According to top NFL combine trainer Ryan Flaherty, founder and CEO of Prolific Athletes, the hex-bar deadlift (aka the “trap-bar deadlift”), is the best, most efficient lift you can do since it utilizes 90% of skeletal muscle at max effort. (You can read more about the details in The Money Lift: How a Top-Flight Trainer Discovered the Most Important Exercise Every Athlete Should Do.) Here, Men’s Fitness Training Director Sean Hyson offers a crash course in doing it right. If you’re just getting started, bear in mind: The first week, you should perform several warmup sets of 8 reps, gradually adding weight until you reach a load that lets you do about 9 reps—still, perform only 8. The next week, follow the same procedure but work up to 6 reps, with a 7th “in the tank.” Week 3, go for 4 reps. For the next three weeks, work up to 7-, 5-, and 3-rep maxes. You’ll notice your strength and speed increase dramatically. Follow the three steps on the slides below to nail the right form.
With 90% of your muscles engaged, you can lift more weight with this lift than any other in the gym.