Rack Work

Dick Smith from the old York Barbell Club  was the one who really understood the rack work, in fact, to quote Dick “Hoffman NEVER understood the rack work.”

For example, Dick emphasized that you simply clear the bottom pin in rack work, you don’t slam it into another pin to increase the load. The perfect weight is one that ALL YOU CAN DO is clear the weight off the rack and hold it for all you got.

Second, Dick was very clear that one quickly overtrains in the rack…but doesn’t notice it at all. I found the same thing in 1991. I went on a serious imitation of Bill March’s program and got very strong, then pulled my right trap. In fact, Paul Northway commented on my training about a week ago…”God, you jerked 315 off the rack without ANY warmups.” I got seriously strong and badly overtrained mixing programs.

This stuff works!!!

Now, this year, after talking with Dick, I went into my Deadstop Front Squat program to cure my sticking point.

I noted a few things:

1. Six singles MAX! In fact, I think it might be less now…a couple of warm ups (Dick wouldn’t agree with this, but I don’t just clear the bottom position, I stand right up, so the weight would actually be less)

2. I like two sets of five with 50% of the estimated max in the full motion before I start doing the deadstops. You know, 165 x 5 x 5 in the front squat to get ready. I tried them cold and it works, but I also noticed that my hips (the psoas) killed me the next few days. Of course, I am a geezer, so you young bucks might not need it.

3. I would agree with Tom that one day a week is good and you could do three if only doing one move in the rack. This is going to be an experiment of one…what works for you and your weak points. I liked three days a week for about two weeks then fell right off. Two at the most would work for me, I think.

4. Be sure to be honest about your weak point. I had Dave Turner look at my Clean recovery, not my front squat. Get the point where you slow or noticeably “gear change.”

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