Test your strength
Want to know how strong you are, and how to get stronger? Deadlifting is the key
As tests of strengths go, there’s nothing better to judge your power than the humble deadlift. Requiring the fast-twitch muscles to fire spontaneously throughout your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, back and core, it’s the only move, other that the squat, that requires your whole body to work as one in order to lift a great, big barbell off the floor. And more than that, it will flood your body with muscle-building testosterone, helping you to get truly stacked.
‘The deadlift should be a staple of most workouts,’ says Neil O’Dell, a personal training expert at Premier Training (opens in new tab). ‘It builds raw strength throughout your body, targeting the whole posterior chain of muscles from your calves to your lower back, including your hams, quads and glutes. It can also enhance your ability to be explosive in sports and help increase the strength and stability of your core and spine.’
One of the best and easiest way to work out how good you are at the deadlift is to see how much you can lift as a percentage of your bodyweight. Here’s our quick guide. But before you start deadlifting, you'd better read our deadlift form guide (opens in new tab) from world record deadlfiter Andy Bolton.
0.5 x bodyweight – poor
Practise your technique with just a barbell to get your muscles accustomed to the full range of the move. When comfortable, add a light weight and aim for a few high-rep sets each session.
1 x bodyweight – average
Improve the strength of your lower back muscles with sets of supermen (opens in new tab) and swap the barbell for dumb-bells to improve your core stability and balance.
1.5 x bodyweight – good
Perform one-legged Romanian deadlifts (opens in new tab) with dumb-bells to work each leg individually and improve stability and control.
2 x bodyweight – excellent
You're a machine! Enter a local strongman competition immediately.
Now you've got your deadlift down, it's time to learn how to improve your squats (opens in new tab) for even more all-body power.
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