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I don't have a specific photo to share but often when I watch powerlifters do deadlifts, they regularly pause at the top on the last rep.

Why? Feeling proud of yourself and looking in the mirror? Or is there a reason for this: grip, lat training, conditioning, etc.?

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Powerlifting competition rules vary from federation to federation, but generally in the deadlift, the lifter is required to hold the bar in the locked out position until signalled by the head judge to lower the bar. At that point, they must lower the bar to the ground in control, which usually just means a fast descent, holding the bar until it is settled on the ground. Accidentally lowering the bar too soon would result in the lift being red-flagged, and not counting, even if a full lockout was achieved.

What you're seeing may be practice for competition, similar to how powerlifters will typically train the bench press with a 1 second pause at the bottom of each rep, rather than touch-and-go. (Bench press rules require the lifter to wait for a command before lowering the bar, leaving it touching the chest and motionless until instructed to press, and then holding it locked out until instructed to re-rack.)

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  • That makes sense. Would it be best, in this case, to pause at the top of every rep to practice this or is the last rep enough? – C. Lange Jul 9 '19 at 20:04
  • Do you plan to compete in powerlifting? If so, i'd practice the commandos during your peak week, otherwise you'd only need to pause at the top if you intent to train your grip. – skolldev Jul 10 '19 at 13:10
  • @xdecdec, competition is on the horizon but I'm far too novice right now. I've been relying on straps too much so training my grip might not be a bad thing. – C. Lange Jul 10 '19 at 19:37
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    Don't worry about being "too novice" - if you can lift the bar + the collars, youre strong enough and will have a great time. – skolldev Jul 10 '19 at 20:36
  • If you're aspiring to enter a meet, then definitely try to go without straps and start using chalk for as much of your training as possible, prioritising not using straps for lower rep work if you don't want to completely stop using them. If you're going to start using a mixed grip or hook grip, you'll want to be familiar with those before the meet. – David Scarlett Jul 11 '19 at 0:00

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