If you Could Only Do One Exercise

Strength Training 2 min Read

Written by

Keith Hansen

If you could only do one exercise in the gym what would it be?

What exercise would give you the most overall benefit to your health, strength, posture, and life outside of the gym?

If you only had 15 minutes per week to workout, no more, no less, what lift would you do?

The DEadlift

The deadlift isn’t my favorite exercise.

It’s difficult. It has never felt natural to me. I am a squatter(not that kind) through and through.

But if I had to choose one exercise for the absolute most benefit outside of the gym it would be the deadlift.

Why the DEadlift

The deadlift will develop muscle in your forearms from gripping the bar.

You will build a strong back that must be kept rigid throughout the deadlift.

Your glutes and hamstrings will grow because they are the muscles actually doing the lifting.

Your core will become bulletproof from the maximal contraction necessary for an effective deadlift.

The muscles of your low back(the spinal erectors) will evolve into two pythons running down each side of your spine.

How to Deadlift for Maximum Efficiency

First, you need to learn how to deadlift.

Then you can begin maximizing your time in the gym.

You’ve only got 15 minutes.

1. Warm up with light deadlifts.
2. Add some weight for another set of warm up deadlifts.
3. Add some more weight for the final set of warm up deadlifts.
4. Now slide enough weight on that bar that you can do for at least 15 reps but no more than 30.

When you have 2 minutes out of your 15 left, grab that bar, and do as many as you can.

This doesn’t sound like “enough volume”, but do your first workout and then come talk to me.

You have 2 minutes to push your body to the absolute limit.

You will be left breathless. Your muscles will be screaming at you. You won’t want to do any more exercises that day, and you won’t need to.

If you’ve got more than 15 minutes

The deadlift is what you should hypothetically do if you have only 15 minutes per week and can choose just one exercise.

That probably isn’t you. You most likely have a few hours you can devote to the gym each week.

If so, you need to check out the Seriously Strong Beginner Program. Or maybe the Seriously Strong Intermediate Program. If you’re addicted to the idea of AMRAP deadlifts then download the Seriously Strong Advanced Program.

Keith Hansen

Keith was an All-State wrestler in high school and in 2007 hung up his singlet to attend Florida State University to pursue a B.S. in business management. He wasn't sure what industry he wanted to be involved in at the time, but soon realized after graduating in 2011 that fitness was the ever-constant activity in his life. Keith began studying to become a personal trainer and in 2013 earned the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Personal Trainer certification. After a short stint as a big box gym trainer he realized he wanted to bring something different to Tallahassee. Keith competes in Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and Crossfit.