Today was almost all rack pulls with Sam. I think he was aiming to do more of a full body by getting a bit of benching, deadlifting, and squatting all in, but that’s not exactly how the plan went. I’ve been following my meal schedule for the past 5 days and I feel like I’ve been eating just enough to keep my energy at the gym and not feel overly hungry/full at home. The real test will be over the next week once I’m back at the office.
Since I thought I’d be doing more than rack pulling today, I took Sam’s word and did a full body stretch and warmup. I got in some kettle bell front squats and shoulder press and limbered up my lats and hips with bands. Nothing was special about the first third of the workout. I ramped pulling triples and then doubles into the low 300’s. I had to drop my hook grip at 315 since I was losing my confidence in holding the bar, and that’s the last thing I want. At 315 Sam also had me start to superset with the TRX to start hitting my rear delts, lats, and upper back. The strategy is that if I can lift the weight after doing these other movements that will be putting strain on my body, how much better would I be when I go to really pull for a max? I worked up to 375 and shot for a double, but could only manage to pull a single. I still find rack pulls more difficult than conventional deadlifts.
My major take-away from the rack pulling was my setup phase when I take the slack out my my arms. I’ve been having trouble at heavier weights trying to take the slack out and load up my hamstrings right after. The (obvious) step I was missing was driving my feet into the floor when I take the slack out of the bar. I was waiting until I went to load my hamstrings. By not driving into the floor when I remove the slack, I end up loosening up so when I’m trying to load my hamstrings, I have to re-adjust to try and take the slack out again. It’s a vicious cycle! I’ll be sure to keep that in mind when I’m doing my conventional deadlifts (and rack pulls, obviously) next time.
After the rack pulls, I was supersetting overhand barbell rows with isometric holds on the back extension stand. We kept the rows really light but started stacking on weight for the isometric holds. After a few rounds of rowing, we kept the weighted back extension holds and superset with weighted planks instead. My back was getting pretty beat up by this point, but it was cool to see that the first set of weighted planks was really easy. The following few sets definitely got harder and harder though. Solid workout though.