My fav exercise to grow a huge back, rack deads, but its the technique that counts

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by canadabber, May 31, 2019.

  1. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    So just curious as to what people think about rack deads for mass building and really getting that thickness when growing your back?
    It's become my new fav back mass builder (conventional deads i feel i utilize too much leg and glute strength to get it off the floor, and legs also being a weakpoint i dont want them trained on back day while they are still sore and recovering from back sessions).

    As far as form goes for my rack pulls, i have switched up from my previous grip it and rip strategy where i load up the weight like six plates and just concentrate on the explosive positive portion of the rep and dont lower the weight slowly but just let it come down so im really missing the most important mass building part of the movement, the negative, and im not getting a ton of time under tension... I get stronger using this technique, but, for me at least, its sub optimal for maximum muscle and size growth.

    My new form involves dropping the weight a ton (go to four plates or four and a quarter) and slowly lowering the weight focusing on the negative then stopping just below the knee and holding it for a half a second before lifting back up again (never put the bar down on the guard rails) the time under tension is awesome and i can really feel the mind muscle connection in my back, pulling shoulders back and squeezing.

    I made a vid showing how i like to do it and explain a bit more there:

  2. Demondosage

    Demondosage Member

    Good video, someone here with actual thickness, I'm a fan!!
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  3. Mayne

    Mayne Member

    I agree with the notion that it is the best back thickness exercise, but I disagree on other points. I think it is an exercise which benefits a lot better from weight rather than repetition. Even doubles and triples would do, but I usually do around 6. Bottom position usually is the hardest point in the deadlift (whatever the height) and is basically the reason for the name, you are lifting from a dead stop, no stretch reflex to be had. On the descent you don't have to pause without resetting, you just reset slowly and repeat. Pause is also much better when done on the ascent but I only do it when pulling off the floor where I think it helps with the sticking point just after you initiate the motion. I think John Meadows has the best example of how to do it as a bodybuilder and I think an important part is to understand how to use your lats optimally (by turning your elbow inward) and on the exploding when you begin the motion.
  4. Honestly love them. I like to pull from about mid shin. Nothing fires up my back like they do. I go back and forth between them and conventional dead’s every 4-5 weeks. Didn’t start doing them until I ran a program by John Meadows but ever since they’re a staple in back training for me and always will be.
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  5. Test_Subject

    Test_Subject Member

    Try doing them banded with a three second pause at the top of the rep then lowering the weigh slowly.

    Your traps will be screaming.
  6. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    thx man appreciate it
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  7. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    that sounds interesting ill def give it a try!
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  8. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    good points and thx for the link! love this guy! I'll def give some of the suggestions a try for sure!
  9. bebeav

    bebeav Member

    That's a really good approach.

    Have you ever try doing these using a snatch-grip instead of the straight arm position?
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  10. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    I have actually, i really like it i feel it more in the upper back lats. (in my head i feel like it helps with width... but i doubt it really does).
    But its a different movement motion and it helps me connect with a different part of my back while i lift so i def love it.
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  11. MindlessWork

    MindlessWork Member Supporter

    I do these the same way and with the bars set in at the lowest notch in the rack which places the bottom of the 45lb plate 5" off the floor. One quibble with this setup is that the bar tends to bounce a bit on the bars when I set it down then pull up in touch and go style.
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  12. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    I hear ya, I just dont touch the bar at all is what i've been trying, just get that little hold for a half second before coming back up... Not sure if its better or worse (whether id be better off just focusing on the negative then touching and going, but im trying this for a while and it really makes my back scream like my lower back and lats are being torn off my body lol) sooooo it must be good right!> lol
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  13. MindlessWork

    MindlessWork Member Supporter best thing is to go as low as possible without touching the safety bars? As the rack faces a mirror it should be easy to watch how low I go without touching including a short pause at the bottom then coming back up. Will try doing it the way you mention and thanks for that tip.
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  14. I noticed that in your video that you have a good slow descent (which I normally do as well) but saw you don’t touch the rack and have a brief pause which I like a lot. Have rack dead’s in my next rotation coming up for back I plan to do them just like that. I’m all for making an already solid movement that much harder.
  15. MindlessWork

    MindlessWork Member Supporter

    Yes that's my mistake as touching the rack pins with the bar on the way down can throw me off if I don't come down evenly. The video he posted is very informative and I will make changes to my movement. Even copied the video to my phone so I can watch it before I do my sets.
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  16. Normally I’ll lower the weight and when it hits the rack just give it a one onethousand pause and then pull again. But stopping just short of losing muscular tension makes a hell of a lot more sense.
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  17. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    nice let me know how it feels... that pause really is a game changer i feel at least for me (obviously everyone will be different but its def worth giving it a shot and seeing how it works for you i think!)
    FourOneDeuxFitt likes this.
  18. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    Well i guess the depth you take it depends on how you feel, I try to stop just below my knee I feel that as i go lower i begin to activate and utilize more glute and legs (hammys) if you go too low you are kinda turning the motion into a straight legged deadlift (Actually this is kinda what i do for those as well on my leg day, I lower weight to mid to upper shin and when i feel the tension in my hammys hold then come back up.

    So I'd say try out different depths, if your focus is mainly back dont go to where you start to feel it in the hammys and glutes as much, (for me its just below the knee cap)
    MindlessWork likes this.
  19. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    awesome glad that you foudn some value in this vid man means alot!!! Also I wouldnt say touching the bar has no place or doesnt have value, I think when you do that it lets you mentally reset and focus on the postive explosive portion of the movement more. So really its just two different goals, you lower that extra time under tension (which i feel generally leads to overall better mass buildign) in favor of being able to perform more reps or lift heavier and gain strength.
    So really its what your goal is, my theory and how its worked for me is that pause at the bottom just really burns me out makes it harder, so i lift lighter but i feel add more size, but I wont get as strong as if i use the bar to reset and focus on an explosive rep in the positive.
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  20. canadabber

    canadabber Member

    I think just making that slight change def makes the exercise so much more different for sure, you will burn out faster and basically have the back under tension the entire time (which in my opinion and experience so far has helped me build more mass) however, you may not be lifting to increase strength as much, so its really a which is it you want to work on? hitting bar to reset i think gives you that time to really focus and explode and lift heavier and get stronger. Really, in the end everyone will be different, but its cool to mix it up, probably the correct thing to do is just keep switching it up dont stick exclusively to one thing! Hit the bar and lift heavier for a bit to build some strength for 6 weeks then switch it up and give it that pause for 6 weeks! you'll have gained some strentgh and be holding heavier weights now with more time under tension!!! i think thats the game keep mixing it up and confusing the muscles and dont let em know what your gunna hit em with and just force them to grow!!!
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