T Nation

DL - Release or Touch and Go on Reps?


What are the pros and cons of performing DL reps touch and go (no bounce, just a gentle touch on the floor) vs. fully returning the weights to the floor and releasing your tension before pulling the subsequent rep? I have typically done the touch and go, primarily because I normally DL at 24HF with their stupid octagonal plates. They make the bar settle ackwardly between reps. Today I did my reps with released tension between reps anyway and it was clearly harder.


Those octagonal plates sound like a huge pain in the ass. I don't think there is any real benefit to performing deadlift reps touch and go other than an equipment problem as you have described. As close as you can come to truly resting the plates on the floor before starting the next rep I believe the more you will get out of the exercise.


Well let's break it down...touch and go you can lift more, and there's greater time under tension. For hypertrophy, I think this is the preferred method. On the other hand, if you're training the deadlift, obviously you want your reps to be just that--dead lifts. But I still don't think that makes touch and go useless.


I think the important thing is the reps 2+ have a similar form to rep 1. I know I lower the bar differently than I pick it up so if I was to do touch and go my second rep would be different form and usually involve a lot more back. By setting it down and get my body back in starting position I can maintain proper form.

Jim Wendler likes touch and go for himself because he says he can maintain better tension this way. I think you have to find what works best for you.


With the touch and go you can take advantage of the stored elastic energy in your muscles after the eccentric portion of the lift... That's it. That's all the difference really.


I'm very weak off the floor so touch and go seems like cheating for me- if I were weak at lockout I think I'd be using it.


It truly sickens me that you give advice.


Which do YOU prefer Hanley? I read you've been doing 10 reps and whatnot on 5/3/1 so I'm curious.


Please forgive me for everything. I can't blame you. I have attacked you several times before and that is mighty wrong of me to do. You're a veteran with your sport and you deserve respect and it's not right for me to deny you that respect. I wish you could understand that... I don't care. You deserve respect, so what? I don't care. People in here are already giving you more respect than you need so... Yeah, sorry for everything.

...It's just that I don't care.



I've been pausing on the ground!! It's how I've pulled the majority of my DL's for my training career. I'm usually weakest between the ground and my below my knee, so it makes sense for me to work there the hardest in my opinion!


Touch and Go is safest that's all


I prefer pulling touch and go, as I really don't have any problems with speed off of the floor. Touch and go not only helped my back get stronger due to TUT, but also helped my grip, as I was holding the bar for several seconds longer than I normally would in a deadlift attempt at a meet.

I asked Phil Wylie about this, and he believes that the TUT from touch and go helped strengthen his glutes and thereby his lockout.

Of course, as with anything, YMMV.


Please elaborate.


It was said, TUT will increase with touch and go so it's probably better for mass building. It's also easier to do each subsequent rep after you've lifted the bar for the first time.

Dead stop pulling will require that you fire (or refire) the fibers so it's the best way to boost explosive/starting strength.

If your 24HF has a power rack, you can set the pins at the lowest level and stand on a step to avoid the octagon plates messing up your placement between reps while maintaining the full ROM.


Variety is the stuff of progress. I interchange three methods on the deadlift - touch and go, resetting between reps, and singles. All three offer different benefits and doing one way for a few weeks followed by another way for a few weeks, etc, will net you some nice PRs, which I go for in the middle of training singles. (Not every single is a PR attempt, but it's usually 85%+)


The beginning portion of the lift si where most back injuries will occur.


Your thinking is off here. The reason most injuries occur at the start (assuming that is even true, which I doubt) is that this is the position in which a person is most stretched out. A person's muscles and even back are flexed the greatest at the bottom portion of the lift, and as a result this is where their form is most likely to fail. It has nothing to do with the fact that they are coming from a dead start.

In fact, I'd argue the opposite. Most pectoral and shoulder injuries in the bench press occur in the change from eccentric to concentric. Does this mean that we should make sure to bounce off the chest even faster to make the transition shorter? No. In fact, I would guarantee that this sort of heavy ballistic loading (bouncing off the chest) will lead to more injuries down the road.

To the OP, they are both useful. I mostly pull from a dead start, rarely touch and go, but if you want to keep tension on the muscle or to train the stretch reflex, then work in touch and go reps. If I have a touch and go deadlift in a contest, then that is most likely how I will train. Similarly, if I'm competing in a powerlifting meet, I'm going to do every rep like I would a contest rep (complete reset).


I'm not disagreeing with you since I pull every rep from a dead stop, but I will play devil's advocate here.

Why do you really need to pull every rep from a dead stop if you are going to do a PL meet? You only have to pull one from a dead stop in a meet, it's not like you are going to pull for reps in a meet. Assuming that your form is already solid, why not pull the first one from a stop and then touch and go the rest?

This is something I may experiment with after my next meet.

Let's say I can pull 5 reps at 500 (or 100, or 800...who cares), from a dead stop. But let's say I can pull 7 or 8 reps touch and go. I think the added reps will contribute to more hypertrophy, which will likely improve my DL down the road.

Now, I've never had a problem off the floor, it's always been at lockout, so this may be more viable for my scenario. But if you are week off the floor, why not try the same tactic from a deficit?


Because if you are doing a set of 5 reps, and you pull 5 reps from a dead stop, you are getting the exact same movement as you will do in a contest 5 times. If you pull those 7 reps touch and go, you are doing 1 rep the same way you would in a contest, and then doing 6 "accessory reps" of a different exercise essentially. That, to me, is the difference. Further, if you are like Hanley, and have trouble at the start of the lift, I think you're priority should almost always be pulling from a dead stop so that you are practicing and strengthening the part of the lift that is difficult.

On the flip side, doing the DA thing of course, is the increased load over a higher rep range. Kind of similar to using accomidating resistance, but of course, I'd rather just use bands or chains or a car deadlift apparatus to make the top more difficult. I just personally think it's better to practice how you play. I can obviously rack pull with more load than I can pull from the floor, but does that mean the rack pull is a better exercise to bring up my competition dead? Maybe.

THIS is the key. Play around with it. See what you think and make your own decision. Further, you are doing it at the perfect time. I wouldn't pull touch and go close to a meet since I'd want to be as specific as possible, but right after a meet, when I presume you won't be competing for some time, would be the perfect time to experiment.


Only just now saw this part, after my previous response...

I think that is a great idea. However, I would rather use bands or chains (though not rack pulls) to balance out my strength curve.

Konstantinovs' weak point is definitely at lockout since his weights fly off the floor, and he pulls touch and go reps all the time, even from the top position start. It makes sense that he would train this way so that he can overload is lockout even further. However, like I said, I'd rather use bands, but then I've never seen him use bands or chains in any of his training so maybe they aren't as popular with the training methods used over there.