T Nation

Pulling Muscles and Squeezing


after reading some CT stuff and his training videos,I switched from 100kg (220lb) tbar rows to 90lb,rope used, focused on squeezing back muscles on each rep and to remain in holding contaction on every reps,it hurts,i remember he said that he have been training his lats&biceps like pecs/shoulders (heavy loads and low reps) and they didn't grow,any other users use "squeezing-higher reps&lighters loadS" for pullin' groups???


I have heard the same thing. High reps and lighter loads for the smaller muscle groups..?? I'm trying it now....well not "right" now but during my gym time...:slightly_smiling:


Yes, generally speaking I've switched all my lat movements recently from heavy low rep movements to squeezeing movements focusing on the contraction and my back workouts have been awesome. I do a lot of those rope rows, kayak rows, I also do HS lat pulldowns seated sideways instead of forward which stretches my lats even more and then I do do heavy BB rows.

Had to workout today at home and really missed all those movements...I agree with CTs approach.


I like to mix it up as far as back training methods.
Right now I have back broken up into two days,
a width (vertical movements) and thickness (horizontal pulls) day, and am enjoying it.

On each of the days, I have at least one heavy movement (yates rows and neutral pulldowns currently)
where I just focus on moving weight, then have at least one movement each day where I go a little lighter and hold the weight at contraction (seated rows and 1 armed stretchers)

Back is one of the muscle groups where MMC is most important, IMO. If you need to develop it, holding weights at contraction and going for a pump can be a good way to do so.

I AM still using a 8-12 rep range on almost all back movements though, despite focus on moving weight.




I trained with a guy who won a BC bodybuilding show even to go as far as to think/visualize the muscle you want to contract. Stating you can't see your back working when doing any back exercise.

I will only echo what has been said so I'll just say I agree with everyone.


I've done this and it works




I think that using weights between 70 to 85% of your working max, doing more reps, feeling all the contraction in each rep, making a conscious mind-muscle connection, is the way to body-build all muscle groups. Using near-max weights is good to break the monotony and rev up your central nervous system, but should be done sparingly.


I like using heavy ass weight on first one or two exercises then droping the weight down and focus on what ever it takes to make that muscle pump with as much blood possible. Whether it's holding contractions,negatives,21s,rest pause, 100 reppers, widow makers or Maunal reps. Also I try to limit rest time and keep the pump for the remainder of the workout. Once the muscle is as pump as I can get it I stop and use the dc stretching method to try and stretch the fascia as much as possible.

I also happen to agree, muscle mind connection is very important. As u focus on the mmc you will be able to slowly lift more and more weight while keeping your mmc.


The funny thing is the heavier the weight the more MMC I have with back movements. I guess I'm trying harder.


This is the exact same thing with me. with lighter movements, i guess mentally i don't try to contract my back as hard since it's light, but with heavy weight i have no choice or the weight isn't gonna be moving. But then again i have a freakishly good MMC with my back. someone that still needs to learn how to use his/her back should probably start lighter.


Yea I have to really force a solid squeeze with lighter stuff but it comes naturally as the weights get heavier. I usually compensate with a good stretch on the lighter reps at both the start and end of the set.


Did those Kayak Rows today, awesome stretch will definitely be adding them to my routine.


Light and heavy are just relative terms...I could say heavy weight for me is the a weight that causes me to fail at 8 reps, but I can squeeze and have perfect form on all of those 8 reps. I could also say that weight is light compared to what I could barbell row if I didn't pay attention to squeezing my lats and put some body english into it.


You're right


I define heavy as i weight i can't lift unless i retract my scapula(thickness) or squeeze my lats(width) as hard as possible. what rep i fail at is different depending on the exercise and muscle i'm working on.


Man, this is EAXACTLY what I do and I now feel so much more comfortable doing it having seen your avatar pic(if that's not you, stop being a tool and put up a picture of yourself or something heinous like two gorillas getting into a lightsaber fight). I always had trouble engaging my lats using heavier wieghts outside of DL's or RP's so I had to dial it back some. And thanks to Thibs I now hold a squeeze at the top of (almost) each rep. My favorite pumping exercise is to finish with 100 biker rows using thick elastic bands and John Meadows Mountain Dog training for Back has some good stretching exercises.


epic new avi


Idk, I think if it's taken too far people can forget they should go heavy with back at least some of the time. I haven't spent much time focusing on the squeeze/contraction of my back any more than the rest of my muscles and it's probably my best body part. Kroc rows and tons of videos showing loose form heaving tons of weight support it's importance and generally in the pro's videos I see some fairly loose-really loose form. Not that I think the squeezing/contracting isn't valuable, I just think the mentality can be taken too far.