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Old 12-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #1
Arien Malec
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Default Nicu Vlad and the birth of the RDL

Just like everyone over 57 or so was at Woodstock, it seems like everyone was present at the birth of the RDL.

The latest PM has an article in which Matt Foreman recollects being at the OTC in 1990:

"Then he started performing an exercise we saw him do regularly.... Somebody in the gym asked Nicu and Dragomir what the exercise was called. They said that they did not have a special name for it, and so one of the American lifters suggested that it could be called a “Romanian Deadlift” or RDL.... I’ve always considered it a privilege that I was present when the RDL was officially named."

But Jim Schmitz says that the basic scene above happened at Sports Palace in the same year, with Randall Strossen in attendance:

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:46 PM   #2
Garrett Smith
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It's the Universal Consciousness, man....
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
Matt Foreman
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It doesn't surprise me that Jim has the same story. As I said in the article, Dragomir and Nicu were traveling around the US frequently during that summer (hence the 'US Summer Tour' shirts). Nicu was showing people the RDL in a lot of gyms and the exercise created quite a buzz with all of our lifters and coaches. It's very possible that the "We don't have a name for it, so we'll start calling it the RDL!" conversation took place in more than one location. Nicu also trained in Washington with my coach, John Thrush, during that summer and he mentioned something similar once. I've known Jim Schmitz for many years. He has tons of awesome stories and they're always reliable.

So I'm afraid I can't pin down to a gnat's ass exactly where the very first vocal utterance of the phrase "RDL" happened. All I know for sure, as I said in the article, is that somebody in the OTC gym started using the phrase "RDL" to describe the exercise during the 1990 training camp. Hell, maybe somebody at the OTC had heard it from somebody at the Sports Palace. Unfortunately, I didn't have my voice identification software and DNA collection equipment with me at the time.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:32 PM   #4
Arien Malec
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Thanks for the clarification - and thanks for the great article as well. I love the quote: "It’s not in the bar or the gym or the
platform… it’s in you."

Originally Posted by Matt Foreman View Post
I've known Jim Schmitz for many years. He has tons of awesome stories and they're always reliable.
It's kind of amazing how many places he's been and how much he's seen (I've trained at the most recent incarnation of the Sports Palace -- a rather dungeon-like basement of a bodybuilder's gym)).
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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I always thought we should follow the tendency of Krocs/Yates/Pendlays and name it after Vlad himself rather than Romania.

It's not even a deadlift since it begins with bar off ground, it's undead, so we can drop the 'dead' and just call it the Vladlift.
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