T Nation

Need Advice

My post is gonna be quite a bit of background info, because I want the best advice you can give me.

I’m not completely new to this but i’d like to improve. I recently sprained my wrist and since it’ll probably be two weeks since I’ll be going to the gym again, I saw the perfect chance to improve my routine a bit.

Okay im 17, 6 ft 1 and 154 pounds. I think I’m underweight for my height but it’s still better than last year (6 ft, 130 pounds). I’ve been on and off the gym for the past year. Not very consistent but I did see the 24 pound gain in about a year and a half (I’d say 8 months of that time I went to the gym, and the rest is just natural weight added on)

I’m an ectomorph and look skinny, but I take off my shirt and got some flab, so I’m not the stereotypical cut ecto (I also got slight ginecomastia which is quite ungly) . I’ve done a bunch of different routine types. 4 days a week, 3 days a week and I’m now doing a kind of HIT/Hardgainer routine 2 days a week with only one set an exercise. I’m sticking to this because my training log shows that I’m gaining the most strength from this.

Okay my problem is, my back lags. My chest is getting stronger every week (mostly incline stuff to hide my ginecosmatia), so are arms etc. My back has been at the same weight for front pulldowns and back pulldowns for a few weeks. I think I reached a plateau. My cousin told me to do pullups, but I’m not strong enough to do more than 2… What should I do? Currently I’m alternating between front pulldown/hyperext, back pulldown/hyperext. Only doing back ONCE per week. Thats 2 sets a week. This may seem outrageous to some of you, but you must understand that I’m gaining in strength way more in this program than in others (and I got a log to prove it). I think slight modification will suffice, what do you guys think?

If you think you plateuaeaakljfdihed (I have no idea how to spell it), try to take a deload week. Usually deload week is a 4th week in a cycle (could be different for you). Just google deload. Also cycle reps and sets throughout the week and change exercises every 4 weeks. To improve the pullups, you gotta practice them more often. Practice makes it perfect. Try to use the pullup machine that takes off your weight. If there is no such machine, ask someone to hold your ancles/one ancle when you are doing pullups. Holding ancles takes off the weight. If the pullup bar is not far from the ground, ask someone to put a knee underneath your hanging body, cross and curl your legs, so your toes are on the knee and pull yourself up. Also to improve pullups, do a lot of rowing and pulling. You can, also, work your biceps (not like you need them)because you use biceps when you pull and triceps when you push.

You weigh 154lbs and can only do two pull-ups? I don’t think your problem is a lagging back, but lagging muscles in general. What are your other weights? Deadlift, squat, bench, hell even curl?

You say you’re not consistent- so get consistent. Keep doing the program that you feel comfortable with, but make sure your numbers are increasing. Either in reps or weight, hopefully weight.

I have to ask though- how’s the diet? Usually when you skinny guys with flab start complaining we end up finding out the diet sucks and that you don’t think it’s important. Is that the case here or is it decent? Give us some info.

Okay some weights (bar included):

Standing BB Curl: 55 lbs. ~10 Reps
Incline BB Bench Press: 95 lbs. ~12 Reps
Close Grip Bench: 85 lbs. ~ 9 Reps
DB Pullovers: 25 lbs. ~13 Reps
Front Pulldowns: 100 lbs. ~ 9 Reps
Skull Crushers: 55 lbs. ~10 Reps

I don’t have recent Flat Bench, Deadlift or Squat stats… I’ve stoped doing deadlifts and squats until I get stronger because I want to avoid injuries.

[quote]squeeze wrote:
Okay some weights (bar included):

Standing BB Curl: 55 lbs. ~10 Reps
Incline BB Bench Press: 95 lbs. ~12 Reps
Close Grip Bench: 85 lbs. ~ 9 Reps
DB Pullovers: 25 lbs. ~13 Reps
Front Pulldowns: 100 lbs. ~ 9 Reps
Skull Crushers: 55 lbs. ~10 Reps

I don’t have recent Flat Bench, Deadlift or Squat stats… I’ve stoped doing deadlifts and squats until I get stronger because I want to avoid injuries.[/quote]

Other way around brother. you do Deads and Squats to avoid injuries.

If you can’t squat and dead lift because its too heavy… use less weight till you get stonger.

I don’t know in my case… I was trying to strengthen my lower back and abs first. I used to stand up slouched (not anymore), but maybe I had back problems? I don’t know. When I get back I’ll try to implement those two with little weight then.

[quote]squeeze wrote:
I don’t know in my case… I was trying to strengthen my lower back and abs first. I used to stand up slouched (not anymore), but maybe I had back problems? I don’t know. When I get back I’ll try to implement those two with little weight then.[/quote]

Perfect squats and deads will give you a lower back of steel.

I used to have back pain and it went away as soon as I started squats and deads.

Start doing squats and deadlifts. Work your back too: good mornings, pullthroughs, reverse hypers, straight leg deadlift, and so on. To prevent injuries, do bodyweight exercises too (one leg squats, pushups, and so on).

LOL yes you also do sqauts and deads to get stronger not the other way around. DROP the load to one you can do correctly. still address otherv weak areas after but they will build a base

Phill

deadlifts and rows will help a lagging back alot. Using pulldowns as your only back exercises leaves alot to be desired.

Yea, work on your form for squats and deadlifts and once you have good form start loading the weight on and you will see a large increase in your overall strength.