All Things Gym



Things I Think I Know – Touch and Go Deadlifts

Here is Emevas’ next guest post in the “Things I Think I Know” series.

After he made his case for using straps, today Emevas talks about something that goes against conventional – the advantages of Touch ‘n Go Deadlifts.

As always, you might agree or disagree, but I hope this post will get you thinking.

Let us know your opinions in the comments or on reddit.

Update: Because there has been some confusion by what Emevas means, here is a clarification:


To clarify, I am not advocating bouncing. Bouncing is how you get injured. On a touch and go set, it is imperative that you maintain tension the entire time. When you bounce, you remove tension from the bottom of the lift, and force your body to regain tension midway through.

On to the post itself …

All Deadlifts Should be Touch and Go

A deadlift starts from a dead stop on the floor. That’s why it’s called a deadlift. If you don’t pause on the floor, it’s not a deadlift.

I will agree with that, purely because I am a semantic asshole. That said, it’s a terrible reason to choose how you do an exercise.

Emevas Touch and Go Deadlift

Anyone who has done a deadlift knows that breaking off the floor tends to be more the most stressful portion of the lift, even if you are strong off the floor.

Breaking a very heavy weight off the floor is taxing. Doing it multiple times in a workout is very taxing. Doing this multiple times a week/month in turn is incredibly taxing.

In many cases, it makes recovery between workouts difficult without excessive eating/sleeping (which I am very much in favor of, but also realize that many have lifestyle that will not support this/don’t want to get excessively fat).

The touch and go style ensures that you break off the floor significantly less in a workout (I’ll still break off the floor at least twice, once for the initial, and one more time after the first put down to see how many more reps I can eek out), making the entire process less taxing.


Additionally, many make the argument that dead stop deadlifts are more analogous to a competition deadlift, since you only do one rep in competition.

I argue that with this logic, the

touch and go is actually a better tool for training for a heavy single.

Anyone that has ever seen or taken part in a grinder deadlift has seen the common 7-8 second agonizing single.

When you perform deadstop deadlifts with a weight you can do for 5 reps (for the sake of argument), none of these reps are going to last longer than 1-2 seconds, and thus your body learns how to strain for this long when it comes to deadlifting.

When placed in a situation where it needs to take 7 seconds to get from floor to lockout, it is in foreign territory. When you perform a touch and go set for the same amount of reps, you in turn are maintaining tension for 5-10 seconds, meaning that your body is able to handle this sort of tension and knows how to remain tight.

Though the weight you will be using during the deadlift will be heavier in competition compared to your touch and go training lifts (and this can be addressed with ROM progression training), the time you are straining will be equal.

Though some may make the counter argument that dead stop deads get you stronger since you get better at breaking off the floor, and anything you can break off the floor for a working set you can definitely do in competition.

Makes Recovery Easier

I would argue that since touch and go deads are less taxing and make it easier to recover between training, your strength will increase at a faster rate (due to less needed deloads/resets/time off).

You will either at least meet or surpass the deadstop crowd, and be less burnt out/injury prone as you do.

With breaking off the floor being the most stressful and taxing part of the lift, it is going to be the part most prone to causing injury as you fatigue toward the end of the set and experienced form deviation.

To tie the straps back in, definitely use them with touch and go. The bar is going to be off the floor for a LONG time, don’t let your grip ruin your workout.

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Things I Think I Know – Touch and Go Deadlifts is a post by Gregor Winter from All Things Gym.