T Nation

How Come We Never See Huge Zercher Lifts?


I've noticed that heavy zercher lifts are quite a rarity. Why is that? I know about the forearms thing, but it really isn't that bad. And sure, an odd lift like that doesn't exactly cross everyone's mind, but I'm sure that some strong dudes to do 500+. BTW, zercher lifts are from the floor, and zercher squats are from a rack (at least how I see it).

Example of zercher lift:


Because Zercher lifts are miserable and masochistic? Unlike a heavy back squat which is just a rip-roaring good time!


405 sitting on the tendon of my biceps? No thanks.

Note: I've done them light for reps before and it's not a terrible exercise, but going for maxes with a lift that literally has weight sitting on a tendon has never seemed like a good idea.


I just don't see the point of doing them, from a physique improvement point of view. If I was a limit strength dude like maraudermeat then perhaps I would consider it.


This is funny, Wendler just did a post about this.


225 pounds was enough for me.I did them for four weeks 3/week and my forearms/biceps started to look like I self harmed.


I recently did 380 pounds on Zercher squat (not hitting parallel but barbell was hitting thighs). I use just a very small padding to avoid getting bruises. The only hard part is to keep lower back flat. Goal is to get a 666 pounds+ Zercher squat in the future.

Haven't tried the Zercher lift yet but am going to.


I guess you need steel tendons then? Lol...

But seriously, that has never been a problem with me. In all fairness, when I first started doing them, my forearms were so bruised that I'm surprised that someone didn't call child protective services on my parents. :stuck_out_tongue: But I adapted and I never get bruises like that anymore. The weight seems to be supported by my upper forearms instead of sitting in that gap between the forearm and the bicep (which really would probably be a terrible idea). I've gone up to 320x5 on them before with no padding or issues. I honestly think that this exercise isn't as unforgiving as people think it is. This is all just my experience BTW; I realize that you may have a different predisposition as far as your tendon's tolerance is concerned. YMMV, to each his own, blah, blah, blah... :slight_smile:


Who was this "Zercher" guy, and what did he have against his bicep tendons???


Ed Zercher. You never heard of him?


Oh......he's a revered strongman. I retract my comment but still think his exercise is wantonly cruel! :slightly_smiling:


I read before if you place a 2x4 or 2x6 in the crook of your arm, that it helps spread out the load so it isn't as uncomfortable on your elbow as without.


Why would anyone big or strong want to perform a lift where the limiting factor is not the target muscle group?


^^ X2 - what's the value of the zercher unless you're doing functional strongman training?

Even for strongman (i'm ignorant on strongman lifts) why do you need to go so heavy? How much weight would be the normal amount for say Stone Lifts?


There is no way in hell I would do that. That is just asking for an injury and makes no sense.


It's a biceps tear waiting to happen.

I swear, it is like some people do shit just so no one calls them a bodybuilder. If the result of a 400lbs "zercher squat" is to look like the guy in that vid, I'll really fucking pass.


Aside from what has already been said, I wouldn't want to rest 405lbs on my fucking quads/knees either. If you notice before he hooks the bar with his arms, the weight is resting on his quads/knees.


Why are you so jelly? Its obvious those Zerchers are what made the guy in the video so huge. If you really focus and eat right you too can be 6' 190.


Working on it. It took me since high school just to hit "150".


Looks stupid. I already deadlift and squat as it is.

Maybe its one of those sports-specific exercises. Or "functional".

I've done zercher curls before. Nothing good came of them.