T Nation

Help, I Need My Lats to Grow!!

Hey T-Nation,

I have an obvious problem. I need my lats to grow. I’ve been doing everything I can think of to help them grow. I do pullups (wide grip included), cable pull down machine (past my chin and behind my neck, I’ve tried to go for weight and for reps but it seems like nothing seems to help…

Swimming somewhat helps but not to the degree that I would like. Is having big lats a genetics thing or am I missing something critical about my training. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

what other back exercises are you doing?? are you doing deadlifts and bent over barbell rows?? also are you doing military press??

i’ve found that after a session of deads and rows my lats are fried, also i can feel them working when doing military press

You may want to post your entire shoulder/upper back/chest routine as they somewhat relate to each other because imbalances can form (meaning lack of work on one can effect the other).

Just trying to get an idea of your workout program as far as exercises, number days of week, number sets, reps as it may help others as well as myself help find a solution to whats going on.

[quote]ds77 wrote:

you may want to post your entire shoulder/upper back/chest routine as they somewhat relate to each other because imbalances can form (meaning lack of work on one can effect the other).

Just trying to get an idea of your workout program as far as exercises, number days of week, number sets, reps as it may help others as well as myself help find a solution to whats going on.[/quote]

Thanks, For my chest, shoulder, and tricep day I do:
5 sets 4-6 reps of flat bench or dumbell,
3-5 sets 4-6 reps of seated military press or standing military,
3 sets, 12-15 reps of dips (weighted sometimes) and skull crushers

I do my back day with lats, upper and mid-back, traps, and bi’s:

3-5 sets, 4-6 reps or 12 -15reps (depends on the day as I try to mix it up) of pullups or seated cable pulldowns.

I’ve been told I need to work on my back girth so I’ve been really trying to hit the rows really hard, I do 5 sets of 12-15 reps. I do rows with a straight bar or barbell too sometimes.

For traps I really try to go heavy with 3 sets of 4-6 reps and 2 sets of until failure.

Biceps consist of stand barbell curls 12-15 reps, 3 sets and seated preacher curls

I feel I train my back really good and I think I’m eating enough but I feel like it’s never geting any thicker. Thanks for any advice you can give.

Try more close-grip work for your back. Close grip chins, close grip rows… I’ve always felt a better stretch and contraction in my lats with the closer hand spacing.

S

I have been doing a lot of strip sets with upper back exercises lately and on every set which is usually not recommended by a lot of people; but i must say i really am seeing results.

Here is what i am doing:

pullups/chinups as many as i can do; and immediately go to pull down machine and do more with strip sets… strip sets is where you keep pulling the weight off so you can keep doing more reps… and you may strip the wieght 4 or 5 times… but there is a point where you know its to light… thats when i stop.

With seated rows … samething… start heavy (maybe when you can only do 1 or 2 reps) and keep stripping the wieght so you can do another one or two, or three reps, and stip the wieght… and do another two or
three reps…and keep going…

Also, you say you do 3 to 5 sets for back while you always do 5 sets for chest… keep your back the same number of sets meaning 5; same with military presses -also 5. You must also always do both rows and pullups when you workout back… only mention this as you used the word or rather than and.

I don’t think that your lats are that bad from your avatar but maybe it’s just your pose.

The advices here are good, and throw in deadlifts.

[quote]BF Bullpup wrote:
I don’t think that your lats are that bad from your avatar but maybe it’s just your pose.

The advices here are good, and throw in deadlifts.[/quote]

I agree; you look in proportion of what you should be; why do you think something is wrong; are you training for a sport maybe where you think lats are more needed or maybe picture does not show problem as it should?

p.s — the deadlift is something you should throw in there irregardless

[quote]BF Bullpup wrote:
I don’t think that your lats are that bad from your avatar but maybe it’s just your pose.

The advices here are good, and throw in deadlifts.[/quote]

Thank you, I’ve really (as of late) trying to take deadlifts alot more seriously than I have in the past.

[quote]ds77 wrote:
BF Bullpup wrote:
I don’t think that your lats are that bad from your avatar but maybe it’s just your pose.

The advices here are good, and throw in deadlifts.

I agree; you look in proportion of what you should be; why do you think something is wrong; are you training for a sport maybe where you think lats are more needed or maybe picture does not show problem as it should?

p.s — the deadlift is something you should throw in there irregardless

[/quote]

It’s just that, I see these guys who seem like they have cobra wings growing out of the side of them and I’d like to achieve that. I’ll post a better picture to better show off my lats. Maybe I don’t know how to flex them right. I’ve been told I need to work on my poses.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/4/1/419ba-ronnie.gif

[quote]ds77 wrote:
p.s — the deadlift is something you should throw in there irregardless
[/quote]

Touche.

OP, I think we all want cobra-sized lats. :slight_smile: Look up “lat spread” for the pose that would best show your width.

Yeah I wish

Back is a tricky one, mostly because you can’t really see it when you work it… You need to feel it.

Try some Vince Gironda type of sets…
Sort of a concentration curl for your back…
Use a cable type machine or a dumbbell if you wish only use a weight you can control well.

Pull in and hold it at least 15 seconds then slowly release it then repeat…

Really feel the muscles of your back and get a mind muscle connection. You will really need it to build up your lats…

Solid

One of the only things that has ever made my lats really sore the next day were heavy snatch grip rack pulls. I couldn’t even tell I was working them at the time but I sure felt it the next day.

Lat activation exercises, I really like straight arm pulldowns. You need to FEEL what it is like contracting your lats and put that into every rep you do on the “special exercises” targeted your lats.

10x10 lat pulldowns

heavy rack pulls for reps (im talking 15-20reps)

I like those seated rows that Thib does in one of his articles, its like you lean all the way forward with the rope attachment and stretch the shit out of your muscle fascia then do a pull.

[quote]ds77 wrote:
BF Bullpup wrote:
I don’t think that your lats are that bad from your avatar but maybe it’s just your pose.

The advices here are good, and throw in deadlifts.

I agree; you look in proportion of what you should be; why do you think something is wrong; are you training for a sport maybe where you think lats are more needed or maybe picture does not show problem as it should?

p.s — the deadlift is something you should throw in there irregardless

[/quote]

I third that view, your lats are as big as your proportions will allow. If you eat more, and put on 20lbs, then your lats will grow.

Joe

Optimal hypertrophy will be found for most people to be between 6 and 10 reps per set. Any more and you’re training for endurance. Endurance training is not conducive to hypertrophy.

Nutrition?

I’ll keep it simple for you: Yates row, Yates row, Yates row. (Named for Dorian Yates).

It’s a version of a bent-over barbell row in which you use an underhand grip (palms up), bend over only about 60 or 70 degrees (do NOT bend all the way over until your torso is parallel to the floor – that’s NOT the position for this), keep your chest OUT and your back arched throughout, and pull the bar into your WAIST.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, has added size, width, thickness and strength to my back like the Yates row. It’s a heavy-ass compound movement that allows you to get much stronger and add more weight very quickly over time. I can handle pretty ridiculous weight on it now. Truth by told, over many years approximately 70 or 80% of my back workouts have consisted of ONLY the Yates row, and my back has progressed in size, thickness and overall “completeness” beyond that of most whom I’ve trained with over the years.

Forget fancy set and rep schemes. Do a few heavy-ass sets of these, and do them well.

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’ll keep it simple for you: Yates row, Yates row, Yates row. (Named for Dorian Yates).

It’s a version of a bent-over barbell row in which you use an underhand grip (palms up), bend over only about 60 or 70 degrees (do NOT bend all the way over until your torso is parallel to the floor – that’s NOT the position for this), keep your chest OUT and your back arched throughout, and pull the bar into your WAIST.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, has added size, width, thickness and strength to my back like the Yates row. It’s a heavy-ass compound movement that allows you to get much stronger and add more weight very quickly over time. I can handle pretty ridiculous weight on it now. Truth by told, over many years approximately 70 or 80% of my back workouts have consisted of ONLY the Yates row, and my back has progressed in size, thickness and overall “completeness” beyond that of most whom I’ve trained with over the years.

Forget fancy set and rep schemes. Do a few heavy-ass sets of these, and do them well.[/quote]

Great one for building mass,
however remember to not bounce the weight. Pause at the bottom of the movement… Yates got a nasty bicep injury from this, and has sense modified it with the pause…

Solid