Which single exercise builds the most muscle mass?

If I could pick just one single exercise that has the most impact on the entire body as a whole, working in synergy, I would most definitely pick the deadlift! This is absolutely the best exercise if you want to get the most out of pretty much every single muscle fibre in your body.

6 reasons why the deadlift should be your number 1 exercise

  1. It helps you shed body fat. The reason why deadlifts work so well when it comes to fat loss is that it uses the biggest muscles in the body, eliciting a huge caloric burn during and after the workout. If you’ve deadlifted before, you should be aware of the huge amount of energy it takes to lift something heavy off the ground.
  2. Eliminates lower back pain. Those with baseline lower back pain should use deadlifts as part of their strength and conditioning program. It will allow you to reduce the pain, gain strength and more mobility. Using the hexagon bar will allow you to still deadlift, whilst keeping your form correct.
    It should be obvious that proper deadlift form is key here, to prevent any further injuries. If you do suffer from a back injury, tread with caution and always speak to your health progression.
  3. Makes you stronger than you ever thought possible. People should perform some kind of variation of the deadlift so as to strengthen their entire body, protecting you from injury and pain. When you deadlift, you tend to gain strength rapidly, if you train using the deadlift consistently. Slowly adding incremental weight to your bar will add up immensely over time.
  4. Gives you nice, toned abs, leaner, shapely and stronger legs. Deadlifts are just an amazing exercise that enhances the composition of your body, but also gets you so much stronger, leaner and a lot more mobile. You will build some hectic looking glutes, hamstrings and calves – and you will in fact, be working those abdominal muscles on a far more enhanced level than crunches alone.
  5. Helps you put on muscle mass. Loading deadlift weight at a heavy weight gives you a vast amount of musculature and makes it a whole lot easier to gain muscle mass. Try out the snatch grip deadlift (wider hand position) if you are a bit more on the advanced level, as this increases your range of motion that requires a lot more contribution from your back. When performed on a platform, you will get the best range of motion possible (and this is the safest way to perform the snatch). You will be working the quads, hamstrings, glutes, traps, lats and forearms.
  6. It’s so rewarding adding on more weights. One of the best things about deadlifts is it’s a simple movement, that is extremely challenging with each and every KG you decide to put on the bar. It makes you both motivated and daunted. We all say to ourselves sometimes, that it’s too heavy and we will take it easy – but everyone knows that won’t happen! I can understand why people shy from deadlifts – but there is no better and more effective way at mastering something if you don’t get in there and get your hands dirty.

I do hope I’ve convinced many of you to please give this exercise a try. The benefits far out-way the drawbacks – and if it’s a matter of form, just use the hex bar to start off with – and transition to a straight bar. There are so many alternatives to this, that you cannot go wrong, no matter what injury or imbalance you may have.

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