Zercher Inspirations

Unusual, but highly effective.

Zercher squatIn the interest of variety I decided to try my hand (or more accurately, elbows) at Zercher Squats. Named after Californian strongman Ed Zercher (pictured here doing an unsupported leg press) these are done with the bar resting in the crook of your arms, rather than above the back (if you're still not quite sure how they're done, take a look at the BioMechanics Lab site). Unusual, but highly effective - both as a way to improve standard squat technique and to hit the upper quads.

I followed these with the trusty Romanian Deadlift, which felt surprisingly simple after the Zerchers. At least they did until I piled on a bit of extra weight to compensate.

The Zercher inspiration came again in the form of seated Zercher Good Mornings, which I did whilst straddling a bench. Simply getting a wide enough grip to enable a deep bend was half the fun. (For more fun along the Zercher Good Morning lines have a look at some of John Davies training methods).

Continuing the theme of variety I finished off with some single-handed deadlifts, which are perhaps the most tiring things I have ever done. Time to add a little more work for the obliques I think.

The routine :

Dynamic stretching
Zercher squats 2x10, 5x3, 3x2, 3x1
Romanian deadlifts 8x5
Seated Zercher Good Mornings 4x10
Single-handed deadlift (each side) 4x5
Isometric stretching
Total time : 88 mins

Quite a long session, but an interesting one.

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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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Getting a Few Zs.After doing a few Zercher squats the other day I decided to do them again as a max exercise, starting with the bar a little lower this time - about knee height. This also gave me an opportunity to test out a few different ways of holding the bar after seeing a little variation recently.
The First Year.It's been just over a year since I first began to share my bedroom with weight plates. Over that time the act of lifting weights has gradually moved towards the status of 'healthy obsession' (although there are some who would dispute the 'healthy' part of that phrase), and shows no signs of becoming anything less.
New Routine.

Down to 3 sessions per week.

Westside Dead Lift Secrets.

This review looks at the 2003 DVD edition of the Deadlift Secrets offering, which is an updated version of its early '90s predecessor. Whilst there has been a significant amount of change to some aspects of the Westside approach, the fundamentals remain constant and this DVD helps to show just how important those fundamental concepts are.

Back to 4 Days per Week.

I've decided to switch back.

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