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Does anybody do plain deadlifts?

Yes! I have done them. They are a wonderful mass builder. Keep in mind that they add thickness to your lower back (hence the waist) however...and if you are doing full range RDL/SLDL this is working your low back (secondary) and adding thickness too.

Deadlifts feel great, add mass and overall strength. Try them!!

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. - Socrates
Yes, at my height, anything that builds overall mass is a necessity. Although as my twin skydancer pointed out, it DOES thicken the lower back (waist) rather quickly.
My favorite exercise :)

If executed properly, the lower back involvement should be minimal (and hence the waist thickening). Great for hammies, quads, traps, upper back, abs, forearms (if you don't use straps) and just plain mass. I like to throw a shrug in at the top for some extra pain the next day.
Deadlifts are a total body exercise and should be implameanted into your workouts. They are especially good if you don't have allot of time to spend in the gym

The more you know, the more you grow!
Hmmm...okay I thought the focus of deadlifts was for the back?? I realize it hits overall but thats what I've always concentrated on while doing them...have I been doing them improperly?

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. - Socrates
It should hit the lower back, who wants a weak lower back? A well devoped lower back does not make you look fatter.
It is a back exercise, but it hits the entire backside of the body from neck to ankles and indeed involves more muscles than any other single exercise including the Squat-and you know how well those work. A definate must exercise to do.
That is the only style of dead-lift that I know of, for back. I do a stiff legged one, off a step for hams.
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