training a newbie: rows

one of my friend, who’s a newbie, started to workout with me.

I figured I’ll put him on 3x8, 8x3 for awhile?

my favorite row is barbell row and i feel it had the best result for me, but i’m wondering if it’s a good idea to make a newbie do it? I can make him do it with just the bar until his body learns it, but at the same time, I want to put him on something where he can see the number increase in a week or 2 to keep him motivated.

should i just put him on t-bar row or cable row for awhile?

anybody worked with a newbie? I’m not certified or anything, so I welcome all suggestions

Sure he can do barbell rows, just not in those rep ranges. He needs much more volume, therefore much more reps, nothing less than 10reps in any given set.

If you are using an overhand grip (targeting the upper back for posture) then maybe start off with higher reps. When learning/teaching an exercise I like to use 12-15 reps for the exercise. Apparantly it takes 300 reps for autonomsy with someone who has never performed the exercise. For the first year of training he should be using moderate to slow tempos. A key point that many do not know about rowing exercises is the timing in the shoulder. Execute the movement such that when the scapula are fully retracted the arms have completed the exercise too. You do not want to fully retract the scapula and then a second later reach the end rom. Or finish the movement with the arms and then complete scapula retraction. Good luck.

ok, thanks for the input.

i’m just afraid it might do him more damage since he has shitty legs and lower back.

so what kinda set/rep scheme do you recommend?

Man one of my buddies started working out with me, and I had the hardest time trying to show him stuff, especially the clean and jerk, and getting him to perform exercises with decent form. He’s kinda getting it now, but I still send him over to the T-bar rows cause his bent over bb rows are horrible - he preactically stands up with it. His problem though is wanting to lift just as much as I do. I think he’s realizing form is a little improtant now though.

Yup, agree with loopfitt. If he hasn’t trained before then he will still get strength gains with higher reps anyway. first 6-8 weeks all he will need to do is look at the gym, due to nueral gains.

If he’s a complete newbe you have to make sure his body is ready for a barbell row (bent over I’m assuming). You can start him off with some seated good mornings, stiff legged dead lifts, one arm dumbell rows, pull ups (use manual assistance from you if he cannot do a body weight rep), chin ups (read ZEB the chin up gods’ article), cable rows, superman stretches (lie on the ground and fly like superman), reverse flys on an incline and stiff arm kick backs. I may have missed a few but this is a good varity and will hit his back from all different directions and prepare him for some bigger movements. When you’re using these movements use them one day then the next back workout use different ones. Complete the cycle until all movements have been used and start again. Its better to expose a newbe to different movements rather than sticking to the same routine. He’ll be exposed to new movements and learn how to perform them for later use while his entire back gets stronger. Once you/he see what works best for him then you can start designing a program that will benefit him the most.

As far as reps and sets go I think it is best to use 2 exercises for 2 sets for a muscle group for a beginner e.g. seated cable rows and lat pulldowns, bench press and dumbell flyes etc. As far as reps go, I would stick to the 12-15 rep range for the first month or so of a new exercise. After that I would train them between 10-15 reps.