The deadlift has a legendary status due to its effect on the body and central nervous system (CNS). However, there are many misconceptions surrounding the exercise that cause more harm than good. It’s time to bust the myths.
Myth 1: The deadlift makes your waist thicker and spoils your physique
The idea that deadlifts and squats can make your waist thicker is not a new one. Dozens of famous IFBB pro bodybuilders have been talking about this for a long time. In fact, many of them use this myth as an excuse not to do deadlifts. The reason why IFBB pro bodybuilders have such grotesque midsections is the abuse of GH (growth hormone) and insulin. Deadlifts have nothing to do with it.
The deadlift will indeed strengthen your core and thicken it, but your abs will never look out of proportion. Natural bodybuilders cannot have huge waists in a lean condition.
Myth 2: You cannot build a huge back without deadlifts
Many believe that a back workout without deadlifts is incomplete. Nothing could be further from the truth. A strong and thick back can be developed without deadlifting. What makes a muscle bigger and stronger is resistance. It can come from different exercises. There are plenty of bodybuilders who did not use deadlifts to build their backs – Serge Nubret, Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva…etc.
In addition, Olympic male gymnasts have exceptional back development and most of them don’t even know what a deadlift is.
Related article: How To Build a Huge Back Without Deadlifts
Myth 3: Deadlifts make your arms bigger
Many strength authors would like you to believe that deadlifts can have a significant effect on the size of your arms. Honestly, stop dreaming.
The arms participate in the movement as hooks, and the long head of the triceps is working hard to keep the bar close to the body, but this is not enough to cause exceptional growth in the region. The deadlift simply isn’t an arm exercise.
Myth 4: Deadlifts increase your testosterone levels
There is no evidence supporting this statement. It’s a myth. If someone gets thicker and stronger from doing deadlifts, it’s because of the exercise’s direct effect on the musculature – not because of a few milligrams of testosterone which may or may not be released.
Myth 5: The deadlift is the most functional exercise on earth and will make you a lifting machine in real life
The deadlift teaches you how to lift heavy stuff off the floor properly, but in real life, we usually have to lift odd objects which are hard to grip and move around.
Imagine that you start working as a transporter of furniture. You may be able to deadlift a lot of weight, but men with more experience at the job will still be more efficient than you.
Myth 6: Guys who don’t deadlift are “pussies”
Having the ability to deadlift heavy does not mean that you are not a pussy. There are many bodybuilders who lift heavy all day and never outgrow the little boy mentality. You can be a “pussy” regardless of your physical strength.
Myth 7: The Mixed grip is the best for deadlifts
The mixed grip is not the best grip for deadlifts even though it’s the most popular. It’s asymmetric and causes muscle imbalances and injuries.
The main deadlift grips are:
1.Overhand grip (regular grip) – the best way to develop forearm strength, but not the best way to overload your back and hips. You just can’t lift as much weight.
2.Mixed grip – strong but uneven grip that may cause bicep tears
3.Hook grip (the fingers cover the thumb) – this grip does not build forearm strength as much as the other grips but is even and allows you to lift very heavy weights without straps or the dangerous mixed grip. The hook grip, however, places a tremendous pressure on the thumb and hurts a lot.
4.Straps – the best grip to overload the back and the legs. Unfortunately, an excessive use of straps will leave your grip weak. Therefore, it’s recommended to limit the use of straps.