T Nation

Curling in the Power Racks OK!


Here's something to ponder: Is it ever justified to curl in the power racks? I know the general consensus, and I agree, but yesterday I saw this guy setting up the barbell in the rack and proceeded to do his curls. I was not in the best of moods and was going to approach him and tell him that he should do his curls elsewhere so someone else could use the rack for better things, like squats. Since there are several power racks where I train and it wasn't very busy, I let it slide. Here's the thing; after doing some warm-up sets he added weight, then some more weight, then more weight...he ended up doing his final set with 190lbs! I kid you not! His form for this set was very good as well, just a bit of back sway and elbows stayed put by his side. I'm very strict about form, so take my word for it. Should his actions be justified in this case? Many people can't even properly squat this weight. Is there ever a situation(example: a certain amount of weight) where certain exercises should be accepted in the power racks?


The thing is, you should be able to easily deadlift (even with a "curl" grip) anything that you can curl. So you should always be able to move out from the squat rack.


As far as I'm concerned--any time you're using #135 or more, you are justified in using the power-racks.

Just my opinion, but an almost #200 curl definitely qualifies.


Dude, that's acceptable. I think 135 is the limit for curlin in the squat rack.


last time i checked, if you curled anything over 135 it was 'ok' to curl in the power rack. 190?! you sure you counted that weight right? thats a hellova lot to be curling!


its never acceptable to do things in the power rack that can be done elsewhere. If our benches were worth a shit i would bench press on regular benches. But they arent so i have to use the rack.


There does come a point when one should keep their mouth shut when the other guy could throw them across the room. Just a bit of common sense.




Soco - we're talking about principle here. Not many of us would try to force a guy curling 190 out of the squat rack.

So theoretically, he shouldn't be doing it there. Realistically, he'll do it anywhere he damn well pleases in most gyms.


I agree with Goldberg, you could just drop even 190 off an A-frame or even a curling station. But, I no longer care too much. As long as no one is waiting to use the power rack for thier intended purpose it's cool by me. All I have a problem with is people loungeing on equipment or even stretching. I'm getting my own power rack soon and will probably curl in it, but it's mine!


Next thing you know it'll be acceptable to do tricep kickbacks in the rack as long at you're using at least 80.


Even if it were not cool to curl that much in the squat rack... Who is going to say something to a guy who CAN curl 190 pounds? As far as I'm concerned, that guy could curl anywhere he damn well pleases! That is a lot of friggin' weight!


I think the long and the short of it is that if you can defend the rack against invaders, you can do pretty much whatever you want there.

I didn't stop to count the weight, but a pretty large dude was curling a considerable amount of weight in the gym the other day in a squat (not power) rack the other day. I was in the power rack at the time and at first I thought it was lame. Then I started thinking about the mechanics of it and decided it was ok.


You let it slide? If you came up to me and told me to do my curls elsewhere because you wanted to do squats I would tell you I had 12 sets left instead of 3. Its weight, its everywhere, and its fair game for whatever exercise you want to do. You have to be smart enough to figure out some other alternative exercise or get a little patience. A lot of gyms don't have preloaded barbells and the power rack is the only place you can get a decent amount of weight on the bar.

What's next? No barbell shrugs at the power rack? No deadlifts out in front of the power rack? No forearm curls at the power rack? What about when someone is doing forearms on a flatbench? What about standing in front of the lat pulldown machine and doing the equivalent of pullovers? What about using the knee brace on the lat station to hold your legs when doing serratus work? What about calves on the leg press machine? Who gives a crap; its equipment, use it for whatever.


Deezlowdog, might as well drive your car on the sidewalk. Like I said, the gym wasn't busy,etc. But if there were people waiting to use the rack for squats, you actually think it's fine to use the rack for curls? Even if the weight wasn't that high? If that is the case, then it is people such as yourself that upset the rest of us who understand proper gym etiqette. There should be an understanding and respect for others at the facility you train at.




Charles Poliquin wrote a barbell curl specialization in a previous paper mag that utilized the power rack for lockouts. Food for thought, eh?


Ok, one last comment from me- there are some newbies here, and there are some people who can't afford their own equipment quite yet. I don't care who's using the squat rack for what anymore in a commercial shit-hole GYM. In a good hardcore GYM even guys who lift 190 lbs plus in a curl will probably deadlift it and drop it with control when they are done. T-Nation is hardcore right? So fuck those GYMS where people are using equipment for other than the intended purposes. It is up to the GYM owners to try and educate the average Joe on how to use equipment properly. But these proprietors usually don't even know how to use it themselves. These same GYMs also look at different or advanced moves as dangerous or just plain strange (like the ballistic bench press). So get in a serious GYM or get your own equipment. Don't spend your money on a GYM where people do this anymore. Yes there are specialized movements like the one stated above (Poliquin). But people who don't need to use a power rack should be considerate enough to let others squat in it without waiting.


Jared NFS: At least at my gym there are very few people that could come even come close to lifting that much that it becomes a non-issue. Honestly, you don't often you see someone curling more than 135 pounds with good form. Maybe at venice beach but not normally at an average commercial gym.


Man this "No Curling in a Power rack" argument is getting tired. Curl where ever you want, my work out is not centered around whatever your doing. I don't care if your curling in a power rack, an a frame, the bath room, or the back yard.

Lets get shirts made [i]"I curl in the Power rack, What ya going do about it?" [/i]"