T Nation

Hollywood Muscle


First, thank you for the content and teaching you provide. I have implemented all of your low volume high intensity teachings into a PPL template over the last two months and had great progress. Now I’m switching gears just slightly to your Hollywood Muscle PPL template.

On the Pull Day, it calls for Rack Deads from below the knee (to hit the traps I believe).

  1. Does it make a difference if I use a modified wide stance with knees just outside my hands? The bar remains below the knee, and feels a little better on my lower back.

  2. What is a suitable substitute for this lift on days when my low back just doesn’t feel right and it’s a safety issue?

Thank you!

So you mean do a sumo rack dead? No I wouldn’t do that. What’s the point of that?

Honestly, I wouldn’t do rack deads at all if your low back doesn’t feel great some days.

I hear you loud and clear, thank you. In the goal/theme of this program, what would you substitute the rack deads with?

Some upperback pulldown pull-aparts.

Ok thank you.

I didn’t find a video on YouTube but… I’m assuming this is just an upper back pull down with crossover dual handles that allow you to pull them apart on the eccentric motion.

If you were to change it to strictly a push pull with legs added in, would substituting trap bar deadlifts for the rack pulls cover the trap work or would it not be in the spirit of the routine?

Being 52 with the usual wear and tear, I am running it as a MWF push pull push one week and pull push pull the next with either legs on Saturday or doing legs in the MWF days .

Thanks for all your time and advice.

Trap bar deads are more of an integrated lower body movement. Not a trap movement. Even though Ben Bruno thinks they are. LOL

Just curious; why didn’t you program any rows in the hollywood muscle program?

Because the upperback pulldown takes care of that. You can train the upperback with a pulldown just as well as you can with a row without the lumbar/axial loading. So it’s much safer.


Paul, one other substitute question … my gym doesn’t have many power racks … is there a substitute you would recommend for the rack/box pulls?


Barbell rows.

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Added and the program is going great.

One other question was progression on the cluster sets on the plate raises … how would recommendation progression?

Currently my last set AMRAP is 14 … is there a point we move up in weight, increase the reps in each cluster or just continue to do amrap on the last set, trying to beat last times
Reps ?


I do the cluster sets and I mix it up when I hit 20 reps.
I then add a shrug at the top and lower slower and progress like that till 20 reps again. Absolute murder!