The deadlift might just be the king of all weight training exercises. Yeah, we said it.
Think about it. How often in real life do you lie on your back and push weight off your chest? How often do you place a load on your back and move up and down with it?
Now, how often do you lift something up off the ground? All the time, right? So while the bench press and the squat are obviously great exercises, they're nowhere near as "natural" or (dare we say it?) functional as the deadlift. So it just makes sense to include the deadlift in your training programs.
You knew that, huh?
Okay, so let's take that a step further. The most natural and foundational movement the human body can perform is... walking. So why not combine it with deadlifting?
Well, that's just what Chad Waterbury did when he introduced us to the Deadlift Walk. Waterbury uses this exercise to give his athletes and clients total body strength and development. Performed correctly, it's vicious.
Here's how to do it:
1. Find yourself a power rack that has safety supports with handles sticking out of the front. You're going to place the bar here, on the outside of the rack. (If you don't have access to a power rack, you can just set the bar on a bench or a couple of boxes.) The bar should hit you just below the knees.
2. Load the barbell with approximately 65% of your raw deadlift 1RM. So, if you can pull 400 without a belt or other gear, load the bar with 260 pounds.
3. Now, set the bar on the floor directly in front of the power rack, about two full steps away. Assume a shoulder-width stance with your grip outside of your legs. Use a symmetrical pronated grip (palms facing you), not the mixed powerlifter's grip.
4. Once you reach lockout, take two steps forward, reset your stance, and lower the bar onto the supports.
5. As soon as you release muscular tension, re-lift the load, take two steps backward, stop, reset your stance, and lower to the ground. That's one rep, punk. Without resting, begin the next rep. (A 5 x 5 set/rep scheme would be good here.)
Give this one a shot the next time you want to put your overall development into overdrive or you're just hankerin' for a new challenge in the gym!