Lifters' Corner: These Aren't the Rests You're Looking For

This isn't the rest position you think it is.

You know that moment - that moment when you’ve pulled three heavy reps on your deadlift, you’ve set the bar down, you still have two more reps to go, and . . . you start fidgeting around before you pull the next rep.

Let me offer a suggestion - don’t do that.

The temptation to hang out down there is understandable; after all, you’ve already done something extremely challenging multiple times, and you’re getting tired.  The problem is that this position in the deadlift - the position with you crouched over a heavy bar sitting on the floor - isn’t really a resting position. Yes, it is where you’ll take your breath, and yes, you’re not supporting the weight of the bar at this point, but this is still not a good resting position (ask yourself - would you normally choose to rest in a semi-crouched-over position?). The longer you stay down there, the more tired you’ll get, and the longer the set will take. The best resting position for a set of deadlifts? Taking a well deserved seat after you’re done with the set.

So, the next time you deadlift, I challenge you - be efficient with your time when the bar is on the floor. Give yourself one breath between reps, set the back in rigid extension with tension on the bar, and then smoothly pull the next rep. Don’t rush the setup, but don’t dilly-dally either. Be efficient.

One breath between reps. No muss. No fuss. And you’ll be done with your set a lot sooner than that silly person who takes five breaths between each rep.