T Nation

Rack Pulls and Metabolism Questions

This past tuesday, I tried rack pulls for the first time on my ME lower body day. I’ve been doing regular deadlifts, back/box/anderson squats and I wanted another pulling exercise.

When I did these, I did not feel them in my legs at all. Should this be part of my ME upper body day because I felt it in my mid and low back and that’s it. I’m thinking of dropping them and using deficit deadlifts, and i might start doing sumo deadlifts as well.

Second question. Is it possible that some people’s bodies are just better at taking in nutrients from food? I use to work out at a gym that was owned by my neighbor Bull Stewart, the powerlifter. He’s a big guy, and apparently still athletic because he can still dunk at 48 years old and at 5’10’ weighing 242lbs. I saw him at the Subway by the gym one day and asked him how much he had to eat to maintain his weight. I was expecting some large number, but he said all he eats is some oatmeal in the morning, a subway sandwich at lunch and dinner at home and all of it adds up to about 2000 calories.

I’ve heard eating 2000 calories a day is just enough to survive, I hear about guys who try to take in 3000-3500 calories a day who are trying to gain weight but can’t put on anything. I’ve been eating the estimated amount of calories I’m suppose to eat to maintain what I have, which is about 2500-2600 but I’ve been putting on weight rather then just maintaining. Is it possible that I am able to take in what I need from food better then other people? And yes, some of my weight has been fat, but I’ve put on 20lbs in the past year, and most of that is muscle, but I still look the same.

Ok, I just think I’m rambling on and I might start going on tangents, but any thoughts on these two things?

Keep Rack Deadlifts on your ME Squat/DL day.
Don’t worry about where you feel the exercise. Worry about movements.
Make sure you’re doing them from below your knee. Make sure you go heavy!

Doing Rack Deadlifts from above your knee doesn’t have much carryover to the real Deadlift because you start off with your torso so vertical that you pretty much just 1/16 squat the weight up.

Your idea about doing Rack Deads as an Upper Body exercise isn’t dumb. In DoggCrapp Training your split is like this.

Workout 1
Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Back Width, Back Thickness

Workout 2
Biceps, Forearms, Calves, Hamstrings, Heavy Quads, High-Rep Quads

This is a 3-a-week Bodybuilding routine that will still give you awesome strength gains. Rack Pulls and Deadlifts are options you can choose for your Back Thickness exercise. RDLs can be done for Hamstrings. Reps for Rack Pulls and Deads with this program are usually above 6.

There’s a LOT of genetic variation between humans, s there’s a lot of variation between how our bodies metabolize food. All sorts of things are effecting this. Maybe your genetic disposition to have certain hormone levels has caused you to keep a lot of the food you eat on your body. Maybe it’s your metabolism. Maybe it’s your diet. Maybe it’s your body composition. Could be a combination of all that and more.

I doubt the dude you’re talking about eats so little because he sounds like a brick. In order to dunk at 242lbs you need to squat a lot. And in order to recover from heavy squats, you need a lot of food. Maybe he doesn’t count the protein shake he has every 90 minutes as food. Maybe he eats 5 cups of Muscle-Milk Oatmeal in the Morning, the Subway Feast 12’ for lunch, and an 18oz Flank Steak for dinner. Maybe he’s gone to the anti-aging clinic for a steroid prescription . Unless you stalk someone for a week, you can’t really get a totally clear picture about how they eat.

I’ve been eating 5 chicken breasts for dinner for several months and I’m starting to lose weight even though I take in a LOT of calories throughout the day at evenly spaced intervals. I even switched from egg whites to eggs and I’m not gaining! But my roommate only eats one moderatly sized meal a day and he’s pretty fat. So Meal Frequency also plays a big role in body composition.

Rack Pulls are for your back.

You CANNOT look at another persons diet. You need to make your own diet, then manipulate the numbers depending on your growth. It is possible he has a slow metabolism as a base… who the F knows. Also, just because he lifts weights does not mean he pays attention to his calories (maybe he does don’t know anything about him) so he might be ball park figuring and wrong.

Something is wrong here.
You cannot put on 20lbs of muscle and look the same. Unless it’s still hidden by fat, in which case you just made a slightly bigger version of yourself.

[quote]yasser wrote:

When I did these, I did not feel them in my legs at all.

Rack Pulls are for your back.

I was expecting some large number,

You CANNOT look at another persons diet. You need to make your own diet, then manipulate the numbers depending on your growth. It is possible he has a slow metabolism as a base… who the F knows. Also, just because he lifts weights does not mean he pays attention to his calories (maybe he does don’t know anything about him) so he might be ball park figuring and wrong.

but I still look the same

Something is wrong here.
You cannot put on 20lbs of muscle and look the same. Unless it’s still hidden by fat, in which case you just made a slightly bigger version of yourself.[/quote]

1.So would I put them as a part of my upper body day? Maybe when I don’t do a deadlift variation on my ME lower body day?

2.I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about. He was a pro powerlifter, so I’m guessing he looked into it more then just a little bit.

3.Honestly, me looking the same is probably just in my head. I guess I’ll always see myself as the skinny 120lbs kid that I was as a freshman in high school. But I never said I put on 20lbs of muscle this past year. I said I put on 20lbs. I do not know what the ratio of fat to muscle is.

  1. Sure stack it in upper if you want. I keep mine on my lower day though.
  2. I am not going to argue the point. If you want to accept what he says that is fine, no skin off my back.
  3. Take pictures. Get measurements.

[quote]DjSm28 wrote:

Second question. Is it possible that some people’s bodies are just better at taking in nutrients from food? I use to work out at a gym that was owned by my neighbor Bull Stewart, the powerlifter. He’s a big guy, and apparently still athletic because he can still dunk at 48 years old and at 5’10’ weighing 242lbs. I saw him at the Subway by the gym one day and asked him how much he had to eat to maintain his weight. I was expecting some large number, but he said all he eats is some oatmeal in the morning, a subway sandwich at lunch and dinner at home and all of it adds up to about 2000 calories.
[/quote]
Some things to consider:

  1. Metabolic rate decreases with age even when lean body mass is maintained. It will take fewer calories to maintain the same LBM at age 48 than at 18 or 28.

  2. Maintaining is different than gaining. Gaining muscle requires an adaptation; maintaining doesn’t.

  3. Unless he is measuring his body composition, maintaining weight is deceptive. He very well could have 20 pounds more fat and 20 pounds less muscle than he did years ago, further decreasing his metabolism.

  4. Metabolism is a moving target. When you decrease calories for a long time, you burn fewer calories.

  5. The main thing that should matter to you is how many calories YOU need to maintain or gain muscle. Someone else’s caloric needs are irrelevant to yours.