The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is one of the Featured Coaching Logs at EliteFTS.
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THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: REPS vs REPS
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When deadlifting in training, there are reps, then there are reps…..here is what we mean.
Recently at the M.G.G. we were having a discussion with some of the newer RAW crew on Saturday. The topic was the deadlift. During the discussion we were clarifying repetitive reps vs individual reps and how both help your deadlift, but both also have their proper place in your training, and one without the other can equate to stagnation.
Specifically we honed in on the difference between the type of deadlift reps where you, rapid-fire, finish a rep and begin a new rep, where there is zero momentary pause in between the reps and the reps where there is a distinct moment of re-set in between each rep. We discussed how, with regard to the rapid-fire reps, when those reps hit the platform, there is a little bit of momentum generated that helps the lifter with their next rep. In some cases this is exactly what you want, for others, not so much.
These type of reps are great when you are putting volume into your deadlift training, or working on hypertrophy, as well as those days when you just want to empty both barrels on the training platform.
That said, as there is some momentum involved when the bar hits the platform and it is pulled up before it comes to a complete rest. So, realize that from the second rep onto your last rep of the set, your body will not be in that single, competition deadlift set up position, so what you gain in volume and hypertrophy you lose in pulling the weight from your competition set up. Because of this, knowing when to mix and match these types of reps is important for consistent pulling progress.
So, there are rapid-fire reps, and there are sets with reps in them that are like mini-individual singles that contribute to the set as a whole. I say mini-individual as these are reps where there is no momentum and there is a mini-reset in between the reps, and the bar comes to a complete stop and the weight is then lifted without the momentum from the platform, further, you body is back in the correct set-up you would have at a meet for a single pull. It can be a reset of hands on the bar, or a reset of your hips and rear, or it can literally be a rep, then a step away from the bar, take a rep, a step away from the bar, take a rep, etc. This type of rep keeps your body in a position like you are in for a single pull setup, like it would be at the meet. So the carry over is more apples to apples with these rep types than it is with the rapid fire reps.
Make no mistake, both styles of reps are important tools for the dead and I have used both thousands of times for thousands of reps over the decades, and both play an important role in developing a strong deadlift.
A key among many other keys, is not to rely on only one type of reps or your deadlift training becomes a one-trick pony and that equals stagnation or at best, very slow progress. Doing nothing but rapid-fire will get you a big thick back, but it is not helping you learn to pull from your single rep position and that is critical for those times when you are going all out for one big single in the gym or especially at a meet. This is why a combination of rapid-fire reps with the stand alone mini-reset (for lack of a better term) set of reps serves you well.
For sure you see far fewer deadlifters, especially newer to the sport lifters, using the re-set reps because for one, they are much more taxing and two they are plain old heavier as without momentum, your set is far more demanding. And for those instafacetweeters out there, a set of ten, banging the weight off the floor looks so cool. But cool doesn’t equal a big pull and victory is attained by hard and smart training not by “likes.”
There are a million ways to skin the deadlift cat, but something to consider is your more rapid-fire reps at the onset of your training cycle, and when then the individual re-set reps when you get into the meat of your training cycle. Banging out ten rapid-fire reps is always fun, but keep in mind the individual grind of multiple single reps combined in a set still gets the work in, but does so in a way where you are in your one rep, competition pull setup.
We have all seen the rapid-fire deadlift reps, so this video shows a few ways to do these multi-single reps within a set. Note in the video, some walk back from the bar for the reset, some bring up their rear then bring it back down for the pull for the reset, some let loose of the bar then re-grip to reset, etc.
Consider how you do your reps when you are training deads and consider incorporating the other rep style to expand your tools for your deadlift training if you are not already doing so. Food for thought.
Wishing you the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM
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