T Nation

Lat Training Issues


As broad a statement as that is i'll clarify more:

I train lats once a week which is included in my upper back workout. My workout is as follow:
2 sets of outer, neutral and inner grip pull downs. So 2x6 per grip ( a little hefty to do pull ups )
Then 3x5 of pendlay rows alternating between wide and close grip
3x5 of barbell rows (normal, barbell just doesn't touch the floor like Pendlay and I'm at a higher angle)
3x6 on each arm of single arm barbell rows
2x8 on each arm for single arm dumbbell rows ( more of a kroc row style without the excessive reps)

Im shooting more for strength however i feel my lats aren't really expanding like i'd hoped and im never sore. I feel i do enough reps for hypertrophy and i think i incorporate mind muscle to the best of my ability when i can focus yet my back seems to be improving the slowest... Any suggestions?


Are your lifts going up? Is your disatisfaction with your lat strength or size or both?


[quote]Mad Martigan wrote:
Are your lifts going up? Is your disatisfaction with your lat strength or size or both?[/quote]

My lat strength which i guess i have trouble differentiating from the other muscles involved is progressing slower then i wanted and my lats dont seem to expand at all, so i guess its both but more to do with size.


Gotcha. Well, I think you should consider a few possible approaches:

  1. Keep the routine as is and work on the mind/muscle connection and proper form, which I’m sure other posters could elaborate more fully on.

  2. Reduce volume and increase intensity/frequency and/or rep #. For instance, if you want to keep the lower reps for strength work, maybe you could split your back work into 2 days like:

Day 1

5-6x5-6 lat pulls
Then 3x5 of pendlay rows

Day 2

3x15 Lat pulls
3x10-12 barbell rows
1x20 Kroc Rows

  1. Keep the frequency, and just alternate which exercises you do at higher reps. I think the thing you have to accept is that your scheme is not inducing the hypertrophy you want. You are clearly getting enough sets (20 or so by my quick count), so I think your rep range may be the issue. I’ll probably get flamed for this, but in my experience higher rep ranges induce better size (sometimes as as high as 15-20 reps per set). It will obviously vary quite a bit from person to person, but as I said, the routine you’ve got isn’t getting the results you want.

  2. Just a last thought too; you could look into rest-pause or DC training. I get good results from rest-pause, but sometimes the DOMS can be crippling, and I haven’t used it consistently enough to have an opinion on whether it’s superior to other techniques, but a lot o f very big, strong dudes can vouch for it FWIW.


Thank you very much Martigan, i think the two day split makes alot of sense and i am reading the DC article by Nate Green right now, and im sure i can improve my mind muscle connection ill have to read up on it more.
Thanks again,


How’s your form? I find lats are too easy to cheat, and good gains are being felt after I dropped the weight and started doing all my upper back exercises super strict, focusing on feeling the muscle contract.

Also, how long have you been using this workout for back? Maybe it’s time to experiment with some different styles of rows to see what works well. Different rows seem to be favourable for different people.


Meadows Rows.