T Nation

Zercher Lift as Main Exercise


#1

Hello CT,

short question if you dont mind. You had an article about zercher lifts. So what do you think about using a zercher lift as a main lift ? Typically its more of a assistance lift, however I would like to treat it as a mainlift. Do you believe the lift has potential as a great mass & strength builder? I would pick him as a main exercise (instead of SGHP) next to the squat, bench, and deadlift.


#2

[quote]Akidara wrote:
Hello CT,

short question if you dont mind. You had an article about zercher lifts. So what do you think about using a zercher lift as a main lift ? Typically its more of a assistance lift, however I would like to treat it as a mainlift. Do you believe the lift has potential as a great mass & strength builder? I would pick him as a main exercise (instead of SGHP) next to the squat, bench, and deadlift.[/quote]

I used it as the main lift for two Crossfit athletes during a 6 weeks blocks. Yes it is a good main lift early in a training cycle.

Something like:

BLOCK 1 - ZERCHER SQUAT MAIN FOCUS
BLOCK 2 - FRONT SQUAT MAIN FOCUS
BLOCK 3 - BACK SQUAT MAIN FOCUS


#3

So I work now hard on my zerchers, and I have now 2-3 technique questions.

1.) I use for Zercher Squats a pad on the bar, its the same pad you can use for back squats to make it more comfortable. You wrap it around the barbell. Is that okay?
2.) When the weight gets heavier my arms automatically drop lower and they are not so upright anymore. I almost press the barbell against me (directly under my pecs) Is that okay?
3.) Olympic Shoes and Zercher Lifts should be okay?
4.) Should I break with my knees or lead with my hips or both at the same time when I squat down? (My stance is a bit wider than my shoulders, more of a wide stance).

If someone knows the answer to one of the questions, thanks in advance :slight_smile:


#4

[quote]Akidara wrote:
So I work now hard on my zerchers, and I have now 2-3 technique questions.

1.) I use for Zercher Squats a pad on the bar, its the same pad you can use for back squats to make it more comfortable. You wrap it around the barbell. Is that okay? [/quote]

For comfort, sure. I’m just not sure if it’s long enough to have an optimal width. Personally I wear a hoodie and put neoprene knee sleaves on my elbows, dos the job.

[quote]Akidara wrote:
2.) When the weight gets heavier my arms automatically drop lower and they are not so upright anymore. I almost press the barbell against me (directly under my pecs) Is that okay? [/quote]

It’s not ideal. The main purpose of the Zercher(for me) is to strengthen the upper back. I prefer to only use the weight you can lift with the arms more upright. You will build up the strength over time.

[quote]Akidara wrote:
3.) Olympic Shoes and Zercher Lifts should be okay? [/quote]

Yes. It’s like a front squat.

[quote]Akidara wrote:
4.) Should I break with my knees or lead with my hips or both at the same time when I squat down? (My stance is a bit wider than my shoulders, more of a wide stance).[/quote]

With a wide stance break at the hips first, pushing the knees out.


#5

Oka thank you CT! Helps me! :slight_smile:


#6

CT,1 more question!

What is a “normal”(good, well- developed) ratio from Zercher squats to backsquats and deadlifts?
(In your article know your ratios, Zerchers are not mentioned )
Thank you CT


#7

[quote]Akidara wrote:
CT,1 more question!

What is a “normal”(good, well- developed) ratio from Zercher squats to backsquats and deadlifts?
(In your article know your ratios, Zerchers are not mentioned )
Thank you CT[/quote]

A good Zercher is 90% of the best front squat. And a good front squat is about 85% of the back squat. So we could say that a good Zercher squat would be around 77% of the back squat.


#8

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Akidara wrote:
CT,1 more question!

What is a “normal”(good, well- developed) ratio from Zercher squats to backsquats and deadlifts?
(In your article know your ratios, Zerchers are not mentioned )
Thank you CT[/quote]

A good Zercher is 90% of the best front squat. And a good front squat is about 85% of the back squat. So we could say that a good Zercher squat would be around 77% of the back squat.[/quote]

Merci beaucoup, CT! :slight_smile: (time for some math and weakness search haha)