People who know weightlifting and experts in the fields of physiology and general health and wellness will almost certainly agree that the deadlift is one of the best, if not the best movement one can perform with a weighted barbell for ultimate impact and results. Friday's WOD called on CFN athletes to complete a total of 50 deadlift reps during a triplet of pushups, situps, and deadlifts. We won't talk about the run during each round because no one likes talking about running.
Why is deadlift the most important and beneficial lift you can perform? Ask 21 year old Brandon Wright from Utah. Earlier this month a car pulled out in front of him while he was riding his motorcycle. They collided, the car and motorcycle were set ablaze from spilled gas, and Brandon was caught under the car. Onlookers rushed to the scene and as a group lifted the car off the young man as he was pulled out.
The CrossFit focus of moving large loads quickly was definitely employed in this movement. And I'm sure Brandon Wright is thankful for the strong torso, back, and hamstrings of the people that came to his rescue.
At its base, the deadlift is unrivaled in "its capacity for increasing head to toe strength." It's not taught much because it's not a really sexy movement. But its simplicity is what makes it such an approachable movement for those looking to increase strength or lean body mass, decrease body fat, improve athletic performance or maintain functional independence as we age. Learning to properly deadlift, and employing the muscle recruitment patterns associated with a good deadlift will help us increase everything else.
It's a major component of both the snatch and the clean. Finally, it will also allow you to safely lift any object from the ground. Sometimes we throw around words like functionality and functional movement in CrossFit and people don't get it. It sounds kind of like a fitness buzzword. But it makes sense. Some days we'll need to stoop down and pick up a bag of cat food from the bottom shelf of the pet store aisle. Other days we'll need to bend down and pick up a car off a freakin' human being. And whenever either of those days present themselves, I want to be prepared.
So despite its rather unfortunate name, learn the deadlift. If you need help, come by CrossFit Northland and we'll be glad to go over it with you. To quote our good friend William Shakespeare, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other word would smell as sweet." If the deadlift were called the Superawesomefitnesslifelift, I bet we'd all be doing it much more often.