One of the lessons from the old school of training is that certain techniques work for some bodyparts better than others. Many times, the key to making a training technique work is the speed in which it can be easily accomplished.

For example, if brief rest times between exercises are called for, then it wouldn’t make sense to do, say, a set of dumbbell curls and then have to load a machine or barbell full of plates for the next exercise. Takes too much time, slows you down and doesn’t accomplish the minimal rest between exercise goal.

There is, however, a cool little training technique that is so simple, so quick and so effective if you do it right. It’s called “running the rack” and while you can use it for other bodyparts, it works great for chest, back, shoulders and arms.

Here are some ways to try it for your next chest and back workout.

For Chest

Incline dumbbell presses supersetted to flat bench dumbbell flyes

The dumbbell presses will be your heavy set, so keep the reps in the 6-8 range. The flat bench dumbbell flyes will be your light blood-pumping set, so keep the form perfect, strict and arms moving and chest pumping and do 15-20 reps.

After a good warm-up set, pick your heaviest dumbbell press weight and do 6-8 reps. Immediately put that weight back in the rack (no dropping on the floor!) and pick a light pair of dumbbells and go right to flyes for 15-20 reps. Rest 25-45 seconds and go down 10-20% on the heavy dumbbells and do another set of dumbbell presses. Keep the same weight for the light flyes and do another 15-20 reps.

For Back

One-arm dumbbell rows supersetted to one-dumbbell across-bench pullovers

Start off with the heavy exercise which will be one-arm dumbbell rows and do a set of 6-8 reps. As soon as you’ve completed the last rep for each side (right and left lats), rack the weight and go right into a set of dumbbell pullovers across a flat bench for a set of 15-20 reps. Keep only your upper body touching the flat bench and lower your glutes below the below the bench to help you get a better lat stretch. Rest 30-45 seconds after finishing the set and then pick a 20% lighter weight for the dumbbell row and do another set of 6-8. Keep using the same weight for the one-dumbbell across-bench pullover.

Rodrick Covington