Saturday, May 21, 2011

Andy Bolton on pulling from above the knee...

Article at elite....

Andy was the one who told me what a waste of time above the knee rack pulls were for helping your pull from the floor.

All this above the knee pulling actually started with Dante of DoggCrapp, in terms of popularity.  I know why that he chose that movement, as anyone that has slaved over above the knee pulls knows how sore it will make your traps.  So from a bodybuilding perspective this movement might be ok for you in terms of thickening the upperback, however good old shrugs and rows will do the same.  But from a powerlifting standpoint it has almost zero merit.  And before someone brings up Steve Goggins, don't use exceptions for the norm.

Anyway, its an ego exercise.  Leave your ego at the gym door and concentrate on doing things that will make your training more productive.  


  1. I'll second that. Seems so good in theory, but just doesn't do a thing. I tried a 6 week run of this, starting above the knee and dropping the same weight 1/2 pin lower each week. By then end, I could pull exactly what I did 6 weeks prior. Some things you just need to do yourself to be convinced. The only benefit of rack pulls is they make you really good at rack pulls.

  2. Bigs - I've pulled 800+ for reps above the knee. When I went back to the floor? 585. This was years ago. I never did any more above the knee pulling after this because I realized it was worthless. Guys that try to pull above the knee to fix lockout woes are fooling themselves as well because when you start at the floor, the bar isn't going to be in that exact position when you are trying to finish.

  3. I'll agree too. And Steve Goggins could squat 1100+ in a narrow stance, bent leg good morning style. His back is made of different stuff than the rest of us. Total exception to the rules that would apply to the rest of us.

    And as I get older, I feel like lifting heavy weight is a privilege that I want to preserve. Lots of rack work abuses that privilege.
    Feels manly in the short term, hurts you in the long term. IMHO.

  4. Paul how long would you run pulling from blocks below the knee as your main pulling exercise? What kind of rep scheme works best for these?

  5. I generally run block pulls as an alternating week thing.

    week 1 block pulls
    week 2 pulls from floor

    sets of 3-10