T Nation

My Back Development Sucks! Tips?

Hey everybody, I need some advice on back training. I’ve tried barbell rows, dumbbell rows, numerous cable rows, reverse fly’s, weighted pull ups, and lat pull downs. I have average back development, but not enough to satisfy. I can’t seem to get sore either. My reps have ranged from as low as 6 and as high as 30 and tempo changed as well. What works for you guys?

[quote]dnlcdstn wrote:
What works for you guys? [/quote]

Reading the 35 other threads about back training…

How long have you been lifting?

Do you get a lot of bicep activation whilst working your back?

[quote]dnlcdstn wrote:
Hey everybody, I need some advice on back training. I’ve tried barbell rows, dumbbell rows, numerous cable rows, reverse fly’s, weighted pull ups, and lat pull downs. I have average back development, but not enough to satisfy. I can’t seem to get sore either. My reps have ranged from as low as 6 and as high as 30 and tempo changed as well. What works for you guys? [/quote]

This is probably the fifth thread on back work this month.

Check out the T-Cell Alhpa roundtable on back training… Exercise selection etc is all in there.

Also, what numbers are you putting up on your back exercises?
What does your actual routine look like?
Does scapular retraction ring a bell?

You’ll never build an impressive back if you don’t have good mind-muscle connection back there first of all. Now on to the exercises…

I like rack chins, wide-grip flat bar pulldowns, v-grip pulldowns, seated cable rows, t-bar rows, and BB ROWS!

Honestly if you got a good mind-muscle connection going and then did wide-grip rack chins and BB rows and got strong as hell on both you’d have an impressive back. Almost guaranteed.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
dnlcdstn wrote:
What works for you guys?

Reading the 35 other threads about back training…

How long have you been lifting?

Do you get a lot of bicep activation whilst working your back?[/quote] <- forgot that one in my post… Technique in general is a question here.

[quote]josh86 wrote:
t-bar rows,
[/quote]

You rocking 7 plates yet?

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
josh86 wrote:
t-bar rows,

You rocking 7 plates yet?[/quote]

I worked up to 7plates x 10 with grip being the limiting factor a few months back and since then have been hitting BB rows as my main heavy thickness move, competing back and forth with BugeishaAD. We basically just top each other and call each other a pussy after each back session. Good stuff =)

We had been using looser form with a decent bit of leg drive and I think his last session like that was 365x12 and then I went in and did 375x12…then he talked me into tightening up form and doing them pretty strict and we’re gunna work on that now and see how it goes. First session strict style was 315x12 for me.

Edit: I’ll note I am liking the heavy BB rows a lot more than t-bars. One reason being I get a better feel/contraction and a bigger ROM (since I dont have plates coming up into my chest/stomach) and also I don’t have to yank all the plates from the floor or have someone hold their foot on the other end of the BB so it doesnt just lift up the back side. lol

[quote]josh86 wrote:

We had been using looser form with a decent bit of leg drive[/quote]

Story of my life man…

Good shit.

I gotta get to 7 plates. Nailed 6 recently.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
josh86 wrote:

We had been using looser form with a decent bit of leg drive

Story of my life man…

Good shit.

I gotta get to 7 plates. Nailed 6 recently.[/quote]

Nice good stuff man. Almost there…on t-bars I always did bigger jumps in weight. I’d work the weight till I could do 10+ no problem then I’d toss on another quarter, work that till I could get 10+ then jump to the next plate.

[quote]dnlcdstn wrote:
Hey everybody, I need some advice on back training. I’ve tried barbell rows, dumbbell rows, numerous cable rows, reverse fly’s, weighted pull ups, and lat pull downs. I have average back development, but not enough to satisfy. I can’t seem to get sore either. My reps have ranged from as low as 6 and as high as 30 and tempo changed as well. What works for you guys? [/quote]

Heavy heavy rows, making sure you retract your scapulae each rep.

As for lats, pull ups and lat pulldowns, again, going as heavy as possible for 4-6 reps.

I have the same problems. Tried everything and anything for 2 years without any progress at all. Just recently found something that works for me and actually gets me sore : Reverse grip pulldowns, BB rows and sumo deadlifts.

How about some pictures to compare to the rest of your physique?

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
How about some pictures to compare to the rest of your physique?[/quote]

Chin and Dead like a motherfucker.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
dnlcdstn wrote:
What works for you guys?

Reading the 35 other threads about back training…

[/quote]

Agreed. There’s been like 3 or 4 this month, scroll down the page

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
dnlcdstn wrote:
Hey everybody, I need some advice on back training. I’ve tried barbell rows, dumbbell rows, numerous cable rows, reverse fly’s, weighted pull ups, and lat pull downs. I have average back development, but not enough to satisfy. I can’t seem to get sore either. My reps have ranged from as low as 6 and as high as 30 and tempo changed as well. What works for you guys?

This is probably the fifth thread on back work this month.

Check out the T-Cell Alhpa roundtable on back training… Exercise selection etc is all in there.

Also, what numbers are you putting up on your back exercises?
What does your actual routine look like?
Does scapular retraction ring a bell?

[/quote]

Sorry, I should prolly look around the forums more before posting.
I do back on two seperate days. Day (1) Pull ups (sometimes weighted), lat pulldowns with a different grip than my pull ups, and a pull over variation. I also do military press, db shoulder press, and shrugs this day. Next day is legs. Day (2) barbell row, db row, cable row, and a reverse fly. This is also my chest day. I guess it’s antagonistic training for the most part. I’m strong with my back, but it’s not as defined as other parts and it rarely gets sore.

Do you get a lot of bicep activation whilst working your back?[/quote]

I get a huge pump in my bi’s during back work. I don’t ever do pull ups because of this. I always do chins. I’m really focusing on feeling my back do the work, but it’s just not getting it done.

[quote]dnlcdstn wrote:

Do you get a lot of bicep activation whilst working your back?

I get a huge pump in my bi’s during back work. I don’t ever do pull ups because of this. I always do chins. I’m really focusing on feeling my back do the work, but it’s just not getting it done.[/quote]

post up some videos if you can, would help a lot more. Yet if your bi’s are getting a huge pump. I’d drop weight a good amount get you technique down like others mentioned.

I find things like db rows, bb rows, hammer strength high rows (i used more for back width though), t-bar rows are some of the best exercises you can do.

lat pulldowns with a close grip handle are a hard one to fuck up to

[quote]dnlcdstn wrote:

Do you get a lot of bicep activation whilst working your back?

I get a huge pump in my bi’s during back work. I don’t ever do pull ups because of this. I always do chins. I’m really focusing on feeling my back do the work, but it’s just not getting it done.[/quote]

Use straps and take your thumbs out of the grip.

Using a weight that takes the breath out of you when you pick it up helps too.

[quote]dnlcdstn wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
dnlcdstn wrote:
Hey everybody, I need some advice on back training. I’ve tried barbell rows, dumbbell rows, numerous cable rows, reverse fly’s, weighted pull ups, and lat pull downs. I have average back development, but not enough to satisfy. I can’t seem to get sore either. My reps have ranged from as low as 6 and as high as 30 and tempo changed as well. What works for you guys?

This is probably the fifth thread on back work this month.

Check out the T-Cell Alhpa roundtable on back training… Exercise selection etc is all in there.

Also, what numbers are you putting up on your back exercises?
What does your actual routine look like?
Does scapular retraction ring a bell?

Sorry, I should prolly look around the forums more before posting.
I do back on two seperate days. Day (1) Pull ups (sometimes weighted), lat pulldowns with a different grip than my pull ups, and a pull over variation. I also do military press, db shoulder press, and shrugs this day. Next day is legs. Day (2) barbell row, db row, cable row, and a reverse fly. This is also my chest day. I guess it’s antagonistic training for the most part. I’m strong with my back, but it’s not as defined as other parts and it rarely gets sore.
[/quote]

My advice would be to have 1 back day. Give sometime for growth. I’d also add in deadlifting as its the daddy, and 3 rowing exercises me thinks is 2 much. barbell n dumbell row with either lat pull down or wide grip pullups is what i’d go with! Deadlifting at the start of ya session of course. 4 exercises x 3-5sets 6-12reps has worked 4 me so far.

Nakahhh