Over the years, I’ve been asked by lots of people who enjoy doing deadlifts what specific training they can do to get to that next level (more than 315 pounds or three plates per side) that separates the men from the boys.

If you want to really improve your deadlifting, adding to your grip strength is critical. This week, I’ll show you how we developed good grip strength the simple way back on the farm with the farmer’s carry.

To warm up properly, lift dual kettlebells or dumbbells of equal and maximum weight and carry them for no more than 12 seconds. (If you only have one dumbbell or kettlebell, be extra careful not to overload your oblique muscles or quadratus lumborum until you develop that strength.)

Apart from the lifting (no more than 4 reps per set), the real challenge with the farmer’s carry is ensuring that you hold both weights with the proper posture — no slouching! — so you can feel it all the way down from your spinal cord to your feet.

One more tip: Using weights that are up to 10 pounds lighter extends the strengthening effect. Carry the weight for as long as possible and put them down, then repeat this until you can no longer open your fingers. This drop-set approach is really good if you like doing chin-ups or rock climbing.

Love and chi,