Complexes, How to Overload Lats?

Hello from France,

coach gives his own complexes ( here : ) and as you can see, there is a “back” day/complex.

I would like an advice for an exercise for the “overload” type.

What do you think about :
-chin-up, static hold (time ???), weight added if necessary
-chin-up, weight added, fast partials

Another one ?

Thanks !

THib’s contention is that an overload exercise would not be required when training the lats. His reasoning being that he believes that lats (and biceps) respond best to fatigue loading. This would entail typical “bodybuilding” type training of higher reps (6-12), supersets, trisets and - probably most importantly - holding the contracted position on the majority of lat-focused exercises for several seconds.

His exercise prescriptions for lat width specifically - and understand the man is educated and has a billion hours of working for significant periods of time with bodybuilders - are really out of the norm. No chin-ups - or pullups (despite the fact that bret contreras found the chin up and its variations to be the best exercise not only for lat stimulation but for biceps and abs too!)…The key is the form, though, and so few can master it and are motivated to master it. Also no bb rows or rows where your body or opposite arm is unsupported (too much cns strains on maintaining the extended spinal position)

You’ll find many stiff-arm pulldowns, bent over pulldowns, full ROM pullovers, thib pulldows(done with your arms through the holders typical used for knee ups on the chin bar) - basically exercises that can minimize bicep/forearm involvement and really target the actually function of the lats.

For me - as a competitive bodybuilder my back and legs are out of proportion (meaning much bigger) than my front upper torso (chest, biceps, triceps, delts). But I do enjoy training for strength…so having built up to undergrip chins with 90lbs attached (bw=195) for sets of 3, it was difficult do drop these. Also it was difficult to drop the 1-arm rows as 24 hour fitness only goes up to 125lb and I literally attach a small db with a strap to the handle to overload. So I would get my 2 minute self esteem boost doing 155lb db rows and 90lb chins - and my form was fine.

But Thibs shit works so I said what the hell…

I don’t do much for lats but today I did…

(Note: had a lay-off with some medical problems so volume listed is lower than normal

Tri-set of

Decline BB pullovers 3 sets 6-8 done 1 1/4 style
1a. Stiff Arm PD’s to waist (hold 2 each rep) 3 of 6-8
1b. One - arm decline db rows(really goofy exercise but it puts the lats in a great position to work almost 1c. exclusively without much midback/rhomboid involvement) 3 sets of 5-6 (hold 2 each rep

2a. bent over low cable stiff arm pullbacks/pulldowns to waist with rope (hold for 2) 3 x 6-8
2b kneeling leaning forward rope pullows (hold for 2 3 x 6-8
2c. standing calbe rows with rope to waist (hold for 2) 3 x 6-8

I often work out 2-3 times a day so Ill ad some more work but again back is not that much of a priority for me

On Thibs plans - unless one in specializing - he usually recommends only 1-2 lat specific workouts a weak (upper back, rhomboids/traps, on a different day or split apart).

Hope this helps

Thanks a lot !

I’ve just read “High-Performance Mass Program, Look Like a Bodybuilder, Perform Like an Athlete” and anderstood the concept.
Push exercises for upper and lower body.
Lats, biceps, traps…are “assistance work”.

I think CT applies this concept with his own complexes : squat, DL, bench and overhead are the angularstone…lats is like an isolation/assistance work.

Thanks !



No problem.

Thibs is a great, easy to read and understand author. He has so many concepts that go against the norm that if you just breeze through some of his writings you might miss so vital points. Not saying you did this - but I know so many trainers here get confused. This is especially true ever since he’s “revealed” how he really trains himself then authored the I, bodybuilder series and hp mass series. He provides so much great info that is free and available to troubleshoot questions we all should be grateful.

The thing with lats, biceps, though, is his current writings and exercise prescriptions for bodybuilders really
emphasize the need to press, press, press. And with multiple non-grinding repetitions of very low reps done at a a very high frequency with the basic exercises. It would be very easy to see that and then attempt to approach your lat and biceps routine the same way.

I’m 32 and been working out for 18 years and I find (especially the new complex circuits) arguably the most enjoyable method of training I’ve ever used. And I’ve run the gamut of programs.

Good luck!

He has some really good early Training Lab vids on Lat Training too.