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Pull Ups to the Exclusion of Rows

Hi all. some background info. i train at home. so my repertoire of exercises is pretty limited. i have had decent results (nothing spectacular) with training back doing high rep dumbbell (kroc) rows and weighted pull ups. now the problem is i have to bring my arms and chest up to scratch (i do floor presses for chest and have started doing isolation movements for bis and tri too; something i neglected for quite some time)

now since i have increased the frquency of my arm training, i was wondering whether i could get by on eliminating rows from my routine. (they take a toll on my biceps workouts). has anyone tried a pull ups only back routine as sort of a maintenance thing? i know the rule of thumb is pull ups for width and rows for thickness but just wondering if i can keep my hard earned muscle without rows. i think there was this modified gymnast routine posted sometime back. anyone tried it (to the exclusion of rows i mean)?

thanks in advance for reading this long question and commenting.

How about a pair of straps and a thumbless grip for the rows to minimize bicep involvement?

One-arm t-bar rows are also good, and chest supported rows with dumbbells. I think your traps, rear delts and rhomboids will take a hit if you take the rows out.

But the only question that matters is…

WWYD?

Don’t stop working back properly.

You are generally correct about vertical pulling being for width, and horizontal pulling being for thickness. SO naturally, you will lose back thickness if you only work width. Just use a basic split that allows you to focus on arms and back/chest on different days, so they each get the attention they need.

i am posting two pics from the back-one relaxed and one double biceps. (there are no biceps tho) so you can make out the level of development.


double biceps (sic).

both photos taken after working out.

[quote]Amonero wrote:
How about a pair of straps and a thumbless grip for the rows to minimize bicep involvement?

One-arm t-bar rows are also good, and chest supported rows with dumbbells. I think your traps, rear delts and rhomboids will take a hit if you take the rows out.

But the only question that matters is…

WWYD?
[/quote]

Hm. i get your point man. tho i don’t have an incline bench to do chest supported rows on. as i said i have a very basic setup. flat bench, barbell, adjustable dumbbells, sandbag, pull up bar, dipping belt and boxes for floor press. the wrist straps seem like a good idea tho.

thanks for the help.

[quote]hungry4more wrote:
Don’t stop working back properly.

You are generally correct about vertical pulling being for width, and horizontal pulling being for thickness. SO naturally, you will lose back thickness if you only work width. Just use a basic split that allows you to focus on arms and back/chest on different days, so they each get the attention they need. [/quote]

yes. that’s what i am afraid of. (losing muscle ie). i was kinda hoping someone might have had a different experience. but i guess i can’t ditch rows.

thanks for commenting mate.

Just do 1-2 all-out working sets of BB rows per week, along with 1-2 working sets of DB Rows maybe 3-4 days later in the week, and not only will that leave your biceps unfatigued, it can even be enough to continue getting your back bigger and stronger, if you truly give those couple sets 110%.

Yes, for bodybuilding biceps are important, but your back can NEVER be too big. Or just for looks in general.

[quote]hungry4more wrote:
Just do 1-2 all-out working sets of BB rows per week, along with 1-2 working sets of DB Rows maybe 3-4 days later in the week, and not only will that leave your biceps unfatigued, it can even be enough to continue getting your back bigger and stronger, if you truly give those couple sets 110%.

Yes, for bodybuilding biceps are important, but your back can NEVER be too big. Or just for looks in general. [/quote]

that sounds like an excellent solution. i’ll give it a shot.

thanks!!

No problem.

If you are really against doing rows even with straps, and you aren’t trying to build muscle(since you said maintenance) then you could use pullup variation workouts only. IF you can do lean away pullups with a neutral grip. These will give you some rowing benefits, you would be better off rowing, but they will at least give you some of the same muscle involvment.

[quote]kirbo1 wrote:
If you are really against doing rows even with straps, and you aren’t trying to build muscle(since you said maintenance) then you could use pullup variation workouts only. IF you can do lean away pullups with a neutral grip. These will give you some rowing benefits, you would be better off rowing, but they will at least give you some of the same muscle involvment.[/quote]

actually i have rethought my maintenance plan and will be working in 1-2 sets of rows every 3-5 days as hungry4more suggested. but doing lean away chins in addition is a rad idea. i just did a rest pause set of the stuff and like the way it feels. tough on the abs too. i’ll cycle these in with my regular pull ups. thanks for the advice friend.

inverted rows to go along with your bodyweight back workouts …?

[quote]TheDudeAbides wrote:
inverted rows to go along with your bodyweight back workouts …?[/quote]

well. dunno about that mate. i am doing weighted pull ups (drop set 30 reps total). and now that i am adding lean away chins to the mix seems a tad unnecessary to do inverted rows. i mean i have read they are good for the posture &c but since i am trying to conserve strength for my arm workouts, i guess doing bodywt inverted rows won’t really help at this pt.