New Series: Exercises that make a man out of you.

Instead of the usual bullshit lifter interviews, because who really wants to know what so and so does in his spare time. Instead of the cliche “if you don’t deadlift you are a pussy” because if you are reading a website like this, you already know that and preaching to the choir is pretty much a moot point. I will take one lift a month and discuss it, and the reasons why doing that lift will make you magically transform from a 170 pound kid to a Doug Young type of man… maybe not overnight, but you’ll get there…

Single Arm DeadliftHerman-Goerner

Suitcase, sumo… doesn’t matter. Doing a deadlift with one arm is a lesson is pure grip strength, ab strength and a will forged from chewing on rocks for an appetizer.

Herman Goerner holds the unofficial record of 727 pounds with a hook grip.

Most of us would be shitting ourselves trying 405, and I bet 315 would give a lot of people with decent pulls issues.

The pull was quite popular among old-time strongmen:

Jon Pall did it at 250kg…. still an outfield throw to the plate away from Goerner. Then again there is some debate whether Goerner’s weights were correct… you never know from those old-time shady bastards.

The lift is simple:

Grab the bar with a hook grip. Yes I know the hook grip is painful for those that don’t do Olympic Lifting for a sport, but suck it up, get used to it, because you sure as shit aren’t going to just grip max weights with one hand and pull it up… unless you have the grip strength of a hydraulic vise.

Set your ass down to the bar, and pull.

There isn’t a magic formula to this lift aside from a serious will to hold on to the damn bar, pulling it in the same manner as you do a normal deadlift (albeit one hand roaming free), grabbing in the exact center of the bar (unless you want to fight a seesaw) and getting the bar off the ground.

Doing this lift is an exercise in making a man out of you. You can look cute pulling 600 pounds with an over/under grip all you want, but if you yank up 405 with one hand, your man card gets delivered to you wrapped in a sheet of gold.

Another variation, which is less psychotic, is the suitcase deadlift.

The problem with the suitcase deadlift, as a pure ball-dropping exercise, is that you are limited by the strength of your obliques. Trust me when I say, most of you aren’t strong enough in the obliques to be able to do a decent weight suitcase suitcase-deadlift-step-up-a-ex_0style… so you will look something like the skinny fitness girl in the pic.

If I ever see a man doing suitcases with a DB, they will have that DB shoved up their ass.

Grab a barbell, put one 45 on each side, descend to the bar like you are doing a trap bar deadlift, hook grip it in the MIDDLE, brace your core like hell, pull. If you are leaning towards the bar, you failed and that means your obliques are made out of silly putty.

The remedy for that is doing more suitcase deadlifts.

Hell, its arguable that the remedy for a lot of issues in the gym is doing more deadlifts, but that’s another story and one that has been told by bro bloggers a thousand times over.


Stronger grip, tougher abs, showing off, looking like a true strong son of a bitch…. the one arm deadlift fits the bill.

Do them.






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One thought on “New Series: Exercises that make a man out of you.

  1. Liked the article, I’m waiting for the next one. One-legged deadlifts I suppose. I think one-legged zercher squats would be a good one.


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