People are saying I am not evidence-based for writing these posts. It’s fine. When I am done making my case, I will go through the scientific literature and pick it apart, piece-by-piece, better than any of you have done or can do. Most of you have not even read the studies, and it’s very obvious. I’m not doing it now because nobody will read or understand it if I do. I will do it later.
I will make my case and introduce my concepts first.
Here it is.
You shouldn’t deadlift or squat unless you are a powerlifter, competitive athlete, fitness influencer, or have a big stupid ego.
Recreational lifters shouldn’t do it at all.
The risk:reward ratio is not worth it.
I don’t do two-legged deadlifts below 20 reps because I destroyed my back with deadlifts and squats and going heavy re-injures me.
Every single time. I have reinjured myself dozens, if not more than a hundred times. I am extremely stubborn, and I was told that I should be able to deadlift or squat. So I kept trying. For years.
Now I must manage my injuries for the rest of my life.
I cannot sleep on my back without risking pain the entire next day.
I must sleep on my side every night.
I originally came from the school of “just shut up and lift” and I did.
I would have done things differently.
If you are young please listen and be careful.
Lifting heavy feels amazing but it increases risk.
You can get huge without that risk, if that is your goal.
This isn’t to say that everyone who squats or deadlifts will get injured.
But for some reason that science hasn’t resolved, some people do get injured. It may be because of bad biomechanics, programming, fatigue, overexertion, bad form, soft tissue genetics, etc.
But it happens.
Why do something that increases risk, when there are no benefits to deadlifts outside of a few specific contexts?
Not everyone who eats ultraprocessed food gets obese. Not everyone who has high LDL cholesterol gets heart disease. Not everyone who has a gun shoots a bunch of people. And not everyone who deadlifts gets injured.
But these all increase risk.
If you can get the same benefits from the deadlift without the risk, why not do that?