T Nation

Best Gains In Back Thickness

Hi CT,

A while back, whilst following a push/pull/leg split i was using a combination of rack pulls from below the knee with bands and snatch grip highpulls and had some of the best gains in back thickness of my life.

I know you have never included rack pulls in the layer program as there are much more complete lifts like the dead squat but would there be anywhere you could add rack pulls from below the knees into the layer system as i would love to see if these gains would be amplified by this system?

Many Thanks

[quote]Hull2012 wrote:
Hi CT,

A while back, whilst following a push/pull/leg split i was using a combination of rack pulls from below the knee with bands and snatch grip highpulls and had some of the best gains in back thickness of my life.

I know you have never included rack pulls in the layer program as there are much more complete lifts like the dead squat but would there be anywhere you could add rack pulls from below the knees into the layer system as i would love to see if these gains would be amplified by this system?

Many Thanks[/quote]

I’ve done rack pulls from below the knees when I started out the layer system. I feel that it is too much for the nervous system to handle if you do high pulls twice a week and Dead-Squat (or squats) once a week.

However I do think the exercise has some value for back thickening so it is possible to add 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps after the high pull have been done (tail end of the workout).

Thanks thats perfect.

Just to clear up, i will be doing these with a straight bar from below the knees. would it be wise to take the bands away due to the neural stress already posed by the other lifts in the program?

Taking the above into consideration would this program be acceptable:

  1. Push Press max ramp
  2. High pull max ramp + 4 sets of 6 straight bar rack pulls from below the knees
  3. Squat max ramp
  4. Slight Decline Bench
  5. High Pull man ramp + 4 sets of 6 leg press (or possibly snatch rows)

Thanks Again CT

[quote]Hull2012 wrote:
Thanks thats perfect.

Just to clear up, i will be doing these with a straight bar from below the knees. would it be wise to take the bands away due to the neural stress already posed by the other lifts in the program?

Taking the above into consideration would this program be acceptable:

  1. Push Press max ramp
  2. High pull max ramp + 4 sets of 6 straight bar rack pulls from below the knees
  3. Squat max ramp
  4. Slight Decline Bench
  5. High Pull man ramp + 4 sets of 6 leg press (or possibly snatch rows)

Thanks Again CT[/quote]

The squat is not properly placed…

  1. Squat
  2. Slight decline bench
  3. High pull
  4. Push press
  5. High pull
  6. off

ah, im with you now.

Should the rack pulls be performed with relatively high speed, i.e. no grinding?

Lastly would it have a negative impact on growth if i was to add dips to my press days. From experiance i get all the gains i need upfront from just using push press, bench and dips. I also like to use dips for the stretch and shoulder health.

Thanks

Not sure if this is a moronic question, but have you ever experimented with High Pulls with Chains, CT?

I replaced the Slight Decline Bench Press with Weighted Push-Ups (I use chains) and thought of why not use these chains for the high pulls. But it didn’t work at all. LOL The entire lifitng dynamics were altered for the worse.

[quote]bro1989 wrote:
Not sure if this is a moronic question, but have you ever experimented with High Pulls with Chains, CT?

I replaced the Slight Decline Bench Press with Weighted Push-Ups (I use chains) and thought of why not use these chains for the high pulls. But it didn’t work at all. LOL The entire lifitng dynamics were altered for the worse.[/quote]

It’s a VERY dumb idea. But I do not blame you for trying since I tried it myself about 10 years ago. The problem is that with high pulls 90% of the work is when you launch the bar up when it’s at hips level. When the bar is travelling from the abdomen up to chest height, the bar is travelling mostly due to the imparted momentum, not because you are actually pulling on the bar.

The chains simply kill that momentum and add resistance when there is little muscle action.

[quote]Hull2012 wrote:
ah, im with you now.

Should the rack pulls be performed with relatively high speed, i.e. no grinding?

Lastly would it have a negative impact on growth if i was to add dips to my press days. From experiance i get all the gains i need upfront from just using push press, bench and dips. I also like to use dips for the stretch and shoulder health.

Thanks[/quote]

(1) the rack pulls should be “forcefully smooth”… it doesn’t have to be fast, but there should be no hitching or grinding.

(2) Once you’ve done your layer exercise you can add 3-4 sets of 4-6 or 6-8 reps on one assistance exercise of your choice, so dips are fine.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]bro1989 wrote:
Not sure if this is a moronic question, but have you ever experimented with High Pulls with Chains, CT?

I replaced the Slight Decline Bench Press with Weighted Push-Ups (I use chains) and thought of why not use these chains for the high pulls. But it didn’t work at all. LOL The entire lifitng dynamics were altered for the worse.[/quote]

It’s a VERY dumb idea. But I do not blame you for trying since I tried it myself about 10 years ago. The problem is that with high pulls 90% of the work is when you launch the bar up when it’s at hips level. When the bar is travelling from the abdomen up to chest height, the bar is travelling mostly due to the imparted momentum, not because you are actually pulling on the bar.

The chains simply kill that momentum and add resistance when there is little muscle action.[/quote]

Thank you! Seems like both you and I like to experiment a lot. Some things we do may be very dumb. But there is no other way to progress beyond what is commonly known and done. This is why I respect you, CT, because you take the old-school mentality into this generation.