Friday, October 2, 2009

Lifting - Rack Pulls PR

Last night was a leg night at the gym. I got there late and the place was still crowded. Normally, the crowd is biggest on Monday and gets smaller as the week progresses. I think it's students who are "atoning" for their weekends early in the week and then losing motivation as the week progresses. But, maybe the trend is changing.

Anyway, last night was a fairly straightforward workout - all straight sets, no supersets. I started with alternating forward and rear lunges. Basically, I'd do a forward lunge with my left leg, a rear lunge with the left, forward with the right, and then a rear lunge with the right. That was one rep. And, I had a pair of heavy dumbbells in my hands. I did 4 sets of 4.

Next was pistols - 4 sets of as many reps as possible. I'm terrible at pistols (basically a single-leg squat) and I still use a slight cheating technique. I averaged 11 reps per leg per set.

Then, alternating lateral lunges, which are similar to a single leg squat in some respects. And the final lift in the workout was donkey kickbacks, which hit the injured area of my hamstring pretty hard. So, I'm still being cautious with this lift.

By the time I finished, the crowds had diminished somewhat, so I added a few extra reps on one lift. I want to work this winter on setting new PRs in the powerlifts - bench press, squat and deadlift. One of the lifts that is useful for getting better at deadlifts is called the rack pull. Basically, it's a partial deadlift where the bar starts close to your knees, and you only do the upper part of the lift. Because you don't have to start from the floor, most people can lift more weight on rack pulls than deadlifts. This allows your hands to get stronger as you hold the heavy bar and it allows your body to get the feeling of supporting the higher weight.

My deadlift PR is a pathetic 325 pounds. My goal for this winter is 405 pounds. I started my rack pulls at 245 last night and worked up to 335 - the most weight I've ever lifted for any distance.

I'm far from 405, but I've got plenty of time this coming winter to focus on training strategies to get there.

Tonight, I'll do an upper body lifting night and then tomorrow morning, I'm doing the mountain uphill race. Then, I'll take it easy the rest of the weekend, including rooting for my wife at her half marathon on Sunday.

No comments: