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The Deadlift Wednesday Thread

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by zenpharaohs, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    PSHAW! You'd be amazed at how quickly you can progress at these when you make them a staple in your workouts. When I started my first journal I was doing 95lb deadlifts. Don't be embarassed by what you can do.
     
  2. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    NEVER be embarrassed about deadlifts! :nono:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... deadlifts. :nod:
     
  3. Rugbyboy

    Rugbyboy Active Member

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    i obviously got too excited about deadlifts and did them on Tuesday!!!

    What's the difference between having a wide stance and hands inside the legs or a narrowish stance and hands outside??

    I'm 6"4 and so struggle with squats and deads if i stand narrow ( i saw struggle, yesterday was the fist day i did them lol) loved them though - want to do deadlift weds now but i'm a "little" sore :(

    also what weight do you start being considered to have a good deadlift?

    i did 4 x 6 of 100kg (220lbs) once i had done some warm ups and got the technique sorted - think i could prob go a bit heavier though!

    Deadlift Weds!!!!:claphigh::claphigh::claphigh: (although mine are Tues cos my boss won't let me do them in the office - not sure why)
     
  4. George

    George Senior Member

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    The "sumo" stance is harder on the hips and a little easier on the lower back. Also, you don't have to pull it quite as far. Most people can usually sumo a bit more than they can conventional.
    2xbodyweight is a good goal to strive towards. :) Don't let your form slide in pursuit of going heavier, though. Only add weight to the bar when you think you can maintain good form.
     
  5. Morte

    Morte Active Member

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    I was gonna start a new thread about this but since there's one dedicated to DLs, just gonna toss it in here :).

    I was discussing DLs with a buddy of mine a few weeks ago and he mentioned that his friend, who's studying to be a PT, absolutely recommends against any and ALL deadlifts, ESPECIALLY romanian. He said they cause back problems later in life, and said I should stop.

    This actually really caught me offguard, I have always heard about how good DLs are for you and how it's one of the most complete workouts that can actually help you with back problems. This is seriously the first time I've heard it in such an extreme negative regard. I mean, I can understand recommending against DLing for newbies, it can definitely mess with your back if you dont do it right, but I've never heard of someone saying to avoid it...forever.

    Any thoughts on this?

    On a side note, I bumped up to a plate on each side in my romanian DL's yesterday! I was so worried about grip, but it wasn't too bad :)
     
  6. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    A: We've heard this sort of thing before.

    B: I don't agree with it, but the evidence pro or con isn't very abundant. There aren't many studies, let alone good or bad ones, that followed deadlifters through much life. The deadlift is an excellent exercise for building overall muscle, and as far as later in life goes, fighting to keep your muscle is part of being healthy later in life. So is it screwing up my back? I don't think so, but you will hear people say that.
     
  7. PlainGreyT

    PlainGreyT Active Member

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    Before weightlifting I had a manual handling job for about 14 months and due to lifting improperly (and outdated equipment, but thats another story) I had significant lower back pain

    Since learning to deadlift properly, while using progressively heavier weights, I have had zero pain so I would tend to believe that they have helped strenghten my back rather than harm it
     
  8. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    A good deadlift, to me, is anytime you do more than the previous session.
     
  9. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there's some PTs out there that should find a new line of work. There is a reason why PTs have a very mixed reputation.

    Seriously, go to a PL meet and talk to the master competitors. These are guys that have deadlifted for decades, and strangely are somehow not crippled :confused: (cue Twilight Zone music)

    Of all the exercises you can do, if you stopped lifting tomorrow and never touched a weight for the rest of your life, the lifts that would most resemble real-life activities that you would do in some way shape or form would be deadlift or power clean. I doubt anyone has ever needed to do a flye in the course of their life, skullcrushers do not manifest themselves in the daily grind, BUT picking something up from the floor or picking something up and taking it to shoulder height is, IMHO, a BASIC TASK that every human should be designed (and able) to do. (Now, whether they know how to do so properly, in an increasingly sedentary society, without injuring themselves is another matter. But that is what they PAY the PT to do - show them!!)
     
  10. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Damn, I am so confused. I just looked up "sumo deadlift" because J_W has been talking about switching to that. And then I see that what I've been calling Romanian Deadlifts are actually what I've thought of as straight-legged deadlifts. Go here and see how Lee Hayward guy puts it. I've been logging in my fitness book that I've been doing RDL's but what I'm doing looks like something between what Hayward calls a conventional deadlift and a sumo deadlift. I have not been doing SLDLs. I find the kind I've been doing to be much more challenging.

    What's a conventional deadlift? What's a Romanian deadlift?
     
  11. J_W

    J_W Well-Known Member

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    A conventional deadlift is one with a narrow(er) stance and your arms outside of your knees. A sumo deadlift is one with a wider stance and your arms inside your knees. In both cases you start from the floor and return the bar to the floor.

    Here's an article on the difference between RDL and SLDL.
     
  12. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Okay -- that's what I thought. So, I'm not confused but this guy Lee Hayward is, right? Scroll down and you'll see what I mean.

    So when most people say "conventional" deadlift, what are they referring to?
     
  13. J_W

    J_W Well-Known Member

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    Yes, he's confused. :D When they say conventional deadlift they mean the one I described above: narrow-ish stance, arms outside your knees, start from the floor and return to the floor. Rippetoe teaches that deadlift in the videos I linked to in your journal.
     
  14. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    Lee Hayward's article is correct. He demonstrates good conventional, sumo, and romanian deadlifts.

    The only "mistakes" he makes are some slight oversimplifications in his descriptions:

    He says a conventional deadlift is "like a squat with the barbell at arms length in front of you." Well, yes, in comparison to a romanian or stiff-legged deadlift, but, in execution, no. In a squat, everything moves (ideally) in a vertical plane, while, in a deadlift, there is also a horizontal component, as you are not only pulling the barbell upwards but back towards you. The notion that you can think of it as a squat plays to the general appearance of the lift as of the starting position, but is not really correct as soon as you start pulling or analyze the lift closer.

    Another gaff is just related to how he titles the RDL section. A RDL is always a RDL -- it's a very distinct and specific movement. For some people, the SLDL is also a very distinct and specific movement. However, for most, it's more like a category that distinguishes variations of the deadlift that primarily emphasize hip extension from the more general forms (i.e. conventional and sumo). So, from that latter angle, the title "Romanian deadlift (aka Stiff Leg Deadlift)" is correct, while from the former angle, it's not. It depends on how pedantic you want to get.

    Lastly, the description "just bend over at the waist until you feel good stretch in the hamstrings and then staighten back up" is really simplistic for a description of how to perform a RDL. From teaching others how to deadlift, I can tell you that telling someone to merely bend over at the waist will not have them performing the correct movement, unless it's also accompanied by a moment of divine intervention. The big cue for RDLs is to lower the barbell by pushing the hips back on preflexed knees, allowing the barbell to slide down in contact with the thighs.

    (In case you're wondering, this distinction of "pushing the hips back" is precisely what separates the RDL from the pedantic SLDL, which instead attempts to lower the barbell while maintaining the hips position in space. Think of it like a pike stretch with a straight back.)
     
    #74 chicanerous, Oct 30, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  15. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Dammit, Chic, now I'm perplexed again.

    It seems to me that Lee Hayward is equating the RDL and the SLDL plain and simple. I defer to your experience, so help me out. With an SLDL one does not pull the weight from the ground; one starts with the barbell off the ground and then bends down until there's enough stretch in the hams and then goes back up. With the RDL and the Sumo, one pulls the barbell off the ground. There are clearly many other finer distinctions, as you describe, but these ones I mention seem to be pretty basic and fundamental, allowing us to distinguish between the kinds, no?
     
  16. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    Where you start a lift never distinguishes a lift. You can start any lift with a concentric or an eccentric at any point in the ROM. The only thing that distinguishes a lift is the mechanics of the lift. There may be variations, which pull from different points, or use different stances, ways to load the bar, grips, etc. but they all remain the same lift at heart.

    In the case of the RDL, most people do not in fact pull from the floor. They start with a conventional and then begin the lift from the top or they lift off of the rack. The only people who pull RDLs from the floor are the ones who have a background in Olympic weightlifting or were taught the movement from that school of thought, where the RDL is specifically an assistance exercise for the clean and snatch.

    The difference between a RDL and SLDL is firmly in how the body moves in order to lower the bar:

    In the RDL, the hips are pushed backward on flexed knees, as the bar is lowered in contact with the thighs. In the bottom position, this puts your shoulders over the bar with your back in a tight arch with the chest up, the head looking forward, and the hamstrings pulled very taut. If you're not a weightlifter, an acceptable variation is to not slide the barbell in complete contact with the thigh as you lower and not keep the shoulders pinned back at the start, yielding a more neutral, "flat" back posture. Proponents of the style sometimes recommend looking at the floor in order to keep the head in a neutral position as well. Regardless, in either variation, the torso lowers in response to the backward movement of the hips, which is the lift's defining characteristic. (Though, depending on who you ask, the knees may also never lock out at the top of the RDL.)

    In the SLDL, on the other hand, by lowering the chest, the bar is lowered in the space out in front of the body. The hips, therefore, hinge in response to the movement of the torso, but do not significantly change their relative position in space, as they are not actively pushed backward. The knees are bent slightly as the bar lowers in order to not load the muscles and not the tendons; they lock out at the top. The movement, on the whole, resembles a straight backed pike stretch, as its derived from a rounded back variation that was popular in the past, but no longer recommended by most coaches.

    Ultimately, a proper RDL makes the best use of the posterior chain and allows the most weight to be used out of any of the deadlift variations based primarily on hip extension, so it's important to know how to perform one. Personally, I don't even recommend SLDLs when trying to help people write their exercise programs because the RDL is the better lift for the above reasons and its execution is clear and standard. However, if for whatever reason you want to call a RDL a SLDL in your own logs, I say go right ahead. It's no matter, as long as you know how you perform the lift. Just don't call something that isn't a RDL a RDL -- that's where you get into trouble, as soon as you start comparing logs.

    ---

    There's a good example of an (Olympic style) RDL at the end of this video (after 1:30):



    Here's a side view that isn't pulled from the floor:

     
    #76 chicanerous, Oct 30, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  17. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Okay, thanks, Chic. I'm with you on the main difference between RDL and SLDL in terms of whether the bar is going down along the front of the legs or further in front. So I have in fact been doing RDLs when I've planned to do RDLs.

    But these videos you've posted differ from what I've learned watching Dan Johns' videos.

    The way I've been doing it has been to start in basically a squat position, chest out, head up, push my heels into the ground as I begin to pull the barbell up, and then begin to stand upright. The videos you post make it seem that one starts more upright, almost standing, though with knees bent, and pulling more with the back than with the legs. Then I can see how this move could be confused with SLDL, since that uses the back more than the legs.

    Oh, if only we could all be in the same gym together for a few hours.

    Maybe we could plan that for a JSF get together???
     
  18. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    We've mentioned four different types of deadlifts so far in this thread:

    Deadlift (i.e. conventional deadlift)
    Sumo Deadlift
    Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
    Stiff-legged Deadlift (SLDL)

    What you're describing sounds like a conventional deadlift, not a RDL and not a SLDL. The videos I posted are RDLs, which is why they would seem different. Keep in mind that, though where the bar is in relation to the legs is a very crude way to differentiate between the RDL and SLDL, it does not differentiate between a deadlift, sumo deadlift, and romanian deadlift, as all three will keep the bar very close to the legs. Like I said earlier, the only thing that distinguishes a lift is the mechanics of a lift.

    If you're still confused, you might want to video tape your own deadlifts and we can help you sort out what you are doing, what you want to do, and what you should be doing.

    Because the hips are shoved back in the RDL, the load is mostly distributed through the glutes and hamstrings, rather than the back -- though there is certainly a strong contraction through it, especially in the Olympic variation (with scapula retracted, shoulders over the bar, and bar tight with the body). So, in practice, it ends up being more kind on the back than the SLDL.

    If you feel the RDL strongly in your back (especially over that of the hamstrings and glutes), you're probably doing something wrong unless the weight is close to your maximum, you're fatigued going into the lift, or at the end of a high rep set (which again is fatigue coming into play). All deadlifts are meant to lift with the legs as much as possible, otherwise the risk of injury increases.

    Dan John or Mark Rippetoe? Dan John shows how to perform a romanian deadlift with a snatch grip, which doesn't sound like what you're describing. Rippetoe only discusses conventional deadlifts as far as I can remember.
     
    #78 chicanerous, Oct 30, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  19. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    Chic, I remember you posting a stick figure pic that described the RDL very well after I asked a similar question. But I don't remember where it is.:confused:

    Here is my deadlift for today.

    Deadlift
    95x5
    135x5
    185x3
    225x3
    285x3
    315x3
    350x1
    315lbs (1,1)
     
  20. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    Nice work! That's a PR, right? :tucool:
     

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