The horror... the horror...

There isn't much that I can think of that is truly more terrifying than really bad deadlift form. Honestly, I'd rather watch that hilariously disgusting scene in The Evil Dead where one of the deadites stabs a pencil into someone's ankle, repeatedly, and scrambles it around a bit, than watch videos of people deadlifting like this:

Whiskey... Tango... FOXTROT.

Look, I don't claim to be the world's best deadlifter- I am nothing of the sort, and certainly nowhere near what one might consider to be an "elite" powerlifter. So I can certainly understand when people look at me and say, "well what makes YOU so bloody well qualified to criticise people's deadlift form?!"

Good question.

Let's start with the fact that I can safely and reliably deadlift 405lbs at a body weight of 192lbs. On Sunday afternoon I was in the gym lifting 425lbs- I am slowly, carefully, working my way back up to deadlifting 455lbs again, with an emphasis on form and technique instead of just lifting heavy shit for the sake of lifting.

And let us not forget that I have, in fact, screwed up my lower back twice by being stupid with my deadlifts and using crappy technique to lift more weight than my body could handle.

So when I say that those deadlifts are only slightly less horrible to look at than the results of a partial-birth abortion, I know of what I speak.

The right way to deadlift is to keep your back neutral, your core tight, and to squeeze your glutes so that your lower back doesn't start to bend and your posture doesn't start to break as you lever the bar up.

This isn't easy to do at heavier weights, which is why any serious powerlifter should always place an emphasis on form and technique when doing reps at about 80% of max weight.

Once you're comfortable with doing reps at roughly 80% of your one-rep max, with good form, only then should you start adding weight in 5lb increments.

That form of training is not guaranteed to help you break through plateaus and achieve new strength records- if that is your goal. But it will help you to train your muscles and nervous system to deadlift with discipline and care.

These qualities will save you significant, and quite likely terrible, pain and suffering. Deadlift with care and attention to your form, and you will ensure that your spine- which is kind of important- will be kept in good condition.

This will allow you to deadlift for many years to come, which is very much to the good. Deadlifting is my absolute favourite exercise, bar none- but it is a difficult, technical, and highly unforgiving one as well, with little margin for error or foolishness.

But when you deadlift right, and you take care of your back, the results can be truly astonishing.

Your physique will dramatically change. Your back and shoulders and traps will bulk up. Your grip will become like a steel vise. Your confidence will skyrocket, as will your testosterone levels.

Deadlifting truly is the beast-maker of exercises. Just don't do deadlifts the way CrossShitters do them:

Actually, that isn't as bad as it gets with CrossShit. THIS is:

All right, that's IT. Where the HELL is my shotgun, woman?!? There's a jackassalope right there that desperately needs to be shot in the face. And don't tell me I'm overreacting!

I am not in favour of euthanasia, not even slightly. But in this one specific case, I might make an exception.


  1. The women doing crossfit look hideous. They might as well bulk up more and get into hardcore bodybuilding. I have been noticing that these women are doing the male gymnastic moves which require tremendous upper body strength. Hence, they end up with huge shoulders with V-shaped hulking upper body. They are hideously masculine looking and very unattractive.


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