Rack Pulls!

Wednesday 110126

BLACK BOX WOD (current skill: deadlift):

Work up to 1 set of a 3-rep max. Calculate 110% of that 3-rep max and do 3 sets of 3 rack pulls.

Post loads to comments.


Ham honey
Make your own creamy Italian dressing
This is what really hides in Taco Bell’s beef
The practically primal guide to conventional beef, part 3

Mechanistic vs. meta-exercise
Brains and brawn
From fat to fit: why the scale doesn’t matter
Eight lessons from the life & work of Jack LaLanne

Here’s our interview with Alex P., another one of our competitors at this Friday’s Friday Night Faceoff!
1. how long have you been a crossfitter? 2 plus years.
2. have you ever been in a competition? Yes, I did sectionals last year. I went to Ohio to compete with a friend who lived there.
3. why do you like to compete? It’s fun. Competition exposes your weaknesses and you get to meet interesting people.
4. what is your best/worst expereince in a competition? My best experience was being able to do all 4 wods at last years sectionals. I don’t have a worst.
5. who poses the biggest threat in the faceoff? I’ve never worked out with the other competitors, but after the Cain Games Mike K and Jim look tough to beat.
6. what type of movements do you want to see? 2 pood kettle bell swings, OHS, low rep cleans
7. what type of movements do you not want to see? Handstand pushups, pistols, burpees
8. what is your best workout? “Fran”
9. what is your worst workout? “Filthy Fifty”
10. do you do anything special to prepare for a competition? I take a couple days off to rest and make sure my diet is really clean.
11. what type of music do you like to hear while you work out? I don’t care about what music is playing. I don’t pay attention to it.


  • Court

    Some suggestions about doing rack pulls:
    -Starting position is with the bar approx. 3″ below the knees.
    -Shins should be nearly vertical with the bar directly over midfoot.
    -Glutes and hams drive this lift with minimal contribution from the quads.
    -Emphasis in on hip extension with an absolutely flat back maintained throughout.
    -110% is actually fairly conservative for a rack pull; it’s possible to do a 5RM rack pull
    with your 1RM DL but stay lower if you are new to these and focus on staying tight with
    perfect form.
    -Focus on this as chance to practice your lockout and overload it; don’t settle for slop.
    -Use the Rogue racks with the pins set low or start off a couple of stacked plates.
    -The most common error is to let the knees come forward when the bar passes them; keep
    the shins vertical and strongly engage the hams & glutes.

  • Started with 80lbs, then added 10lb. Began 3×3 and after first set added weight to equal 140lbs in addition to bar weight (whatever that is…) for the rest of the workout.

    Push-ups were modified to knees.

  • jenn

    3RM DL 180# PR
    3x3RP @198#

    Haven’t been to the Box in over a week – feel weak and lazy but still PR’d so I’m ok with that.

    As for my two cents on this new site, I agree with most of the points everyone else in the community has mentioned, especially the whole ‘the-black-box-isn’t even-black-anymore’ thing we have here… excited to see the re-design-re-design 🙂

  • Focused strictly on deadlifts today…

    235 x3
    275 x3
    285 x3
    295 x1
    305 x1
    305 x1
    315 x1 (1 rep max PR)

  • Jeff

    press warm up triples: 45#, 75#, 95#, 115#, 135#, 150#
    press: 165# x 2 + fail, 150# x 5, 135# x 8, 115# x 10, 95# x 12

    DL warm up triples: 95#, 135#, 185#, 235#, 285#, 335#
    rack pulls: 370# single x 3, 355# x 3, 355# x 3

  • Jai

    I finished reading 4 HOUR BODY two weeks ago. Anyone else done? I’m not thinking about what I want to incorporate into my life and I’m curious about what other people are choosing. Want to discuss (on blog or inperson sometime)? Maybe hold each other accountable? I don’t know about you, but keeping tabs with the help of others works for me. Let me know what you think.

  • Matt D
  • Josh R

    So we work up to a regular DL 3RM, right? And then do 110% for the rack pulls?

    Unrelated: when you set up for a deadlift, should your pelvis tilt forward or backward, or neither? I’m wondering if instead of arching/extending my lower back, I’ve just been tilting my pelvis forward, which sort of arches the even-lower back.

    Because I think my hip flexibility is pretty good; but you guys are always telling me I’m rounding the lower back for deadlifts. Whatever I’m arching down there is physically impeded from arching any further.

  • Sophie

    tried posting this before, not sure if it went through, sorry if it did

    re: crossfit-games-open

    seems a little ridiculous that from mid-march to the end of april you bascially cannot leave town or make any weekend plans if you want to compete in the 1st round of the games and complete all 6 wods…

    • Sophie, clearly if you still have a life, you’re not committed enough to CrossFit. ; )

  • Jeff

    Josh R
    Maybe these might help? Or maybe they’ll confuse you a little more.


    Read the comments, particularly those by Eric Love, Tony Budding and Kelly Starrett.

  • Mike Mishik

    amrap 8 mins
    5 weighted pull ups (25#)
    10 1.5 pood kb swings
    20 double unders

    6 rounds + 10 swings

  • Mike Mishik

    hopefully we don’t have to climb any trees on Friday, otherwise Alex might runaway with this one

  • Jai

    I. Love. Rack. Pulls.

    Mostly because I pulled 160# easily three times, and that’s ten pounds over my regular deadlift 1 rep max. Since, on my max lifts, I do tend to round my upper back, I feel that’s sufficient justification to do lots of rack pulls. You know, for form. What’s love got to do with it.

    Also, did 50 kettlebell swings unbroken, which is the most I’ve done unbroken. 1:34. 35#.

    And I was browsing lululemon and found out that they have an outlet in New York at Woodbury Common Outlets. Ladies, I’m thinking road trip.

  • Matt D
  • Eric

    135×3, 185×3, 225 x3, 275×3, 315×3 then 335×3

    Then did 3 sets of 3 rack pulls at 365 lbs.

    Good class, need to stay tight and not jerk the bar up

    • sam.gaberal

      Yea, Eric and I had a lot of fun, his little jerk on the bar didn’t stop us for lifting that weight, which was dam dam heavy for both of us, but I was really happy with the workout

      Hit a PR with the 335, Eric was really killing the rack pulls, i was struggling a little, but i didn’t want to tell him..

  • Lisa

    Loved working on dead lifts this evening.
    Worked up to 3×183# then did 3×3 rack pulls at 205# (my current 1RM).
    Jai, Troy and I shared a bar and it was good to see Jai easily pulling the loads.

  • Josh R

    Thanks, Jeff. Those links did help, as did Mike and Kevin’s pre-WOD drills. Also, I googled “deadlift lordosis” and here’s what I think I know:

    I’ve been hyper-extending my arch for the DL setup, which includes anterior pelvis tilt to hyper-extend the lumbar curve. The second I pull on the bar, I lose the curve. As Mike pointed out last night, starting with a hyper-extended spine makes it harder to KEEP your spine extended once you’re pulling. Also it hurts the lumbar. So last night I worked on starting with a more neutral arch, and then using the abs and lats to maintain it.

    Yeah, that’s the other thing, the lats, to keep the bar towards me.

    When I do it right, which is maybe 30% of the time, I feel almost no load on my lower back.

    I think this is more an issue for gumby-jointed people like me. The hyper-extended lumbar gives me problems with GHD sit-ups, too. But makes it easier to squat.

    My suggestion to the trainers is to make sure people understand the difference between hyper-extending at deadlift setup, which feels like locking your spine back, versus neutral extension and then bracing with your core and lats. I feel like if you’re doing it properly, you’re bracing against the load in a sort of pre-pull. That should be the force that resists your arch. If it’s just your own spine lockout you’re pushing against, you’re not bracing, so your back will immediately round once you pull.

    I hope that’s correct and makes sense.