T Nation

Barbell Rows


#1

@CT what is your opinion of this type of barbell row and do you think using a trap bar would provide a greater contraction?


#2

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
@CT what is your opinion of this type of barbell row and do you think using a trap bar would provide a greater contraction?

I used it a lot about 2-3 months ago. I also used it with an IFBB pro bodybuilder I’m training. Not a bad exercise, better than a chest-supported T-bar row because there is less sternal compression and it allows you to go heavy on a rowing movement without using bad form or momentum. I always focused on hitting the bench with the barm which also works well when you want to add a peak contraction to the movement.

I’m not doing it myself anymore, but it doesn’t mean that it is not a good exercise. VERY few exercise stay on my permanent list of exercises I almost always do. Most movements are thrown in for short periods to solve a specific “issue”. This is not a staple exercise, but it can serve a purpose.


#3

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
@CT what is your opinion of this type of barbell row and do you think using a trap bar would provide a greater contraction?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrNh3bv4--U [/quote]

I used it a lot about 2-3 months ago. I also used it with an IFBB pro bodybuilder I’m training. Not a bad exercise, better than a chest-supported T-bar row because there is less sternal compression and it allows you to go heavy on a rowing movement without using bad form or momentum. I always focused on hitting the bench with the barm which also works well when you want to add a peak contraction to the movement.

I’m not doing it myself anymore, but it doesn’t mean that it is not a good exercise. VERY few exercise stay on my permanent list of exercises I almost always do. Most movements are thrown in for short periods to solve a specific “issue”. This is not a staple exercise, but it can serve a purpose.[/quote]

Are there any rowing movements you consider to be staple exercises?


#4

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
@CT what is your opinion of this type of barbell row and do you think using a trap bar would provide a greater contraction?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrNh3bv4--U [/quote]

I used it a lot about 2-3 months ago. I also used it with an IFBB pro bodybuilder I’m training. Not a bad exercise, better than a chest-supported T-bar row because there is less sternal compression and it allows you to go heavy on a rowing movement without using bad form or momentum. I always focused on hitting the bench with the barm which also works well when you want to add a peak contraction to the movement.

I’m not doing it myself anymore, but it doesn’t mean that it is not a good exercise. VERY few exercise stay on my permanent list of exercises I almost always do. Most movements are thrown in for short periods to solve a specific “issue”. This is not a staple exercise, but it can serve a purpose.[/quote]

Are there any rowing movements you consider to be staple exercises?
[/quote]

No… but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do rows or pull-ups or the likes. It means that there is not one type of row that I would qualify as a master lift.


#5

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
@CT what is your opinion of this type of barbell row and do you think using a trap bar would provide a greater contraction?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrNh3bv4--U [/quote]

I used it a lot about 2-3 months ago. I also used it with an IFBB pro bodybuilder I’m training. Not a bad exercise, better than a chest-supported T-bar row because there is less sternal compression and it allows you to go heavy on a rowing movement without using bad form or momentum. I always focused on hitting the bench with the barm which also works well when you want to add a peak contraction to the movement.

I’m not doing it myself anymore, but it doesn’t mean that it is not a good exercise. VERY few exercise stay on my permanent list of exercises I almost always do. Most movements are thrown in for short periods to solve a specific “issue”. This is not a staple exercise, but it can serve a purpose.[/quote]

Are there any rowing movements you consider to be staple exercises?
[/quote]

No… but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do rows or pull-ups or the likes. It means that there is not one type of row that I would qualify as a master lift.[/quote]

Understood, I do more upper/mid back work than anything else, however there are so so many variations that I keep coming across which leaves me with a vague idea of which ones are best. Do you regularly rotate through different row variations? Would you say that pullups are a staple movement that should always be part of the program regardless of rowing? I’ve been doing pullups everyday weekday for months


#6

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:
Would you say that pullups are a staple movement that should always be part of the program regardless of rowing? I’ve been doing pullups everyday weekday for months
[/quote]

The answer is yes to pull ups being a staple compound movement and should always be in your workout.

I do so many pullups my lats have abs.


#7

[quote]conservativedog wrote:

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:
Would you say that pullups are a staple movement that should always be part of the program regardless of rowing? I’ve been doing pullups everyday weekday for months
[/quote]

The answer is yes to pull ups being a staple compound movement and should always be in your workout.

I do so many pullups my lats have abs.

[/quote]
That is great - do tell more about your pull up training routine. I want abs on my lats!


#8

[quote]conservativedog wrote:

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:
Would you say that pullups are a staple movement that should always be part of the program regardless of rowing? I’ve been doing pullups everyday weekday for months
[/quote]

The answer is yes to pull ups being a staple compound movement and should always be in your workout.

I do so many pullups my lats have abs.

[/quote]

I agree, but I’m no expert.

I’ve been trying very high frequency with pullups for a while, doing 30-50reps total on many consecutive days, usually 5-6 days a week. No recovery problems at all except very sore elbows: these went away went I switched to a neutral grip. In the past month I’ve switched to doing weighted chinups every weekday, warmup to 3x3 straight sets, then 1 set max reps with bw. I still haven’t decided how to continue the progression but I will continue adding weight every week until I stall, then go from there. I’ll probably add more sets of both weighted and bw pulls before adding reps. Something to do in the morning while I drink my coffee.

Getting back to my initial question which was too simplistic and missed the point, I’ll ask: what is THE STAPLE upper back movement? If its not a rowing variation then are pullups simply the best? Or maybe there is no actual “best movement”, but rotating through a variety of different movements is ideal? Is it even necessary to do BOTH vertical and horizontal pulling? If so why


#9

@ CT what are your staple exercises then? I am curious since you’ve been training since you were 10 and have tried all methods and all exercises. What exercises are now and forever will be your go to exercises? Thank you


#10

Christian Thibaudeau: “BEST EXERCISES: I find that to maximize muscle mass with as few exercises as possible, the bench press decline tilt, bench press incline tilt, high pull and trap bar deadlift* are ideal (I like the deadstop row, but it is not on the same level as the others). I personally only add the power snatch to that on my “fun day”. But I also use the method with other exercises for people with specific needs (e.g. olympic lifters, powerlifters)…”

  • I imagine the Dead-Squat Bar has replaced the trap bar.

Also he has recommended and spoken highly of the clean push press, continuous clean and press, and muscle snatch… it will be interesting to see his response.


#11

I’ll confess that my staple exercises sometimes change for one simple reason: if I can or can’t do the movement.

For example, because patellar track issues in my right knee I couldn’t do any squatting for about 5 years so the squats were dropped from my personal list. Then because of an elbow issue that flared (and lingered for a long time) when I was doing too much ring work I couldn’t do cleans or power cleans so that was dropped too.

Now that I’m pretty much back to 100% I can use the full array of movement. I’m still a minimalist but my list of main exercises includes:

snatch (and variations including pulls and complexes)
clean (and variations including pulls and complexes)
deadlift
back squat
front squat
push press
bench press

These are my MAIN MOVEMENTS… those that I focus hard on improving. I also like to “fill the gap” with bodyweight work which includes:

ring dips
pull-ups
ring rows
handstand push ups
bodyweight triceps extension on barbell

These are done as “bonus work” not so much as a main focus. For example I like to do a total of 200 body weight reps divided into 4 exercises a few times a week.


#12

I love it. I’ve been doing BW stuff like that after my main layer movements on a 10 day cycle approach & really like it & have been getting good results.


#13

What… this is like what I’ve been doing verbatim (:
Elbow joints probably shot from ring work come to think of it.


#14

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’ll confess that my staple exercises sometimes change for one simple reason: if I can or can’t do the movement.

For example, because patellar track issues in my right knee I couldn’t do any squatting for about 5 years so the squats were dropped from my personal list.

[/quote]

I am currently dealing with a tracking issue, on and off for about a year. It’s quite frustrating. What did you do to fix it?


#15

[quote]parsley wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’ll confess that my staple exercises sometimes change for one simple reason: if I can or can’t do the movement.

For example, because patellar track issues in my right knee I couldn’t do any squatting for about 5 years so the squats were dropped from my personal list.

[/quote]

I am currently dealing with a tracking issue, on and off for about a year. It’s quite frustrating. What did you do to fix it?[/quote]

Used a patellar tracking strap, started squatting with it (I couldn’t do a full squat without it). I’m 100% fine now and do not need the strap anymore.


#16

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]parsley wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’ll confess that my staple exercises sometimes change for one simple reason: if I can or can’t do the movement.

For example, because patellar track issues in my right knee I couldn’t do any squatting for about 5 years so the squats were dropped from my personal list.

[/quote]

I am currently dealing with a tracking issue, on and off for about a year. It’s quite frustrating. What did you do to fix it?[/quote]

Used a patellar tracking strap, started squatting with it (I couldn’t do a full squat without it). I’m 100% fine now and do not need the strap anymore.[/quote]

CT - I feel like front squats add so much more value than backsquats in the context of layers program. It also doesn’t bother my shoulder/elbows. I have an issue with the bar choking my throat and as I reach depth, the bar wanting to roll forward and falling. Makes the movement challenging/unpleasant but is this just a case of sucking it up and keep practicing? Or certain technique/modificatinos helpeful? I’m using straps to pull up front. Thanks.


#17

#18

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’ll confess that my staple exercises sometimes change for one simple reason: if I can or can’t do the movement.

For example, because patellar track issues in my right knee I couldn’t do any squatting for about 5 years so the squats were dropped from my personal list. Then because of an elbow issue that flared (and lingered for a long time) when I was doing too much ring work I couldn’t do cleans or power cleans so that was dropped too.

Now that I’m pretty much back to 100% I can use the full array of movement. I’m still a minimalist but my list of main exercises includes:

snatch (and variations including pulls and complexes)
clean (and variations including pulls and complexes)
deadlift
back squat
front squat
push press
bench press

These are my MAIN MOVEMENTS… those that I focus hard on improving. I also like to “fill the gap” with bodyweight work which includes:

ring dips
pull-ups
ring rows
handstand push ups
bodyweight triceps extension on barbell

These are done as “bonus work” not so much as a main focus. For example I like to do a total of 200 body weight reps divided into 4 exercises a few times a week.

[/quote]

@CT: no high pulls?

EDIT: sorry i didnt read in the brackets!!! lol.


#19

[quote]lboro21 wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’ll confess that my staple exercises sometimes change for one simple reason: if I can or can’t do the movement.

For example, because patellar track issues in my right knee I couldn’t do any squatting for about 5 years so the squats were dropped from my personal list. Then because of an elbow issue that flared (and lingered for a long time) when I was doing too much ring work I couldn’t do cleans or power cleans so that was dropped too.

Now that I’m pretty much back to 100% I can use the full array of movement. I’m still a minimalist but my list of main exercises includes:

snatch (and variations including pulls and complexes)
clean (and variations including pulls and complexes)
deadlift
back squat
front squat
push press
bench press

These are my MAIN MOVEMENTS… those that I focus hard on improving. I also like to “fill the gap” with bodyweight work which includes:

ring dips
pull-ups
ring rows
handstand push ups
bodyweight triceps extension on barbell

These are done as “bonus work” not so much as a main focus. For example I like to do a total of 200 body weight reps divided into 4 exercises a few times a week.

[/quote]

@CT: no high pulls?

EDIT: sorry i didnt read in the brackets!!! lol.[/quote]

I am still doing high pulls, but I now mostly do them as part of complexes are more rarely on their own. Honestly I feel personally topped on the high pulls… I DID hit 180kg so I doubt that I can hit a lot more and even then, I’m not convinced that increasing it even more will lead to gains proportional to the efforts it will take me to get there. As part of complexes I can personally continue reaping the benefits of the pulls.


#20

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]lboro21 wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’ll confess that my staple exercises sometimes change for one simple reason: if I can or can’t do the movement.

For example, because patellar track issues in my right knee I couldn’t do any squatting for about 5 years so the squats were dropped from my personal list. Then because of an elbow issue that flared (and lingered for a long time) when I was doing too much ring work I couldn’t do cleans or power cleans so that was dropped too.

Now that I’m pretty much back to 100% I can use the full array of movement. I’m still a minimalist but my list of main exercises includes:

snatch (and variations including pulls and complexes)
clean (and variations including pulls and complexes)
deadlift
back squat
front squat
push press
bench press

These are my MAIN MOVEMENTS… those that I focus hard on improving. I also like to “fill the gap” with bodyweight work which includes:

ring dips
pull-ups
ring rows
handstand push ups
bodyweight triceps extension on barbell

These are done as “bonus work” not so much as a main focus. For example I like to do a total of 200 body weight reps divided into 4 exercises a few times a week.

[/quote]

@CT: no high pulls?

EDIT: sorry i didnt read in the brackets!!! lol.[/quote]

I am still doing high pulls, but I now mostly do them as part of complexes are more rarely on their own. Honestly I feel personally topped on the high pulls… I DID hit 180kg so I doubt that I can hit a lot more and even then, I’m not convinced that increasing it even more will lead to gains proportional to the efforts it will take me to get there. As part of complexes I can personally continue reaping the benefits of the pulls.[/quote]

@CT:

I am recently feeling the same way on high pulls. I didn’t hit 180kg :-), but I did hit what for me was a long term goal. Topped out, I think.

The complexes are sounding like a great way to still incorporate the movement and get benefits - thanks for the post!

Also, regarding handstand push-ups:

How would I go about learning these without killing myself?

Thanks!
Muts