Pull Up or Row Specific Day?

I’m wondering why no 4 day programs I’ve seen have a pull up or row based day. Many have the second upper body day as ohp, but it seems like a pulling day would be more balanced, and benefit the dead and squat.

Because you should be doing a bunch of pulling at least twice through to virtually every day you train if you’re doing four days a week.

Four day a week programs generally are either upper/lower or lift-focused, depending if you’re doing more lift-focused or general training.

If you’re going lift-focused you’ll often see each day going main lift, supplemental, assistance. Pulling exercises will feature in assistance for most lifts because of how important your upper and middle back are.

If you’re going more general, pulling should feature pretty heavily on the upper days - so twice a week. They probably won’t follow the main/supplemental/assistance format but you’ll probably still end up with a fair bit of pulling anyway.

Because pull ups and rows are not competition lifts in powerlifting, and neither is OHP. Any program that has any of those three exercises as the main focus on any day is not a good program for powerlifting, with few exceptions.


I feel that, at least for me, heavy rows are golden. I like to use pullups on lower body days to traction the spine. I no longer treat the OHP as a lift, as my shoulders were getting to beat up. I now use seated presses with a 75 degree tilt a la Dan Green for sets of 5-12 reps once a week.

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You ought to be rowing squat, bench and DL days. Bigger back helps everything in PL’ing. I also agree with @chris_ottawa - you don’t compete in rowing for PL’ing. Everything you do should be centered towards a bigger total. I don’t see a separate rowing day doing that.

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those movements are added as accessory exercises and a majority of effort is dedicated to the big 3. I think having an additional day where you focus on anything you may have “missed” that revolves around hypertrophy probably isn’t a bad idea in most cases.

The majority of my accessory movements are focused around bringing up the back. I currently don’t have any days that are not squat, bench or deadlift focused, but in the past I have done programs that have an OHP day (the cube method, but I know 5/3/1 also uses an OHP day).

I guess my question was really around why a few top level powerlifters created programs with an OHP day vs a row day?

I’m not sure. I don’t see the point of incorporating it. Time constraints could justify it possibly. If those movements somehow translate to 1RM PR’s in the competition lifts, then do it, but I see lifters doing these movements like any movement without any justification for doing it if it doesn’t lead to bigger competition lifts. You gotta put in the work systematically and over time see if it helps or not.

I only change when change is needed. When the lifts stop going up that is when I have to look at my entire training including recovery, sleep, diet, etc.

5/3/1 isn’t actually a powerlifting program, the cube has a bodybuilding day but there are other variations where you bench twice a week (cube predator). OHP still has more direct carryover to bench than rows have to anything unless you use a bench shirt. It just wouldn’t make sense to have rows as such a high priority exercise, nobody gives a fuck how much you can row so do it at the end of your workout, save your energy for stuff that matters. You can only recover from so much so don’t waste time on things that will get you nowhere.

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Best training advice so far. I used to do all these triceps extensions and chest flys to build my bench. My bench stayed about the same for a long time.

Then I started benching and doing bench variations, and I can almost count on making gains every couple months.