T Nation

Rack pulls vs Deadlifts


Anyone here know of any corelation from rack pulls (from the knee) to deads? is there any carry over. Hell even list your own experiences.
Just did a PR in rack pull today and would like to guess where i would be at with my deadlift


Why dont you go ahead and test your deadlift 1RM .... ?


nope, it doesn't tell you what you could deadlift.

what rack lockouts do is exactly what they say. help with lockouts.

now, this isn't a bad thing per se. it is a great thing. Rack lockouts also spare a bit of cns activity.

if you want to know what your dead is, then you should dead.

A better move (although you should use sparingly) is a deadlift from a raised mat. probably 3" or so. you'll do less, but you can tack on another 50-70lbs or so. sometimes more. For instance, I mat pulled 355. About a week later I pulled 455.

Of course, these moves vary upon individual. If you have great starting strength, but shitty finishes, then maybe your rack pulls are a good indicator of what you can do.
Keep experimenting and take good notes.


Iwouldn't say there is a great carry over from rack pulls to off the floor deads.Rack pulls seem to help if you are weak at the lockout part of your deads.I will say though i like to do them to get a feel for holding heavy weight so when my deads from the floor increase it's not such a shock to my nervous system with the heavier weight.


Low rack pulls have a good carryover to the deadlift. If the weights are just off the floor, app. 2", you'll normally deadlift a little more. Up to 6 inches or so off the floor will help the deadlift, after that the leverage is to great. You won't get a good carryover at that point. You also won't be able to get an app. on your floor max.


cheers for the feed back.
Im doing rack pulls for a couple of weeks (in conjuction with a2tg squats) and they have moved up very quick. will see how it affects my deadlift in a couple of weeks then maybe move to rasied Deads as mentioned.


Don't forget goodmornings.... these are the king of all posterior chain exercises when it comes to bringing up your squat and your deadlift.

One of the best indicators as to how well your deadlift is improving is a goodmorning from suspended chains or from pins. Have the chains or pins set at about 38-40 in from the ground. Get set, and rip it off the floor. If you improve with this lift, your dead shall undoubtedly improve.

Good luck.



Is the Good Morning from Pins the same idea as a Squat from the Bottom position in a rack?

Know what I mean?



According to Westside Pins Pulls (DL from Pins in a rack) are good for hamstrings.

An alternative to GHR and reverse hypers.


The rack pull is a very odd movement.. some people love it some people hate it..I hate it..I used to do it all the time but realized it was not helping me at all..i actually pull a lot lees from the rack then i do off the floor or even off a box??..dont ask me why...i used to do rack pulls as a asseccory movement from pin 1 or pin 2 twice a month.. now i may do them once a month and my deadlift has flown up since i stoped doing them so much..some reasons why maybe..a. it fucks up your form...b. it fucks up your form lol...it really fucks my deadlift groove up...here is what i have done instead is i do conventional reverse band deadlifts off a 2 inch box with a different band each session for assitance work...i use a mini one week-a purple one week - and a green one week...this way i get a complete over load and i can work on my technique i never max out and rarely go above 90% of my best pull in competition or with each band...the 4th week i may do rack pulls or may not pull at all depends on how i feel...i think using the reverse band dl as a ssitant movement has been fully responsibile for my big improvement in my deadlift lately...give it a try..ross


i understand... yes it's similar. except you will not squat the weight up.

instead get into the bottom position of the good morning. knees slightly flexed and lower back arched HARD. you can do this with either a close or wide stance. you must determine if your lower back is weak or if your hips/hams/glutes are weak.

if the lower back is weak, then use the close stance. if your hips/glutes/hams are weak then use the wide stance.

Begin the movement by spreading the floor, pushing the knees out and thrust your hips forward as well as arching the bar up.

your deadlift will skyrocket as mine did. I went from a 335 dead to a 455 dead in about 4 months.



I dont see how doing Good Mornings "from the bottom" is any different from doing them from the top. You still have to lower it back down to the pins. Whats the difference from doing it "from the top"? Its just doing it in reverse.

From the Bottom: Raise bar first, then lower back down to pins.

From the Top: Lower bar first, then raise it back up.

I want the improvement in my squat/DL you got! Do you do these for singles?


ah, i see the confusion.

well, if you do a gm from the top, you load the muscles and create a stretch reflex at the bottom. The eccentric portion of the movements allows you to do this. This elastic energy that you create can last for up to 4 sec or so.

If you were to do the gm from the bottom, you cannot create this stretch reflex motion. What does this sound like? A deadlift. In the dead you start from scratch. Ever notice how a set of 2 or more reps on a heavy dead is easier past rep 1?

I do the gm's in a step wise pattern following the west side template. I do sets of 3 until I can't anymore and then do singles until i max out. This, of course is during my max effort days. If you're doing this as an accessory exercise, then you'd do 5 reps or so.

Good luck.



I think you have penetrated my thick head.

So you want to avoid the stretch reflex movement? Which you get from GM from the top.

GM from the bottom you remove the reflex movement and must "muscle it up". Which is an advantage over the "strecth reflex".

If I have it Thank You for your patientice!


Yes, I'm saying you want to avoid the stretch reflex. BUT, this isn't an absolute. Avoiding the stretch reflex in this instance will help mimic a deadlifting situation. Performing full gm's are also very beneficial. But every once in a while you should do gm's from pins or suspended chains.

So, doing gm's from the bottom prevents the stretch reflex load of the muscle so in effect, you have to apply much more effort to move the bar.

Remember, try to keep as tight an arch as possible and begin the movement by spreading the floor and pushing the knees out. This will help activate the hips/glutes, which happen to be the muscles needed for the big boy weights.


great job bobu! Thx


i wanted to mention, that if you do these with a wide stance, spreading the floor and pushing the knees out is mandatory. if you use a close stance it's kinda tough.


wide stance, spreading the floor seems the way to go with everything.