The Deadlift gets a bad rap for being dangerous on the lower back.  As someone who has suffered many lower back flare ups due to Degenerative Disc Disease, I am here to tell you that the Deadlift is one of the most beneficial exercises I can do to maintain my strength and stay pain free.

It was only when I would mess up the Deadlift in my training that I would incur the lower back flare ups.

Mistakes I would make were:

  1. Going too heavy too often
  2. Getting out of position during a PR attempt
  3. Using wrong form

See the trend there?… Honestly, when you use the Deadlift properly with correct form and in the right training scope, it has tremendous benefits to aid in recovery of a bad lower back and to me, a life without Deadlifts just sucks.

So lets get your Deadlifts down right so you’ll never have to ignore them in training again.

One thing I really like to do with my clients is a Deadlift progression.

I always start by teaching them the Hip Hinge Pattern Movement first and they must master it.  Next, I teach them how to be under load, both with Romanian Deadlifts and Squats!

YES!  The Squat has great carry over to the Deadlift.  Unfortunately that’s not the same case in reverse.

After learning the hip hinge, Romanian Deadlift and showing me a great loaded squat, I’ll then progress to the Trap Bar Deadlift or if mobility is an issue, I’ll have them do block pulls.  Simply put, this is an elevated Deadlift.

If you are new to the Deadlift, I am going to suggest this same progression along with 3 more things here.

  1. Master the Hip Hinge Movement and learn how to engage and load your hamstrings and glutes BEFORE attempting a deadlift.  A great way to do this is by perfecting the Romanian Deadlift FIRST!
  2. Take your time learning the Deadlift – no need to rush into heavy weight right away.
  3. Watch and perfect your form using the 5 Step Approach created by Mark Rippetoe

Romanian Deadlift

Quick Look at the Romanian Deadlift

The 5 Step Deadlift

Brought to you by Mark Rippetoe of Starting Strength, this is one of the best beginner tutorials for the Deadlift that is on the internet today.  I feel I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t share this with you in this blog post.

These 5 Steps will carry over into every Deadlift variation you can think of.  The only difference will be how far apart your foot placement will be from one another (such as Sumo Deadlifts); other than that, your setup and execution will remain the same.

This is also true for Heavy Carry implements such as the Farmer Bars and Strongman Frame.

Rack Pull

Here are some other pointers on the Deadlift.

Best Grip For Deadlift?

Standard grip, mix grip, hook grip?

Which one should you use?

Use them all.

Here’s why I like to incorporate each variation of these grips in my Deadlift training.

Standard, Double Overhand Grip

💥Develops overall grip strength with no extra assistance

💥Will not create imbalances in posture, particularly the upper back .

Mix Grip

💥Helps lift more weight

💥Doesn’t fatigue grip as fast

💥Helps develop bicep strength

Hook Grip

💥Practically cannot lose your grip

💥Develops high pain threshold 😮

Here’s the thing. I use to only use mix grip in my training and it caused me big problems with my lower back.

By continuing to grip the bar with left hand under and right hand over (my strongest grip position) I was causing severe posture imbalances which led to another lower back flare up that put ALL my training on hold for a good 3-4 months.

Since then, if I use the mix grip it’s on 2 conditions.

1. It’s only after I’ve reached a weight that I can’t handle for double overhand or I’ve exhausted my grip due to high reps, as seen in video below

2. I switch my hand position each working set. If I start left over, right under I’ll make sure that the next set my left hand is now under and right over.

By switching my hands each set I’m helping to keep my posture and structural integrity in check.

As far as hookgrip is concerned, I’ll use it as a gut check and will use this when I’m feeling I need to man up

Oh… And what about lifting straps

I never use them in training, maybe for a PR or when a competition allows but honestly, I feel they are cheating yourself out of true strength.

Gym Hack – Easy Unloading Deadlift Bar

Snatch Grip Deadlift

Landmine Deadlift (Car Deadlift Simulation – Athlete, Chris Riddick)

If you’ve been going to the gym for a while but are seeing little to no results, this post is for you.

Progressive Overload is the single most important factor in getting positive results from any type of workout or any form of exercise.

It’s the component that can turn the most perfect workout program into a useless waste of time and literally make or break your success.

Progressive Overload is the absolute key to getting the results you want from your workout routine.

The best way I can explain it is by telling you a very important secret.

You see, the human body doesn’t care that you have some type of workout/exercise goal in mind. It doesn’t care that you want to build muscle, or lose fat, or get toned, or become stronger, or improve performance, or just look great naked.

Your body only knows and cares about 1 thing: keeping you alive and functioning as efficiently as possible. That’s your body’s only real goal.

And, to ensure it meets this goal, your body is both smart enough and capable enough to do whatever is needed of it in order to adapt to its environment.

And it’s this fact that is the basis for all workout/exercise goals to be reached.

What I mean is, the only way your body will ever change or improve the way you want it to is by creating an environment that proves to your body that these changes and improvements MUST be made.

Or, to put it another way, your body will not change or improve unless you force it to.

No matter how perfect your workout is, muscle will not be built, strength will not be gained, and performance will not improve unless you show your body that these are things that absolutely NEED to happen in order for it to survive.

And that right there brings us to something called the progressive overload principle.

The Progressive Overload Principle

The progressive overload principle basically states:

In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.

And what it means is, if you lift the same weights, for the same number of reps, the same way for the next 20 years… nothing will ever happen. Your body will never change or improve in any way.

You will only maintain your current state.

However, if you increase the demands you are placing on your body by increasing the weight being lifted, lifting the same weight for more reps, or just doing something that increases the demands that your body needs to meet, then your body will have no other choice but to make the necessary changes and improvements that will allow it to adapt to this environment and remain capable of performing these tasks.

And these “changes” and “improvements” and “adaptations” come in the form of more musclemore strengthless fatmore tonebetter performance and just the overall results you are looking to get.

That’s what all of these goals are, really… just our body’s adaptive response to the demands being placed on it through exercise.

You’re basically showing your body that in order for it to survive, in order for it to do what you are forcing it to do, it’s going to NEED to make these changes and improvements.

Let me explain exactly what I mean by watching this short video here:

Today I have a very important message for you.

Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of people, and some of my clients included, getting very discouraged over their workouts.  They feel as if they aren’t making progress because they don’t notice the same rapid progress happening that they once did.

Here is what really happens when you hit these type of “plateaus.”  Yes, plateaus in quotations because that’s not what is going on at all.

It has been said that out of every 10 workouts – 4 will be “meh” 3 will SUCK and 3 will be GREAT.

You see, the more experience a person has in the gym, and the stronger he or she gets, the more they notice this pattern.

I’ll explain further.

Continue reading What To Do When Progress Stops

If you are finding it very difficult to start your strength and fitness lifestyle, I invite you to PAUSE, breathe and think about this…

Too often we buy into the more is better approach. More workouts, more information, more resources, more time, etc.

In reality, if you take a step back and focus your efforts on what truly matters you’ll make much greater strides towards your goals.

You don’t need the fancy gadgets, the expensive supplements, the 3 hour workouts 7 days a week.

You simply need to take positive action each day with consistency and purpose and allow it to build towards your success.

I talk about it much more in this quick video.  Check it out and if you still need help, please reach out to me by texting me directly at 804-274-8315.

Coach Murphy here and in this short video I’m going to give you the Step by Step blueprint to dominate every single workout from here on out.

I wanted to get this information out to you because I see so many people in the gym making the same mistakes and getting absolutely no where with their Strength and Fitness “routine.”

You can also download the Train Like a BOSS Manual by clicking this link!

With that said, let’s get into it 💪


WAIT!  Did you get your copy of the FREE, Train Like A BOSS manual?  If not, CLICK HERE NOW!

The most effective workout you can do is the one you’re going to do.

Here’s the thing… with so much information out there I can see how people get stuck on information overload.

You can’t open Facebook or Instagram without being bombarded by the “right” exercise you HAVE to do for bigger arms, ripped abs and stronger squats.

Here’s the thing though… we are all built different.  Believe it or not but what may work for one person may not work for you.  Because of different leverages, heights, builds and muscle insertion points, you may do an exercise and never make any gainz from it.

On the other hand, ever had a workout that was just amazing and everything felt smooth and in the groove?  You got an amazing pump and truly felt like you could keep going forever because of the intensity and motivation you had for more?

What if you could do that every time you trained?

If that sounds awesome to you, check out this quick video.  It just may inspire you to hit your best workout ever today.