Deadlifting can be quite intimidating, especially when you crossed the age of 40 or 50. It’s an age when most of the males started to experience a drop in testosterone and energy levels.
Most of the men are afraid of heavy lifts after they reach 40’s or 50’s, but the fact is, it’s never too late to hit those compound movements. Through this article we are going to discuss the reasons, precautions and honest approach to execute these compound lifts safely.
Before we look at the reasons to deadlift, I suggest you watch this 80-year-old grandma lifting 255 pounds.
If she can do the heavy lifting at the age of 80 then what’s stopping you to do it. 40’s or 50’s is an age when people start to experience the depletion in energy levels and our sedentary lifestyle act as a cherry on the cake.
Even if you never went to the gym before, it’s okay to start now (under expert’s supervision).
Why people are scared of the deadlift?
You are reading this article because you are afraid to deadlift in your mid 40’s or 50’s. Some of the common reason why people are not really interested are as follows-
- Horror stories about deadlift injuries.
- It is difficult and intimidating.
- Because of declining testosterone levels, you don’t feel the motivation to do it.
- Lack of confidence due to growing age.
How to deadlift
The fact is, deadlifts are absolutely safe until you are doing it in the right way. Check out the video illustration to perfect your deadlift.
Before we hop on the benefits of deadlifting, it’s important to know the precautions before. Here is a list of precautionary measures-
- Practice the technique for perfection, not to lift heavyweights. Laying a strong foundation is the path to success.
- Never skip warm-up sets, they play a very important role in muscle activation and getting to blood flow towards the target area.
- Don’t go for maximum PR, instead start with a healthy range of reps, i.e. 10-12 reps with perfect form.
- Weight progression should be the priority, never start too heavy.
- Include variations of the big lift regularly to prevent muscle overuse.
- It’s okay to opt for “Partial range” if the full range of motion is difficult to incorporate.
- Hex bar deadlifts and sumo deadlifts are easier to practice.
Let’s skip all the talking and get directly to practical reasons to start deadlifting.
17 reasons to deadlift even in the 40’s or 50’s
Although there can be a lot more reasons to deadlift on a regular basis but we shortlisted the top benefits of deadlifts for guys in their 40’s or 50’s.
If you are not deadlifting, you are leaving a lot of muscle gain on the table.
1# Not confined to any age group-
Stop considering yourself ineligible for this great compound movement, you’re not old enough.
A deadlift is not a fancy exercise that is confined to a particular age group, its a functional movement that will assist in improving the quality of life. No matter whether you are a teenager or a retired senior citizen, you can surely rip the benefits of deadlifts.
Hugh Jackman: 12 October 1968 (age 51 years)
2# Its a king of all movements
Deadlift engages more muscle groups than any other compound movement which makes it a kind of all movement.
It’s also called a “King” of all movements because it ain’t got any substitute! You can substitute squats with leg press machine or can substitute bench press with the chest press machine.
It’s one of the best compound that strengthens your body from head to toe.
3# Better body composition
Achieving a healthy body is not about losing weight, instead, it’s about improving the overall body composition.
How does deadlift assist in achieving better body composition?
- It activates the larger muscle groups which result in bigger muscle gains.
- It helps in gaining far more superior strength than for more efficient lifts.
- More muscles lead to a higher metabolic rate which helps in keeping the body fat percentage under control.
Overall, deadlift is a single compound movement that helps in trimming down fat while developing a powerful and muscular physique.
4# Natural testosterone booster
Testosterone is a male hormone that assists in many vital functionalities. Testosterone levels are something that you should be worried about after you hit the age of 40. Although because of an unhealthy lifestyle, most of the men have started experience low testosterone in their early 30’s as well.
Testosterone is a hormone that is highly important for maintaining vitality and strength. Here is what good testosterone levels are responsible for.
- Heart health.
- Fat metabolism.
- Muscle mass and bones health.
- Sexual desires.
- Fertility and sperm production.
- Confidence levels.
- Improved mood and energy levels.
- Better libido.
- Improved mood.
A study (1) conducted by the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, to find the Hormonal responses after a strength training in young and elderly males. Researchers concluded – resistance training provided sufficient stimulus that increases testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol concentrations in elderly males.
As we all know, the deadlift is a compound movement that engages the most number of muscle tissues which leads to an instantaneous boost of testosterone levels.
5# Effective way to lose fat
Its tried and tested method to accelerate the fat loss process. My personal advice to people who are trying to lose weight is to include more and more compound movements in training routine.
These multi-joint movements involves larger muscle groups that increases the energy expenditure which results in accelerated fat burning process.
Not just that, heavy compound movements work effectively to develop serious muscle mass which boosts your resting metabolic rate (RMR) improved the ability to burn more calories (3).
Problem with most of the fat loss routines that they are too complicated to follow. My personal advice to all the people seeking accelerated fat loss is as follows:
- Include at least one compound movement in every training session, it can be deadlift on back days, squats on legs day and chest press on chest day.
- Walk, swim, bike, for minimum 30-minutes 5 times a week.
- Start counting the caloric intake and maintain a healthy caloric deficit.
- Dodge any kind of junk food (fries, carbonated drinks, burgers, etc).
- Intermittent fast at least 2 times a week.
6# Fortify your Posterior Chain
Posterior chain refers to all the muscle groups located at the backside of the human body. Posterior chain can also be called the powerhouse of the body because it contains some of the largest muscle groups, It primarily consists of the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and erector spinae.
As the body grows old, the significance of a stronger posterior chain also raises. Here are some of the benefits of a stronger posterior chain:
- It works on your posture and the body’s ability to hold itself firmly.
- A sedentary lifestyle is ruining our body, posterior chain strengthening exercises are very effective in preventing slouching.
- Imbalance or weakness in the posterior chain may increase your chances of life-threatening injuries.
- Plays an important role in the body’s ability to run or lift heavy objects.
Deadlifting is the best exercise to train every muscle present in your posterior chain. Fortifying your posterior chain can help in dealing with age-related problems.
Dave Bautista: 18 January 1969 (age 50 years)
7# Anti-Aging Properties
Yes, you heard it right, so instead of trying anti-aging treatments or products, it’s time to switch to lifting weights on a regular basis.
Looking young is not a matter of age, it’s how well you treat your body. Here is how deadlifting may make you look younger and energetic:
- Deadlifting helps in boosting testosterone levels which leads to higher sex drive and libido.
- It is also working on your posterior chain to improve posture.
- Exercise also improves the blood flow which upgrades your sex life.
- Lifting weights on a regular basis can help in improving joint health and overall flexibility.
- American journal of lifestyle medicine published a study (5) on the positive effects of lifting heavy on confidence levels and mental health.
- Lifting heavy weights helps in the secretion of many vital hormones (including the hormone IGF-1) and assist in better cognitive functioning.
- Deadlifting and other heavy compound movements are proven effective (6) for overall health. Inactive adults can lose 3 to 8 percent of muscle mass per decade, muscle weakness is linked to the likelihood of early death.
8# Time is not an issue
Most of the people in their 40’s or 50’s are unable to workout because of lack of time.
The deadlift is one of those workouts that requires minimum time. If you are too busy to workout, then I would suggest you to dedicate a minimum 30-mins on a daily basis
- 5 min warm-up period
- 15 minute of compound movement
- 10 minutes for post-workout stretching.
Here is a simple bodyweight compound movement schedule.
|Day 1||Pull workouts||Deadlifts, chin-ups, Pull-ups|
|Day 2||Push workouts||Dips, Push-ups|
|Day 3||Lower body||Squats, lunges|
|Day 5||Push & pull movements||Deadlifts, pullups, pushups|
|Day 6||Lower body & core||Squats, lunges, plank, leg raises|
9# Poop Better
Believe it or not, you can actually feel the difference while defecating. Your body will be able to release wastes and toxins more efficiently and easily.
But how is it possible? Deadlift works really well to activate and strengthen core muscle groups and deadlifting puts pressure on the whole digestive tract which promotes easy bowel movement.
10# Better Sex Drive
With so many other benefits, this is one of the most priceless benefits of Deadlift.
Most of the males start to see the decline in libido and sex drive once they reach in their 40’s but deadlifting will make you horny again.
Expect to experience higher sex drive and stronger erection due to stronger core and higher testosterone.
With the spike in metabolism, you will be experiencing greater weight loss and better blood flow in your man part.
11# Get rid of that Dadbod
Most men start to experience dad bod once they hit that middle age, it’s because of wrong food habits and decline in testosterone levels. If you joined the gym to eliminate dadbod then its time to pay more emphasis on deadlifting and other compound movements.
Deadlift engages more core muscles than the plank.
Deadlifting has a direct impact on your core muscle, which makes it more feasible for its development. Additionally, deadlift also accelerates the process of fat burning which results in well-defined abdominal.
12# Improves functional ability
As we grow older, it gets really important to work on the body’s functional capability.
Functional exercises are the movements that train and prepare your body to do the daily tasks with ease.
Deadlift is a basic functional movement that train your body to deal with real-life scenarios, whether you are looking to move heavy furniture or life your wife in your arms, deadlifting will be helpful in all the cases.
13# Classic Measure Of Strength
What can be a better way to measure strength than lifting dead weight from ground?
Come on, you are not too old for the deadlift, instead, deadlifting is a classic way to measure our own strength.
Just like we have a progress report in office, what’s wrong with weekly measurement of your own strength.
The number of muscles deadlift engages make is a best option to test and improve overall strength.
Advice: Respect the Deadlift
For a moment, keep aside all the benefits and remind yourself to respect the ‘DEADLIFT’ first.
A deadlift is a great exercise that has got tons of benefits but it can cause tons of damage as well it taken for granted.
A deadlift is indeed a classic way to test the strength but you should never sacrifice form to lift a heavier weight.
Slow and gradual progression with proper form is the key to success here.