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Is a Set Over If You Let Go of the Bar for a Few Seconds?

Hello. Please don’t watch the below video because it’s excruciating.

Question: in the last set of deadlifts when doing 5/3/1, where you need to do 5+, what happens if you take your hands off the bar to reset for form purposes (for no more than say 10 seconds)? Although my form isn’t the greatest, I’m paranoid about my back because of an old injury, so I reset in an abundance of caution. So if it keep my hands on the bar for 2 DLs, then step away for 10 seconds to reset and do 4 more, is that 2 reps or 6, for “5+” purposes?

Again, video below, but it’s painful to watch how long it takes me, so I advise against it. I titled it 10 reps, but maybe it’s only 2.

It’s up to you: it’s your training. Just be consistent.

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Can’t imagine you’ll get a better answer than this.

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Your call but there are a lot of rests there.
Why do you need to keep re-setting? It seems more mental than physical.

IMO that’s not resetting. That’s rest/pausing.

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This is a 4-minute Rest-pause set. How you define a set is up to you, but you’d be the only person I’ve ever heard of to consider 15-20 seconds of work spread out over 4 minutes a set.

That’s multiple sets with short rests between. If you’re scared about your back there are two options: learn how to brace properly or stop lifting.

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I have a history of back injuries. I switched to trap bar deadlifts and its been a life saver in terms of injury prevention for me. At first I didnt like the idea of dropping traditional barbell deadlifts but im glad i did. Im not a powerlifter or strongman. I just lift for GPP. The trap is a solid substitute imo. And you can add trap bar RDLs to hit the hammies as well. Just a thought if you are worried about your back.

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It looks like you are afraid of the lift. You took a whole minute staring at the bar before even attempting to pick it up.

I think you need to psych yourself up and go for it. Strength doesn’t seem to be the issue.

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Also, as someone with a history of herniated discs and years of sciatica, starting new 1 rep sets with minimal rest over and over for 4 minutes is WAY more dangerous than 1 TNG set stopping when form begins to break down. I think @justaman1199 is right - you look afraid. Bracing is not a comfortable feeling. You need to create an unbreakable tightness in your core, pushing air outwards in all directions. That is absolutely not happening in your videos. My deadlift is weak and I still feel like I’m gonna pass out from bracing sometimes.

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I don’t think that what you call it is particularly important. Will it get you stronger?

My 2c is that you are so far from any kind of failure point, it’s probably not.

I also think your mini breaks are so haphazard and inconsistent, there’s no way to consistently track improvement and therefore progressive overload.

I also don’t think it’s adding anything to your safety other than the fact that you’re staying a million miles away from any kind of failure point. The reason being that you’re just giving yourself more chances to mess up on bracing properly.

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Bang on. No need to deadlift if you aren’t a powerlfiter or strongman.

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Great comments, all! I really appreciate it. Gives me a lot to think about! Thanks

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Throwing my 2c in for what it’s worth… which is less than 2c in many instances.

If you want to continue to do a traditional deadlift, there are different schools of thought on doing touch and go or doing singles. You can find some very strong lifters in favor of each. One of the best arguments I’ve heard for singles, especially for beginners that want to learn competitive lifts, is that it allows them to focus on their setup every single time. I typically do singles from the floor on anything over 80%- I’m not saying that’s the right way or the only way, but it’s the way that I do it.

If you do continue to do traditional barbell deadlifts and want to opt for doing singles instead of touch n go, I would suggest the following- you need to control the rest between each single. Between each single is a cadence or ritual. It needs to be short and repeatable almost exactly and you need to step back up ready to pop.

My 2c. As far as not needing to deadlift, I don’t think anyone needs to deadlift outside of competitive athletes or those aspiring to be, but I think it gets a bad rap. They can be done safely and effectively and are a great training stimulus. That being said, I know there are a lot of people who advocate for the trap bar. Either way… it’s not a hill I’m willing to die on. The question really is whether you want to deadlift or not.

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I don’t think you are doing yourself any favors with your setup for back health. You bend over into deep spinal flexion and then pull some of the flexion out back into extension. This is not a terrible setup for max lifts and a lot of top powerlifters and strongmen lift from this slightly flexed back position. However, a fully extended back is probably safer, especially if you are worried about past injuries. You are able to get into a fully extended starting position as you lower into it on every rep. Then you reset into a slightly flexed starting position. The best looking rep to me is the second one, which is the only one you didn’t reset. You lowered into a fully extended starting position and then pulled out of it.

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The set is over and you learn how to lift properly.

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