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How to Do Heavy Cable Standing Rows?

Question: Is it physically possible to do a cable standing row if you are strong enough to row your body weight?

Here’s the background: I’m giving Waterbury’s ‘Huge in a Hurry’ a go, starting with the Get Ready program. I ran into problems on Day 1 with the first exercise, which is called a ‘cable standing mid-pulley row’.

The exercise is supposed to be a horizontal cable row that is performed at chest height while standing up with minimum backward lean, so your torso remains close to vertical, and with your feet not braced against anything.

The exercise is supposed to be performed with a ‘heavy load’ (4-6RM).

Problem: Not sure if I am doing something wrong, but this exercise seemed physically impossible for me to perform the way it is described in the book. at least the way I understood it.

By the time I worked up to a heavyish weight (250 lbs on the weight stack plus a 45 lb plate), there was no way that I could keep my body close to vertical. I had to lean back to around a 45 degree angle in order to be able to do the row without my body moving forward. Plus I had to brace my feet against the bottom of the machine. And even at that load, I could do more 10 reps.

Most of the programs in Huge in a Hurry involve standing cable rows at various angles. Can you do these if you are not a newb? Or am I just doing these wrong?

Thanks for the input guys!

I do there every now and then after my main back exercises - the load isn’t huge as I do it more for a pump, but I try not to lean back and have my legs in front of me at about a 45 degree angle from the floor instead.

I’m sure you could substitute these with seated rows.