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back won't grow-is it my workout? please judge

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    back won't grow-is it my workout? please judge


    hey guys. i've had a hell of a time getting my back to grow. not just the lats but really any part of it. in the last year i've put on 32 pounds as i finally went to the darker side, and everything else has grown in leaps and bounds but my back just seems stuck. wondering if it could be my back workout. the following isn't the same everytime of course but it's pretty close to what i do. let me know if i should change something up. all weights are fairly respectable, so i don't think not going heavy enough is an issue.

    4x8,6,6,4 Deadlift

    3x8 closegrip t-bar row or widegrip

    4x8,6,6,4 widegirp pulldown/or close depending on tbar grip

    2x8 seated row

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    how long have you been doing the same stuff...and how long has it been since you took a week or 2 off?
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    I would do more pullups and BB rows. Can't beat 'em for width and thickness. If you hit up deads on leg day, that'll be kinda like a second back workout. Just make sure you have at least 3 days off between.

    Back is by far my best bodypart (not that that is saying much), and these were my key movements.
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    Agreed on the pull ups, preferably weighted if you're able.
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    pull-ups, dead lifts, rows (either dumbbell or barbell) and chins... I do 3x10-8-failure (weighted) pull ups then 3x8 moderatley heavy deads then chins 3x10 (sometimes I need weight assist after all the back abuse) then dumbbell or barbell rows.. Seems to work well for me as my back is my best bodypart.. Not sayin a whole lot, this works well for me..
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    rack chins
    BTN rack chins
    WG chins (with added wgt if necessary)
    barbell rows (under and over handed)
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    Try taking a full week off from any lifting (Yes, it is hard to do I know).

    Then start a new program designed to Grow the back and just maintain everything else.

    For 6 to 10 weeks, you basically work the back 2 to 3 times a week (a heavy day and a moderate day w/ more sets). The rest of your body, just work once per week, one set per exercise, no more than 2 exercises per bodypart. All in the same workout.

    Don't train arms at all.

    [Amazingly, it doesn't take much just to "maintain" a bodypart. If you can squat 315 for 8 to 10 reps, then doing one set per week of that will maintain the current strength and size. One set of moderately heavy flat benches, one set of incline bench, one set of moderately heavy dumbbell presses, etc.]

    You want to force all of your body's recovery ability into the back muscles.

    I read about the above approach for lagging bodyparts years ago and it has worked well for me when I've tried it.
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    For back exercises to try:

    * barbell rows (think Dorian Yates)
    * heavy dumbbell rows in good form
    * weighted chins
    * negative-rep weighted chins
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    agree on the different exercises, and pull ups of cousre and weigted

    But I think a lot of people forget the basic crap of what to do when "something stops growing".....

    take time off...then start a completely new routine after the time off....

    Everyone hates taking time off, but at one point in time i was forced to take a few weeks off, i got back in the gym and had more progress in the first month then i did in the last 3 or 4 while i had been going non stop for who knows how long. Sometimes a day or 2 just isn't enough.

    Personally I like the idea mentioned above about just trying to maintain the rest of your body, and focusing the recovering to the back. I might have try that myself.

    h19
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    It may be his diet was well.....
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    Definitely agree with adding chins. Also throw in some db or nautilus pullovers. Dorian swore by them and his back was so so
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    Quote Originally Posted by PVSkyHigh
    It may be his diet was well.....
    Not if everything else is growing perfectly fine.
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    Vary your grip every time you do pull ups. I used to do all sorts of rows but never got a solid V-taper until I started making pull ups the fountain of my back days.

    -Blesum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub
    BTN rack chins

    Can you explain this one...

    Thanks

    O14
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    behind the neck rack chins. best way is to grab a smith machine, put a flat bench a few feet away. prop your feet up on that with your upper torso hanging from the bar and basically do pullups. no room for cheating on these cuz swinging is impossible. if needed, have someone put a 45lb'er on your lap for more resistance. behind the neck version is just that, you pull up til the bar is ~ the top of your head. frontwards, til the bar is chin level.
  17. The True Warrior is one who conquers oneself
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    beezlebub man i enjoy reading any post you have, simply for the fact your sig is funny as hell

    "your gay. do roids man. what are you scared'

    "do you have to lift on this stuff"

    i'm still laughing.

    anyway. I think the general consensus here is to take a little time off, and switch up the routine with the new suggestions.

    As always, compound movements build mass...the basics

    h19
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    I see alot of people with lagging backs because of form, with me the way my body is oriented i find i have dificulty building my upper middle back as i have very strong traps that pull or I find that my lats and arms pull the weight. Really focus, regaurdless of the movement to strech and contract the back muscles (sounds elementary i know) but if your shoulder blades dont spread and contract your not doing back. Alot of "Experienced lifters" fail here. I try to imagine my hands were hooks, and i pull through my elbows to take the emphasis off of arms and keep my shoulders down for rowing movements. I find doing a isolating movement to pre exhaust to start get a back pump started so you cant help but work it later. I might not know what im talking about but back, rear delts and calves are hard to isolate for me i can pound the weights but mind muscle and carefull form adjustments win every time. We all have genetic imbalances for me my front delt dominates my read delt so its hard to not use the front and force the rear to work until it catches up im going to let the fronts slide as they get massacred on when i do incline, flyes, etc... How are your arms jeff are they quite strong in comparison? traps?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub
    behind the neck rack chins. best way is to grab a smith machine, put a flat bench a few feet away. prop your feet up on that with your upper torso hanging from the bar and basically do pullups. no room for cheating on these cuz swinging is impossible. if needed, have someone put a 45lb'er on your lap for more resistance. behind the neck version is just that, you pull up til the bar is ~ the top of your head. frontwards, til the bar is chin level.
    Sounds good bro. Might have to start using this...thanks for explaining it B!

    O14
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    thanks for all the replies guys. somewhatgifted, arms are pretty strong, and i fear they may be doing a lot of the work, traps are so so. here's the kicker, i never ever do pullups. why? i simply can't do them. i do deadlifts reps with 300-350 and curl 100-150 (granted those aren't huge numbers just saying at that weight i should be able to do pullups). i weigh quite a bit 246 as of today. don't know if that is why i can't do them or i'm just really weak in one area. what do you guys think? what do you think is the weak area on a guy that can bench 350 plus but can't do one f...ing pullup? sad i know.
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    Well it sounds like you may have to tweak your form try the chin assist do you have one, you step on and it lifts a percentage of your weight so you can do it right and work your way up. When i do chins i curl my legs up in front in a sort of ab/ back movement it changes the weight placement simmilar to the way you would do pull downs, most people need to lean back a bit to use back, while pulling straight down, (like a chin up) is hard to do up and down while isolating back. lifting your legs creats the same angle as an effective pull down. I normally have difficulty with chins simply bc it alot of effort for your arms to lift your weight, so until you can learn to use your back it will be hard to do. Simmilar to the classic shoulder/tri bech press you see people doing with the bar over there neck or face at the bottom. Gotta learn to use the back and once you do watch out cause it one of the biggest muscle groups you have and with your already strong arms assist them you will be very much more strong in back movements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted
    I see alot of people with lagging backs because of form, with me the way my body is oriented i find i have dificulty building my upper middle back as i have very strong traps that pull or I find that my lats and arms pull the weight. Really focus, regaurdless of the movement to strech and contract the back muscles (sounds elementary i know) but if your shoulder blades dont spread and contract your not doing back. Alot of "Experienced lifters" fail here. I try to imagine my hands were hooks, and i pull through my elbows to take the emphasis off of arms and keep my shoulders down for rowing movements. I find doing a isolating movement to pre exhaust to start get a back pump started so you cant help but work it later. I might not know what im talking about but back, rear delts and calves are hard to isolate for me i can pound the weights but mind muscle and carefull form adjustments win every time. We all have genetic imbalances for me my front delt dominates my read delt so its hard to not use the front and force the rear to work until it catches up im going to let the fronts slide as they get massacred on when i do incline, flyes, etc... How are your arms jeff are they quite strong in comparison? traps?
    I have kind of a barrel chest and back has been a problem for me as well until I really started focusing on my form. This is good advice for sure.

    I believe that poor back development can hinder chest growth and vice versa. I would like some more insight into this if anybody has any info they want to share.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff33333
    thanks for all the replies guys. somewhatgifted, arms are pretty strong, and i fear they may be doing a lot of the work, traps are so so. here's the kicker, i never ever do pullups. why? i simply can't do them. i do deadlifts reps with 300-350 and curl 100-150 (granted those aren't huge numbers just saying at that weight i should be able to do pullups). i weigh quite a bit 246 as of today. don't know if that is why i can't do them or i'm just really weak in one area. what do you guys think? what do you think is the weak area on a guy that can bench 350 plus but can't do one f...ing pullup? sad i know.
    Do you work out at home or at the gym? If at the gym, they should have an assisted pull up machine, if at home, try using bands.
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    danl, i workout at a nice gym that does have an assissted pullup. i will defiantely start incorporating that. just don't know if it should come at the start or end of lift, don't watn to be to burned before deads as i have to do my deads. thanks again guys.
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    Do it after your deads then ...

    It is assisted right ?

    We have one at my gym too..awesome thing for a lard ass like me.
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    Yeah, definately do it after deads, they're far more important, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    I would do more pullups and BB rows. Can't beat 'em for width and thickness. If you hit up deads on leg day, that'll be kinda like a second back workout. Just make sure you have at least 3 days off between.

    Back is by far my best bodypart (not that that is saying much), and these were my key movements.
    what he said
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    I was gonna say do it before deads. Seems it'd be better for growth this way. You'll use less weight on deads probably but I think your lats would grow more if you did them before deads.
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    Doing deads are awesome but if youve been doing deads and you cant get your back to grow, experiment with other ideas.
    You can always do deads on leg day or with lower back. I personally do them with legs every other week, and with lower back the alt week, im no expert but i can dead 420 no wraps straps belt for 6 and im 6'3 210, this aint no pissin contest but it works for me so far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff33333
    danl, i workout at a nice gym that does have an assissted pullup. i will defiantely start incorporating that. just don't know if it should come at the start or end of lift, don't watn to be to burned before deads as i have to do my deads. thanks again guys.
    I'd consider doing deads on a completely different day. You could have a day or two per week where you just work back. (I know, deadlifts work the back, but they also work legs, glutes, low-back, traps, and so forth. Really, deads are practically a "whole body workout" unto themselves!)

    Because you have built mass and are heavy, it's not surprising that you have a hard time with chins if your lats are lagging a bit.

    When I started lifting about 20 years ago I couldn’t do a pull-up at all. I read in some muscle mag about a technique for people in that situation: Start out by just doing a "hold" for as long as you can. What's a hold? You stand under the chin-up bar and do a jumping-rep (or get an assist) and then hold yourself with your chin at the bar for as long as possible. In that fully locked position, try pulling your shoulders down and flexing your lats. When you can no longer hold, don't just drop down quickly, but use your 'negative' (eccentric) strength to lower yourself as slowly as possible.

    Even if you cannot do one regular chin, you will be able to do a hold & slow eccentric rep. Do two or three of these 'sets' if possible. Doing negative/eccentric reps is an awesome method for building strength QUICKLY. Each week, you will be able to hold longer & then lower yourself even more slowly. Within no time, you'll be able to do one regular pullup. Keep doing the negative reps once you reach failure and before long you'll be easily repping out chins, even at 250lbs!
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    If I remember correctly, Bill Starr may have been the author who was a big proponent of eccentric-only training. That approach can build strength quickly, but it must be cycled to avoid overtraining.

    Quote Originally Posted by WheyGood
    Even if you cannot do one regular chin, you will be able to do a hold & slow eccentric rep. Do two or three of these 'sets' if possible. Doing negative/eccentric reps is an awesome method for building strength QUICKLY. Each week, you will be able to hold longer & then lower yourself even more slowly. Within no time, you'll be able to do one regular pullup. Keep doing the negative reps once you reach failure and before long you'll be easily repping out chins, even at 250lbs!
    Oh, and I added 4 to 5 pounds to your weight, which you'll undoubtedly gain in increased lat mass by following the above program!
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    I use to dread trainning back knowing it was my weak spot...

    But now I am loving it More and more as my strength increases and my back starts to fill in.

    Good times
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    how much are you eating?
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    It sounds to me like your doing way too much volume and training (over training) so IMHO the key would be cut cut back on your volume and allow more rest time between workouts. Give yourself time to recover and then grow. Remember you only stimulate growth in the gym. As you ave guessed I follow Mentzer's HIT routine.
    Last edited by phil216; 02-05-2006 at 08:08 AM. Reason: typo
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    The assisted chins after deads is a really killer superset, especially if you really concentrate on the eccentric movement for the chins..And like Gifted said, really concentrate on the mind to muscle movement, don't pull yourself up, set your blades and use that contraction to pull yourself up, you'll feel it right down to your hips and you'll be a squirrel in no time...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub
    rack chins
    BTN rack chins
    Rack chins are awesome! Good call Beelzebub. They let you take the focus off of the arms and place it on the lats.

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    Talking


    Quote Originally Posted by meowmeow
    Rack chins are awesome! Good call Beelzebub. They let you take the focus off of the arms and place it on the lats.

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    This looks good im goona do it, never tried it but i can feel how good it will feel.
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    I have some little wings starting to pop out of my fat back
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    did the rack chins and they felt awesome, ive been doing regular chins for three weeks and now i can blast off like 20.
    so the rack felt great for back isolation, but if not careful it still can become an arm/shoulder movement. I needed to use some weight but there was noone around to help me so i went to 20 15 15. thanks meow
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    excellent advice guys. thanks.

    somewhat gifted-420 for 6 is more than respectable, way above me.

    guy from kop-diet is solid. making gains everywhere but back, which leads to next point

    wheygood-you're not off at all on the weight. in fact now i'm up to 257, trust me, not bragging, feeling like a damn blowfish. looking forward to ending the dbol and shedding a bit.

    phil 216-i think you may have my asnwer. i think i'm doing a bit much for back, especially considering that i'm doing bi's after back and usually don't have anything left in the tank. i've actually lost a 1/4 of inch off bi's, so it could be time for a change. here's some pics to show you where i'm at. again thanks for all advice.
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