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Fitness and Weight Loss ​The hidden weakness that’s holding back your deadlift

The move adds an insane amount of muscle and strength to your entire body.

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farmers carries play

farmers carries

(Photograph by Landon MacDonald)
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​Here’s how to fix it:

I have all the guys I train deadlift, whether they’re NFL pros training to reach the Super Bowl, Special Forces soldiers preparing to execute operations in a war zone, or average guys trying to look better with their shirt off.

The move adds an insane amount of muscle and strength to your entire body.

The problem: Grip strength holds back most guys’ deadlifts. It doesn’t matter if your back and lower body can handle 1,000 pounds. If your grip can handle 200 pounds, guess how heavy your strongest deadlift is? You got it: 200 pounds.

My go-to exercise for strengthening your grip is the farmer’s walk. It’s simple: Grab two heavy weights and take a walk.

The farmer’s walk beats a lot of traditional “grip exercises” like plate squeezes because it also hammers your core and shoulders, and it melts fat and builds muscle.

I also recommend heavy holds, which take walking out of the equation. Whatever you choose, accumulate five daily minutes of holding heavy weights.

If you want to use farmer’s walks to go to a very dark place but emerge far fitter and mentally tougher for it, consider one of my favorite workouts of all time: the Single Movement Mind F***.

It’s exactly what it sounds like—one exercise repeated over and over again until you finish, quit, or go batsh*t crazy. It puts you in a state of serious physical and psychological stress.

But if you finish strong, it’ll forever change the way you work out.

To do it, grab two 70 pound dumbbells or 32 kilogram kettlebells. Now walk for a total of one mile.

I give this SMMF to many of the Special Forces guys I train. The workout is part of my three- or six-month fitness program that I take those soldiers through.

It helps build mental toughness and killer fitness. You can find those two programs and 100+ workouts in my new Men’s Health book Maximus Body—they work for regular guys, too.

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