Heavy Supports or Heavy Partials?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

In response to my emails on Monday and
Tuesday, I've had a number of readers
ask the following question:

"Which is better -- heavy supports in
the power rack where you hold the weight
in the lockout position without moving


heavy partials in the power rack, where
you move the weight over a limited range
of motion?"

Well, they're both good, and and they
both work.

I would usually do both.  I would always
finish a partial movement by holding the
weight motionless in the the lockout
position for at least a couple of
seconds, and sometimes for a count
of five or a count of ten. After
all, if you're going to do all the
work it takes to get to the lockout
you might as well make the most out
of it once you get there.

And sometimes I would pause a rep at
a point a little short of lockout --
and hold it motionless for a couple
of seconds -- and then drive it on
up into the lockout position.

Or -- here's another option -- start
the rep an inch or two below your
sticking point -- drive it up and
off the pins -- hold it motionless
at the sticking point -- and then
push it on up to complete the rep --
and hold the lockout position for
a few seconds when you get there.

There are many other variations of
Din-style rack work. I cover them
in detail in Dinosaur Training and
in Strength, Muscle and Power.

Now, if you're going to do heavy
partials, for gosh sakes, DO THEM

Set the bottom pins so you start at
the desired position.

The bottom pins are your safety net.

If you miss the rep, lower the bar
back to the bottom pins. Don't drop
it. Lower it slowly and under control.

Reg park once went to the gym early
in the morning. His training partner
was running late, so Park started to
train by himself.

He decided to do quarter squats, even
though he only had an old-style set of
squat stands -- no power rack.

So he works up to 1,000 pounds.

That's NOT a typo.

That's one thousand pounds. As in, half
a ton.

He does five reps, and tries to re-rack
the bar -- and realizes that the massive
weight has pressed down so hard and heavy
that he's a wee bit shorter than when he
began the set -- and he can't rack the bar!

So there he is, standing there with half
a ton of iron on his back -- and that's
when his training partner finally shows
up -- and helps him back into the rack.

Good thing, too, or poor Park would
probably still be standing there.

So Rule no. 1 for heavy partials and
support work is this:


And please note: a Smith machine is not a
power rack. A Smith machine is a -- well,
my mother taught always told me that if
you can't say something nice, don't say
anything at all.

So that's what a Smith machine is: a don't
say anything at all machine.

There also are ways -- good and bad -- to
do this kind of training with Olympic
lifting and related exercises. I was actually
doing some of this last night. I'll cover
that in another email for those of you
who do Olympic lifting.

In the meantime, and as always, thanks for
reading and have a great day. If you train
today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For many more tips and suggestions on
power rack training -- and for tons of great
workouts and old-school exercises -- grab a
copy of Strength, Muscle and Power:


P.S. 2. My power rack training DVD is
another great resource on rack work:


P.S. 3. My other books and courses are right
here at Dino Headquarters:


P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "It's not how
many reps you do, it's how you do the reps."
-- Brooks Kubik