Hey everybody. I'm new to the forums, and I'm not sure that this topic should necessarily go in powerlifting, but my training leads more toward powerlifting than anything else, so I figured I'd try here first. Please redirect me if I should go elsewhere.
So, for the next few months I'll be away from home and my usual gym. I've joined a 24 hour, no contract place to keep up my training, as it's really the only gym in the area beyond a YMCA, which is even less suited to serious strength training. Anyway, there's no squat rack because of injury and liability issues, so no heavy back squats for me. Smith machines have never felt quite right to me, so it seems like my best option for going heavy on leg day is the barbell hack squat. I've never really done them all that regularly, so I've got a few beginner questions:
1) The motion is pretty similar to the deadlift, but I'm sure I shouldn't start off trying to hit my DL 1RM right off the bat. If anybody out there regularly uses hacks in their program, I'd like to know what percentage of your DL max you can get out of your hacks so that I have a target to aim for.
2) I figure I'll be going for my usual set and rep ranges as I would for regular back squats (4-5 sets beginning with a warm-up, then pyramiding up in weight, down in reps). Should I modify that?
3) This one's just for curiosity's sake: as I understand things, the deadlift is the best (or one of the best) exercises for CNS activation/training. Given the similarity of the motion, it seems like hacks should be comparable to DL's for CNS activation. Any science on this?
Again, thanks everybody.