[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I’d agree with all of your suggestions. Flat benches made me strong but didn’t build my pecs. Back Squats made me good at Back Squatting (and gave me a big ass), but didn’t make my quads look like a bodybuilder’s. Full Deads made me strong as hell at deading (and bigger forearms), but I had nowhere near the back development that I have today (rarely ever do deads, instead focusing on a variety of rowing movements).
The BIG THREE are not perfect, nor horrible, and they are an excellent place to start for most trainer., but after a bit you have to decide if they’re assisting you in actually reaching your individual goals (and in regard to your individual genetic predisposition), or if you need to find an other approach.
do you include any vertical pulling anymore?[/quote]
I’ve always been a fan of chins, but found that a lot of the stress went to my inner back, where I guess I was naturally stronger (not a bad thing, but contest bodybuilding is about correcting imbalances). Not that my lats were lagging, but I realized that I needed to thicken them up to create a better ‘X’ Frame effect when standing onstage. About a year ago I started incorporating close grip (usually a v-grip) pulldowns where I would maintain a perfectly upright torso position, while keeping my elbows in front of my body the entire time (none of that ‘squeeze your shoulder blades for a peak contraction’ stuff), while pausing the motion when my hands reached in front of my chin. This allowed me to put much more direct stress on my actual Lats, which I believe made a very big difference in my physique.
Also, and I think I’ve been asked about this before,… I never was a fan of wide grip chins, pulldowns, anything, simply because my naturally dominant arms took the brunt of the work. Instead, I’ve always relied on scapular retractions in a cable station, and focused on more of an angled-shrug if you will.
These are really the only exercises I incorporate that have me doing work in the vertical plane.