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Deadlifting Before And After: How Do Deadlifts Change Your Body

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Although the deadlift is the most important strength exercise, many beginners avoid it. The reasons are simple: complicated technique as well as a serious load on the entire body. Moreover, beginners often do not know exactly what muscles are pumped by the simple deadlift workout program. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about the changes that will occur in your body composition if you do a traditional deadlift. Also, we are going to tell you about deadlift results before and after for women.

A muscular to show deadlifting before and after comparison
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Deadlifting Before and After: How Deadlifts Can Change Your Body

A deadlift is the key full-body exercise with a barbell. It develops both the leg muscles, especially the thighs, and the lower back muscles. The inner muscles of the spine are pumped the most. 

Men especially benefit from doing this standard deadlift exercise. Working with heavy weights and low repetitions increases the level of testosterone and growth hormone helping to quickly build stronger muscles throughout the entire body.

Why should you deadlift? Leading personal trainer Sean Murphy from Ultimate Performance say
“The deadlift targets every muscle in your body. It is a functional movement that benefits your day-to-day. Carrying groceries, playing with your children, or doing household chores – you’ll be amazed how improving your deadlift form and strength carries over into all kinds of daily activities.”

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The advantage of this exercise is that the Romanian deadlift not only trains muscle strength but also has a positive effect on the hormonal background. In other words, it gives a powerful release of hormones in the blood. Ultimately, it helps to increase overall muscle mass. 

It should be noted that to increase the production of testosterone and growth hormone it is necessary to do a deadlift with a high-working weight of about 80% of the maximum single repetition and also in low-repetition mode no more than 5 sets of 5 repetitions in each.

Let’s look at the advantages of the deadlift body transformation a little bit deeper.

A strong man at the gym to illustrate the deadlifting before and after transformation
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Deadlifting Before and After: 13 Benefits of Deadlifts

Here are the top 13 benefits of the deadlift and why you should be adding it to your fitness routine. 

1. It Burns Body Fat

The first is the deadlift helps you burn fat. Alwyn Cosgrove, a personal trainer and author of many fitness articles, wrote about a study in which participants were divided into three groups: the first group on a diet, the second on a diet and doing cardio, and the third on a diet with cardio and functional strength training.

Participants who were on the diet lost an average of 6 pounds over 12 weeks. The group with cardio training lost less than 7 pounds. They exercised three times a week for 50 minutes. The third group lost an average of almost 10 pounds. It’s 44% and 35% more than the diet and cardio groups. 

So, by lifting weights the third group was able to burn more fat than the diet-only group or the group with a combination of cardio and diet. Obviously, lifting heavier weights will help you burn body fat more efficiently.

2. It Improves Posture

The deadlift increases strength and improves posture. This exercise is designed to strengthen deadlift muscles and improve overall posture. It has a positive effect on the back. It strengthens it and provides stability.

3. It’s a Compound Movement

When we’re talking about the deadlift and the benefits that you are going to gain from that, the biggest thing is that the deadlift is a beneficial compound movement. 

Efficient compound exercises are when you’re using multiple muscles to perform that lift. It’s opposed to an isolation movement where if you’re doing a bicep curl, you’re holding your dumbbell and you’re going to curl that dumbbell up to your shoulder and then bring it back down. You are just isolating that bicep. 

With a deadlift, we’re using just about every part of our body to perform this lift. It’s like the best bang for your buck. It’s one of those types of popular compound exercises that you’re going to just gain as much as possible from that single compound movement because you’re using so many different muscles to perform that lift. 

So, many benefits you can see by just performing that one lift as every muscle from head to toe is activated.

4. It Increases Strength

If you do other strength exercises like the bench press, you don’t do anything else like that on normal days. It’s not like you’re just lying on your back and lifting something up. And with the deadlift, your training muscles will help with any task whether it’s moving furniture or carrying heavy shopping bags.

5. It Is One of the Safest Exercises

The deadlift is one of the safest exercises a beginner can do. But, of course, it must also be done with proper deadlift technique.

If you suddenly feel heavy, you can simply drop the weight. Of course, this will create a lot of noise but you will not harm your health. You will also not need a spotter for this exercise. 

A muscular woman to show deadlifting before and after results for women
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6. It Strengthens Arm Muscles

The deadlift is an exercise that enhances grip strength and develops the muscles of the whole body as well as the muscles of the arms. Your fingers are part of the weight-lifting process. Your forearms have to work incredibly hard. And if you keep lifting the heavy but right weight, your strength will increase.

7. It Increases Hormone Levels

However, we are not talking about hormones that will make you emotional or like women. Doing 8-10 repetitions of pulling increases your body’s testosterone levels as well as your growth hormone levels. 

Testosterone accelerates muscle growth and promotes muscle recovery. And growth hormone promotes tissue healing, muscle growth, and fat burning. 

8. It Is Not a Costly Exercise

Many exercises require a lot of overpriced equipment, accessories, sports shoes, or clothing but not the deadlift. For deadlift equipment, you will need a barbell and some pancakes depending on how much you can lift. Then you can do the exercise. Be sure to learn the proper deadlift form first.

9. It Improves Your Physical Fitness

Believe it or not, if you do 10 repetitions of pull-ups, your cardiovascular condition will improve. However, there is nothing to exaggerate here. And as with other exercises, you should do as many as you can.

A strong man at the gym to illustrate deadlifting before and after transformation
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10. It Burns a Lot of Calories

Another thing that you can gain from adding the deadlift to your workout routine is the cardio aspect of it. So, right away as you start to perform a deadlift because you’re engaging so many muscles. You’re burning calories like crazy and your heart rate jumps up very quickly. And if you are doing this correctly, you’ll feel that right away. 

As you load into the motion and push through your heels, it’s explosive. You’re pushing off the floor and exploding as hard as you can. And then take your time to lower it as you come back down. 

As a result, not only are you burning calories and feeling that tension in all your muscles as you’re coming up but you’re also using your muscles to safely lower it back down to the floor.

So, not only are you building up muscular strength, but you’re also building up some endurance and your cardio-respiratory system as you’re having to exert all energy through your body to perform this lift.

11. It Strengthens Your Joints

Another great benefit of adding the deadlift to your fitness routine is that it’s working on the mobility through your joints and your muscles. If you are involved in sports or other activities, this carries over to strengthening those parts of your body that you need for daily movements.

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CAP Barbell - The Beast
Based on our testing, this is the best budget barbell for beginners. For less than 150$, you get a good, durable barbel made of Japanese stell with black matte finish. Frankly, it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 1 year warranty.

12. It Prevents the Risk of Injury

The deadlift can prevent injury simply by increasing muscle strength around critical tendons and ligaments. Strengthening the joints with strong muscles is necessary to prevent injuries, especially in the hamstrings and lower back. 

13. It Targets All Major Muscle Groups

Deadlifting involves all major muscle groups at the same time. If you only have time for one exercise, perform the deadlift. You will work the lower and upper body including the back muscles.

As you come down into the deadlift and grab the bar just next to your shins, you should feel out your shins, you’ll notice, you’re already activating a lot of muscles. 

With the lower half of your body, as you push your hips back into the hinge motion, you’re activating your glutes. Also, your core and spinal erectors are engaged by keeping your back flat. By loading up those glutes, you’re activating the hamstrings as well. So, just in the start position, you’re activating muscles already. 

From there, as you start to pull and before you even start that pulling motion, you’re going to act like you’re trying to bend the bar with your hands. As you do that, you’re attracting your shoulders and bringing them down and back. You’re activating your lats as well. 

You’re already using all your posterior chain muscles by activating your calves, hamstrings, and glutes. By adding your arms into it and pulling your shoulders back, you’re activating your lats. 

You’re incorporating all of your arm and upper body muscles as well. As you push through your heels to bring the dumbbell up, you’ll notice all the weight is in your hands, forearms, shoulders, and biceps. All those muscles in your upper body.

An athletic deadlifter to show deadlifting before and after changes
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When and How Often to Do Deadlifting? 

If you are training on a split, a program with the division of training days for different muscle groups, you do the deadlift once a week. On the leg day, in this case, you should first do some exercises to warm up the muscles of the rear surface of the thighs, then the lifting.

If you train on a full-body program working out all body muscles in one session, it is recommended to do the heavy lifting no more than twice a week. For example, on Monday and Friday. You must do the exercise after the warm-up but in the first one-third of the workout and not at the end when there is almost no strength left.

As mentioned above, you achieve the maximum effect of the proper form deadlifts when working with submaximal weights, about 80% of the single maximum repetition, and in low repetition mode, no more than five repetitions per set. The rest periods between sets of deadlifts must be 60-90 seconds.

Disadvantages of the Deadlift

Despite the deadlift benefits, development of body power, and increase in the production of hormones, the deadlift has several disadvantages.

First, working with heavy weights requires perfect compliance with the correct deadlift form imposing a number of contraindications: problems with the spine, knees, etc.

Secondly, the deadlift is not recommended for people with heart disease or high blood pressure because it puts a serious strain on the cardiovascular system.

Thirdly, the exercise requires large stores of glycogen in the muscles. And it is not suitable for low-carbohydrate and no-carbohydrate diets. 

If you’re still wondering if the deadlift is the right exercise for you, try it with lighter weights. Over time you will be able to add weight and thereby increase your strength even more.

Deadlift Results Before and After for Women

Deadlift is an exercise that many women don’t even know about and don’t realize how great of an exercise it really is. There is a stereotype we have to get rid of. 

Lifting Weights Won’t Result in Bulky Muscles

Many women are scared that a deadlift body transformation is going to make them bulky. This is not true.

You cannot get bulky because you do not have enough testosterone in your body to make you get massive amounts of muscle and to make you look like a man.

So, if you are a woman, you don’t have to worry about turning into a muscular man which is why most women refuse to do a typical strength workout.

A man training to see deadlifting before and after changes
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Deadlifting Before and After: FAQs

How long does it take to see deadlift results?

Beginners can expect to see deadlift results after 6-8 weeks of training consistently 3-5 times a week. If you increase intensity week over week and your workout sessions are approximately 45 minutes or 1 hour long, it can take even 4 weeks to see the first results from heavy deadlift training. 

How does deadlifts change your body?

Deadlifts have a proven impact on physical appearance. This exercise will benefit your body, improve your posture, and strengthen your spine. To get these physical deadlift benefits, you should definitely include the deadlift in your training process.

Do deadlifts make you look good?

There are many benefits of adding that deadlift to your fitness routine. It grows your muscles and gives you a more toned appearance.


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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