T Nation

Counting Dead Lift Reps

When you do say 4 reps and you start by picking it up, do you count that first one as one or do u start after u pick it up

I’m pretty sure you do count that as the first one. That’s what I’ve been doing

I’m going to venture out on a limb and ask if you are bouncing it off the ground?

If so, you should probably realize that each rep of a DEAD lift should be performed starting from a DEAD start.

Unless you have some reason not to.

I do think bounce reps are useful SOMETIMES, but I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re doing all the time if you have to ask that question.

You count the first one.

I have no idea where this bouncing talk came from.

Yes Think about it if you were competeing. That first lift from the DEAD stop to lock out would be the Only lift that counted the first pull is the hardest.

He’s asking whether picking the bar up at the start of your set counts as a rep.

The answer is yes.

The first rep (picking it off the ground, not off pins/a power rack) counts… but bounce reps are complete clown shit and should never count in a deadlift.


Every concentric (the press from the floor to lockout) counts as a rep.

Since you’re starting from the floor, you’ll always have an equal number of eccentrics, whether you emphasize them or not. If you don’t perform any eccentrics (simply dropping the bar), counting reps would be self-explanatory.

[quote]AgentOrange wrote:
You count the first one.

I have no idea where this bouncing talk came from.[/quote]

I brought it up because the ONLY REASON a first rep would be different would be if he was bouncing subsequent repetitions after the first one.

I think a fair number of people perform the eccentric (lowering) portion of a deadlift either due to their gym rules or to do a multi-rep set.

However, I can imagine a beginner using a fairly light weight and then wondering whether it is a down then up rep.

[quote]danger-kelly wrote:
The first rep (picking it off the ground, not off pins/a power rack) counts… but bounce reps are complete clown shit and should never count in a deadlift.

I’m not sure what you mean by the difference between a bounce rep and a dead lift. Does it have to do with how far you lower the bar? I’m new to deadlifting.

OK, just checking, but everyone is assuming this is a traditional deadlift he is asking about and not a stiff legged deadlift, right?

I only ask because for SLDLs, I don’t count when I pick up the weight the first time since I do that like a traditional deadlift.

it’s a little difficult to explain in words what a ‘bounced’ deadlift is in words, but they’re very easy to spot. When you drop a loaded barbell from lockout height, it will bounce a few inches straight upwards. Novice lifters often use this effect to let the bar lift itself for the first few inches – they’re cheating.

it IS very easy to explain how to avoid bouncing your deadlifts:

Pause for a heartbeat or two between reps while the bar is resting on the ground. Don’t begin your next rep until the bar is totally at rest.

I’d go a step further than that and say completely disengage from the bar and stand up for a second.

Touch and go reps have their place, but not for someone like me (a beginner.) I think that’s all there is to it

Wow. I’ve just always held the weight throughout the set. I do them in a mirror, so I take the bar to about 3 inches from the floor and then pull again. Is that totally wrong then?

I have to disagree with the idea that you should stop and pause your reps when deadlifting. Certainly occassionaly that may have its place, but I would perform touch and go reps certainly much more often then I would perform stop or pause reps. When you pause you decrease the stretch reflex which makes you weaker. This is not a good thing, you generally want to train the stretch reflex. If you don’t believe me pause all of your reps on a bench press for the next 6 months and I bet you will be weaker. Also stopping at the bottom tends to cause you to relax parts of your body so it is easy for the form to break down. In basically no other exercise (bench, squat, curls, you name it) do you regularly pause so why do it on deadlifts? I know in a competition the bar is at a stop but the first rep (which you do of course count) is always at a complete stop so there is no reason to train with the pause all the time. One point to mention is that touch and go reps where you lightly touch the ground (don’t stop before you do, that is cheating) is different then when you literally drop the bar so it bounces off the ground and you try to catch it, that should be avoided.

Good luck with the pulls

I usually stop at the bottom of power squats and benches…Am I doing something wrong? Sometimes momentum just doesn’t help, especially with parallel squat depth (I can never get it right doing em fast and bouncy)

Lift heavier and you won’t dream of doing big sets without pausing at the bottom.

I find pausing at the bottom and sometimes adjusting my grip or standing up makes me keep better form.

When I slip on form I hurt my back.