Precor Power Rack for Beginners


Precor Power Rack for Beginners

The Precor Power Rack is a strength training platform that can be used by anyone. Your height, weight, exercise level or mobility will not stop you from using this tool. It has multiple options that can map to your fitness goals. You can work with your own bodyweight or strategically add resistance to challenge your strength.

In addition to its benefits for weight training, it also incorporates attachment points and functional features such as bands, chains, torso trainers, battle ropes, suspension fitness and more.

programming for beginners on the Precor Power Rack

Every exercise can be defined as a push or a pull, because all movement occurs in push or pull patterns.

  • Push: Those exercises in which objective is to move an object away from your body, or to move your body away from an object. 
  • Pull: Those exercises in which the objective is to move an object toward your body, or move your body toward an object. 

For example:

  • Squat: Lower Body Push
  • Biceps Curl: Upper Body Pull
  • Chest Press: Upper Body Push
  • Lat Pull Down: Upper Body Pull

Tips for creating exercise progressions for beginners:

Every exercise must be tempo controlled. Muscles don´t recognise what type of object we are pushing or pulling; they just react to stimuli. That is why exercising control is part of the training. Pauses can be a form of control. This means we must execute control at the extremes of every motion. At the end of the ROM (range of motion), we lose strength because of the sliding filament theory; this means at the middle of the ROM we will always be strongest. Mechanically speaking, since we have a strength disadvantage at the extremes, we should incorporate 1 or 2 second pauses at these extremes to neurologically integrate more motor units.

Movement Preparation

Now that we have defined control, we will look at how to create progression. However, before doing any exercise, here is a comprehensive movement preparation sequence. 

Core Activation 

  • 1 leg at a time
  • 12 repetitions per leg
  • Slow and controlled motion
  • Keep knees above hips
  • Set hands and head on the floor
  • Tap heel to floor and return to start

Lower Body Activation 

  • 1 leg at a time
  • 6 repetitions per leg
  • Slow and controlled motion
  • Keep heel on ground

Upper Body Activation

  • 1 arm at a time
  • 6 reps per arm
  • Slow and controlled motion
  • Perform exercise on knees and then progress to toes

Exercise Selection

The majority of the population that participates in an exercise programme is looking to get into better shape. To achieve results in a time efficient way, I recommend pairing different muscle groups on each training day.  An example of this would be combining an upper body pull with a lower body push exercise. For example:  

  • Day 1 - Lower body push exercises + Upper body pull exercises
  • Day 2 - Lower body pull exercises + Upper body push exercises
  • Day 3 - Upper body pull exercises + Lower body push exercises
  • Day 4 - Upper body push exercises + Lower body pull exercises

When training each muscle group, it is recommended to have an integrated transition movement that challenges strength, core and coordination for each body part trained. For example, the workout structure would be as follows:

1- Bar Squat
2- Single Leg Squat
3- Box Jumps
Transition 1: Single Leg Box Jump
4- Chin-Ups
5- Pull-Ups
6- Biceps Curl
Transition 2: Single Arm Row Standing On One Leg

Exercise Order

Exercise order is important to manage fatigue and elevate caloric expenditure.  

  • Exercise 1, Transition 1, Exercise 4, Transition 2
  • Exercise 2, Transition 1, Exercise 5, Transition 2
  • Exercise 3, Transition 1, Exercise 6, Transition 2
  • Repeat

For example, with the above exercise selection:

  • Bar Squat, Single Leg Box Jump, Chin-Ups, Single Arm Row Standing on One Leg
  • Single Leg Squat, Single Leg Box Jump, Pull-Ups, Single Arm Row Standing on One Leg
  • Box Jumps, Single Leg box Jump, Biceps Curl, Single Arm Row Standing on One Leg

Now that you have a strategic workout structure, remember to pause at the extremes to emphasise control.

Tips on Using the Precor Power Rack

Not ready to do a full pull-up yet? No problem! Use the band assist to offload part of your bodyweight. Plus, use the integrated step to access the pull-up bar.

Stick to a safe range of motion with the bar catches and safety rails.

Add progressive resistance with chains or bands using the pegs.

Connect your favourite suspension fitness trainer to the integrated attachment loops. 

Author Information

Omar Castillo Laguna
Omar Castillo Laguna's picture

For more than a decade, Omar Castillo has been helping people in Mexico City achieve their health goals. His work as a personal trainer has been featured in fitness magazines and newspaper such as Balance, Reforma, and Universal. Omar studied architecture at the ITESM – CEM and sports science at La Salle University. He applies the concepts of biomechanics and joint health to every aspect of his work as a Precor Master Coach, Mastery Level Resistance Training Specialist®, and Certified Muscle Activation Techniques™ Specialist, holding the distinction of being the first foot and hand M.A.T.-RX Certified Practitioner in Latin America.

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