T Nation

ME Upper Back

I’m currently following a 3 day pull, push, legs split.

I’ve decided to do a max effort exercise on each day. The push and legs days are pretty simple, using the same movements as the westside guys. For the pull day I’m using 4 variations of pullups. Shoulder and wide overhand, parallel grip and supinated grip.

Has anyone else used the ME method for exercises other than the standard presses and squats/GMs?

Go to Joe Defranco’s site and check out the way he trains wrestlers. He frequently uses weighted chins, using different grips, as a max effort lift.

Plus, check out his Q and A archives…lots of terrific stuff there.

Best of luck

My split is somewhat like yours. Because I deadlift “conventional” style, most of my pulling is from the floor. I don’t deadlift every ME day; sometimes I do heavy “clean-grip” olympic-style low pulls, working up to a max double or triple and then down about 10kg for a 5-set. That doesn’t seem like a lot of volume, but it will force your traps to grow stronger than they will get from shrugs alone.
Strength & courage’
“Coach Joe”

I do something similar but I use oly lifts and variants i.e. high pulls on my back day. I rotate between snatches and cleans, from hang, floor and blocks and high and low pulls too.

Maybe you could use pulldowns, they hit your back in a different way to pull ups. To be honest I use pull ups more as an assistance exercise but your rotation for use as main ME exercise looks good.

Thanks for the replies guys.

I did the back workout tonight for the first time and I’m pretty pleased how it went.

I’m getting over a back injury at the moment so I cant do all the cool stuff like deads and oly lifts so the pullups are the best option for ME.

What does “ME” stand for in the ME Upper Back title?

I know it’s a stupid question but I just don’t know.



“ME” is localspeak for “maximum effort,” a term that gets used a lot since the introduction of “Westside” training routines. It’s not a dumb question; lotsa abbreviations are used on one site or another, and none of them are universally recognized.

Thanks for the answer Joe. What about “D.E.” I’ve read and seen so much of?

Thnaks again.


Dynmaic Effort. It’s lifting submaximal weights as fast as possible.