When trying to build muscle.,,,. what is the best # of sets/reps for deadlifts? i have read that for deadlifts i should only do 1-2 sets.. while other places say to do 3-4.. and some sites say to do 8-12 reps while others say 4-6
Various set and rep schemes will work (4x6, 5x5, 6x4, 7x5, 8x3, 5/4/3/2/1, 5/3/2/5/3/2, 6x3, 10x1, etc.).
How strong are you currently? Are you able to deadlift at least 1.5 times your bodyweight? If not, I would focus on continuing to lift to get stronger. In that case, you could use less sets and reps (3x5, 4x5, 5x5, 4x3, 3x3).
Although variety is good, I still recommend using low reps when deadlifting. It's better for your form and enables you to lift heavier weights. I, personally, never do more than five reps with the deadlift. And I'll do multiple sets of low reps. I also reset myself after each rep to ensure I'm using good form.
But for building mass... i've noticed my lower back is a bit out of proportion to the rest of my back and i realized it was because i haven't been deadlifting.. so yes i'm trying to build strength but mainly i'm trying to build muscle in my lower back..
Personally I feel the DL is a lift simply built for being HEAVY and low rep like oly lifts. Lift in the 1-3 rep zone aside from warm ups. That heavy load will build a BIG thick back. Save the lighter work and volume for other exercises. Like reverse hypers, back extensions etc
If you want to build your lower back, focus on weighted back extensions, reverse hypers, glute-ham raises, turkish get-ups, ab rollouts, planks and Romanian deadlifts.
Deadlifts are great for overall size and strength, but you may want to add the above-exercises to hit your lower back and core harder.
whenever i do weighted back extensions i find that my hamstrings get more sore then my back
That's good. It mean you are doing them correctly. You should feel the same thing for RDLs. Don't worry, you lower back with get plenty of work from them.
I prefer to keep my deadlifts in the lower rep range as well. Either 5x5 or 8x3.