Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire
As noted above, dropped lifts get red lights in competition. Which means that technically you shouldn't actually count a max unless you lower the last rep.
But it's your back, so it's up to you to decide whether that benefit is worth the risk.
For training, as opposed to competition, one way to define a working max might be "heaviest weight I can lift *and* lower with good form." Depends on what you're trying to accomplish.
I will never enter a power lifting comp so comp standards don't really matter to me. I know I *could* lower my max lifts, I'm just not sure it's worth it. I deadlift as a supplemental exercise, not to have a strong deadlift. Negatives are used in other lifts as a strength training tool so I could really be missing out. I may just be falling prey to the old deadlift back injury paranoia although quite a few people in my gym jacked their backs in a WOD with deadlifts.