Many claim that body weight training can’t build the type of strength you get from lifting a big, heavy-ass, weight off the floor.
To a point, they are correct. After all the body develops according to the specific demands of an activity. Therefore, the only activity that builds the exact type of strength as the deadlift is the deadlift. So no, you can’t build the exact same strength of the dead lift through a body weight exercise. On the flip side, you can’t build a type of body weight strength through dead lifts.
So it’s a glass half empty or half full thing. All body weight moves will fall short of fulfilling the exact demands of a weighted move. All weight moves will fall short of a body weight move. It all comes down to what you really want.
But the real question is, can you build the type of strength deadlifts build through body weight moves? To that I say abso-freak’,n-lutly!
For proof I present exhibit A, a video of me deadlifting 315 for 3 reps on a whim.
315 pounds may not seem like much in the world of power lifting, but the point is that’s a lot more than what I could do back when I was weight lifting and the deadlift was a big part of my weekly routine. So I’ve become stronger at the dead lift just through body weight training.
Also check out this video I made on 2 moves that I use to build that sort of strength in my back. These moves are more about the upper half of the posterior chain from the waist up. The hamstrings and gluteus are more from straight leg bridges.
The point of all of this isn’t to criticize the deadlift, or to persuade anyone from doing it. All I’m saying is that you can build the type of strength you can get from deadlifting through body weight training. You do have options if the dead lift is not something you can, or want to do for one reason or another. It’s a fine move, but it’s not the only path up to the top of the mountain.