T Nation

Back Work and Training Economy

Just wondering what you all are doing for back work. Personally, I’ll do chins in between pressing sets and face pulls at the end of every workout. For many, many cycles, I had been doing high rep DB rows for 1 all out set. I’ve been playing with t-bar rows for the last couple of cycles and also employeed a few sets of rows where I pause at the top using the trap bar.

What does everyone do that nets you the most bang for your buck?

Chins between each pressing set to a maximum of 5 sets. I used to do more sets of chins but I kept buggering up something in my left arm so I cut it back.

Squat day = SLDL, 5’s progression

Bench day = Kroc Row, 2 warmup sets then 1xAMRAP

Deadlift day = Deadlifts.

Press Day = BB Row (Pendlay) for 3 sets of 10

I superset rows with presses.

I do inverted rows in between squats, pullups inbetween press and front squats work mu upper back as well. Let me come back in a year or so and let you know if it worked. But let me tell you that front squats supersetted with inverted rows, followed by overhead press supersetted with pullups, followed by deadlifts feels like I worked my back allright.

Press:
-Weighted chins w/5/3/1

Bench:
-DB Rows

I always alternate sets for pressing and sets for rowing. I.e. 1 set bench - 1 set row - 1 set bench - 1 set row…
I think it`s important for shoulder health to do as much as work for back/rear delts than for the pressing muscles.

Chins inbetween all pressing sets bench and overhead. Back raises unweighted. Also farmers walks destroy my upper back

[quote]jkt123 wrote:
Chins inbetween all pressing sets bench and overhead. Back raises unweighted. Also farmers walks destroy my upper back[/quote]
I just got a pair of farmer walk handles. I’m looking forward to trying them out

DB rows, with a goal of 5x10 with any weight. Once I get a weight for straight sets I go up in weight for the first set @ 8 reps, the next time 2 sets, until I hit 5x8. The next step is to add 1 rep to the first set, then the 2nd and so on until I hit 5x10 @ the heavier weight. When it feels easy I might skip a little ahead, and for a deload I’ll warm up and hit one set @ amrap. Obviously nothing fancy, but I just hit 5x8 with the 120’s @ a bw of 165 with a little left in the tank (Pretty strict).120’s are the biggest DB’s in my gym and I find the thought of doing one arm barbell rows amusing. It would be a long term goal for me to hit 5x10 with 135.

I also love deads, farmers and overhead carries.

[quote]METAL VIPER wrote:
a few sets of rows where I pause at the top using the trap bar.

What kind of rows are you doing using a trap bar?

mine is 5x10 weighted pullups then 5x10 of either db rows or these:

I like doing shrugs too, but avoid doing them before deadlift days. I need to do more upperback work though. I’m going to give these and some facepulls with a band a try:

Similar question…I’ve read (on this site and elsewhere) your bench and bent row weight should be the same (or at least close). Under the 5/3/1 program there is no Bent Row Day. So, while I’m adding 5 lbs a month to my Bench my Bent Row weight doesn’t get this attention.

Thoughts?

I been diggin Pendlay rows lately. No matter what i do though, none of it compares to plain old dead lifts. In fact, most of it seems like window dressing after them. I also have always done heavy shrugs right after them and try to keep well ahead of my deads by at least 100 pounds - using double overhand as long as I can and then switching to mixed the opposite of the deads. I am too out of shape to superset chins with bench. I generally do them 1st thing on mp day.

@ browndisaster,
I saw that video too. They do not look at all like my rows. What are they? Do they work?

[quote]sen say wrote:
Similar question…I’ve read (on this site and elsewhere) your bench and bent row weight should be the same (or at least close). Under the 5/3/1 program there is no Bent Row Day. So, while I’m adding 5 lbs a month to my Bench my Bent Row weight doesn’t get this attention.

Thoughts?[/quote]

This has been discussed in numerous articles and posts. This is a huge misconception.

[quote]sen say wrote:
Similar question…I’ve read (on this site and elsewhere) your bench and bent row weight should be the same (or at least close). Under the 5/3/1 program there is no Bent Row Day. So, while I’m adding 5 lbs a month to my Bench my Bent Row weight doesn’t get this attention.

Thoughts?[/quote]

Bent over Rows are just too cheatable to be used as a primary movement. You might increase the weight every month, but you really don’t know if you’re getting stronger since form can very so much. It’s a lot like good mornings in this respect - great exercise for building muscle and strengthening but a poor choice for chasing numbers. If you want to measure something that should be close to your bench, go with power clean.

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:

[quote]sen say wrote:
Similar question…I’ve read (on this site and elsewhere) your bench and bent row weight should be the same (or at least close). Under the 5/3/1 program there is no Bent Row Day. So, while I’m adding 5 lbs a month to my Bench my Bent Row weight doesn’t get this attention.

Thoughts?[/quote]

Bent over Rows are just too cheatable to be used as a primary movement. You might increase the weight every month, but you really don’t know if you’re getting stronger since form can very so much. It’s a lot like good mornings in this respect - great exercise for building muscle and strengthening but a poor choice for chasing numbers. If you want to measure something that should be close to your bench, go with power clean.
[/quote]

Might be a better idea to try to go with power snatch over power clean for shoulder balance since it works the external rotators more. I’m gonna speculate that power snatch should be about 70% of your bench.

On pressing days I do 3 sets of band pull a parts in between warmup sets then pull-ups or db rows in between work sets swapping them on the next pressing day then on the joker sets I will do either pull-ups or db rows depending on what pressing day it is then in between FSL sets I will do biceps curls. On lower body days I will do 3 super sets of face pull with shrugs at the end along with whatever core work I do.

[quote]Grove wrote:

[quote]METAL VIPER wrote:
a few sets of rows where I pause at the top using the trap bar.

What kind of rows are you doing using a trap bar? [/quote]
Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEuAzVwVDOg

Chins
Dumbell Rows

That’s All.

I don’t remember the source, but a while ago there was a discussion about pausing at the top of the row and the increased stability in squats. I think it’s easy to see how this would contribute, but has anyone implemented them and noticed enough of a difference to incorporate?