T Nation

Rows: Top Set, Ramping, or Straight Sets?


#1

I know that the squat, deadlift, press, bench press and weighted chin up can be trained in a top set fashion (pyramid or reverse pyramid), but what about rows?
Are they better suited to straight sets? Does any body ramp with them?
Thanks.


#2

I ramp them. I’ve also done reverse pyramid, and it all works.


#3

straps + lots of volume no matter what approach IMO


#4

I just do rows. They aren’t really something that I think need a lot of thinking.


#5

Thanks for the input, fellas.
I figured that the rows were a vital human movement: the horizontal pull, so wondered if it should be programmed like the rest of the movements.

@browndisaster
I’m not strong enough for my grip to be the limiting factor. I will get to do this eventually.

@T3hPwnisher
I think this is your point of view because your training focuses only on squats, deads, benches and presses (531). I’m speculating, of course. Strong and explosive from the front and big and stable from the back. Can you get strong and explosive back muscles (Lats), or are they mostly slow twitch? If they’re mostly slow twitch, then how do they get hyooge?


#6

[quote]Mina293 wrote:
@T3hPwnisher
I think this is your point of view because your training focuses only on squats, deads, benches and presses (531). I’m speculating, of course. Strong and explosive from the front and big and stable from the back. Can you get strong and explosive back muscles (Lats), or are they mostly slow twitch? If they’re mostly slow twitch, then how do they get hyooge?[/quote]

I actually don’t follow 5/3/1, but my own programming based around range of motion progression. Those lifts are big for it, but I am presently training for strongman at this time.

That said, I do not know what a slow twitch muscle is. I just know that the back tends to be a volume sponge, and in my experience it’s better to focus more on hammering it with volume and getting it to get pumped rather than worrying about rowing strength. I don’t care how much weight I am moving when I am training my upper back, only that my lifts are improving as a result of it.


#7

Pwnisher competes in powerlifting and strongman IIRC, and neither of those sports involve testing a max row. Instead rows are used as an assistance exercise to build the upper back and lats, which in turn helps most compound movements I can think of.
Forget fast and slow twitch, do rows in a variety of rep ranges, ramp if you like, straight sets, drop sets, whatever. They all work, and it really doesn’t require a lot of thinking.

Straps aren’t just for weak grip - you take the grip out of the equation and it lessens the involvement of your upper arm muscles, which makes building the back easier.


#8

He’s also very good at replying quickly


#9

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Mina293 wrote:
@T3hPwnisher
I think this is your point of view because your training focuses only on squats, deads, benches and presses (531). I’m speculating, of course. Strong and explosive from the front and big and stable from the back. Can you get strong and explosive back muscles (Lats), or are they mostly slow twitch? If they’re mostly slow twitch, then how do they get hyooge?[/quote]

I actually don’t follow 5/3/1, but my own programming based around range of motion progression. Those lifts are big for it, but I am presently training for strongman at this time.

That said, I do not know what a slow twitch muscle is. I just know that the back tends to be a volume sponge, and in my experience it’s better to focus more on hammering it with volume and getting it to get pumped rather than worrying about rowing strength. I don’t care how much weight I am moving when I am training my upper back, only that my lifts are improving as a result of it.[/quote]

Good analogy comparing the back-volume to a sponge-water. Overall, you’re very helpful. Thanks


#10

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:
Pwnisher competes in powerlifting and strongman IIRC, and neither of those sports involve testing a max row. Instead rows are used as an assistance exercise to build the upper back and lats, which in turn helps most compound movements I can think of.
Forget fast and slow twitch, do rows in a variety of rep ranges, ramp if you like, straight sets, drop sets, whatever. They all work, and it really doesn’t require a lot of thinking.

Straps aren’t just for weak grip - you take the grip out of the equation and it lessens the involvement of your upper arm muscles, which makes building the back easier.[/quote]

Then I should try doing them with straps. I have a good mind-muscle connection with my back muscles in general. I did back specialization cycles when I just started, dumb I know. Light weight and feeling the muscle. What I gained is a great mmc, but that’s it. What’s weird is that both sides feel different with dumbbell rows. I feel each side working perfectly, but they feel different from each other. I don’t know why.


#11

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:
He’s also very good at replying quickly[/quote]
You’re not that bad yourself.
I apologize for replying so late: midterm exams.


#12

[quote]Mina293 wrote:

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:
Pwnisher competes in powerlifting and strongman IIRC, and neither of those sports involve testing a max row. Instead rows are used as an assistance exercise to build the upper back and lats, which in turn helps most compound movements I can think of.
Forget fast and slow twitch, do rows in a variety of rep ranges, ramp if you like, straight sets, drop sets, whatever. They all work, and it really doesn’t require a lot of thinking.

Straps aren’t just for weak grip - you take the grip out of the equation and it lessens the involvement of your upper arm muscles, which makes building the back easier.[/quote]

Then I should try doing them with straps. I have a good mind-muscle connection with my back muscles in general. I did back specialization cycles when I just started, dumb I know. Light weight and feeling the muscle. What I gained is a great mmc, but that’s it. What’s weird is that both sides feel different with dumbbell rows. I feel each side working perfectly, but they feel different from each other. I don’t know why.[/quote]

I second the vote for straps. They are awesome for back work.


#13

If I feel straps make me focus more on my back, I will implement them in all my horizontal and vertical pulling. Does that mean I should incorporate extra grip work? Deadlifts are a test of grip strength, not a grip builder. I do them.


#14

[quote]Mina293 wrote:
If I feel straps make me focus more on my back, I will implement them in all my horizontal and vertical pulling. Does that mean I should incorporate extra grip work? Deadlifts are a test of grip strength, not a grip builder. I do them.[/quote]

I do not know what your regular grip training is like to be able to say if you need to do extra of it. If you are currently doing zero grip work, then yes, definitely. Grip is something that should be trained just like everything else.

I am big on captains of crush grippers, either for reps or timed holds. At present, I have to develop my grip for farmer’s walks, so I am training double overhand deadlift holds with 405 for time as my training, but otherwise, I would keep hitting the grippers.


#15

"Otherwise, you would keep hitting the grippers."
What do you think of doing farmers walks to BUILD the grip. I would rather do that than captain crushers, as it will strengthen more things in less time.


#16

[quote]Mina293 wrote:
"Otherwise, you would keep hitting the grippers."
What do you think of doing farmers walks to BUILD the grip. I would rather do that than captain crushers, as it will strengthen more things in less time.[/quote]

I honestly can’t imagine how it takes less time to do farmers than grippers. Granted, I train by myself, but getting the implements out, getting the correct weight on them, doing the farmers, and then putting the implements and weights away takes way more time for me than hitting a few sets of grippers. Additionally, when I train grip, my goal is to train grip, rather than more things than grip. When I train farmers, it’s purely to get better at farmers rather than as a movement to build up other attributes.

Essentially, I train to get stronger so I can do farmers better, rather than train to do farmers better so I can get stronger.


#17

I did not mean that grippers take longer than farmers. I have a functioning brain :P. I meant that farmers hit a lot of things at once in a short time, which is what I need, so doing them in place of grippers would be better for my purposes. I was worried doing farmers plus grippers would affect deadlift performance on typical full body splits, which is what I’m doing.

Anyways, it seems that there are different opinions on the use of farmers for testing strength endurance vs building strength endurance. Thus, I will have to experiment and see for myself. I might not need the grippers eventually. Again, thanks.


#18

[quote]Mina293 wrote:
I did not mean that grippers take longer than farmers. I have a functioning brain :P. I meant that farmers hit a lot of things at once in a short time, which is what I need, so doing them in place of grippers would be better for my purposes. I was worried doing farmers plus grippers would affect deadlift performance on typical full body splits, which is what I’m doing.
Anyways, it seems that there are different opinions on the use of farmers for testing strength endurance vs building strength endurance. Thus, I will have to experiment and see for myself. I might not need the grippers eventually. Again, thanks.[/quote]

I guess I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just do the grippers on top of other things that you need to do anyway.

Like, I bring my grippers to work and use them there.

Definitely do whatever makes you bigger and stronger.


#19
  1. Deadlift problem.
  2. I wouldn’t buy them If I don’t need to.

#20

Oh yeah, in regards to the deadlift grip issue with grip training, I always use straps when I pull.