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Cleans and squats on a pulley

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  • Cleans and squats on a pulley

    My gym doesn't have any free weights, bar a set of dumbbells 110kg.* I'm trying to do some compound lifts on the pulley machine. But I have a couple of beginner problems.

    In order to do a deep squat, I have to set the carriages to their lowest setting (just above the floor). I can't see any way to get the bar onto my shoulders in the first place other than lifting it over my head. The trouble is that I can't press as much as I can squat! How should I get into the starting position?

    I'm also trying to do cleans, or clean-and-presses. I can dead-lift quite a bit, but I can't manage to do the grip-change to bring the bar level with my chest for anything over than the third setting (a resistance of 6.25 on each side; I have no idea what units that's in nor how it translates into weight equivalent). Which means I can't actually lift it all the way. Is this something that will come with increased strength, or is there a knack which I'm not getting?

    *It's a few machines in a glorified cupboard under the stairs in the local swimming pool. But it's five minutes walk from my house instead of three-quarters of an hour, which is the difference between going and not going.

  • #2
    At the risk of sounding flippant get a real gym or move to bodyweight exercises until you can.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
      At the risk of sounding flippant get a real gym or move to bodyweight exercises until you can.


      You will hurt yourself trying to do squats or clean and press on a cable machine. It will be impossible to get proper loading- there will always be a posterior vector to the weight on the cable machine versus straight vertical with a barbell. This will provide unequal loading on your spine.

      Cable machines work ok for assistance exercises that they're designed for, but you cannot replicate large, compound lifts with them.

      Get yourself a real gym, focus on bodyweight work, or get yourself a sandbag until you can.


      • #4

        Real gym is too far away, so bodyweight it is then.

        But if I'm not supposed to do squats on a pulley, how come the poster on the wall showing suggested exercises includes a squat?