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The Deadlift -

            Who's Doing it and Why.

Step aside Zumba, Spinning and Pilates there is a new kid in town. Well, the deadlift isn't really new, but it seems that more gym goers are catching on to the fact that it is one of the most effective exercises for working the whole body, and as part of a strength training program this all encompassing exercise can help you lose weight, improve posture and firm up like never before!

And two of the hottest celebrities around, Kelly Brook and Hugh Jackman, are among those who now include deadlifting in their fitness regime. Kelly Brook recently tweeted pictures of herself in the gym with a barbell; deadlifting, squatting and overhead pressing with her Personal Trainer. These are three of the best exercises around and play a huge part in firming and shaping the arms, abs, legs and bottom as well as strengthening the back. Many women fear that lifting heavy will make them look bulky. This is utter rubbish and you can read more about that in my article about Women and Weight Training. Other females who are renowned weightlifters include Cameron Diaz and Vanessa Hudgens who deadlifts an impressive 80kg, and the extremely feminine Marilyn Monroe was also a fan of pumping iron to stay in shape.


Kelly Brook has posted pictures of herself weight training with her Personal Trainer in LA. Above Kelly is pictured performing the deadlift start and finish position.

However, if you're a guy deadlifting is great at helping to pack on muscle. Hugh Jackman regularly posts pictures and videos of his big lifts in the gym. Other actors that have included deadlifting as part of a strength program when transforming their physiques for a film role include Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, Jake Gyllenhaal for Southpaw, Gerard Butler for 300 and Chris Hemsworth for Thor. The deadlift is also widely used in training for sport to help strength, power, stability and balance. Rory MacIlroy recently posted pics of himself squatting and deadlifting and Christiano Ronaldo uses the big lifts to give him speed and power on the pitch.

One factor that leaps out at me from all of this celebrity posting and tweeting of successful lifts, is that it says alot about how great we all feel when we lift a weight that we didnt think possible. So good that we want to share it with the world. I remember the first time I ripped 90kg off of the floor; as a 50kg woman I felt like I deserved a medal. You watch anyone lift their personal best and the elation experienced is as clear as day. The feeling is one of empowerment, invincibility and pride. Purely through lifting heavy, I have seen wallflowers transform into confident, strong indiviuals who love exercise because each session is one of achievement. 

The deadlift is currently the exercise to be seen doing. True, it has become a bit 'trendy' but there is good reason for that. It isnt the only way, of course, there are other exercises in the world; but once you catch the deadlifting bug you'll be tweeting your PB before you know it!


Hugh Jackman regularly posts pictures and videos deadlifting in the gym and can lift an impressive 200kg. He is a huge fan of the exercise and used it to help create his trademark physique for Wolverine.

Author: Louise Appel, Personal Trainer.

Louise Appel Personal Training, St John's Wood, offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Harpenden Personal Training can be based at your home, office or outdoors.

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