Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Complete Rack Attack - Ted Derek Sobel (1981)

Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed
Photo Courtesy of Jim Duggan

Ted Derek Sobel, center
Jim Duggan, right.
1993 NY State Games for the Physically Challenged.


If you want it, or your nose is out of joint over a sticking point, start hustling your muscles with a POWER PACKED power rack attack and watch those sinews sprout and react with dramatic impact.

A P.R. jar is the best way to reclassify stork-like thighs into prizewinning underpinnings; a terrific, beyond compare thoroughfare for launching your dead lift into the ionosphere; an ultra-keen means to wrench an immense bench; a tried and true avenue to a nifty military press P.D.Q. 

The beauty of power rack training is that it enables the athlete to handle and get the feel of extremely massive poundages safely, and that's a proven surefire strength and bulk builder. No guesswork or doubts here - if you're diligent and give a hundred percent results are guaranteed.

Most top Olympic and powerlifters have a knack for focusing their routines around a power rack attack. Even bodybuilders are tuning in to this type of regimen. And for good reason: super strength translates into huge, rugged-veneered size; the heavier you train the more you'll gain.

And wouldn't you love to impress, possibly stupefy your peers by tossing up awesome iron? 

Here's a fast forward, blue chip schedule:


These should be done from two different positions:
A) parallel, and
B) 6 inches from standing straight up.

A) 1963 Mr. America, Vern Weaver, used to set the pins and bar at the parallel squat height and rise from there (bottom up squat from parallel). This is inordinately rough but very result producing and well worth the effort. Vern's legs were colossal, shapely, cut and forklift powerful. 
4 sets of 6-8. 

B) Former Mr. Universe, Bruce Randall, terrorized his thighs by doing quarter squats on a power rack. Anchor the pins 6 inches from an "attention" position and try to stand upright. This is a dreadnought of an exercise but it will turn your gams into flesh-forced abutments. It's great for the ego, too, since you should be able to manage approximately twice as much as you can full squat. 
3 sets of 3-5. 


Plug in the pins 6 inches from the lockout position and heave. Don Reinhoudt, former super-heavy powerlifting champion and winner of CBS' World's Strongest Man competition, specialized on this exercise during his prime and, consequently, bench pressed over 600 pounds! 

His wife, Cindy, one of the premier lifting gals, is also fond of these, and her maximum bench is pretty spiffy . . . for a woman (no chauvinism intended). 

Mel Hennessey has gone on partial sprees and breezed 570 at 242 - without drugs!
4 sets of 4-6 with around 50 lbs. over your best, full single.      


National Olympic lifting champ, Jake Stefan, was hot and heavy on this A-1 gun; claimed it gave him that little extra "Mmph" to lock out heavy jerks. Can't argue with success. 

Fix the pins about 6 inches higher than shoulder level and press away. 
4 sets of 3-5.


Bob Peoples, perhaps the greatest deadlifter ever, did tons of these. The man was slightly ahead of his time. he craned 725.5 as a 181'er in 1947, a record which lasted into the early 1970's!

Affix the pins at mid-shin and begin.
4 sets of 4.


This is a full movement. They'll mass up and mold your delts, upper pecs and triceps, provide variety and assure that you get the most out of your power rack.

The advantages of performing incline presses on a power rack are that you can adjust the bar height to accommodate your needs and you can blast your muscles from a plethora of different angles. Just ease an incline bench between the racks and you're ready to stew your thews.    

If you don't have an incline bench, prop one of the ends of a flat bench up on a few barbell plates or a metal milk crate. For safety's sake, be sure this arrangement is sturdy before finagling with heavy weight.
4 sets of 8-12.


If your power rack doesn't have a built-in chinning bar, insert the pins through holes near the summit (pick your height) and slide a bar betwixt them. Wallah! Instant chin bar. 
2 sets of as many reps as you can. When 15 is easy strap a dumbbell around your waist. 

There are several result producing variations of chinning and you might like to use a different one each workout. The platoon method will curtail monotony and enable the athlete to whack his back muscles from different angles. 

Wide, close, and medium grip chins are all effective, and these can be performed with special apparatus like lat attachment bars, V-handles, butterfly pieces, etc. 

Underhanded chin-ups are also a valuable lat widening, bicep aggrandizing thing. 


Former Mr. Universe Bruce Randall used to manhandle stunning tonnage on this muscle & power procreating great. Shrugs belt your delts and rap the traps, eliminating upper pec-clavicle gaps while adding a power-showering, cable-suspension dimension to your torso's glow. 

Plug in the pins at knee height and start lugging those shrugs.
3 sets of 10-15.

Employ this blitz only once per week, it's physically and mentally draining and you'll need time to recuperate. On your other training days, use a conventional, full-range movement routine. Do this to measure progress, for endurance and muscle building purposes, and to practice form. A few sets of situps and leg raises on non-lifting days is advisable to tighten up the gut. 

Try this nifty game plan: 

Full Squat, 4 x 8-10
Bench Press, 3 x 4-6, subtract 20 lbs. for 2 additional sets
Deadlift, 3 x 3-5, reduce 30 lbs. and do 3 additional sets
Barbell Curl, 4 x 8-12
Lying Triceps Extension, 4 x 8-12.

Full Squat, 8-10, plus 20 lbs, plus 20 lbs, minus 40 lbs
Military Press, 3 x 6-8, deduct 20 lbs for 2 additional sets
Power Clean, 3 x 5-7, reduce 30 lbs and do 3 additional sets
Barbell Curl, 4 x 8-12
Standing Triceps Extension, 4 x 8-12.  

Power Rack Attack

Twisting Situp, 2 x 30
Let Raise, 2 x 30. 

Don't let this relatively "short seeming" routine deceive you into thinking it's duck soup. Actually, it's very demanding, energy sapping and concentrated since it's all H-E-A-V-Y. When you finish this gritty ditty you'll be well aware of it! 

As always, be sure to warmup thoroughly, get plenty of rest, and eat lots of quality food.


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