The Rip Cord Deadlift produces a similar training effect for the deadlift as weight releasers do for the squat and bench press. This method takes advantage of the stretch reflex. We know that concentric forces are greater when preceded by an eccentric contraction. Since this method increases eccentric muscular tension, it creates even greater concentric force. Long term benefits are increased explosive power which will result in big deadlifts.
Quick Release Deadlift
There is an inverse relationship between force and velocity. As velocity increases, force decreases. As force increases, velocity decreases. This can be seen when lifting a maximal deadlift. If the lifter performs a maximal lift with 800lbs, he is exerting 800lbs or more force, but the bar moves slowly. If the same lifter performs a repetition with 400lbs, the bar moves with high velocity, but the lifter cannot exert 800lbs because the lift is completed too quickly. Our bodies take time to manifest force. This can be demonstrated right now as you read using Zatsiorsky’s “finger-flick” example from, Science and Practice of Strength Training. Flick your left palm with your right middle finger without using the thumb as a trigger release. Now, undergo the same process, but push hard into your thumb for a short period of time and then release. You will immediately notice the increased power. This is because the time available for force production is no longer limited. This method will allow you to train with submaximal loads and simultaneously produce more power than otherwise possible.
Aside from the increased power output, you will also be gaining the benefit of isometrics. Isometrics have been an iron game favorite to strengthen sticking points for many years. Sticking points occur at the lifters weakest joint angle and are the limiting factor is maximal lifts. When using the Quick Release method from the ground, the lifter will experience a sustained maximal effort in this very disadvantageous position. The large amounts of force produced coupled with the amount of time spent in this position will raise the lifters maximal strength from the floor resulting in strong starts. The Contrast Platform can also be used to stop a lifter mid-rep in their weakest position to utilize isometrics.
This method activates the strongest motor units with a short isometric pull. You then reset and pull against the now much lighter barbell. Imagine that you are lifting boxes onto a truck and they all weigh 200lbs. Unexpectedly, you pick up a box that only weighs 100lbs. It will feel weightless! This method produces the same effect and results in fast, powerful starts.
Verkhoshansky, Y., & Siff, M. C. (2009). Supertraining. Rome, Italy: Verkhoshansky.
Zatsiorsky, V.M., Kraemer, W.J. (2006). Science and practice of strength training. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics.