Should you stop, pause and reset on your deadlifts or should you do touch-and-go? In this blogpost you’ll find out why touch-and-go is bad and why.
You guys will notice when I deadlift I reset every single rep with a minimum of 2 seconds between every one of my reps and that is generally the way you should be doing it for either strength or hypertrophy. Either one of trying to get bigger or stronger.
Some people will go ”I’ve seen this or that guy get away with it and he has an amazing deadlift”. For example, George Leeman.
Some of these guys who are genetic freak and I can promise you there’s a lot of things that George does, that if you do is probably not going to work for you. Do not always use one technique that someone who has amazing genetics and an amazing work ethic gets away with and is succesful doing so. The same goes for bodybuilding and training a certain way.
For everybody else that does not have elite genetics, about 99% of the people, it will not work.
Let’s get into the reasoning why touch-and-go deadlifts are incorrect.
You’re Not Actually Improving Your Deadlift
It’s not going to improve your deadlift because what you’re only able to bounce the weight if you’re doing more than one rep which means you’re doing work sets with a sub maximum weight.
And ONLY on the very first rep, you are training the weakest part of the lift and the part of the lift that recruits the most muscle fibers.
I’ve seen plenty of guys, even on youtube, that are deadlifting 405 pounds (180kg) for five or six reps with 405 but they almost hitch and can barely pull the first rep. They will end up getting five or six reps by bouncing every rep after that with bad technique and the reality is: their max deadlift might still only be 405. If you were to take that person and let them do a one-rep-max they might not be able to pull 15 or 20 pounds heavier than that off the floor.
By doing touch-and-go you will only train the motor pattern on one rep because when you’re bouncing off the floor, the bar path is completely different. The motor units involved in the way that you biomechanics function are completely different than all the other reps.
So the only rep that is really increasing their strength is the first rep everytime. And they’re using the same weight continually so they don’t improve on it.
That’s the whole point. Each step you need to stop, reset, and pull from a dead stop using the exact same technique you use on the first rep.
If you’ve always done touch-and-go the transition might be hard and you would have to work on your mental cues to correctly pullback every rep. I’ll save this for another blogpost.
Higher Risk of Injury
The other thing to consider is the safety factor because you’re bouncing out of your bar path and you’re doing it in a way that’s less controlled and you have less control over the bar path and you’re probably using a weight that you can’t handle for more than one or more reps if you’re bouncing off the floor.
You’re also putting yourself at a higher risk of injury. So if you want to injure yourself doing a touch-and-go deadlift and bouncing stuff is a good way to increase the risk of injury on a lift that is normally fairly safe but it does have a bad reputation for injuries because of people doing silly stuff like that.
Even when it comes to the hypertrophy aspect of it. People will argue: ”Well you’re using a heavier weight then and you’re doing it through the stronger range of motion because it’s helping you out of the bottom”.
Well, you’re not.
If you want to do a partial rep to work the top of a lift or to get more hypertrophy due to a higher workload, you need to do it from a dead stop. Bouncing from the bottom makes you lift a heavier weight for those reps but it’s not your muscles actually lifting the weight.
You’re not getting any more more stimulation because the actual floor is doing the work as a result of dropping the weight, building up kinotic energy which will release as soon as it hits the floor causing it to bounce. You’re just continuing to accelerate an already moving object.
It is not giving you the same benefits, you’re not getting more hypertrophy or more muscle fiber recruitment then had you pulled it from a dead stop.
In fact, you would get a lot more stimulation as you pulled it from a dead stop because your actual muscle fibers are having to do all of the work. And that’s what you want.
That’s a very simple concept; if you want a muscle fiber to get bigger, it needs to contract and it needs to do some work.
So, for either strength or hypertrophy you need to follow the exact same method here you need to stop and reset so that you get perfect reps every single time.
- Each step you need to stop, reset, and pull from a dead stop using the exact same technique you use on the first rep.
- You should be doing a dead stop for both strength and hypertrophy
- By doing touch-and-go deadlifts you’re also putting yourself at a higher risk of injury
- Only the first rep of a touch-and-go deadlift set improves the strength of your deadlift
- Touch-and-go doesn’t stimulate more hypertrophy; you’re just continuing to accelerate an already moving object
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