/or deadlifts.
On upper body days, do pushups, shoulder presses, bench presses, pull ups/chin ups and dumbbell rows.
Once a week, take a break, spend time with family and/or friends, eat whatever you want (within reason.)
Please share this information with doctors and medical professionals.
They can help their patients treat depression without antidepressants.
This is important for your patients with treatment resistant depression.
26. Benefits Of Deadlifts For Depression
27. A Measure Of Strength
- The deadlift is a true measure of strength, because deadlifts use most muscle groups of your body.
- As a result, deadlifts are a better test of full body muscle strength
28. Special Appeal
Deadlifts have a special appeal.
Picking a weight off the floor, has a special primordial appeal.
Deadlifting is like ripping a gigantic tree out of the ground.
Standing and holding the massive weight also promotes a feeling of immense power.
29. Suicidal Ideation
Deadlifts are a great treatment for suicidal ideation.
Before checking into a hospital, pick up a gym membership or make a simple gym in your garage, basement or extra room.
Get the right tools that you need to immediately start training.
If your psychiatrist recommends antidepressants or Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), you must try a nutrition and exercise plan first.
Start deadlifting 3 times a week.
Make sure that you are also getting in a 30 minute walk every day.
Accept your problems.
Depression or suicidal ideation will not fix the issue upsetting you.
Of course, whatever you can do to rectify a situation, do it.
But, many times, depression and suicidal ideation are the results of circumstances beyond your control.
For example, you might feel suicidal because of a broken relationship.
Or you might contemplate suicide after divorce, family estrangement or job loss.
Male suicide is a silent epidemic and exercise is a perfect solution for men and women.
Deadlifting helps you regain your composure and even rebuild your life.
You’ll feel stronger than ever, and deadlifting progressively heavier weight off the ground will improve your mental health.
Training, exercise, deadlifting, are all under your control.
As a result, you will imagine and feel that the same way you are getting physically stronger in the deadlift, so too will you get mentally stronger to lift the dead weight of suicidal ideation out of your mind.
If your suicidal ideation is a result of antidepressants, consider using Hashi Mashi’s SIGECAPS as an antidepressant alternative.
The only side effects from Hashi Mashi’s SIGECAPS is you will get leaner and stronger faster than you ever thought possible.
You will just feel too good to consider suicide an option.
An Important Reminder:
The Deadlift Can Change Your Body, Mind And Life
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