T Nation

RDL - How Fast Do I Add Weight?


#1

Hey guys (& gals?):

I just started doing RDL’s as part of CT’s Best Damn Workout. Today, since I’d never done these before, I started with 95 and topped at 135. I felt like I could probably beat double that but want to move into heavier stuff with some caution to avoid injury.

The movement caused very minor discomfort in my lower back. Am wondering how fast ya all would recommend adding weight?
My current thought is to add 50lbs per session until I get "up there."
Whattya think?

Thanks !


#2

Don’t really have a great recommendation for you, but here’s some principles to consider:
Once you injure yourself, risk of further injury is higher than risk of initial injury.
It’s better to leave a little weight on the table for next time than it is to limp out of the gym.
Consider total volume bumps. Higher rep ranges mean add less weight.
Consider getting someone you trust to spot you to make sure your lower back is staying straight. I do this on good mornings and it makes a world of difference.
Is the pain “I’ve never done this before and it sucks” or is it “Stop doing this or I’ll shut you down?” Sometimes the line between the two is very close. Pain could be coming from a number of things.

50-lbs a session could be a little excessive, especially when you’re just starting out an exercise like RDL’s that can go wrong quick. I’d think it better to work lighter weight for higher reps and nail the exercise form until you get comfortable with it. You’ll probably be healthier and stronger in the long run from it.


#3

Completely agree.

For reference’s sake the last time I did these with regularity I was probably deadlifting around 565. I don’t think I ever did a set of RDL’s over 225.

This is an exercise I always tried to do with very good form, controlled tempo and a weight heavy enough to stimulate. It is assistance, not a main lift, and nobody cares how much you can RDL.

If you’re already topping out at 135, I’d encourage you to progress slowly and sensibly. Nothing wrong with 5 more pounds than you did last week. If you’re running CT’s program, you’re shooting for a weight you can complete the set/rep scheme he lays out without form breakdowns while still being challenging.

I’m a big fan of RDL’s. Great way to learn the hip hinge.


#4

It’s the “this is new and sucks” sort of pain. More like a “wow this is hitting new stuff” thing than an “oh shit you better stop.”

The Reps on the program are fixed and I don’t want to vary them, so I started light to be sure I got them all.

Another thing is my grip sucks in my dominant hand so the heavy double rest pause thing is gonna require straps with anything over 135 - not a problem but still sucks, especially since prior to my hand injury I had a grip like a vise.

I’ll probably just do 20lbs per week increases based on wat u just said tho and thanks. That movement only happens once per week so maybe 20 will be sufficient.


#5

20 is a lot more sensible. I’m not familiar with CT’s programming (not bashing him at all here- stating my ignorance) so I have no idea what your rep range is, but stick with the program for sure.

As far as straps, that’s for each person to decide. I use them instead of going switch grip 90% of the time now because I have a buddy who just tore his bicep from switch grip. As long as they don’t potentially hinder your goals. I’m trying to condition hook grip, but it sucks for sure.


#6

Here’s my ignorance: what the hell is “switch Grip?” That with one hand supinate and the other pronated?

Straps will just allow me to move more weight without totally screwing what’s already a bad hand. The only reason I bitch I guess is because of the injury’s permanent nature. It’d be nice to turn back time but…
Ya know?!

Now I have to figure out how wide my hands can go for front squats because my shoulders will not let me get the grip as close as most. I’ll figure that shit out.

CT’s program includes movements that are new to me. Great learning experience that introduces a bit of a curve.

Hey, here’s something I noticed: I had to take 2 days off and during that time my muscles FELT bigger and stronger. That normal?


#7

That is exactly what switch grip is.

As far as feeling bigger and stronger after a couple days off, I normally just feel less like hell, but who knows?


#8

Funny. Maybe that’s what I was really feeling ha!

@twojarslave
Thx for the tip. I do definitely need to be mindful of form and tempo since it seems this movement could cause a pull if I’m not.

I may have to try some standard deadlifts just to see how much I can pull. Am a little curious about it. Maybe after about 3 months on this program I’ll change to one that includes regular deads but don’t know. I want to milk all I can out of this one. Probably need to ask CT about how long I should do it before switching.

Thanks guys :slight_smile: