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Conventional vs Trap Bar Deadlift?

I was thinking of switching out my conv deadlifts for trap bar to get more quad activation; my legs are lagging behind the rest of my body. Can I still do them with the powerlifting sets I did with conv deadlift? Would it take a considerable amount of back activation out of the lift? Is it worth doing?

Keep deadlifting and add front squats and lots of them.

What do you mean by powerlifting sets? If you mean low reps, then yes the trap bar can be done with low reps. However, the conventional dead is more posterior chain dominant, so if you’re squatting and conventional deadlifting that would be a bit more rounded of a training stimulus per se (depends on squat style though). You say you’re legs are lagging, but your quads are only the front of your legs :wink: Since you posted in the beginner forum I’m assuming you’re still a beginner, which probably means everything is lagging a bit. Not an insult, instead its actually a blessing in disguise. Just get stronger and eat for your goals and your legs will get big. Also yes, the conventional deadlift is a bit more work for the lower back.

jjakarash has a very good point. I still stand by my original post that you should do back squats and conventional deadlifts to build a solid base of strength (barring any injury, etc.). However, if you were to add more quad dominant work I wouldn’t do that by doing trap bar deads. I would swap out back squats for front squats.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Keep deadlifting and add front squats and lots of them. [/quote]

I’ll second this. It has been working for me.

[quote]Confinative wrote:
I was thinking of switching out my conv deadlifts for trap bar to get more quad activation; my legs are lagging behind the rest of my body. Can I still do them with the powerlifting sets I did with conv deadlift? Would it take a considerable amount of back activation out of the lift? Is it worth doing?[/quote]

What is the goal of the deadlift in your current programming?

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Confinative wrote:
I was thinking of switching out my conv deadlifts for trap bar to get more quad activation; my legs are lagging behind the rest of my body. Can I still do them with the powerlifting sets I did with conv deadlift? Would it take a considerable amount of back activation out of the lift? Is it worth doing?[/quote]

What is the goal of the deadlift in your current programming?[/quote]

The goal is to get stronger, I’m currently maxed out at 395 sumo and 365 conventional. I’m considering switching to trap bar because for one, my legs are lagging, secondly, I want to get faster off the floor and I’ve been told that being slow off the floor is linked to weak quads. I’m also lifting beltless.

[quote]Confinative wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Confinative wrote:
I was thinking of switching out my conv deadlifts for trap bar to get more quad activation; my legs are lagging behind the rest of my body. Can I still do them with the powerlifting sets I did with conv deadlift? Would it take a considerable amount of back activation out of the lift? Is it worth doing?[/quote]

What is the goal of the deadlift in your current programming?[/quote]

The goal is to get stronger, I’m currently maxed out at 395 sumo and 365 conventional. I’m considering switching to trap bar because for one, my legs are lagging, secondly, I want to get faster off the floor and I’ve been told that being slow off the floor is linked to weak quads. I’m also lifting beltless.[/quote]

Eh idk about the quads being the reason for being slow off the floor. Typically the quads are stimulated more during the top portion of the DL than the bottom.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

[quote]Confinative wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Confinative wrote:
I was thinking of switching out my conv deadlifts for trap bar to get more quad activation; my legs are lagging behind the rest of my body. Can I still do them with the powerlifting sets I did with conv deadlift? Would it take a considerable amount of back activation out of the lift? Is it worth doing?[/quote]

What is the goal of the deadlift in your current programming?[/quote]

The goal is to get stronger, I’m currently maxed out at 395 sumo and 365 conventional. I’m considering switching to trap bar because for one, my legs are lagging, secondly, I want to get faster off the floor and I’ve been told that being slow off the floor is linked to weak quads. I’m also lifting beltless.[/quote]

Eh idk about the quads being the reason for being slow off the floor. Typically the quads are stimulated more during the top portion of the DL than the bottom. [/quote]

Actually now that I think about it quads are probably more active in the bottom position. I apologize if I mislead you

[quote]Confinative wrote:

The goal is to get stronger, I’m currently maxed out at 395 sumo and 365 conventional. I’m considering switching to trap bar because for one, my legs are lagging, secondly, I want to get faster off the floor and I’ve been told that being slow off the floor is linked to weak quads. I’m also lifting beltless.[/quote]

When you say “to get stronger”, do you mean just in general, or stronger at the deadlift? The reason I ask is because, if it’s the former, you can easily make the switch, but since you noted that you also want to get faster off the floor, it leads me to believe that having a stronger conventional deadlift is your primary focus, in which case, I do not find the trap bar useful for that goal.

I find that leg drive is usually more an issue with set-up than quad strength. Most people have plenty strong quads, they just never put themselves in a position to be able to recruit them. I found that I was able to get much better leg drive by bringing my stance in to about 6-8" between my heels and rolling the bar back toward my shins at the start of the lift. When my feet get any wider, I tend to stiff leg the movement.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Confinative wrote:

The goal is to get stronger, I’m currently maxed out at 395 sumo and 365 conventional. I’m considering switching to trap bar because for one, my legs are lagging, secondly, I want to get faster off the floor and I’ve been told that being slow off the floor is linked to weak quads. I’m also lifting beltless.[/quote]

When you say “to get stronger”, do you mean just in general, or stronger at the deadlift? The reason I ask is because, if it’s the former, you can easily make the switch, but since you noted that you also want to get faster off the floor, it leads me to believe that having a stronger conventional deadlift is your primary focus, in which case, I do not find the trap bar useful for that goal.

I find that leg drive is usually more an issue with set-up than quad strength. Most people have plenty strong quads, they just never put themselves in a position to be able to recruit them. I found that I was able to get much better leg drive by bringing my stance in to about 6-8" between my heels and rolling the bar back toward my shins at the start of the lift. When my feet get any wider, I tend to stiff leg the movement.[/quote]

I want to get stronger in general, which I assume would include a stronger deadlift. I’m working towards a 405 deadlift, 275 bench, and 315 squat, I’d be happy with those numbers for now. Are you suggesting that I narrow my stance first before trying to switch to the trap bar deadlift? I can max 405 on the trap bar, just not on conventional, which when I think about it, kind of takes away from me blaming my quads for being slow off the floor. I’m kind of confused now haha.

Haha no problem, I’m just trying to figure this all out. Your input is appreciated!

[quote]Confinative wrote:
I want to get stronger in general, which I assume would include a stronger deadlift. I’m working towards a 405 deadlift, 275 bench, and 315 squat, I’d be happy with those numbers for now. Are you suggesting that I narrow my stance first before trying to switch to the trap bar deadlift? I can max 405 on the trap bar, just not on conventional, which when I think about it, kind of takes away from me blaming my quads for being slow off the floor. I’m kind of confused now haha.[/quote]

A stronger deadlift and being stronger in general can actually be different things. Honestly, I find the deadlift to be a great measure of strength but a poor builder of it.

If your goal is just to be a stronger person, I would honestly not really worry about the conventional deadlift. I think partial deadlifts would go a lot farther in meeting your goals there, and the trap bar could also be very useful. If you want to get a stronger deadlift, some regular deadlift technique practice is going to be valuable to figure out how to recruit all the muscles you want/need to recruit for the pull.

To clarify the confusion: if your goal is to move more weight on the conventional deadlift, I would not use the trap bar at all. I would play around with deadlift technique in order to find out the best way to get leg drive. If your goal is to get stronger in general, I wouldn’t really deadlift off the floor, and just stick with partials, and here the trap bar could be used.

When I say stronger in general I mean be stronger in the 3 main lifts. Maybe I wasn’t too clear about that. Should I use partial deadlifts to get my full range deadlift stronger? Also, what do you mean by partial deadlifts? Like, Romanian deadlifts where you only go to your shins? Or deadlifts from a deficit? I’m not sure I understand the idea of ‘partial’ deadlifts.

Sorry, one more question, do you deadlift in normal shoes or weightlifting shoes that have the raised heel? Kind of out of nowhere, I know haha.

[quote]Confinative wrote:
When I say stronger in general I mean be stronger in the 3 main lifts. Maybe I wasn’t too clear about that. Should I use partial deadlifts to get my full range deadlift stronger? Also, what do you mean by partial deadlifts? Like, Romanian deadlifts where you only go to your shins? Or deadlifts from a deficit? I’m not sure I understand the idea of ‘partial’ deadlifts.[/quote]

Ah yeah, a stronger powerlifting total is a different goal entirely, haha.

I can’t say what you should do, but I find partials to be very helpful. By partials, I mean like a block/mat pull, pulling the deadlift from a partial range of motion by elevating the plates. In addition to this, it would be crucial to ensure your deadlift technique is dialed in the get the most out of your pull.

I made a video on how I deadlift that you may find helpful

[quote]Confinative wrote:
Sorry, one more question, do you deadlift in normal shoes or weightlifting shoes that have the raised heel? Kind of out of nowhere, I know haha.[/quote]

I lift in Chuck Taylors. I’ve never worn weightlifting shoes to be able to say if they’re better or worse.

Oh ok, so pulls off blocks and such. I’ll definitely give your deadlifting video a look. I appreciate you taking the time to explain this stuff to me!

[quote]Confinative wrote:
Sorry, one more question, do you deadlift in normal shoes or weightlifting shoes that have the raised heel? Kind of out of nowhere, I know haha.[/quote]

deadlifting with a raised heel?

Thibs teaches to dead-lift with elevated toes/front-of-the-foot btw.

Yeah, the reason I ask is because I have some ankle flexibility problems, which is what made me switch to the sumo originally. I’ve been working on my ankles through stretching etc.