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Although training up and down the rack is often referred to when talking about dumbbells the same training technique can also be used with barbells or machines if you have a spotter who knows what he/she is doing and is willing help change the weight for you.
This training technique'ís objective is to increase the intensity and train past the point of failure so that all the muscle fibers in a targeted body-part can be activated. Training up and down the rack is often referred to when referring to dumbbell curls.
One would start off with a light pair of dumbbells and complete 4 reps and then pick up the next heaviest pair in the rack and complete another 4 reps without taking any rest. One would then continue going up the rack until the 4 reps cannot be completed without cheating or doing forced reps.
By this time you should be near the top of the rack where the heavy dumbbells are and this is when you start going back down the rack which is done in exactly the same way but without stopping. The objective is to get back to the same light dumbbells that you started with but now they feel like they weigh 100kg each.
Training up and down the rack is often called running the rack where a person would go up the rack without going back down the rack. Often used as the last movement when targeting a specific muscle group and the trainee wants to squeeze out every last drop of contractibility left in the muscle.
It needs to be added that this type of training intensity is not for the beginner who has been training for a year or less. It needs to be done only when the trainee has a strong foundation and has already developed some lean body mass training with weights on a regular basis.
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