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These are most likely the most feared exercises in the gym. Most people can't do either one (or neither) of these exercises. Little do they know that by doing squats and deadlifts, you can increase your testosterone and generate more power for your bench!!! Yup, its true.
But most people want to be safe when doing either one of these exercises.
Rack Squats are done out of the power rack with setting the pins high (it will look like a high squat from a distance). You can go heavy on these because the pins will catch you should you fail. I've gone as heavy as 450 on these.
The purpose of Rack Squats is to let your back get used to heavier weights. A lot of people feel more secure this way and I use them when it gets close to competition, about five weeks out. You would want to do high reps on these, around 8-15 reps doing about 75-85% of your full squat maximum. Build up from there.
|75-85% OF MAX FULL SQUAT CALCULATOR|
Enter the maximum amount of weight you can full squat (in pounds), then press "Calculate".
Use a belt (the ones that are offered here at bodybuilding.com will do great!) and knee wraps. Remember, just because this is in the rack, doesn't mean you can go out of form. Stay tight on Rack Squats like you would a regular Squat and if your doing Squat, alternate these with the Rack Squats.
These help build a powerful lower back. I've done up to 635 lbs., about 100 more than my full Deadlift maximum. These do the same as the Rack Squats, it'll help you to get used to heavier weight. If you're doing regular deadlift, alternate that with Rack Deadlifts week to week.
This keeps your motivation up and keeps your deadlift strong. I would advocate the use of straps and belts on these. Doing Rack Deadlifts helps your grip as well, even though you're using straps. Your grip strength will improve greatly like you've never seen.
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Well, that's it for the Power Rack Training series. My Hybrid Strength System advocates the use of power rack greatly. Check out the article on my "Hybrid Strength System" for more info about it and another new exercise for the power rack. Next time, I'll go over the Max-OT Training and a little info about mass-building. Until then, stay big!
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