T Nation

Lats Seperate from Back Camp: You in?


Hey muscleheads,

I've been thinking about it for a while, buddy keeps buggin about it too..
And so I'm in now, after talking to a local competitor as well as others on the subject.

Have you, or do you, use this strategy to success with your physique,(back),goals?
If so, could you tell me how you split em, or what ex you're currently using on the two different beasts?

I'd really appreciate it, thanks.


I have no idea what you're trying to inquire about.

Lats separate from back? HUH?!


I think he's talking about the upper back muscles versus the lats. I personally feel that a lot of my lat movements get dominated by my upper back. I know akuma said he had the same problem or something like that. I've been looking at ways to shift focus to my lats.


You don't really seem to have a question in there. If you are having trouble getting your lats to grow then you could use a higher frequency and focus on lat recruitment. But they aren't seperate from your "back" per se.

You could split it up to vertical and horizontal pulling movements. Or have a back day with everyting and a second day with just lat movements.


Ok, guys..I mean seperating lat,(Vertical pull) movements, generally thought of as lat "widening" exercises, from the rowing (horizontal pull) movements, or generally thought of as lat "thickening" exercises.

Hope that clears the smoke..:slight_smile:

And no I don't per say have trouble with my lats. Just splitting the two difft pulling movements to see if there's a tangible difference in back growth or development.

Thanks again.


I see the confusion starts with my post title.
Apologies for that slip up.


I train back twice a week, one day is thickness:
Thickness day:
Heavy Db rows

Width (lats) day
Pulldowns (wide grip, narrow grip, V grip)
Straight arm pressdowns
Either BB or db rows really slow with a squeeze at the top.


Essentially all you are doing is having a 2nd back day per week. Separating them as width and thickness days is all good and what not, do as you like, but I personally don't think you can make the two mutually exclusive. 'Width' exercises will also build 'thickness' and vice versa. You're asking this question I'm guessing because your back is a weak point? IMHO have your normal back day then 3 days later do one 'width' and one 'thickness' exercise and leave it at that. Maybe even throw in some shrugs also if your traps are lagging.


I see your point certainly. The thinking was/is that there might be more gas in the tank to really blast the lats if they were the only focus. Just something some friends have been chiming to me a lot lately. No I don't have a weak back. It's pretty respectable, at least from the respectable lifting folks who know me say and have seen.
Traps are good too.

I appreciate your sentiments, and will likely simply add in a day of just lat slamming down the pipe and keep my regular back day maybe.


If you are going to hit your back twice a week why not do width and thickness both days to double your frequency?


I'd have to agree with this. Whenever I think of splitting back up into two separate days, width and thickness, I always come to the realization that having both on both days would be better for the added frequency. Try having one normal back day and then the other one with a width emphasis - mostly width exercises with a rack pull (partial deadlift for those who don't know what that is) as the thickness movement.


width then thickness for max awesome

all the cool kids do it


Ronnie Coleman had two different back workouts each week, one focusing primarily on thickness, while the other focused more so on width. Sure it wouldn't be horrible to hit some movements for each approach on each session (assuming two back sessions per week), but you could certainly shift your focus.

If you'd normally do 4 exercises on a given day, for Back day #1 do 3 exercises that would generally add more Thickness, while on Back day #2 do 3 that would promote more of a width effect. It's really not uncommon, or even earth shaking of an idea -lol.



I always thought thickness was upper/mid back and width was lats/teres major. The lats/teres major get thick too but they go out more since they're more lateral than the rhomboids/traps and such and that's just the way they grow.

I'm doing BBB and for my back exercises i'm doing underhanded barbell rows on two days since they really feel like they hit all my back, emphasis on lats, and explosive DB rows since I feel those more in the middle (thick) part.


Thank you Stu. I was looking for just the few guys that might have done this and hear from them. Never intended to make it sound earth shattering here on my end...
Just really saying yeah it's something worth givin a go at for a few...Focus on each area one at a time for the obvious reason of being more able to pound the shit out of it with all your workout energy.

Thanks for explaining it, and anyone who just might have done it, drop me a line.


Also remember that elbow positioning plays a role on whether the lats or upper back will be used. Generally on rowing, the closer your humerus is to the torso, the more lats are used...


Whats up tone?

I think splitting it up is good for people who prefer higher volume.

I would do it but my back grows a bit faster than every thing else so it doesnt really make sense for me.

If I were doing it I'd probably set it up like this

HS pullover or rope pulldown for pre exhaust
Rack chins
lat pull down
Underhand rows to the belly button 45 degee angle.

Kroc rows
Seated rows narrow grip
One of the HS row machines or barbell rows to the chest
trap work if you like it on back day


Have anyone in here tried chest supported dumbbell rows. I got them from a video of EBOMB on here. They absolutely DESTROY my upper back.

Thats how I do them.

Great exercise.


Hey thanks for droppin in big guy.:slight_smile:
That looks solid. Like what I was looking for totally. You know, I was doing my chins weighted for sets of 6-8 w/45lbs. My left forearm tendon/posterior side started tweakin a bit. So I went back to higher rep bodyweight. You know me, I do the slow as mollasses eccentric drop, and was holding on top for counts of 2. Since dropping to bodyweight, the tendon is chilling out nicely. Those rack chins sound good. Been a long while since I DC'd it, that's the last time I did those. So yeah looks great man thanks!
Btw, on the seated rows, are we talking incline facing bench yeah?
And Kroc rows, one working, up in reps to 20 or so, heavy as duck right?
Rows I've been doing with lighter weight holding for 2 secs full scap retraction, slow neg. Been using 80lbs on those, which is topped out for me. I don't or haven't in the past, liked the swing/cheat mode on rows, but maybe it's time to "get over it"...lol.

Traps are good, do them with delts right now.
Thanks again B!


Agreed. Very good, and humbling as hell with a 2 sec hold on top if you manage that.
I got some very good development from doing all my rows or hell, everything basicly in this manner of held contractions from 1-2 secs, and slow as hell negatives back down.