Rack Pulls: The Right Way
Rack pulls, or heavy partial deadlifts, are my preferred way to build a heavy deadlift. But they are also chronically misused when heavy full deads are the goal.
If you can use a metric ass-load of weight on your rack pulls…you're doing them wrong. You shouldn't be able to pull any more than about 10 percent your deadlift max on a rack pull.
If you're setting up in a position that isn't very, very similar to your deadlift position, you're doing them wrong.
Lots of times when guys do rack pulls, they get into a position with the bar where they can either slide the weight up their legs, or they find a leverage advantage over the bar that doesn't exist when they perform the regular deadlift. When this happens, the carry-over to the deadlift is going to be minimal.
With this program, it's imperative to find the same position when you perform the various rack pulls as you are in when you perform your normal deadlift. A telltale sign that you're wedging yourself into a position that is too dissimilar from your normal pull is the ability to move anything more than around 10 percent of your deadlift max with the rack pull variation.
Deload week: No deadlifts. Perform light barbell rows and pull-downs. Next week, test your max from the floor.