And the Madness (strongfigure style) begins:
If you missed our previous posts about our March Madness exercise tournament you can find the bracket and details here.
Today we will begin the top half of our Arnold Bracket:
Deadlift (1) vs. Front Delt Raises (16)
When thinking about what to say about the deadlift I remember reading these words from the legendary strength and conditioning coach, Charles Staley:
Although deads might seem a bit “expensive” for some because they initially require a learning curve, and also because they negatively impact your recovery compared to other movements, no other single exercise provides as many benefits.
Skillfully performed, heavy pulls provide an amazing stimulus for the entire posterior chain, the quads, lats, core musculature, traps, and grip muscles, among others. Simply put, no other lift develops so many muscles at once.
The strength you develop performing deadlifts has significant positive transfer to almost every other lift you do in the gym. Again, killing many birds with one stone.
Learning to pull is like earning your Ph.D. in movement mechanics, particularly core stabilization. You’ll learn how to maintain a neutral spine under load, and also how to create the intra-abdominal pressure required to maintain a rigid torso on all of your heavy lifts.
Because we have lots of powerlifting statistics on deadlift strength, you’ll be able to rank yourself compared to other lifters. And, unlike the squat and bench press, the deadlift isn’t artificially enhanced through lifting suits, knee wraps, etc. So when you see someone pull 800 pounds, you know you’re looking at a beast.
Deadlifts require minimal equipment. All you need is a bar, some plates, and enough space to perform the movement. And unlike the Olympic lifts, you don’t even need a particularly good bar!
The deadlift provides a sense of personal accomplishment not provided by any other lift. There’s simply a raw, animalistic feel to it.
I think you can see why the classic straight bar deadlift was given a 1 seed for this bracket.
Here is a short video of Ava Cowen doing seated front deltoid raises. There are several combinations of this exercise — consider any version you want when voting.
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Bulgarian Squat (8) vs. GHD Situps (9)
The GHD machine is highly versatile and most might think of the ham/calf developer exercise when using this machine. We chose the situp version of this exercise for the purposes of this poll.
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Box Jumps (5) vs. Side Plank (12)
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Atlas Stone (4) vs. Squat Jumps (13)
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