x2 on seated gms. Upper back GMs with an SSB work wonders. My scaps are never more lit up than after very heavy RDL’s or DLs[/quote]
Could you please explain what you mean by “upper back GMs” with an SSB? That sounds…different. Although with your track record I have no doubt they work.
OP – one thing you can look into is something I feel has helped me, and that is to perform your rows, pull-aparts, pulldowns,etc with a 2 second pause at the peak contraction (that would be like a mental 3 count since we all rush the count when tired), and taking low rest periods between sets. Don’t use any weights that you can’t hold with your chest up and arched (squat position style), and your shoulders/shoulder blades slammed back. If you start rounding the shoulders over or you can’t squeeze and hold for 3 count, it’s too heavy.
I’m aware that this flies in the face of most PL style back work–and it’s obviously bodybuilding inspired–BUT this is something I picked up from CT and it really, really helped my ability to stay tight.
The reason I believe it worked is that it is a high volume, low rest approach on a group of muscles that is very susceptible to early fatigue in front squats, AND that it teaches you to hold and squeeze the shelf really hard. The combination of working on muscular endurance with low rest periods (reps are still in the 8-10 range, not high), and holding contractions when fatigued really helps you lock in the shelf when you need to.
I like heavier back work for the most part, so I would not say that this is a permanent style thing, but I think it will help to do for about 8 weeks. I typically use a set/rep approach of 4x6 (or 4x8), 2x8 (or 2x10) for each back exercise, pick two and go. Rest periods are 30-45 seconds for me, max. This will surprise you if you aren’t expecting the fatigue, but your back will become very resilient towards fatigue with the approach.
The other thing I do is I use upper back work in all my warm-ups for every workout, legs, bench, back, everything. That assures I get at least 3-4 sets in every time I’m in the gym, even if I cut the workout short.