T Nation

Adding Upper Back and Bicep Work


Hey guys,

I'm currently performing starting strength, so 3x a week (mon,wed, fri), rotating these two workouts:

A. 3x5 squat, 3x5 bench and 1x5 deadlift

B. 3x5 squat, 3x5 overhead press and 5x3 powercleans

I've added in some direct work for the biceps so I'm gonna be adding dumbbell curls 3 sets of 8-12, twice a week (mon and fri).

I feel like I'm miss out on any work for the rhomboids and mid and lower traps. What would you suggest? Inverted rows, dumbbell rows etc? How often and for how many reps and sets? Performing squats 3x a week and deadlifts 1-2x a week is obviously taxing so would a isolation exercise such as seated row to neck suffice?

Thanks for any advice!

P.S. I should note that for the past 4 years or so I've been performing pullups every day, 3-6 sets of repetition work....


If your goal is to build your entire body, I would suggest following a routine designed to do that.


I'm a 160lbs, 6ft 1 boxer so I have no desire to gain any more than 5lbs of muscle mass or so. I'd just like to make sure I fill in the blanks so I'm not imbalanced in anything.

And yes, the curls are for the girls....



I can respect that, even though you sure are skinny lol. No specific advice from me, there are a lot of people on here who can help you more than I could with that stuff.


Haha yeah man, I AM skinny! My main goal is just to get as strong as possible for my weight class and to improve my explosiveness. If I put on a few pounds of muscle and I look better then great!

As an aspiring strength and conditioning coach, I am very familiar with the guideline of training the chest like a powerlifter and training the back like a bodybuilder, so I thought I'd go to the source of info :slight_smile:




I'd recommend doing 4 sets of heavy dumbbell rows a weight where you fail at around 6 reps. After that do 3 sets of a superset of barbell rows to pull ups with a neutral grip, and on each go until failure. As for biceps do 3 sets of a superset of barbell curls to hammer curls with weights having you fail at about 10 reps fresh.
That's what I'd do at least. Good luck!


Check out the combat forum. Switch to something like 5/3/1 or ws4sb and especially as boxing do lots or direct rear delt work