Many say that deadlifts will wreck your back.... True, if you do them wrong.
Many say dips will wreck your shoulders.... True, if you do them wrong.
I find that Deads work best for me when I rarely, if ever max out, instead, performing sets of 2 - 5 reps per set so it forces me to keep a lighter weight.
I also use what's called "submax" effort, in essence, I do NOT KILL myself on the deadlift, I leave 1 or 2 or even 3 reps in the tank. I still remember, from age 13, sitting on the floor of a book store in Israel reading Arnold's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.
I sat on the floor ALL morning, reading every page, inspired by every black & white photo, until it was "siesta" time and the book store closed. What do I REALLY remember from that very day, 22 years ago?
Arnold spoke about deadlifts and he never said do 5 x 5, or 8 x 3 or 10 x1.....
Nope. He said "Do a couple sets of a couple reps with heavy weight".... That about sums up how I treat the deadlift, regardless of whether or not I use the barbell, trap bar or every now and again some crazy variation as show in this video to shock my body from unique angles.
- Perform them too often
- Bounce in the bottom position
- Do not tuck your elbows and constantly allow them to flare out (you want to try and make your thumbs externally rotate, forcing the pit of your elbows / biceps to face forward)
- Your mechanics might suck
NO, they won't wreck your shoulders when performed properly and in moderation....
Then again, about that moderation thing....
Some athletes can get away with doing TONS of dips, almost daily with NO adverse effects. It will depend on the individual, as some have poor mechanics or LOTS of natural internal rotation of the shoulders which starts to wreak havoc on the pec, shoulders and upper back.
Ironically, the bodybuilders from the 70's (aka The Golden Era) and prior did TONS of dips and never were they looking for shoulder rehab / prehab techniques. Could it be our era, of always sitting on our asses, in front of computers? Hmmmmm.......
Deadlifts and dips, two of the most effective movements I have ever used since the age of 13, dating back to 1989 when I first began lifting. But, when overused and abused, they quickly can become your enemy. Learn to use these two exercises optimally and effectively, not always maximally.
Use various bars for your dips as well as rings. For the deadlift, use the straight bar AND the trap bar, test drive pulling from different positions such as from a deficit, with chains, bands and from the rack or blocks. Find what works for you, as not everything works the same for everyone.
Question for You: What are your experiences with deadlifts and dips? Drop a comment or question below, looking forward to learning and helping.
Live The Code 365