13 Jun Deadlifting: Robert O’s deadlifting comment
Deadlifting: “Brian, what do you think about Robert Oberst.”
I must get this deadlifting question about once a week. “Brian, have you seen this Strongman guy say deadlifts are bad? What are your thoughts?
He’s not all wrong about deadlifts.
He’s not wrong on some things, while he is wrong about the NFL and deadlifting. I’ve coached NFL players at their team training centers on the deadlift. Saying pro athletes only hang clean and such is not true. I’ve even done a full seminar where I helped coach the NFL strength coaches on the squat, bench, and deadlift. Injury Resiliency Summit – PFSCCA 2018, Red Rock in Vegas. Why; some of their athletes deadlift. A Picture of the coaches invited is shown below.
They don’t lift from the floor.
The key is most NFL players don’t pull from the floor often, if at all. Instead, they use a trap bar elevated for the deadlift, which is safer for me. But, remember, they are million-dollar athletes and must be treated as such. They are not powerlifters! So, I agree with much of what he is saying. However, each exercise must have a specific purpose.
How should one lift?
One should ask themself first, “will a deadlift help me be a better athlete?” If the answer is yes, what are the sport’s demands? If they align with deadlifting and are an athlete (not a powerlifter), I would suggest using either a trap bar or an elevated trap bar to decrease the range of motion. In my experience, most people get hurt from 1. bad form off the floor and 2. lifting too heavy. So I would have the athlete most likely deadlift sub-maximally and work on the form of the lift, especially if they are newer to the lift.
In my co-authored book Gift of Injury with Dr. McGill, we discuss why the million-dollar athletes should not squat deep, and to a box instead, as well as why athletes should elevate their deadlifts. We also cover the form of the big lifts, the approach, and the mindset.