T Nation

Help with Upper Back Program

I have been designing my own workout programs for the past few months and have been seeing serious improvements in power and size.

I do back twice a week since that is my main focus, the bent over row has become a staple of each back workout but has been causing my some issues as of late. I have serious pain in the ulnar part of my wrist as i get into heavier sets and reps this also occurs with close grip pull downs, i have wraps but their help is minor.

Well after that backround information, no pun intended, my question is: should i eliminate the barbell rows and stick with heavy tbar rows? Should i only do the barbell rows once a week out of the two workouts? and is it bad to mix hypotrophy (10-15 reps) with strength training in the same day?

If somthing feels uncomfortable, or worse painfull, dont do it. This is a rule Ive followed for years, and its served me well. In your case if you can do heavy Tbar rows, thats a perfect substitude for BB rows. When I design routines for BBers I put in either 1 row, and 2 pulldown exercises, or 2 rows, and 1 pulldown exercise, depending on weather they need width or depth. this plus a dead variation, trap exercise, and rear delts exercise, and this works well. It seems BB rows are one of those exercises that people get, and love, or don`t get at all. I used to love BB rows, but at a certain strength level they became hard to program, I switched to DB rows, and lost no mass or strength. Hope this helps

Thank you very much Jake, i agree wholly with the pain part i had just been afraid of losing strength had i cut them out.

Agreed with Jake.

And for the second part of your question, it is fine to mix hypertrophy and strength training on the same day.

I had similar problems. ART fixed it for me. It was part of the carpal tunnel thing.

I used straps and played with the angles. I also learned every possible way to row. Funny enough, underhand bent over row, arms close to body was the one movement that never hurt.

And, as stated above, avoid pain at all costs. you will thank us in 20 years.

Pain is an indicator that something is wrong.

You have pain with a barbell row. Easy solution is switch to a Dumbbell Row. It’s certainly not the same exercise but it does seem to have the same effect and gets results.

You have pain with close grip pull downs. Easy solution do pronated / neutral , wide /medium grip pull downs or just use handles.

Basically your arms like being in a neutral position.

I like these, but I do them with dumbells and straps (try to relax the forearm/upper arm and really let your scapula ‘hang’).

I also do them while standing in a sumo stance and not using my hand to support myself on a bench. Really works the lower back and abs.

The snatch grip high pull has become all the rage for good damn reason. Give those a go and see what your upper back thinks.

I wager that it hates you the following day, then loves you forever after.

I’d agree with everyone that pain is bad. But depending on the pain, you should try using lifting straps before you ditch a movement. If you’re just getting a serious cramp in your wrist from gripping the bar for long sets then straps will probably fix it. However if its carpal tunnel or tendonitis then you might have to drop the exercises