Chalk Talk #8 – Speed Deadlifts & RDL

In a recent post by my Australian SOF buddy, Shaun Trainor, he reminded me that I recommended he do speed deadlifts and RDL’s while he was deployed in lieu of heavy deadlifts. In a program or circumstance that can’t tolerate the systemic depression or local soreness associated with heavy deadlifts, using speed deadlifts with posterior chain work will still get explosive work with the posterior chain. When Shaun returned home, he was able to jump back up to his previous deadlift numbers fairly quick.

Speed deadlifts can be alternated every week with heavy deadlifts, as they are in a few of my Texas Method templates, or they can be done every week to maintain some deadlift work without getting beat down. Not to mention you can accumulate some decent volume with doubles or triples on deadlift to develop a jacked back.

If you watch until the end of the video, you’ll see an explanation of NOT leaning back at the top of a deadlift. It’s a common fault that is incredibly injurious, looks ugly, and makes someone look inexperienced with anatomy or lifting. Simply lift the chest to ensure a neutral spine; don’t lean back.

16 thoughts on “Chalk Talk #8 – Speed Deadlifts & RDL

  1. Why do you bend over in flexion and then tighten your back to neutral? Won’t this put your hip flexors (mainly the psoas) on tension, reducing your lockout power? Not to mention ingraining a faulty movement pattern that’s harmful even bending over to pick up your shoes. Just want to know your thoughts

    • I’m not ingraining a faulty movement pattern by being in flexion for a couple seconds. I would be ingraining a faulty movement pattern if I executed the deadlift in trunk flexion. If I wipe my ass for a few seconds in a weird position every day, that’s not ingraining a faulty movement pattern.

      You’re going to have to give me a clear anatomical explanation as to why doing whatever it is you think I’m doing is putting tension on the psoas and how that would reduce lockout power.

      • I’ve heard Kelly talk about it in a couple of his videos, but I’m not sure how much I’ve been able to notice the difference in my setup. Here is one

        Also, this is what the front page has been looking like to me. I had to click one of the options in the menu then click on the calender to see the most recent posts. I don’t know if this is my browser being dumb or what, just thought I’d mention it.

      • I’ll be honest here and tell you I’m not an expert and I heard it explained by kelly starrett and it made sense to me. When you bend over in flexion and pull your spine into neutral from the bottom, and to do so you must engage the psoas (bc psoas attaches to the spine, though that’s not news to you) to pull the spin back into neutral. So your psoas is on tension/engaged throughout the lift, and you have more trouble finishing the lockout much the same way you would if they were tight. You then have trouble getting the glutes into the lockout.

        • I’ve got a lot of time for Kelly. I subscribe to MWOD Pro, I even did his seminar a few weeks ago.

          However, NEVER take lifting advice from the dude if it’s contradicting what real strength coaches are saying. He loves making sweeping, controversial statements (see: ‘everyone should squat with toes straight forward’).

          I really respect the dude, but I’d sooner take lifting advice from the girl that made my coffee this morning.

          • What’s contradicting real strength coaches? He works with a ton of strength coaches who agree with a lot of his stuff. Justin has said toes slightly out as well (not even kelly is saying toes straight forward, just more like 10 instead of 30 degrees). He works with Jesse Burdick and mark bell, who are big fans of him. I’d like to know, why round over in lumbar flexion and then straighten your back out at the bottom? If it’s not harmful it at least seems pointless.

  2. Thanks for the video, very interesting.
    Question: Do you borrow your setup technique from Mike Tuchscherer? The sitting back before you pull looks really similar.

    • I just started doing it that way as an Olympic lifter a while back. I know where my optimal pulling position is, but I wouldn’t have an inexperienced person do that.

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