This post is inspired after watching two young lads in the gym today. One I suppose was trying to teach the other how to conventional deadlift. Which is great to see, another person encouraging another and that other clearly being a complete newbie to the gym. BUT, the newbie was really struggling and although I wanted to step in and help, I didn’t want to be “that guy”.

I remember being a newbie myself, thinking I knew what I was doing, but I really didn’t. I wish back then someone told me what to do, but at the same time, I learnt from it and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t make those mistakes.

But the point of this post is to assure you their is always an alternative to an exercise. This young man had clearly never deadlifted before and his friend threw him in the deep end trying to show him how to conventional deadlift. And although his friend was saying, yeah, thats it, he really hadn’t got it and you could see he was really struggling.

But he didn’t have to struggle. There are so many alternatives to exercises. Take the deadlift for example. A kettle bell deadlift would have been far more suitable, or a trap bar deadlift. From there you can progress to the conventional or sumo deadlift over time.

It’s like teaching a baby to swim, you don’t just chuck them in, with no arm bands and say, “away you go”. You give them the arm bands, watch them doggie paddle, then take away the arms bands, but you hold them for support, and eventually your no longer supporting them and they are swimming all by themselves.

Exercise variation is like your arm bands, you won’t do/need them forever, but they give you the chance to build a solid foundation and build your confidence. So eventually you can do the main compounds and before you know it your hitting double figures on the deadlift.

So please, don’t think you have to do a certain exercise because everyone else is, if you can’t do it, build up to it. Take you time and enjoy the journey.