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Power Rack Training!

Posted by Jeff Pacelt on

Training At Home: Power Rack Workout Program

The power rack is the single most important piece of equipment in any home gym. It doesn't matter if you're training to gain muscle or lose fat, that big hunk of steel is going to help you get there.
Gyms memberships are expensive. Although that $50 per month is supposed to give you unlimited access to all the weights and machines your heart desires, gyms are often overcrowded and under-equipped. You may spend time waiting around for a barbell or the right pair of dumbbells when you could be training.

To save money and improve results, many people are dropping their club memberships for the sanctity of their own home gym. You don't need a large array of equipment and a full line of machines for an effective home training program.


Some of the best workouts you can do are accomplished with a power rack, barbells, and a bench. A power rack offers head-to-toe training good enough for the most powerful athletes in the world. It can work wonders for you, too.

If you're thinking about buying a rack, or you already have one, here are some key points you should know about training with one.

Focus on Compound Movements ///
It is no secret that the most effective exercises are big compound movements with a barbell. Training in a power rack ensures that you focus on the most important work and avoid the distractions and easy trappings of less-effective methods.

Movements like back squats, front squats, pulls, and deadlifts will build the foundation for you to stand on, while single-leg work and calf raises can round out your lower-body development. The bench press, military press, rows, and pull-ups will be your focus for the solid development of your upper body. If you need some extra arm work, you can do JM presses, skullcrushers, and curls.

Consider Supersets ///
Supersets can help you train more intensely and burn fat. If you use this method, you'll move from one exercise to the other without taking a rest. To keep rest periods down, you'll either need two barbells or a strategy to quickly remove or add weight to the bar.

I recommend alternating between upper- and lower-body exercises. This will allow your upper body to rest while your lower body is being trained, and vice versa. This approach will help you maintain strength throughout the workout.



If you're more concerned with building muscle size and strength, you may want to stick to straight sets. In other words, complete one set of one movement and then rest before you begin the next set. Taking longer and more frequent rest periods will allow you to lift heavy throughout your workout.

Finish with Isolation Movements ///
Isolation movements fully fatigue muscles and give you an excellent pump. They include exercises like biceps curls, triceps extensions, and calf-raises. Be sure to do these at the end of your training session.

If you do a bunch of triceps extensions before you bench press, you do yourself—and your 315 max—a disservice.

Power Rack Programming ///
I created a beginner and an advanced power rack program. Both are full-body, three-day splits that can fit into a busy schedule. Because these workouts are full-body, make sure you take a day off between sessions.



You can do cardio or active rest between weight days, but make sure your body recovers before you begin the next workout.

Beginner Program ///
If you choose to try the beginner program, you'll be working in straight sets. Make sure you get the proper rest time. Put a clock in your home gym, or keep a timing device nearby so you can keep track of your rest and work periods.

You can start by foam rolling tight muscles and get a general cardiovascular warm-up. From there, do calisthenics, air squats, and light starter sets. You should do this warm-up for 10-15 minutes, before engaging a heavy weight.

Day 1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
Barbell Squat

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row
Bent Over Barbell Row

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
Barbell Deadlift

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Standing Barbell Calf Raise Standing Barbell Calf Raise
Standing Barbell Calf Raise

3 sets of 12 reps, 1 minute rest
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
Barbell Curl

3 sets of 12 reps, 1 minute rest
Printable Page PDF Document
Day 2
Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat
Front Barbell Squat

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Split Squats Split Squats
Split Squats

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Pullups Pullups
Pullups

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Barbell Shoulder Press Barbell Shoulder Press
Barbell Shoulder Press

3 sets of 8 reps, 1 min rest
Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown
Triceps Pushdown (Close-grip)

3 sets of 12 reps, 1 min rest
Printable Page PDF Document
Day 3
Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
Barbell Squat

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Good Morning Good Morning
Good Morning

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Bent Over Two-Arm Long Bar Row Bent Over Two-Arm Long Bar Row
Bent Over Two-Arm Long Bar Row

3 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest
Standing Barbell Calf Raise Standing Barbell Calf Raise
Standing Barbell Calf Raise

3 sets of 12 reps, 1 min rest
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
Barbell Curl

3 sets of 12 reps, 1 min rest
Printable Page PDF Document
Advanced Program ///
This workout is meant to be more challenging. The rest times are shorter and the supersets will be more fatiguing than straight sets. Like the beginner workout, make sure you do some dynamic warm ups and do light sets before you begin working with heavy weight.

Day 1
Superset

Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
1A. Barbell Squat

3 sets of 10 reps
Good Morning Good Morning
1B. Good Morning

3 sets of 10 reps, rest 90 seconds
Superset

Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row
2A. Bent Over Barbell Row

3 sets of 10 reps
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
2B. Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

3 sets of 10 reps, rest 90 seconds
Superset

Barbell Shoulder Press Barbell Shoulder Press
3A. Barbell Shoulder Press

2 sets of 12 reps
Standing Barbell Calf Raise Standing Barbell Calf Raise
3B. Standing Barbell Calf Raise

2 sets of 12 reps, 60 second rest
Superset

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
4A. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

2 sets of 12 reps
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
4B. Barbell Curl

2 sets of 12 reps, rest 90 seconds
Printable Page PDF Document
Day 2
Superset

Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
1A. Barbell Deadlift

2 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row
1B. Bent Over Barbell Row

2 sets of 10 reps
Superset

Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat
2A. Front Barbell Squat

3 sets of 10 reps
Barbell Shoulder Press Barbell Shoulder Press
2B. Barbell Shoulder Press

3 sets of 10 reps, rest 90 seconds
Superset

Chin-Up Chin-Up
3A. Chin-Up

2 sets of 10 reps
Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
3B. Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip

2 sets of 10 reps, rest 60 seconds
Superset

Pullups Pullups
4A. Pullups

2 sets of 10 reps
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
4B. Hanging Leg Raise

2 sets of 10 reps, rest 60 seconds
Printable Page PDF Document
Day 3
Superset

Sumo Deadlift Sumo Deadlift
1A. Sumo Deadlift

3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row
1B. Bent Over Barbell Row

3 sets of 10 reps, rest 90 seconds
Superset

Split Squats Split Squats
2A. Split Squats

3 sets of 10 reps
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
2B. Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

3 sets of 10 reps, rest 90 seconds
Superset

Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
3A. Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip

2 sets of 12 reps
Standing Barbell Calf Raise Standing Barbell Calf Raise
3B. Standing Barbell Calf Raise

2 sets of 12 reps, rest 60 seconds
Superset

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
4A. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

2 sets of 12 reps
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
4B. Barbell Curl

2 sets of 12 reps, rest 30 seconds
Printable Page PDF Document
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shannon Clark
Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark is a freelance health and fitness writer located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


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