T Nation

New to Forum, Not to Training, Looking for Advice

Hello to all,

I have been hovering around the forums for some time, not sure why i did not join sooner, better late than never.

A quick history, i am 39 years old, 177cm tall and weigh in at 86 kgs with around 13%-15% bodyfat. I say around because i use simple calipers, and they can be off by a few percent here and there. I can barely see my upper abs if i flex and get some proper lighting if that helps gauge my current BF%.

I have been training for around 10 years, but on and off due to radical changes in my life. So radical, that i would skip training completely for 2-3 years. In 2019 i realized i was about 27%-30% BF and i needed to “get back in the game”. I started going back to basics with a push/pull/legs program, before the Corona kicked in causing a lock down, i managed to drop down slowly and steadily to 18% to 20% body fat.

Since the gyms re-opened around 5 months ago, i continued by training and now i am sitting at the 13%-15% body fat. I hit a plateau last 10 days, realizing all my lifts, even my curls, have gotten weaker and i never took a break. So i did an active deload this week, same exercises, same reps and sets just 40% to 50% of the weight.

This is where i like to have your opinion, since i realized for some time how my body responds to training. I am lower body dominant, seriously it is freaky, if i squat and just squat say 5 sets of 8 reps for 2 weeks, my quads just explode. My lower body just responds to anything i throw i at, still working hard of course but for a natural, i heard this is a blessing.

My push and pull muscle groups are stubborn as they come, especially my entire back. It took me 5 months to go from achieving one bodyweight pull up to being able to complete one set of 8 reps. The more i bombard my back, the better it responds, so pull day for me is a long, intensive bombardment of pull ups/chin ups and 4-5 rowing exercises to get any kind of response. Completely opposite to my legs.

My push muscles, chest is stubborn, far less than my back but clearly more than my legs. Triceps seems to respond the easiest, but generally chest and shoulders need good attention when compared to my pull and leg muscle groups.

I was considering changing my push/pull/legs workout 6 days a week (push A, pull A, legs A then push B, pull B, legs B) to more upper body focus, especially back.

Something in the lines of:

Pull A, push A, pull B, push B, pull A then legs. Sounds strange, but my focus is to hit the back as often as possible with 1 day break in between, since it is the most stubborn (3 days a week) and chest is fine just maybe add another set or a couple of more reps for volume. Legs, as i discussed, i can train them once a week or at least try and see how they responded to once a week training.

Basically, bringing up my super stubborn back, keep hitting the chest hard and go a bit easy on legs. Any opinions on my situation (stubborn muscle groups with easy to respond lower body) would be greatly appreciated.

Some people (mostly powerlifters) do some upper back work in every workout, as long as you don’t do too much in any single session it can work. I wouldn’t do that 6 days a week though, but if you do 2 upper body days and 2 lower body days and do few sets of chin ups, rows, face pulls, shrugs, etc. in each workout that could potentially work well.

So something similar to a standard 6 day push pull legs, but after the push and legs session throw in a couple of rows on push and maybe a couple of pull ups/chins after legs? Basically some extra back work on non pull days, just take it easy not to over do it.

If you have two full pull workouts a week together with that then you could very well be overdoing it. I was thinking more like an upper/lower split and just do upper back work every day.

I don’t see a problem with that split. Just make sure the pulling exercises you do on that third pull day aren’t very low-back intensive. I wouldn’t do bent-over rows, t-bar rows or deadlifts on that day, but chin-ups/pull-ups, pulldowns, pullovers, single-arm dumbbell rows, chest-supported rows and cable rows (for example) would be fine

I see, all my back exercises are free weight to activate my core more, as well as i get a better mind-muscle connection (for me anyways). I do a lot of t-bar/landmine rows, pendlay rows, dumbell rows and meadows rows and a lot of my legs are also involved to stabilize my upper body and core.

I could also add another set to all those exercises and keep the standard p/p/l program, i just want to somehow hit my back a bit more than the other groups, or prioritise my back so it does not lag behind/let it “catch up”.

I think the pull-push-pull-push-pull-legs split would be more effective than adding volume to the two pull days, so do that.

You can still do DB rows. Doing them on a chest-support or single-arm would be fine.

Use the third pull day to prioritise vertical pulling. Chin-ups/pull-ups, weighted chins, straight-arm pulldowns, pulldowns etc.

I shall give this a go and see how i respond and recover.

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This seems very suited for your goals: https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/the-v-taper-workout-and-diet-plan

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That looks very interesting, but some of the accessory exercises equipment are not available in my gym. I would need to write down the exercises and see what alternatives (due to lack of equipment) i could substitute. But looks interesting thank you.