Building Up That Backside

by | September 11, 2017 | Fitness

Deadlifts are an amazing way to take your functional strength to the next level.

Not only will you unlock strength and power you thought you never had, you will be able to:

  • whop dingers down the fairway
  • prevent back pain and
  • even fill out those shorts that your wife doesn’t let you wear because your ass looks like a sad, saggy piece of cabbage in them.

Squats Vs Deadlifts

Squats and deadlifts are different…don’t get it twisted.

With squats, the trunk is quite upright with lots of hip and knee bending. As a result this tends to put a little more emphasis on the muscles on the front of your thighs.

With deadlift movements, the trunk is almost facing the ground at the bottom and includes quite a bit hip-bending, but very little knee-bending. As a results, this puts a lot of emphasis on that butt and the muscles on the back of your thighs.

A solid strength program includes both of these types of movements,


sometimes squatting may make your knees feel like they’re going to explode.

You may need to build some strength in your glutes and loosen up those hips and quads before you can really get into it.

The good news is this:

Often, you can still deadlift.

Don’t let cranky knees from your volleyball days hold you back from entering the temple of iron.

There is always something you can do and hinges and deadlifts are usually a wise life-choice.

Why deadlifts?

Deadlifts are hip dominant and tend to put more emphasis on the muscles of the back of your body.

Our whole lives tend to happen in front of us. So, as a result, we end up using the muscles on the front of our body more than the back.

But, the back of the body is where all the horse power comes from and it’s where our largest muscle hangs out (the glutes).

Here are some other reasons why deadlifts are so great:

Glute activation

The glutes are what you power you forward at your Thursday night rec hockey, they help crush balls down the fairway and they also help keep your back pain-free and in order. Anyone that can attest to having back pain at some point in their life knows the frustration and agony associated with not being able to walk up stairs, sleep, sit or sneeze without their back lighting up.

Core integration

When you watch the videos, you’ll hear us talking about keeping the core engaged throughout the movements. The reason for this is that your core needs to stabilize your back so the glutes can effectively produce all that power when you’re running, skating and swinging. So, the core is involved in almost every deadlift movement. The added benefit of this is that you are working core as you work your legs…so you get some good bang for your buck by working these movements.

Low on time? Deadlifts are a must!

Grip strength

Most hinge movements require that you hold on to something. This works on those popeye forearms.

Total body strength has been correlated to grip strength. Mainly because if something is to be lifted by your body, it needs to be passed through your hands.

Does your grip get shot from waterskiing at the cabin?

Do you want to rip that can of pickles open without running the lid under hot water?

Then do some deadlifts.

Total body systemic strength

Like we talked about above, the deadlift movements employ alot of muscle mass. It works your legs, your grip, the muscles in your back, the muscles in your core and even muscles around your shoulders and neck. It really is an incredibly efficient way of attacking a lot of muscle on your body.

As a result, total body strength and size increase.

Also, increasing muscle mass and your ability to do work at higher intensities revs up that metabolism.

So, again, if you’re short on time and want to get the best bang for your buck, there may not be a better option than to deadlift.


We really do recommend that everyone includes deadlifting in their program.

If you aren’t, no problem, it’s never too late to start.

NOTE: it works best if you don’t move on to the next movement until you have mastered the technique of the previous movement. That way you can own the movement, add some weight to it and not bust your back in the process.

Progression 1 – Bodyweight Hinge

This is our entry-level progression for setting our guys up for success when deadlifting.

You should feel some stretch in your hamstrings as you go down and you should be able to feel your glutes squeeze on the way up.

Progression 2 – Cable pull-through

This might be the best exercise we have used to get people into the right positions for deadlifting.

Once you get over the initial awkwardness of the movement, it will change the game for getting those glutes fired up without blowing your back up.

Just make sure not to squeeze your boys on the way up

Progression 3 – Barbell straight-leg deadlift

This progression is now pulling the weight straight down instead of straight back (as in the cable pull-though) so there is a little more focus required to keep your back on point.

As always, keep your abs engaged throughout the whole movement

Progression 4 – Trap bar deadlift (elevated)

Man, if you can get your hands on a trap bar, this thing is awesome. Sometimes people never need to go any further than this one in the progression as there is a ton of stuff you can do with these movements alone.

With the trap bar, you don’t have to worry about your knees banging into the bar as you descend and scraping your shins on the way up.

We always start guys on blocks to ensure the back is safe and so that you can really fire up that butt throughout the movement.

Progression 5 – Sumo deadlift (elevated)

Sumo deadlifts take the feet out wide to open up the hips. This will allow you to safely get down and grab the bar.

Progression 6 – Conventional deadlift (elevated)

Conventional deadlifts are technical. Like really technical. Not only do they require rock-star technique and focus, they do require some decent hip mobility to get into the right position.

Not everyone gets to this point in our progression and that is totally fine. It is better to be safe than sorry. Like we said above, there is a shit-ton of stuff you can do with every hinge progression done previous to this one.

Progression 7 – BB Hip thrust

We often take the deadlift out for a few weeks but we still want that movement in our programs. We might do a band pull-through or we might do a hip thrust, or both.

We just like to give our guys a break when doing these movements.

Progression 8 – Trap bar deadlift (floor)

You can now really test your hip mobility and try trap-bar deadlifting from the floor.

Progression 9 – Sumo deadlift (floor)

Same thing with sumo deadlifts – take these guys to the floor and hold on for the ride.

Progression 10 – Conventional deadlift (floor)

The big daddy of all the deadlift movements. Make sure all technique in other movements is mastered before taking these on.

Rep schemes

We never go over 8 reps for things like trap bar deadlifts, sumo deadlifts and conventional deadlifts, but we will with pull-throughs and thrusts.

Truth be told, trap bar, sumo and conventional deadlifts are such incredibly technical movements with many working parts and lots of opportunity to mess your back up if done improperly.

So, with that said, we don’t like high rep deadlfts because of the mental strain associated with staying focused on that many technical points for too many reps.

So, we’ll do reps of 5-8, 2-5, 1-3 – whatever is appropriate for the client’s goals.


Workout A

A1. Squat 2-4 x 8-12
A2. Push 2-4 x 8-12

B1. Pull 2-4 x 8-12
B2. Hip thrust 2-4 x 8-12

C1. Pull 2-3 x 8-12
C2. Core – anti-rotation 2 x 3/side (10s/rep)
C3. Core – anti-extension 2 x 5-8/side

Workout B

A1. Hinge 2-4 x 8-12
A2. push-up 2-4 x 8-12

B1. Pull 2-4 x 8-12
B2. Core – side plank 2-3 x 3*4 breaths/side

C1. Single-leg 2-3 x 8-12
C2. Plank 2 x 3*4 breaths
C3. Shoulder 2 x 8-12

For those of you working out three days per week, alternate between workout A and workout B. So, in week 1 you will do Workout A on Monday, Workout B on Wednesday and Workout A again on Saturday. In week 2, you would do workout B on Monday, Workout A on Wednesday and Workout B on Friday.


Not only will hinges give you whole lot of functional carry-over to your weekend warrior sports endeavours, but they keep your back healthy, your hips strong and give you the ability to keep wrestling with your kid in the living room.

Not to mention, something nice for your girl to look at…

Need more help with your programming?
Putting all of this stuff together into a program that produces results can be overwhelming.

And not only that, there is always that little voice in the back of your head wondering if you are doing things properly and if these exercise are appropriate for you.

Well, we take the guesswork out of that for you in our 12-Month Coaching Program.

We work closely with you to monitor progressions, form, loading and ensuring that you are getting every possible benefit from your program you can.

Whether you’re looking to get more energy for crushing your days at work, more mobility to play with your kids in the backyard or even feeling confident with your tarp off at the beach, we would love to help.

We only take a limited number of clients every season, so be sure to get on our VIP list.

As a VIP member, you will be able to register 24 hours before anyone else and you’ll also save 20% on the price of the program.

Also, we really want you to be happy with your investment, so we offer a 100% money-back guarantee on this program.

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