T Nation

Unracking the Bar from Pegs on Low Bar Squat

Hey guys,

I have my low bar squat pretty nailed but I ma having a problem with the rack at our gym.

I can only use either setting 7 or 8 for the peg height and the pegs are those ones where the peg has a hook going up so you have to lift the bar over the hook going up about 5 inches.

Setting 7 is around lower nipple height.

Setting 8 is lower shoulder height.

When I have my starting strength bar setup on the back, thumbless grip, all the weight on the back, I have to do a slight calf raise out of the pegs and this can result in my back setup becoming unstable and after a hard set its really a pain to get back in.

Which setting would you have it at if the gap between settings was so large on your rack?

Lower nipple height and sort of squat the weight up or lower shoulder height and have it catch slightly on the hook pegs?

I squat low-bar on a pegged rack and I have to do a slight calf raise to get it back in. It is not always easy after a hard set. I just work with what I have.

Try both peg heights with light weight and see which one you prefer. On heavy sets, recruit a pair of spotters if you can.

Whatever gets you in the pegs without a calf raise. You want to walk it in and drop it.

The lower one. Definitely.

Cheers guys.

I don’t really mind looking like a tit unpacking the bar super low, I just want to make sure i am not having to fuck around calf raising shit with heavy weights on my back.

[quote]JFG wrote:
Whatever gets you in the pegs without a calf raise. You want to walk it in and drop it.[/quote]

It is a very very slight calf raise, like a cm, but it can scrape on the way out and in and that really puts me off and makes me lose tightness.

[quote]ScholesGoals wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
Whatever gets you in the pegs without a calf raise. You want to walk it in and drop it.[/quote]

It is a very very slight calf raise, like a cm, but it can scrape on the way out and in and that really puts me off and makes me lose tightness.[/quote]

You will then learn the hard way why I said, what I said.

[quote]JFG wrote:

[quote]ScholesGoals wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
Whatever gets you in the pegs without a calf raise. You want to walk it in and drop it.[/quote]

It is a very very slight calf raise, like a cm, but it can scrape on the way out and in and that really puts me off and makes me lose tightness.[/quote]

You will then learn the hard way why I said, what I said.[/quote]

what? I said I am going to use the lower setting.

[quote]JFG wrote:

[quote]ScholesGoals wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
Whatever gets you in the pegs without a calf raise. You want to walk it in and drop it.[/quote]

It is a very very slight calf raise, like a cm, but it can scrape on the way out and in and that really puts me off and makes me lose tightness.[/quote]

You will then learn the hard way why I said, what I said.[/quote]

Honestly this is something I haven’t ever given a great deal of thought, but your warning sounds quite ominous, so I’d like to hear the WHY of this.

I low-bar squat and have been for a while. I am moving decent weight, with best lifts of 455 and 405x4. Unracking the bar is fine for me, but I think it slides down just a hair during my sets, so I can either do a slight calf raise or a slight dip down to re-rack it. Going straight in it just hits the pins, so I have to go up or down.

The slight calf raise works and has been working for me. Talk me out of it!

[quote]twojarslave wrote:
Honestly this is something I haven’t ever given a great deal of thought, but your warning sounds quite ominous, so I’d like to hear the WHY of this.[/quote]
I’m not totally sure where JFG’s coming from but I’d say, best case scenario you’re wasting energy and tightness at the start of the rep (like Scholes mentioned) and worst case scenario you’re risking a slip or injured calf/ankle by having to calf raise (whatever the distance) in a fatigued state and possibly missing the pegs or, worse, missing with only one side.

Simply put, nobody who squats big-big weights on a regular basis calf raises the bar in and out of the rack.

Why would you choose to make the movement harder by calf raising it out of the rack?

I don’t understand why you would choose to add difficulty without any benefit?

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Why would you choose to make the movement harder by calf raising it out of the rack?

I don’t understand why you would choose to add difficulty without any benefit?[/quote]

To be clear, I don’t calf raise it out of the rack. I just get underneath it and stand up. Walking it out is fine.

The bar must be very slightly sliding down my back during the work, because when I walk it right back in I hit the peg, so I have to go up or down.

On the way back in, I can either do a very slight calf raise (maybe 1/4 in) or lean forward/bend my knees to lower it under the peg. I feel like I’m in better control of the weight with the former.

[quote]twojarslave wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Why would you choose to make the movement harder by calf raising it out of the rack?

I don’t understand why you would choose to add difficulty without any benefit?[/quote]

To be clear, I don’t calf raise it out of the rack. I just get underneath it and stand up. Walking it out is fine.

The bar must be very slightly sliding down my back during the work, because when I walk it right back in I hit the peg, so I have to go up or down.

On the way back in, I can either do a very slight calf raise (maybe 1/4 in) or lean forward/bend my knees to lower it under the peg. I feel like I’m in better control of the weight with the former.
[/quote]

Then I withdraw my comment, I get it. I used to have that issue too, then I stopped back squatting for around a year and when I started again the problem fixed itself. I’ve got no intelligent explanation for why that’s the case, but it is.

Ominous? No. Just a warning.

Do a really heavy set (20 rep breathing squat for example). You want to rack and rest but all you see are stars. The last thing you will think about is going up a bit. Walk in, lower and walk away.

Does it happen often? Nope. All you need is one time hearing the weights crash to the floor. I’m 6’3" and I still remember the noise to this day. The owner was a powerlifter and told me to get the pegs lower or GTFO.

I have had a lot of conversations over the years about that. The consensus is to put it lower. Better to do the calf raise at the start then the end.

But hey, it’s just my advice.

[quote]JFG wrote:
Ominous? No. Just a warning.

Do a really heavy set (20 rep breathing squat for example). You want to rack and rest but all you see are stars. The last thing you will think about is going up a bit. Walk in, lower and walk away.

Does it happen often? Nope. All you need is one time hearing the weights crash to the floor. I’m 6’3" and I still remember the noise to this day. The owner was a powerlifter and told me to get the pegs lower or GTFO.

I have had a lot of conversations over the years about that. The consensus is to put it lower. Better to do the calf raise at the start then the end.

But hey, it’s just my advice.[/quote]

I see your point. I’ve had one “close call” on a particularly grueling set. If I could adjust the pins, I would, but they are fixed. So it is either wiggle the bar up or wiggle the bar down for me.

I also had a somewhat closer call trying to get it in the lower set of pins when I first started squatting, which is why I started nudging it up in the first place.

Thanks for your thoughts, and sorry for hijacking your thread, Scholes. As I spend more and more time under the bar I keep getting amazed at all of the minutiae of lifting.

I wish I had a real powerlifting setup, whatever you call those swinging arm things. I think the pins are just too close together on my gym’s squat rack. Walking it in should be easy.

After trying it both ways, I would much rather 1/4 squat the bar out of the rack than calf raise it back in. Lower peg setting for sure.

Just to give you a taste of what can happen…

Well I’m not going to watch that last video but I just wanted to say… 540lbs, paused for an eternity, ass right to the floor… get fucked Klokov :stuck_out_tongue: