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Wanted to do Stronglifts 5x5, but trainer won't let me deadlift!

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So I have lost about 80ish pounds and still have about 60 to go. I have been stalled for a year and have recently started lifting to change my body composition and kick start the weight loss again. So, I'm going to a small gym and the owner/trainer doesn't believe deadlifting is safe. I was wanting to do Stronglifts 5x5, but he quickly shut that down. He's got me mostly using machines (Smith Machine, pulleys, etc) and Dumbbells which is fine. I want to continue to go to the gym, but I'm thinking about getting some equipment at home. Any thoughts on what I should get or what I should do about this whole situation?
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Replies

  • iwantmydenimback
    iwantmydenimback Posts: 194 Member
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    uh. ditch the trainer, learn correct form on the lifts, and work out the way you want to. smith machines are useless and a waste of time. 5x5 is a solid, solid plan that will get you results.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
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    Are deadlifts against the rules of the gym? If so, and you wish to deadlift, join a different gym. If they aren't, but your trainer "won't let you", hire a different trainer.

    Joining a gym but having to buy equipment to use at home to perform basic exercises doesn't make sense.
  • lynpcooper
    lynpcooper Posts: 44 Member
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    I feel like he may be having me do easier stuff because I am a beginner (or maybe female). Like, I do squats with Dumbbells but never with the bar. I want results! Why is the Smith Machine useless? He said that it doesn't lighten the weight at all.
  • buffalobill41
    buffalobill41 Posts: 72 Member
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    smith machine isn't completely useless, but like every machine it is less effective than free weights because it stabilizes itself instead of your core having to do that. you can bench/squat much more weight on a smith machine than you can with free weights
  • TnTWalter
    TnTWalter Posts: 345 Member
    edited June 2015
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    is he against all deadlifts? or is he worried about straining your back? perhaps suitcase deadlift [using dumbbell or kettlebell]. You could also do rack pull deadlift [only partial range of motion]. let me find links...

    suitcase deadlift
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI3bHzvCHRs

    rack pull deadlift
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7NE34Vw81w
  • cheshirecatastrophe
    cheshirecatastrophe Posts: 1,395 Member
    edited June 2015
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    If you pay the trainer, he should be willing to go with what YOU want (within the rules of the gym you're in). If you want to use the free weights, you tell him that he will be helping you with free weights, or you are taking your MONEY elsewhere. (Even if that means you watch a bunch of videos, try on your own, take videos of yourself, and post them to MFP or Reddit for form checks.)

    However.

    The insistence that deadlifts aren't "safe" and the reluctance to help you with free weights *might* suggest he doesn't have the confidence in his knowledge of what good form looks like. That could end poorly for you.

    (Deadlifting is perfectly safe, *if* your form is good, especially keeping your back 'neutral'. *I* do not consider myself expert enough to identify if someone's back is neutral, so I would not feel comfortable training someone in deadlifting.)
  • AllOutof_Bubblegum
    AllOutof_Bubblegum Posts: 3,646 Member
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    "Won't let you"?

    Get a new trainer.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
    edited June 2015
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    Ask the trainer why he will not let you. Is it that he does not think you are ready yet? That he hates them in general? That he wants you to pregress with dumbbells and machines for now? I do very few of my exercises with bar, as dumbbells at the gym go up to more than I can lift yet, it is easier to progress and easier to be safe so far without a spotter. Dumbbells are not evil or less effective in general. And many machines are perfectly fine. As a beginner, starting with some basic exercises, lower weights, and building up to heavier weights is not at all bad practise. As long as he does not tell you to do 1000 reps with 0.5 kg dumbbells...
    Do you have a reason to want to do deadlifts right now, or to do stronglifts? If you trust the trainer, and he is helping you strength train, IMHO it does not make much sense to dictate to him what exactly you want to do. It makes sense to explain your goals and to discuss how to get there, but asking, from the very beginning, to follow a specific routine, you have only read about, I can imagine most trainers would not be thrilled about it. Ask him what his plan is. If it does not match your goals, look for a different trainer.

    To add, a while ago, I asked a trainer in the room to help me with deadlifts, as I had not done them for a long time. He is a small guy in general and I have never seen him lift. He was very reluctant and insisted other exercises are better for me at this point. In the end he did help me, but insisted on romanian deadlifts and gave me some valid reasons, considering what else I am doing in my routine. My first assumption when we started talking,was he is not comfortable with lifting, or does not know about it much. Getting to know him better over the next weeks, I realised the guy can easily deadlift over 100 kgs with minimal effort. So, just ask.
  • lynpcooper
    lynpcooper Posts: 44 Member
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    His basic reasoning is that he thinks that they are unsafe. He has his own strength training routine that he likes to teach. I kind of let it ride because He has all of these fitness degrees on the wall and seems very knowledgeable, but the reason I want to do Stronglifts is because of its simplicity and the results I've seen on this site and others. I absolutely didn't want to tell him how to do his job. I'm a nurse and I "love" when people tell me how to do my job based on what they've read on the Internet. So I was trying to be respectful. I just really don't love the machines. I'm also starting to read about Bret Contreras' Strong Curves. I just want to change my body in the shortest amount of time possible and don't want to waste my time doing potentially ineffective stuff.
  • Ironmaiden4life
    Ironmaiden4life Posts: 422 Member
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    Unless you have an injury that would be exacerbated by the exercise there's no reason not to incorporate deads into your program. How long have you been training? I'm going to give the trainer the benefit of the doubt and say if you have only just begin he may feel it's better to work on your stabilization before progressing you.

    Go back to him and ask him about the training program he has you on and where he feels you are in terms of progress to the initial goal you have set. Ask him why he feels you should avoid this exercise for now and what you need to work on to progress to deadlifts. If you're not happy then seek a second opinion.
  • FitFitzy331
    FitFitzy331 Posts: 308 Member
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    lynpcooper wrote: »
    I feel like he may be having me do easier stuff because I am a beginner (or maybe female). Like, I do squats with Dumbbells but never with the bar. I want results! Why is the Smith Machine useless? He said that it doesn't lighten the weight at all.

    I was a beginner and told my the trainer I wanted to hire that I wanted to learn proper form for deadlifts, squats, cleans, and she made it very clear that she won't teach cleans because she thought they were too crossfit-ish and since she didn't have much knowledge of them she wasn't confident that she could help me with that lift. I mainly wanted deads and squats so I was fine giving up cleans but if she had told me to not deadlift because I'm female or that she wouldn't train me, I would have looked elsewhere.

    The smith machine keeps the bar in a specific position so your body needs to compensate for its range of motion rather than moving with your body. The smith machine has it's place but generally shouldn't be used for the compound lifts.

    Another reason he may not want you to follow SL 5x5 is that you won't need him after you get your form down. He knows he'll be losing money and may be trying to keep you and his paycheck by not teaching you the necessary lifts for the program. If you want to do StrongLifts, tell him that this is your intention and if he can't help you, you want to work with someone else or cancel your training sessions.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
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    lynpcooper wrote: »
    His basic reasoning is that he thinks that they are unsafe. He has his own strength training routine that he likes to teach. I kind of let it ride because He has all of these fitness degrees on the wall and seems very knowledgeable, but the reason I want to do Stronglifts is because of its simplicity and the results I've seen on this site and others. I absolutely didn't want to tell him how to do his job. I'm a nurse and I "love" when people tell me how to do my job based on what they've read on the Internet. So I was trying to be respectful. I just really don't love the machines. I'm also starting to read about Bret Contreras' Strong Curves. I just want to change my body in the shortest amount of time possible and don't want to waste my time doing potentially ineffective stuff.

    Ask him what he plans to teach you. Decide if you are comfortable following his plans or not. Then either decide to follow his routine, or would rather do your own thing without him.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    get a new trainer ASAP …

    there is nothing unsafe about deadlifts ….machines are a waste of time.

  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    lynpcooper wrote: »
    I feel like he may be having me do easier stuff because I am a beginner (or maybe female). Like, I do squats with Dumbbells but never with the bar. I want results! Why is the Smith Machine useless? He said that it doesn't lighten the weight at all.

    smith machine does not give you full range of motion and does not work your stabilizer muscles. Thus you could probably squat 225 on the smith but have issues with the same weight on a barbell back squat.

    ditch the smith and ditch this trainer…or find a new gym..

    this guy has you on the path of five pound dumbbells and machines..

    also OP, if you have stalled in your weight loss it is because you are not in a calorie deficit. You can't out train or out lift a calorie surplus.

  • FitnessTim
    FitnessTim Posts: 234 Member
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    Deadlifts are dangerous but done properly they are a valuable part of a strength training routine. If the trainer does not want to include them as part of his training routine he probably has an alternative approach that he believes achieves the same result. Depending on the situation and the particular client he may be right. If you don't agree with his approach or feel that you are ready for more than find another trainer.

    I currently don't do deadlifts or squats either because I've been away from heavy lifting too long and my back is currently not ready for it.. My plan is to start with really light weight and work my way back up to heavy.

    I've never hurt myself doing deadlifts or squats. I have hurt myself by NOT doing them regularly. My back pain is from sitting at a desk everyday, not from lifting. Every story that I have heard where someone got hurt involved lifting too heavy, using poor form or not being trained.

    Whatever you decide to do, get the right guidance, take is slow and be careful.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    FitnessTim wrote: »
    Deadlifts are dangerous but done properly they are a valuable part of a strength training routine. If the trainer does not want to include them as part of his training routine he probably has an alternative approach that he believes achieves the same result. Depending on the situation and the particular client he may be right. If you don't agree with his approach or feel that you are ready for more than find another trainer.

    I currently don't do deadlifts or squats either because I've been away from heavy lifting too long and my back is currently not ready for it.. My plan is to start with really light weight and work my way back up to heavy.

    I've never hurt myself doing deadlifts or squats. I have hurt myself by NOT doing them regularly. My back pain is from sitting at a desk everyday, not from lifting. Every story that I have heard where someone got hurt involved lifting too heavy, using poor form or not being trained.

    Whatever you decide to do, get the right guidance, take is slow and be careful.

    technically any lift not done with proper form is "dangerous" so that is a little bit of a misnomer when you say deadlifts are dangerous when done without proper form….
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
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    Do you have the option of joining a different gym?
  • marysamezz
    marysamezz Posts: 47 Member
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    if you have proper form there is nothing wrong with deadlifting, it's a great compoud movement that works multiple muscle groups. Smith machines are generally not a good route in my opinon because it limits ROM and controls the bar for you so you lose some of the benefits to your accessory muscles. I would find a trainer who is more comfortable with barbell movements if that is the type of training you are looking for :)
  • lisalsd1
    lisalsd1 Posts: 1,520 Member
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    I learned how to deadlift mostly from the internet. I haven't injured myself once in 2 years. I would be wary of a learning how to deadlift from a trainer who believes it is a dangerous lift. Like someone else said, deadlifts might not be this trainer's "strength." If you want to deadlift, get a new trainer/gym who is more confident with this lift (or just teach yourself using the internet).
  • jimmmer
    jimmmer Posts: 3,515 Member
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    The question is: do you like your routine/trainer and are you making progress with them?

    It's perfectly fine to do a routine without deadlifts if you want. Just like it's perfectly fine to ditch the trainer and do Stronglifts.

    At the end of the day you should do what you want to do, not what you heard you should do.

    Can you get stronger using machines? Yes.

    Is the deadlift a great full body strength and mass builder? Yes.

    Is a routine you are happy to follow and get progressive benefits from better than the "best" routine that you hate and quit after two weeks? Yes. Yes it is.