Anvil or Hammer


Long Two Hours

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on March 31, 2007

Had my two hours at the gym last eve. I was feeling pretty draggy from the week, being sick and Thursdays workout. I got in a few minutes of jumping rope, did some snatches (60K), some power cleans (60K & 80K). I did some rack pulls, I am amazed that I can rack pull LESS than I deadlift. I’ve tested it a number of times and consistently I rack pull 50lbs less than I deadlift. I guess I need to do more rack pulls and work the range of rack pulls. I did some pullups and got a couple sets of two in there, probably did 10 total. I did some curls and some kettlebell snatches and I was pretty much done. Pretty weak overall.

Took today off for the most part. We have been working on getting our dog to walk better on a leash. We finally worked her up to a two miler today. Tomorrow I’m headed to the promter of the local strongman event’s house for some training. Should be good but rough.

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8 Responses to 'Long Two Hours'

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  1. Scott said,

    ‘I can rack pull LESS than I deadlift.’

    Huh? I suspect you’re using a slightly different technique between the two (stance, grip width, movement sequence etc). How do you perform with a really low rack pull (put the pins as low as the rack will allow)?

  2. Mike said,

    It seems that on most if not all rack pulls I underperform. When I get stuck on a deadlift, it is usually just barely off the ground, a couple inches. It seems it’s the start from the pins that hangs me on a rack pull. I think already having the momentum in a deadlift helps. I’m gonna try and take a day sometime and just work the rack pull from every pin and see what kinds of maxes I turn out. I think it is a movement sequence thing, I feel out of position when I pull from the rack, the higher I am the more out of position I feel.

  3. Chris Rice said,

    I did the every pin rack pull test many years ago – it yields some interesting results usually and shows weak points well. Rack pulls also have a “dead” start compared to pulling from the floor or even boxes. The bar is already pre bent in the rack and you get absolutely no momentum when you start the pull. You get bar bend and plate drag when you start from the floor and it kind of gets things moving a bit differently. Position is as you know something that often is different when not doing the full lift – but with practice it should get better.

  4. Mike said,

    Thanks Chris, I’m not as concerned about having a super high rack pull as just being able to pull more in general. The only place the rach pull ‘might’ be benefitial to me is to work supporting grip. I seem to constantly deadlift only as much as I can hold. This has caused a problem before and will again I am sure. Deadlifting is the best if not oly time I hold heavy weights though.

  5. Scott said,

    Mike, do you do much in the way of rack pulls with a wide grip (hands right out near the plates)?

  6. Mike said,

    No where near it. I use a conventional deadlift grip, one thumb length from the end of the knurling.

  7. Chris Rice said,

    Have you tried the hook grip ? I imagine you have but thought I’d at least throw it out for consideration. With a hook, my grip never fails – at least with any weight I can pull. My best rack pull is only 800 though (very short ROM). When Big Steve came down to visit he did the 800 with just a regular overhand grip (no hook – very impressive) then had to go to reverse to pull 900 – that was all we could fit on the bar at that point. I did 500 regular grip and then started hooking – I need more overall body strength to pull more weight.

  8. Mike said,

    It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the hook grip, however, I have been playing with it. At this point my hook grip is very inconsistent. The most I have managed to pull with it is (as I recall) 400lbs. Part of the issue there is that it does make it a slightly different pull. Just as you advocate that the deadlift pull is a different pull from any olympic pull, I feel that a mixed grip pull is a different pull than any double overhand pull. Besides, I’d rather improve my grip strength than rely on a crutch that isn’t there in a whole host of situations. I’ve seen video of you rack pulling 400lbs on an axle double overhand. That’s not something that is achieved through a hook. Still it may be something of a viable solution in the short term. My little hands make the hook impractical but I can hooks so perhaps some time mangling my thumbs will improve it.


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