T Nation

Rack Pulls


#1

I recently missed a new max DL right around my shins. Today I started doing mid shin rack pulls and they take about 50lbs off my max lift, is this a huge weakpoint or normal? I usually see people pulling way more on rack pulls but Ive always done deficit pulls instead. opinions?


#2

Could be that the rack pulls are just a new exercise you introduced to your program and your body just isnt used to them yet. I herd other lifters using a deadlift where you only go down around the knee area and back up for higher volume is great for that sticking point.


#3

it is what it is… Whether it unusual or not won’t make a difference.

You may also benefit from a pause deadlift (pause just before the sticking point).


#4

[quote]tsantos wrote:
it is what it is… Whether it unusual or not won’t make a difference.

You may also benefit from a pause deadlift (pause just before the sticking point).[/quote]

quote]A-Ren wrote:
Could be that the rack pulls are just a new exercise you introduced to your program and your body just isnt used to them yet. I herd other lifters using a deadlift where you only go down around the knee area and back up for higher volume is great for that sticking point.[/quote]

I do romaians and have done light paused DL before, rack pulls felt a lot harder cause you have no momentum or in the pause your still holding the weight and things are firing


#5

Rack pulls are…amazing. Right above my kneecap I can pull 635x10. Right below my kneecap, about a month ago, I couldn’t pull 405 for a single. My max at the time was right at 500 or so.

Now, I pulled 465x14 at just below my kneecap and pulled 525, 25 lb gain in a month.

I’m an extreme example as my deadlift form has been shit for years and is now starting to get good, but I’d say start at th sticking point for like 100 lbs less than max, do max reps, add 10 lbs each week. In a month when you couldn’t done a single pull at your sticking point I bet you do 10+


#6

Call me crazy, but I think rack pulls are a great way to improve the deadlift, along with other exercises of course. First off, you must be sure of your deadlift form, and make sure it works for YOU. KK pulls one way, George Leeman pulls one way, I pull my way. Keep in mind that the way someone tells you to pull may not be the best way for you to do so.

I can only say what worked for me, (in addition to lat pulls, cable rows, pull ups, and straight legs) was incorporating heavy (3-5reps) rack pulls without a belt from just above knee height towards the end of my workout. My reasoning behind it was that it would get me used to heavier weight. When you think about it, your body has to be strong as hell to be able to withstand the force of 700+ pounds pulling it down.

Rack pulls can strengthen those ligaments and tendons, as well assisting in the strength of your “valsalva” maneuver. *I believe you can strengthen those muscles required to utilize air inhaled into the diaphragm to stabilize the spine, thus, allowing you to deadlift more. That is why I do them with no belt. I have also noticed my traps get huge from them, and my grip strength improves. Just make sure you are still doing regular deads, because just like deficits, if you spend too long away from regular deadlift, you may start to forget your original form. Or, your body will grow so much that when you return your form *will be different. Hey, hope that helps.


#7

I’ve found opposite stance pulling can be a big help to bring up weak points.

One other option I’ve seen work for conventional pulling is to take six to twelve weeks where your only DLs are sumo and snatch grip.

I’ve never really done rack pulls, but not because I don’t like them. I’ve just never been at a point where I felt a partial ROM deadlift would do me much good. That said, I’m sure I’ll use them at some point in the future. Just not sure when.


#8

I don’t like rack pulls because they jar the hell out of my joints. The joints start hurting every time I set the weight back on the pins. The sudden deload just makes my joints get all pissy.


#9

I have always addressed any weakness below my knees with speed pulls and quad work - front squats to be specific. Quads are the forgotten factor in a conventional pull and they can have enormous impact on starting a pull.


#10

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I don’t like rack pulls because they jar the hell out of my joints. The joints start hurting every time I set the weight back on the pins. The sudden deload just makes my joints get all pissy. [/quote]

I’m not sure on your gym or where you work out at, but I made 12 blocks for about 100 dollars, and my gym allowed me to bring them in for everyone to use. It removes the vibration / jarring from setting on pins / squat arms. I didn’t even cut anything, but at Home Depot is a lifter so did all the cuts or free (would have cost like 5 dollars extra, so not really any big deal).


#11

I’m in what I assume if the minority of people who rack pull less then they pull from the floor.


#12

[quote]PlutoTheGod wrote:
I recently missed a new max DL right around my shins. Today I started doing mid shin rack pulls and they take about 50lbs off my max lift, is this a huge weakpoint or normal? I usually see people pulling way more on rack pulls but Ive always done deficit pulls instead. opinions?[/quote]

2" deficit pulls. Don’t waste time on anything else when you fail below the knee. Work on perfecting technique. You may have failed form when the weight got heavy. Re-enforce technique. Shoot some vids and watch them. See what needs work. See where you’re failing.


#13

same, its strange man


#14

You’ll need more than a month of working on it. Don’t give up man. Just keep pulling and hitting those deficit pulls. Eventually it’ll break thru to some heavier weight.

I went thru a similar situation getting weight off the floor. Was stuck at 350 for a long time. Then one day I decided to start pulling some heavy singles w/o doing too much warm up and went 370 and 410 in the same workout. So it will happen. However, if you are pulling a lot of heavy singles frequently at the moment, the opposite applies and you’ll need to hit 1 or 2 heavy work sets in the 5-10 range to build some muscle and lay off the singles.

All that matters is just keep working, get in plenty of rest (take a couple weeks away from the DL - believe me, it works wonders) and make sure you’re eating relatively enough of the good stuff and plenty of calories. Many times less is more.


#15

deficits ive done for a long time, im just as strong there as I am from the floor. block and rack pulls seem to be helping me. the deficits are more low shin or off the floor work. I have trouble right under my knee caps where the bar is the farthest away from your body. also added DB rows back in instead of BB rows which seem to make above my knee a breeze.