Dead Lift Muscle Building

Question:

I really want to know from a professional, whether or not deadlifting with heavy weight (1.5 -2 times bodyweight) once a month can actually build muscle?

Especially in the legs?  I find that when I deadlift often, I become weaker and my lower back starts to suffer.

I really need help because this is a lift that I want to excel in.

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken

 

 

Workout Intensity vs FrequencyYou may have misunderstood something someone told you or something you have read.

While deadlifting is indeed one of the best exercises for building muscle in the full body, specifically the legs, it is just like every other exercise with respects to intensity.

If your intensity is great you will perform the exercise less but to say that dead lifting one time a month with heavy weight (for powerlifters 2x body weight is actually light) will help you build muscle is not entirely true.

If you really want to excel in the deadlift, you should perform it 1 time per week, 2 max.  What you described in your question, (heavy or close to maximal sets) should only be performed maybe once a month or once every 2 weeks to allow your body to recover.

Your original source probably meant what was just described.  If you have back problems, try to avoid sets of above 8 reps as the back tends to give out before the legs, shoulders, etc.

Dead lift is more of a full body type exercise (low back, upper shoulders, grip) as it does not really isolate the legs.  It is a great exercise but if you had only one exercise to do and you were trying to build your legs, squats are superior.

Good luck!

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