Should You Do Rack Pulls and Deadlifts in the Same Workout?

April 9th 2019

For big compound movements, the deadlifts have no rival in the strength training world. This full body lift will hit your entire body hard. On the other hand, rack pulls are not to be underestimated either. Practically the same movement, rack pulls are a modified deadlift, making the range of motion less than usual.

The big question today is should you do rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout? Should you even include them in the same week?

Rack Pulls and Deadlifts in the Same Workout

The main determinants here are your training goals, your injury history and the level of performance. All these different dynamics will dictate the most appropriate exercise for you at a given circumstance. For instance, powerlifters with a sticking point around their knees will benefit in programming both rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout. On the other hand, beginner strength athletes with their sticking point off the ground may not need to incorporate rack pulls in the workout yet. They could use it as a deadlift accessory but it depends on the lifter’s program. Regardless, this question is broad and it needs a broader explanation. Keep reading to apprehend more details about rack pulls, deadlifts and whether you should do them in the same workout.

Both rack pulls and deadlifts are popularly known for building muscles and enhancing the strength of athletes, bodybuilders, and even powerlifters. The two exercises are almost similar but they serve specific purposes in different ways. We can basically say that neither of the exercises is regarded as better than the other. Rack Pulls and Deadlifts have varied approaches and they have their own individual benefits and drawbacks. On whether you should perform both of them in the same Workout; it will depend on several factors.

What are Rack Pulls?

The rack pull exercise can basically be categorized as typical deadlift variation with a limited range of motion. It essentially involves the blocks or racks which come at varying heights in order to increase the lifter’s ability. In simple terms, a rack pull is just an alternative of the deadlift exercise. The most immediate benefit of performing the rack pull exercise is that it gives lifters the ability to lift heavy weights in limited motion range.

Rack pulls are less technical compared to deadlifts. However, that does not mean that you will not muck them up. Follow the following simple steps in order to perform rack pulls correctly and realize the best results. Understanding the benefits of rack pulls will help you to know if it is ideal for you to perform them with deadlifts in the same workout. You can actually perform rack pulls and deadlifts simultaneously provided that you apprehend the impact. For instance, rack pulls can help you to increase your pulling strength.

Since deadlifts can still be used to achieve this benefit, you do not need to do them in the same workout. However, you can still do them together in a week but ensure you do them separately if you want to enhance your pulling ability. Rack pulls can easily be interchanged with the conventional, sumo, and trap bar deadlifts. All the above-mentioned are just deadlift variation. Therefore, there is no need for you to perform them simultaneously yet you both of them perform this particular boost.

Secondly, rack pulls are able to ease lumbar stress. Unlike the deadlift variations like sumo and trap bar deadlifts, rack pull exercise puts you in a position to ease lumber stress. When performing rack pulling, you are positioned more vertically in contrast with a typical conventional deadlift. Therefore, if you want to lower lumber stress, avoid doing deadlifts and rack pulls in the same day or the same week. A conventional deadlift limits the amount of loading space on your spinal erectors that are located in your lower back. In short, you cannot lower lumber stress while performing both these exercises in the same workout.

In general, deadlifts focuses on helping you to enhance endurance and increase strength. On the other hand, rack pulls serves more like a deadlift accessory and compound movement that aids in back and trapezius development. Rack pulls usually targets your trapezius and the back muscles heavily when done the right way. So, if you want to grow your back while increasing your strength at the same time, you can perform the two movements in the same workout, day or week. Since both rack pulls and deadlifts help lifters to enhance their grip strength, you do not need to perform them together if that is what you specifically want to achieve.

What are deadlifts?

It is the lifting of the dead weight which is essentially the weight without momentum. Deadlift is a very popular foundational mass movement of the body. Generally, deadlifts are great for enhancing your raw power.

Deadlifting on a regular basis will also enable you to bench press, squats, and perform pull-ups more efficiently. Deadlift exercise is essentially the best muscle building exercise in the world. There are many variations that one can use when performing deadlifts. These alternatives include rack pulls, Romanian deadlifts, conventional and sumo deadlifts.

In most cases, the lifting requires you to lower the weight then followed by lifting the weight and this is known as the eccentric phase. In deadlifts, only small amounts of energy are stored in your tendons and stretched muscles in the eccentric phase. Actually, this is a common occurrence in lifters who are not flexible enough to reach a range beyond the motion. Deadlifting involves hips and legs as the initial movers. For you to realize the best results you must follow the right techniques for performing deadlifts.

If you want to do deadlifts in between rack pulls or rack pulls in between deadlifts, you need to compare their impacts first. For instance, deadlifts have the following impact on you. Deadlifts can be used in lighter weight reps to burn extra calories and boost your cardiovascular health. If you want to develop muscles and get huge, you need to dedicate your time on different deadlift variations. Deadlifting is very safe since it is a secure real-life application. When performing deadlift you will not push your chest directly up off while lying flat on the bench just like in bench pressing.

Deadlifting can also be a great remedy for those lifters with lower back issues. This exercise helps to strengthen your erector spinal muscles found in the lower back. Deadlift exercise is generally the best way to increase your strength. That allows you to keep workout on a regular basis because your muscle has developed strength and endurance. Also, deadlift can help to increase your hormone production when you perform it correctly. An increase in testosterone and growth hormones translates into an increase in your body muscle. Lastly, the deadlift exercise engages most muscles including the lats, hamstrings, arms, abdominals, glutes, shoulders, traps, posterior chain, and the oblique. That is the reason why this exercise is regarded as the most effective and time efficient movements in the gym.

Comparison between rack pulls and deadlifts

This comparison will help you to decide whether really need the two exercises in the same workout. This comparison is based on the strength and the muscles that are impacted.

• Strength

Both rack pulls and deadlifts are used in building strength. In powerlifting, lifters will opt to do more deadlifts than rack pulls - one reason being that deadlifts are judged in the competition. If you do rack pulling and deadlifting together, make sure that the rack pins are set below your knee height.

• Muscles

In terms of the muscles worked, deadlifts engage more muscles than rack pulls. The deadlift moves engage your abdominals, glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors, the mid- and lower back, and the forearms muscles. Rack pulls has more impact on all the mid and upper back muscles, but it has the least focus on your hamstrings. If you want to develop your strength and back muscles, make sure you perform rack pulls and deadlifts in the same week.

Performing rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout sessions

It is always a good idea to include both racks pulls and deadlifts in your workout program to get the best results. Both rack pulls and deadlifts are used by the powerlifters, bodybuilders and athletes in muscle and strength development.

1. Is it a good idea to do rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout?

As above mentioned, it is a good idea to perform both rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout for the best results. However, it will always depend on your injury history and your goals among other factors like your training experience.

Both deadlifts and rack pulls are stressful moves. You can perform about 3 to 5 sets of deadlifts and compliment them with a maximum of rack pull set of up about 3 reps as an accessory movement. Usually, lifters will have rack pulls as an accessory movement instead of the other way around due to efficiency in training.

2. Is it a good idea to do rack pulls and deadlifts in the same week?

Doing rack pulls and deadlifts in the same week will still depend on what you want to achieve at the end. There are those lifters that perform deadlifts twice a week on a heavier side. Also, performing both moves will depend on your goal and expertise.

If you are on a mission to develop a huge back along with a solid deadlift, you can perform both moves in the same week twice. If you do them simultaneously twice in a week, you will surely pack mass and create a solid posterior chain. However, you need to ensure that you are in good form before doing them twice a week.

If you are a newbie, avoid performing them because your time will be better spent on learning how to deadlift. Doing both pullbacks and deadlifts in the same workout or week can be counterproductive for your learning experience. If you are want to deadlift for the PRs, then ensure that you stick with a 5X5 program.

Ultimately, performing rack pulls and deadlifts simultaneously requires you to couple them with other lifts accessory for a productive deadlifts and rack pulls. Make sure to have a balance in your program.

In summary, you can perform rack pulls during your back days and deadlifts during your leg day. That is very important because your lower back and the hamstrings tend to require more work. Otherwise, you can do rack pulls and deadlift in the same week except when you have a sore back after deadlifting.

Why you should split rack pulls and deadlifts into separate workouts?

The main reason is that you are able to exercise when you are very fresh and focused. Imagine finishing one exercise and getting into the other; the second may not be that productive. When you apprehend that your heavy deadlifting is in store for you after rack pulling, the entire workout session becomes stressful. That is one reason why advanced lifters prefer splitting into different dedicated workout sessions.

Another gain is that you will accumulate a larger volume of deadlifting. Whenever you are deadlifting and rack pulling in the same workout, you can focus on accumulating a high deadlift volume. After that, you really have no more energy to really hammer home some heavy rack pulls.

The final verdict on performing rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout

Rack pulls are very efficient in improving your grip strength and increasing the size of your lower back. Therefore, if you are a beginner, you should start performing deadlifts. If you lack the mobility to get into a good deadlift position, you can start with rack pulls and gradually work your way down to the floor.

And if you are a seasoned lifter, it is a judgment call as you can incorporate both rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout or same week. The exercises you do in training must align and help you get closer towards your fitness goals.

Performing both in the same workout?

The beauty of rack pulling and deadlifting in the same workout is that your lower back muscles get an entire week to recover before the next workout. Also, you can choose to perform both rack pulls and deadlifts if you have a single workout session in a week. Therefore, you must have a good idea of whatever you are capable of doing before performing both exercises in the same workout.

Doing both on the same day?

Ultimately, you can do both racks pulls and deadlifts on the same day. For instance, you can choose to perform rack pulling during the morning hours and later in the evening perform deadlifts. You should also note that rack pulling and deadlifting on the same day provides you with the rest of the week put together all your work-ins.

Doing both in the same week?

Since the two have similarities and differences in terms of performance and the results, you can choose to work in the same week but on different days. You can rack pull light in one week and then deadlift heavy in the other week if you think you need more work in your deadlifts. Consequently, you can rack pull heavy this week and deadlift light in the next if you chose to design your program that way.

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