T Nation

Baby Got Back (Training Program)

hey… i can across a program this weekend named Baby Got Back (sorry if you were thinking of something else). It’s basically a split that divides the exercises by movement pattern, so the split is as follows:

  1. Horizontal Push/Pull 2 ) Knee Dominant (Squats, lunges etc.) 3) Vertical Push/Pull 4) Hip Dominant (Romanian Deads, Sumo press)

You perform 2 exercises per pattern, 1 in the “strength” zone and the other in the “hypertrophy” zone. You can throw in arm exercises on leg days, i.e. bi’s on quad day and tri’s on hip day.

Has anyone ever followed a routine like this one? What did you think of it?

I’ve divided by movement pattern that way.

I had high hopes for the idea of dividing back work into horizontal and vertical, but for me it was not as good as training back same number of days per week (or other training period) and with the same volume, but having both types of movement each day but different exercises the two different days.

Which isn’t to say that it might not be different for someone else, but it has seemed to me that this type of division of back work has, while it’s been known for a long time, never really taken off. I would suppose that is because results haven’t been better for most that have tried it.

(I suppose this because if they had been better, then the method would be much more widely used by now than it is.)

interesting.

the main reason why i’m looking to try this routine is because i’ve stuck with a basic push/pull/legs split 4 days a week with 2 exercise rotations. I perform 2 lifts per bodypart, 1 heavy and 1 light. This has worked pretty well for me, except for shoulders. Once I’ve completed heavy inclines or or any other chest pressing movement, I can barely use any weight for my shoulder presses.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
I’ve divided by movement pattern that way.

I had high hopes for the idea of dividing back work into horizontal and vertical, but for me it was not as good as training back same number of days per week (or other training period) and with the same volume, but having both types of movement each day but different exercises the two different days.

Which isn’t to say that it might not be different for someone else, but it has seemed to me that this type of division of back work has, while it’s been known for a long time, never really taken off. I would suppose that is because results haven’t been better for most that have tried it.

(I suppose this because if they had been better, then the method would be much more widely used by now than it is.)[/quote]

Bill, while I did not call it horizontal/vertical pull, I tried out having a backwidth and a backthickness day. Didn’t work out so well for me either compared to two days of both…

I think the reason is that if you do multiple width or vertical exercises in the same session, you’re able to do the first justice and then your performance declines more and more due to the similar movement patterns… Same as doing just pull-ups, but doing three times the amount of sets.

Or perhaps doing pullups, pulldowns and rack chins all in one day, while having 2 back days per week (I used 2 exercises for back per session though, but whatever) is likely too much for your backwidth musculature…
And it gets stressed on rows and such again… So if you do 3 row variants 2-3 days later, not only will you have so much overlap in that single session that the second and third exercises will suffer once again, but you’ll also cut so much into your recovery that your body is too busy repairing stuff that it can’t adapt much/get stronger at the rate you want it to.

Now, having two complete back days works ok.

In my case that would look like:

Day 1
-Rack Chins (lats are dead afterwards, midback a little fatigued)
-Rack Pulls with scap retraction after each lockout (doesn’t use lats other than perhaps as a stabilizer, so all good)
(and perhaps some inverted rows or face pulls, but I see those as prehab exercises)

Day 2 (3 days later or so)
-Wide-Neutral Pulldowns (not super-taxing overall)
-Kroc Rows with scap retraction being pretty much half a rep (or I do kroc rows and nothing else…)
(again perhaps some inverted rows? I rarely need to do these due to making scap retraction part of all my regular rows etc… So my bench setup tightness has never been much of a problem)

So you can basically mix and match exercises to stress the back in fairly different ways and not have too much overlap by comparison. Easier/faster to recover from and so you can make progress faster.

That’s just my opinion, of course.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
I’ve divided by movement pattern that way.

I had high hopes for the idea of dividing back work into horizontal and vertical, but for me it was not as good as training back same number of days per week (or other training period) and with the same volume, but having both types of movement each day but different exercises the two different days.

Which isn’t to say that it might not be different for someone else, but it has seemed to me that this type of division of back work has, while it’s been known for a long time, never really taken off. I would suppose that is because results haven’t been better for most that have tried it.

(I suppose this because if they had been better, then the method would be much more widely used by now than it is.)

Bill, while I did not call it horizontal/vertical pull, I tried out having a backwidth and a backthickness day. Didn’t work out so well for me either compared to two days of both…

I think the reason is that if you do multiple width or vertical exercises in the same session, you’re able to do the first justice and then your performance declines more and more due to the similar movement patterns… Same as doing just pull-ups, but doing three times the amount of sets.

Or perhaps doing pullups, pulldowns and rack chins all in one day, while having 2 back days per week (I used 2 exercises for back per session though, but whatever) is likely too much for your backwidth musculature…
And it gets stressed on rows and such again… So if you do 3 row variants 2-3 days later, not only will you have so much overlap in that single session that the second and third exercises will suffer once again, but you’ll also cut so much into your recovery that your body is too busy repairing stuff that it can’t adapt much/get stronger at the rate you want it to.

Now, having two complete back days works ok.

In my case that would look like:

Day 1
-Rack Chins (lats are dead afterwards, midback a little fatigued)
-Rack Pulls with scap retraction after each lockout (doesn’t use lats other than perhaps as a stabilizer, so all good)
(and perhaps some inverted rows or face pulls, but I see those as prehab exercises)

Day 2 (3 days later or so)
-Wide-Neutral Pulldowns (not super-taxing overall)
-Kroc Rows with scap retraction being pretty much half a rep (or I do kroc rows and nothing else…)
(again perhaps some inverted rows? I rarely need to do these due to making scap retraction part of all my regular rows etc… So my bench setup tightness has never been much of a problem)

So you can basically mix and match exercises to stress the back in fairly different ways and not have too much overlap by comparison. Easier/faster to recover from and so you can make progress faster.

That’s just my opinion, of course.

[/quote]

Out of curiosity, when you’re doing rack pulls for back thickness, do you still do floor deads?

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:

Out of curiosity, when you’re doing rack pulls for back thickness, do you still do floor deads?[/quote]

Never in the same week.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
kingbeef323 wrote:

Out of curiosity, when you’re doing rack pulls for back thickness, do you still do floor deads?

Never in the same week.
[/quote]

do you recommend alternating between these two on a weekly basis or cycling them every 4-6weeks?

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
kingbeef323 wrote:

Out of curiosity, when you’re doing rack pulls for back thickness, do you still do floor deads?

Never in the same week.

do you recommend alternating between these two on a weekly basis or cycling them every 4-6weeks?[/quote]

Depends on your routine and goals etc…

And to be honest, it’s really just a little detail.