How to Deadlift: The Ultimate Strength Exercise

Quickly master the most important exercise in the world, and never be intimidated by the weight room again
10 reviews
  • Marshall Roy Gym Owner & Personal Trainer

    Marshall Roy is a personal trainer, accomplished powerlifter, kickboxing black belt, published writer, and owner of RISE gym in King of Prussia, PA. He earned his personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and is an SFG Level II kettlebell instructor, Precision Nutrition nutrition coach (Pn1), and certified practitioner of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). He has appeared nationally in fitness segments on The Weather Channel and has contributed to Self Magazine, Elite FTS, and Philadelphia Magazine.

    Marshall led his first group exercise class when he was four years old; the participants were his three siblings and grandfather. (There is definitely not an old VHS of this event buried somewhere in the Roy home.) Later, Marshall worked as a trainer in San Francisco and New York City, with clients ranging from Rugby players, triathletes, news anchors, Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters, middle-aged men and women, the obese, and even figure competitors. Learn more at

  • Lifetime access to 19 lectures
  • A community of 600+ students learning together!

How to Deadlift: The Ultimate Strength Exercise

Quickly master the most important exercise in the world, and never be intimidated by the weight room again
10 reviews


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Wow...absolutely extraordinary. Thank you for this in-depth tutorial.
--Jordan S.,
How to Deadlift student

Are you ready to gain incredible strength and lifelong body resilience through deadlifting?

FACT: The deadlift is the most important and safest exercise you can perform at the gym. It used to be called the "health lift" due to its incredible total-body benefits.

This comprehensive course will teach you everything you need to know about the lift, with 19 lectures, over 60 minutes of video, extensive cues and troubleshooting, and a step-by-step strength training program that will transform your body.

You will:

  • Build total-body strength
  • Prevent injury
  • Improve your quality of life
  • Participate in sports at a higher level of athleticism

You should join How to Deadlift if:

  • You want to get stronger
  • You're a beginner, just learning to lift
  • You're an intermediate looking to take your strength to the next level
  • You're an athlete looking to gain a competitive edge by being stronger than your opponents
  • You're a personal trainer or fitness professional seeking a tried-and-true method for teaching the deadlift to your clients

The deadlift is the test of ultimate total-body strength -- but it isn't just for brawny meatheads and beefy athletes! Everyone, no matter your current state of physical fitness, should be performing this lift regularly.

How to Deadlift is composed of 19 video lectures that break down the lift, piece by piece:

Section 1: Preparation - Learn the most effective warmup sequences to prepare for deadlifting, including foam rolling, diaphragmatic breathing, and activation drills for the core, glutes, and hamstrings.

Section 2: Setup & Execution - We'll deconstruct the exact setup procedure used by the world's strongest deadlifters and learn how to create total-body tension that prevents injury and allows you to exert your maximum strength potential.

Section 3: Troubleshooting - Learn how to spot the most common technique mistakes. Includes detailed demos and a series of easy-to-follow corrections.

Section 4: Variations - Familiarize yourself with 4 common deadlift variations (conventional, kettlebell, hex-bar, and rack) and their respective pros and cons, depending on your individual goals.

Section 5: Training Program - I've outlined a detailed, day-by-day training program that's simple, thorough, and guaranteed to get you stronger. Includes a downloadable training log to track your progress. You'll build tremendous strength while avoiding injury and strain.

As effective as premium one-on-one coaching, How to Deadlift outlines a program that will produce months of safe, productive training, guaranteed to get you stronger. I have 100% confidence you'll get huge results from this training method and will experience incredible strength gains. Hope to see you in class.

    • Access to basic strength equipment (a barbell and weight plates), either at a gym or at home
    • The desire to get stronger
    • Over 19 lectures and 1 hour of content!
    • By the end of this course, you will be able to perform the deadlift safely and confidently. You will never be intimidated by the weight room again!
    • Learn how to prepare your body for the deadlift
    • Learn the proper set up to perform the lift perfectly -- every time
    • Memorize a cue checklist to execute the lift in the strongest (and safest) possible way
    • Follow a comprehensive strength-building training program that will lead to consistent progress for months
    • Build the strength that will let you lift more than your own bodyweight
    • Anyone who wants to get stronger and prevent injury
    • Beginners, just learning to lift for the first time
    • Intermediate lifters seeking to hone their technique and take their strength to the next level
    • Athletes who want an edge by being stronger and more resilient than their competition
    • Personal trainers and fitness professionals who want a tried-and-true method for teaching the deadlift to clients of all demographics


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  • 1

    Welcome to How to Deadlift! In this first lecture, I'll introduce you to deadlifting, highlight its numerous benefits, and outline the course's structure.

  • SECTION 1:
  • 2
    Foam Rolling

    Learn how to foam roll your upper back, glutes, and inner thighs in preparation for the deadlift, and why this practice is important to do before lifting.

  • 3
    Core Activation

    Here are four drills to activate your core in preparation for the deadlift. It's important to activate your core, as the deadlift works these abdominal muscles tremendously. Includes regressions and progressions suitable for all levels.

  • 4
    Glute & Hamstring Activation

    More drills in our preparation to lift, this time geared toward the hip region -- specifically the glutes and hamstrings.

  • SECTION 2:
    Setup & Execution
  • 5
    Introduction to the Setup

    Quick introduction to the section on Setup & Execution, outlining this topic's key points as well as what to expect in the next several lectures.

  • 6
    Setup Cue Checklist

    Time to begin setting up for your lift. In this lecture, I'll expound on four key cues that will help you optimally position your body and mentally prepare for the pulling of weight.

  • 7
    How to Execute and Lock Out the Deadlift

    In this lecture, we learn to actually execute the lift. I'll go through a series of helpful cues and deconstruct the lockout, or the top of the lift, guarding against common mistakes.

  • 8

    Here are some key pieces of equipment that may be helpful in your training.

  • SECTION 3:
  • 9

    In this section's intro video, I'll teach you the difference between pain versus discomfort and prepare you for subsequent videos, in which we'll problem-solve some of the most common deadlift mistakes.

  • 10
    Problem 1: Rounded Back

    Here are tips to avoid rounding your back during the deadlift.

  • 11
    Problem 2: Timing of the Hips

    In this lecture, we'll troubleshoot another common deadlifting error, which is lifting your hips before the rest of your body.

  • 12
    Problem 3: Knee Alignment

    Another common mistake is allowing your knees to cave in during the lift. In this lecture, I'll give you some helpful cues to keep your knees aligned and to prevent them from collapsing inward.

  • SECTION 4:
  • 13
    Conventional Deadlift

    Throughout this course we've been using a wide-leg stance which suits all levels, especially beginners. In this section, I'll teach you some helpful variations -- each designed to do slightly different things -- starting with the Conventional Deadlift, which takes a narrower stance and places your hands outside your feet.

  • 14
    Kettlebell Deadlift

    Our second variation is the Kettlebell Deadlift, which utilizes a kettlebell instead of a barbell and weight plates.

  • 15
    Hex-Bar Deadlift

    Another variation is the Hex-Bar Deadlift, which uses a hex- or trap-bar in place of a barbell.

  • 16
    Rack Deadlift

    By using a squat rack's safety bars, the Rack Deadlift elevates the barbell from the floor and limits your range of motion. It's also helpful for those starting with small plates who need the bar lifted higher from the ground.

  • SECTION 5:
    Training Program
  • 17

    Time to start training! In this video I'll introduce you to the concept of a strength training program and give you some recommendations before you dive in.

  • 18
    Your Deadlift Training Program

    Here is your deadlift training program -- a series of slides along with some handy whiteboard action. Be sure to download your training log to record your progress.

  • 19

    Thank you for taking this course. (Now go hit the weight room!)


Hours of video content
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  • Gary Chike
    Great Course

    A very well put together lecture on performing the dead lift correctly. The instructor, Marshall, is very articulate and displayed a mastery of his subject matter. I could tell that he put a lot of forethought in the lectures as the individual lectures were well paced with each building on the material in the preceding lecture. I'm looking forward to applying proper techniques to my dead lift training.

  • Kavi
    Concise, clear & easy to follow

    Been doing strength training for a little while but still picked up some handy tips. Great for a beginner too.

  • Gerrit Betz
    Super Helpful

    Wow, that was a lot of information. I'm a typical internet-informed lifter; I simply cobbled together what seemed like the consensus from the web and friends, which was to do Squats, Deadlifts, Shoulder Press, Bench Press, & whatever you want after that. From there, it was off to random videos and threads for advice on technique. Obviously nobody on youtube or in forums else lays it out like this, with proper warm ups and ancillary exercises to help reduce the risk of injury. After this one I'm legitimately excited to get back to the gym and re-start my deadlift program!

  • Tim
    Great lesson

    This is a really great lesson start to finish. I watch tons of these kind of videos on YouTube and this is by far the best explanations I've seen for the body cues. Also, the instruction on core activation is really good. As a beginning/intermediate lifter I'm always worried about hurting myself, and having more ways to get my body properly warmed up is really important to me. Great post!!!

  • Bob Cooper
    Clear and informative

    This is a good course because the instructor clearly breaks everything down into simple chunks. It opened my eyes regarding this highly effective but often overlooked exercise. I will be adding this into my routine, and I will be confident in know that I am doing it correctly! I also like the video quality and use of text overlays on the screen to reinforce the points being made.

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