1-Leg Dead Lifts: “less sore week my a**!”

“Less sore week my ass!…”  is an email quote I received from Super Client, Alicia, this past Monday following our “…killer Monday workouts…”.


Well, first off, I apologized to Alicia because the intent was not to make her more sore as it was less sore week, but it happened.


2-Leg Dead Lift Benefits

Second.  Our current phase of Monday workouts, include an exercise called the 1-Leg Dead Lift.  The traditional Dead Lift, see video below,

is great for loading the posterior chain, improving posture, enhancing sprint & vertical jump speed, power and explosiveness and for improving the shape of your backside (i.e. butt). “I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave” said by John Travolta in the movie FACE/OFF, a favorite Coach Mike, 1-Liner.

1-Leg Dead Lift Benefits

The 1-Leg Dead Lift on the other hand, can provide similar benefits as the 2-Leg Dead Lift while also:

  • correcting imbalances between right and left legs
  • improving knee & core stability
  • being able to be performed anywhere with minimal equipment or even no equipment
  • shaping the backside even better because your on 1-Leg, which helps to isolate your hamstrings and glute of the ipsilateral side (i.e. the leg being worked) better
  • being great for training fat loss b/c of the ease of inclusion in your programming
  • getting you stronger at moving your own body weight.

Video Examples

Here are 2 examples of 1-Leg Dead Lift Progressions we use in Newton, MA’s, Change Your Body Boot Camps.

Example 1:  DB 1-Leg Dead Lift Progressions

which uses Dumbbells (or resistance), is better for building metabolic strength (or strength speed) and lean muscle in a metabolic fat loss workout.

Example 2: Body-weight, 1-Leg Dead Lift Progressions

and the 2nd, which uses your body-weight, is better for enhancing metabolic acceleration (or speed strength) and maintaining lean muscle while promoting fat loss in a metabolic fat loss workout.

The Science of Why Alicia Was So Sore (Undulated Periodization)

We alternate the intensity of our workouts each day, each week and phase through a programming variable called undulated periodization.  We do this so our change makers (i.e. clients) can master an exercise safely through repetition with the long term goal of reducing or best case eliminating inhibition with the exercises we choose so they can train harder and more intensely to yield and sustain maximal results vs. training at submaximum capacity b/c they’re always learning something new.  Hence this is the reason for using 1-Leg Dead Lifts as our Monday “hip push” exercise while changing the intensity each week by adding resistance (i.e. dumbbells) or taking it away and using body-weight only.

Undulated Periodization or even Periodization is general is the traditional and optimal way of programming, in my opinion to yield fast, safe & sustainable body changes in not-in-shape populations and/or with in-shape populations looking to peak for an event.  Programming in which the exercises stay the same each week is very contradictory and counter intuitive of workout of the day and napkin based programs you’ll find in most gym / health club based group exercise programs, CrossFit programs and “anyone can join” boot camp programs.

In any event, training and exercising is far superior than not doing any exercise at all and including 1-Leg Dead Lifts into your exercise routine is a great way to correct imbalances that make one susceptible to lower leg injuries; they can favorably change the look & shape of your backside and they can enhance your sprint & jump performance for whatever sport you choose.

Why Alicia Was So Sore In Plain English

Just remember the more practice or repetition you get with the same exercise, the more familiar or less inhibited you’ll be with that exercise, which can enable you to train at a higher intensity, which is why Alicia was more sore after her 2nd week, even though the stimulus was similar to her 1st week (usually when a person gets most sore) and is why she wrote,  “less sore week my ass! These killer Monday workouts are making Monday night track hell.”

Try the 1-Leg Dead Lift Now

Go ahead and try the body-weight, 1-Leg Dead Lift version right now in front of your screen and experience for yourself how it targets your upper hamstring, your inner thigh and your butt.  Then comment below and tell me what you think about it.

Yours changing lives,

Mike Alves

Newton Personal Trainer

Newton Boot Camp


p.s.  The next phase of Change Your Body Boot Camps, begins Sunday, February 26, 2012.

p.p.s.  If you’re ready to get in your best shape AND you desire to have an elite coach who cares, a supportive team that’s motivating, an exciting environment to train in and a results oriented program that really works is safe and is sustainableclick here to apply.

p.p.p.s. Registration closes at 11:59pm, Thursday, February 23, 2012. Be early. Go here now: http://bootcampboston.com

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