T Nation

RDL vs Deadlift


#1

Hey CT/guys,

What is your take on RDL's?
I heared very diiferent opinions on them: some say they feel more strength build than with deadlifts, because breaking of the floor is more CNS dependant (more stress, but not that much strength gain).
Others say it's just unnecessary if you deadlift.

What do you think about them?
Do they offer more benefits for non-powerlifters?(Do they have better carry-over to most things?)
Should I dedicate 1 pulling session a week on them (instead of DL the other day)?
Which depth and rep range is favorable?

Hoping to hear from you,

Panopticum


#2

[quote]Panopticum wrote:
Hey CT/guys,

What is your take on RDL’s?
I heared very diiferent opinions on them: some say they feel more strength build than with deadlifts, because breaking of the floor is more CNS dependant (more stress, but not that much strength gain).
Others say it’s just unnecessary if you deadlift.

What do you think about them?
Do they offer more benefits for non-powerlifters?(Do they have better carry-over to most things?)
Should I dedicate 1 pulling session a week on them (instead of DL the other day)?
Which depth and rep range is favorable?

Hoping to hear from you,

Panopticum
[/quote]

I would still say dead lifts are superior for strenght building. RDL are a great exercise to build the hamstrings and the lower back and gluteus . Go with higher reps 6-10 and use them as a feeler exercise and don’t go for weight. See them more as a bodybuilding exercise, while for dead lifts stay with lower reps. Go as low as you can while still holding good form. It depends on your goals and your training if and how often you should to them and if you stopp dead lifting at all.


#3

RDl can be a good posterior chain strenght builder if you do it from deadstart. Just put the barbell on some podium if you have lack of flexibility to do it from the floor.


#4

The regular deadlift is a superior overall strength-builder. I LOVE properly done RDLs and Goodmornings to specifically strengthen the hamstrings. But very few people do them properly. They focus too much on range of motion instead of on loading the hamstrings. They bend too much at the waist and do not push their hips back far enough.

You should start from the top, arch your lower back tightly, then focus on pushing the hips back. DO NOT think about bending forward AT ALL… the forward torso bend will occur as a reaction to pushing the hips back.

DO NOT focus on going down a certain distance: focus on loading the hamstrings. I would much rather see someone barely going below his knees and having the hamstrings fully loaded than someone going all the way down and feeling it mostly in the lower back.


#5

Hello Folks!

Thanks for the quick responses. As you all describe them, it’s more of an ascessory/assistance excersice (never really know the difference).
IAs such an excercise, it makes sense use a higher rep range. As you say, it could be a great hamstring builder, something probabely everybody needs: glutes and hammies make or brake an athlete. I think I’m gonna try them out as such.

Okay, focus on loading hamstrings, note taken.
Should I push the hips thru at the top, or keep the arch tight? I think I recall Bret Contreras called this American deadlifts. I need to keep my APT in check, does this help?

As a last question for this post: The bar path seems pretty straight (straighter than DL). Is it a good idea to explode after a deadstop at the bottom to train violent hip extension? Or should O lifts take care of this?

Thanks in advance guys, you rock:)


#6

[quote]Panopticum wrote:
Hello Folks!

Thanks for the quick responses. As you all describe them, it’s more of an ascessory/assistance excersice (never really know the difference).
IAs such an excercise, it makes sense use a higher rep range. As you say, it could be a great hamstring builder, something probabely everybody needs: glutes and hammies make or brake an athlete. I think I’m gonna try them out as such.

Okay, focus on loading hamstrings, note taken.
Should I push the hips thru at the top, or keep the arch tight? I think I recall Bret Contreras called this American deadlifts. I need to keep my APT in check, does this help?

As a last question for this post: The bar path seems pretty straight (straighter than DL). Is it a good idea to explode after a deadstop at the bottom to train violent hip extension? Or should O lifts take care of this?

Thanks in advance guys, you rock:)[/quote]

I dont think its a good idea to explode after a deadstop at the bottom. Just focus on the tension, and the OL lift should take care of it.


#7

I personally prefer and love doing RDL’s. Reason being is I do them because my goal is to focus on hams and posterior chain whereas In conventional deadlifts I don’t feel it in those areas barely at all. Could be that I never really got the hang of doing them properly and they always hurt my lower back. I do have lower back injuries and issues though but they dont bother me when executing RDLS.

I go as heavy as I can usually up to 3 rep max with some back off sets. I also put 2-3 metal 25lb plates on the floor to touch the 45’s because thats about as deep as I can go without rounding my lower back and its like a safety stop point for me.

The RDL’s even made my back thicker once I got stronger on them. Im not super strong like some guys on this site but my max was 405 x3 with a back of of about 315-305 for a 20 rep back off. Im always able to hit mid to upper 300’s though. Once I was able to hit those numbers it gave me a much thicker more powerful look through my upper back.

So thats why I never saw the point in conventional deadlifts for me anyway.


#8

@Akidara: I already guessed that. Perhaps this is more of a Con-Ten thing. Hang Snatches will be for the explosive hips, RDL’s I will use as a muscle builder.

@as: why not? As a few coaches have said on this site, there are no obligatory lifts. IMO: If RDL’s do the trick better for you, and DL’s wreck your back, use them by all means. Just use common sense.
Maybe your body is telling you something if you can’t DL without pain. It could just be short arms and long legs, nothing to do about it.
It could be poor mobility in your hips, that can be fixed for a fair deal. Not to push you to use DL’s! It could be a indicator of some problems.

Not to forget, glad to hear you have worked around your back pain and got some back!


#9

@Pano yes you’re right, part of it is definitely mobility issues in my hips, especially pain and stiffness in one side of my sacro. I also have long legs and a short torso which I’m not exactly sure what effect that has on my execution for conventional DLs. For some reason when i do RDLs it barley hurts.

The other reason was even when I felt I did DLs close to properly it still felt like a partial quad/partial hamstring hybrid exercise with neither getting hit intensely enough. So I just figured it’s more effective to hit quads with quad movements and hit upper back/hams and posterior chain with RDLs and good mornings.


#10

I get you As, especially as a pure PC excercise. Deadlifts need a good leg drive at the bottem I noticed to get the weight into possition.


#11

The “explosive” RDL is sometimes called a Dimmel Deadlift. Don’t go down as low as a regular RDL, and drive the hips in at the top. Higher reps, faster tempo. Used by Matt Dimmel to strengthen the top, or lockout of the deadlift, according to Louie.

You can also pull against bands to develop the hip drive. As soon as the bar bases your knees, the band tension really starts to increase. You have to drive “faster” just to keep the bar moving the same speed.


#12

panopticum:

You’ve asked a lot of good questions and solicited ideas from a lot of people.

What does your own training look like right now? What kind of changes do you think you’ll make based on what you’ve learned?


#13

Well, I was into more BB kind of training, but Im now far more into full body, ’ lean but strong".

My current program in his changed form looks like a thing I saw on Christian thibaudeau’s log but with some changes. I just started very recently. In a nutshell:
5 days a week push presses, pull ups (focus on core, scaps and strong lat contraction), front squats and deadlifts.
Every day I add staggered upper back and glute work. Focus mobilty.
I cycle BSS’ s, some butchered hang snatches, 1-arm rows, pushups (with weight) and full contact twists. Every day a bit higher rep assistance of one of those.

I think RDL’s are gonna be a tool in the toolbox if my deads stalls for a time.
I would love to do more farmer walks, BW stuff and sprinting, but I don’t really have the stuff to do that.
Handles are in the works, but Im quite busy and not that handy. For sprinting i dont really have a reliable surface. The bw stuff i would love to learn, and plan on doing so, but i would like a ‘tutor’ for that. I greatly lack the needed confidence.

I get alot of ideas from you guys, and feel CT, dan john and max shank are my greatest influences.
Hope I said enough, I read alot on T-Nation, but are quite a noob to training. Most things I learn here are taken note of and are for my more intermediate years; )
Simplisty, frequency and athleticism are my key words. I feel it is smart to build the basics and let the rest fill in MA training. More Dan John than Eric Cressey I guess hahaha

Hope I awnsered your question!