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Touch and Go vs. Dead-Stop Deadlifts?

Touch-and-go vs. Dead-stop Deadlifts

Yes, I know this debate is completely hashed out and I’m sorry. I promise this is a legitimate question. From what I’ve read, touch-and-go pulls are useful for volume accumulation and for “overtaxing” the body: namely, doing more reps than you could if you resettled slightly before each rep. This also applies to working an area harder than it would normally be worked with dead-stop pulls (for example, more time under tension for the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back during obnoxiously high-rep sets — which would theoretically strengthen the Squat and certain portions of the Deadlift).

On the other side of the coin, dead-stop reps are useful for providing an accurate representation of where your best single is at. They also serve as a good “setup” lift: namely, you get the chance to do something resembling a first rep every time you pull. On high-rep sets, this means you get to practice breaking the floor while under fatigue (something that is useful for actually breaking a top single off the floor).

With all of that being said, I know there is a case to be made for utilizing either lift in training. Jim uses them, George Leeman uses them, and Brian Alsruhe uses them. Hell, even Benedict Magnusson used them.

But what I don’t know is whether or not I should use Touch-and-Go deadlifts for my top AMRAP sets on 5/3/1. I’ve been doing them for 3 cycles. I don’t bounce my deadlifts, and form is only an issue when I rush my setup. I may simply use them for my giant FSL set afterwards. I’m puzzled: what form of the lift is, as a whole, more efficient for maximal strength AND strength-endurance?

Also…I have a problem when it comes to performing high-rep deadstop reps. My sets generally take longer than they should simply because I’m being an oaf and resting the bar on the ground for much longer than I should. For reference, in August, my best ever (albeit beltless) deadlift set was 285 x 12. The set took a minute and a half, and I rested longer than I should have in order to get the 12th rep. Here’s the video:

285 x 12 Deadlift: YouTube · Skippy Douglas1:39285 x 12 Deadlift PR!Aug 16, 2018

If it helps any, I’m interested in strongman training. My best ever Touch-and Go deadlift set is 310 x 12, at a BW of 177. However, I messed up my initial starting position on that set, so it was needlessly sloppy. So, I’ve linked here a ball-busting set at 330 x 8 that more accurately showcases how I pull. For reference, I’m 5’9”. My best ever Squat set is 280 x 10 at the same BW. I’m not a terribly strong guy, but I think I’m at the point now where I have to start thinking about how I’m going to tailor my training to ME.

330 x 8 Deadlift: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqZr5CYAm4q/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

280 x 10 Squat: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqiHSSfA-UK/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Whichever one makes you feel better and progress. Honestly it really doesn’t matter. Until you have a PL meet or a strongman comp set up, just train and don’t worry so much. You’re young and progressing, so keep doing that. Both will get you strong and in shape. If you do 500x20 deadstop or touch and go, you still did 500 for 20 reps and that’s pretty damn cool.


If you’re bouncing bumpers or basically splitting your one set into five, then something is off. I mean, I have had some taxing sets where I had to compose myself before going for another rep but the other week I heard someone say if 20 seconds go past then they don’t count the reps in the same set. 20 seconds!!! That’s a cluster set, which is great if that’s what your aiming for but if it ain’t…

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As long as you do the lift safely and in efficient manner.

Dead stop might often be the “smarter” choice, but there are plenty of strong TnG lifters around.

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@oldbeancam As much as I hate to say it, I do feel like I’m cheating the lift (even though I know that I’m not). I’m probably just going to pull dead-stop reps on my top AMRAP set and pull touch and go on my 2 prior working sets + giant FSL set so I can get the best of both worlds.

@strongmangoals I know I don’t do that. It’s just that when I’m chasing a rep PR, sets take me a bit longer than they should sometimes. For example, I pulled 275 x 16 in 3 minutes. Haha.

@Rattus yeah, I think it comes down to a matter of preference/what you’re after.

I generally use touch and go but I have to deadlift with hex plates so if I let the bar resettle it usually twists to the left and right and my whole set is off. I think wendler says it doesn’t matter as long as you use the same method every time so progression is tracked properly.


My thoughts are there becomes a fine line between doing a set of 5 deadlifts, and doing 5 singles if you are letting it rest and resetting each time. The deadlift is the only big lift where you can really “rest” if you choose during a set. Could you imagine benching and re-racking the barbell after each rep, resetting your grip, then lifting it off and doing another rep? I think if you are working in higher reps, like you’re talking about, do touch-n-go. You are forced to control the weight the entire time, and it’s not like you’re trying to find a true max or anything. If you are working with, let’s say really heavy doubles, then okay, you might reset a bit after the first one.


Okay. I see your point. But, my question is, what do you think will really get me ready for those heavy doubles the best out of T&G/Deadstop?

It’s all personal preference man.

  1. Do what’s more comfortable to you, and practice the shit out if it. Grease the groove.

  2. Do what’s less comfortable to you, and hopefully tag some weak points.

For an honest answer, if it were me, I would do dead stop. I typically always deadstop for anything under 5 reps. Though I’m 6’4 and fought back problems for years. Deadstop keeps me honest.

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Thanks for the advice!

What about resetting after every rep? So it’s more like 5 singles, but in quick succesion (?), if you know what I’m saying.

Yeah, that’s just about what I’m doing when I pull dead-stop, haha. But I’m quickly resetting, I’m not standing up. I’m just reengaging my lats and legs, if that makes sense.