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sayagain
08-15-2009, 06:16 PM
So I did Zercher squats today for the first time as my ME lower movement and worked up to a 3 rep max. I really liked this movement and felt like it will have some great carryover to both the squat and deadlift as it really requires a tight core throughout the movement. I even had an older gentleman walk up to me and say that in his 40 years of working out, I was the first one he had ever seen do an actual zercher squat. I was actually a little surprised that anyone knew the name of the exercise, so that was kinda cool. The only thing that I didn't like about the exercise is that it really tore up my elbows. I've been icing them for about 20 minutes at a time all day today, but I'm concerned that it could have a negative impact on my bench. What are your guys thoughts on the exercise? Should I use less weight to avoid the stress on my elbows? Maybe just use it as a supplemental lift as opposed to a ME lift?

Lones Green
08-15-2009, 06:34 PM
I like them as a supplemental lift, maybe right after squatting. They are great but you are right, they are very hard on the arms. In a perfect world, we'd all have zercher harnesses.

Sean S
08-15-2009, 07:31 PM
I don't like them for ME work either, unless you have a harness. You end up being able to SQ more than you can hold. Plus last time I did them it felt like I was going to tear a bicep, so I haven't done them since.

Brian Hopper
08-15-2009, 07:39 PM
I like them alot, but only as a secondary exercise not a max effort. I have done them for singles but my form was breaking down. I'm gonna start wearing elbow wraps of some sort. I haven't had any elbow pain, it just scars me up. If done the correct way, I can see how they can improve your squat and deadlift.

sayagain
08-15-2009, 07:59 PM
I like them alot, but only as a secondary exercise not a max effort. I have done them for singles but my form was breaking down. I'm gonna start wearing elbow wraps of some sort. I haven't had any elbow pain, it just scars me up. If done the correct way, I can see how they can improve your squat and deadlift.

Maybe some elbow sleeves would help. I guess maybe I should just keep them as a supplemental lift as I'm pretty sure I'll be able to squat more than I'll be able to hold.

Adam
08-15-2009, 09:18 PM
After a short while you get used to the feeling. I've done some good weight on them before ~400lbs, and as long as your arms stay tight and flexed then there shouldn't be much problem. I'll add to that i did them starting from the bottom position so there was no walkout needed.

dgunnermuro
08-15-2009, 10:00 PM
I pull a pair of Tommy Kono's knee sleeves over my forearms/elbows. Provides just enough cushion to get through a set. You really need to get the bar deep in the elbow crease or you'll never be able to exploit the lift for full benefit. Rehbands would probably work too.

Cambered Bar Zercher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTsBLpDKfAY

sayagain
08-15-2009, 10:18 PM
After a short while you get used to the feeling. I've done some good weight on them before ~400lbs, and as long as your arms stay tight and flexed then there shouldn't be much problem. I'll add to that i did them starting from the bottom position so there was no walkout needed.

Thats good to know. I worked up to 315 for a triple, but it wasn't a true 3 RM, I was just looking for a decent starting point for this exercise. I'll try it again next week for a triple and see how it goes with some more weight. I walked mine out of the rack, but doing them off the pins in the bottom position would probably be a good way for a heavy single.

sayagain
08-15-2009, 10:20 PM
I pull a pair of Tommy Kono's knee sleeves over my forearms/elbows. Provides just enough cushion to get through a set. You really need to get the bar deep in the elbow crease or you'll never be able to exploit the lift for full benefit. Rehbands would probably work too.

Cambered Bar Zercher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTsBLpDKfAY

That's some strong lifting. I may have to get some sleeves if I keep this exercise in my rotation.

Brian Hopper
08-15-2009, 11:45 PM
After a short while you get used to the feeling. I've done some good weight on them before ~400lbs, and as long as your arms stay tight and flexed then there shouldn't be much problem. I'll add to that i did them starting from the bottom position so there was no walkout needed.

We do zerchers off a box and the bar is hanging in chains.

mattdunkin
08-16-2009, 05:42 AM
I kept zercher's in my rotation for some time-usually as a second movement on ME day or after box squats on my DE day.I got up to 525 @ this time last year but have only done them several times since then because I feel that the ratio of carryover/risk of injury just isn't worth it to me as I felt like I was going to tear a bicep several times-that is just my opinion,though.I do feel they are a much better assistance lift to your deadlift than your squat,though.I did them once one afternoon at a "fitness center" and the looks and questions I got as to what I was doing were priceless.

sayagain
08-16-2009, 07:15 AM
I did feel some strain on the bicep, but it seems most of my problem is bruising and swelling in my "elbow pit" from carrying the weight there. I also got some looks at the gym, but I'm used to that at this point.

SELK
08-16-2009, 01:28 PM
Just wrap up a towel and put it around the bar, I have used 405lbs with no problems with this set-up, the only thing holding me back is strength.

MarcusWild
08-16-2009, 04:11 PM
If you want to do them a lot, then get the zercher harness. That way you don't tear up your elbows.

sayagain
08-16-2009, 05:43 PM
If you want to do them a lot, then get the zercher harness. That way you don't tear up your elbows.

That would probably be the smart thing to do, but I guess I'm too cheap. I think I just need to man up and deal with it.

MarcusWild
08-16-2009, 06:59 PM
If you live in Columbus, why aren't you training at Westside or Lexen? I know Westside has the harness. I'm pretty sure Lexen does too.

Brian Hopper
08-16-2009, 09:35 PM
I'm sure alot of people who live that close would love to train at either gym... I would!!!

MarcusWild
08-17-2009, 12:16 AM
Louie doesn't even charge dues for powerlifters. Lexen used to have a price on their website. It was ~$30-40/mo for powerlifters.

sayagain
08-17-2009, 10:35 AM
I know thats what I should be doing. I've been kicking around the idea of going to Lexen or Westside for over a year. I guess its just the intimidation factor.

MarcusWild
08-17-2009, 10:49 AM
The guys in a gym like that are going to get stronger faster than you will training on your own. That means you'll never catch up to where you feel strong enough to go. You just have to take the plunge. I guarantee you'd be much stronger now if you had been training at either one of those gyms for the last year. Most powerlifters don't start out as the strongest guy in the gym, so they respect anyone that works hard and wants to get better.

sayagain
08-17-2009, 02:08 PM
The guys in a gym like that are going to get stronger faster than you will training on your own. That means you'll never catch up to where you feel strong enough to go. You just have to take the plunge. I guarantee you'd be much stronger now if you had been training at either one of those gyms for the last year. Most powerlifters don't start out as the strongest guy in the gym, so they respect anyone that works hard and wants to get better.

I know you are right. I've gotten very comfortable working on my own at the YMCA and being the strongest one in the gym on most days. I know I need to get out of my comfort zone and start working with people that are stronger than me. I think this post might just give me the kick in the butt I needed to get in touch with the guys at Lexen. Thanks.

mikesbench
08-17-2009, 03:26 PM
Another zercher option.... get a peice of 4" PVC and slide it onto the bar, it takes a lot of pressure off the arms.

sayagain
08-17-2009, 04:25 PM
Another zercher option.... get a peice of 4" PVC and slide it onto the bar, it takes a lot of pressure off the arms.

Nice, I could see that working well. Thanks for the idea.

KarlMarx
08-18-2009, 07:56 AM
Just wrap up a towel and put it around the bar, I have used 405lbs with no problems with this set-up, the only thing holding me back is strength.

I had been using the towel. But I just thought that my gym has those foam bar pads. That would probably work better....