T Nation

Ways to Fill In My Back


#1

ALRIGHT!! That’s it!! I’m tired of seeing my shoulder blades!! I want the muscles between and all 360 degrees around each of my scapula built up! When I flex I don’t even want to be reminded that I have those fuckers. I want that 3D back! lol any suggestions?


#2

I would accomplish this goal by developing a stronger back. The main tools i would use to accomplish this are training, eating, hydrating anf recovering.


#3

Eat enough drink enough sleep enough hope you have ok genetics for back growth. I just deadlift and heavy row and it grows. Some need much much more. So do some heavy deads do every row variation you can find and go for it and don’t neglect the abs that matter and by that I mean those traps.


#4

What’s your height and current weight?

What are your current bests on the overhead press, row (either barbell or dumbbell), deadlift, and pull-up or pulldown?


#5

This is a good point when you say a you want a 3D back. There’s guys on the Olympia stage who don’t bring a 3D back (they usually all hve massive backs though)


#6

I weight 288-291lbs right now,I am losing weight. Am 5’10. Had a foraminotomy(AT 21!) around L5 on January 13 to make room for a nerve root. My deadlift is 220lbs(used to be 275 5 rep max) My bent over barbell row is 120lbs( could easily be 150 or more just being careful with my back), on the cable row machine it’s 135lbs, when doing one arm dumbbell rows/lawnmowers I use a 65lbs dumbbell( could be higher), and Pulldowns are 135lbs. I’ve made a lot of strength gains the past 3 months. About 2 months after my surgery I got the courage to start lifting again and I was deadlifting about 100lbs maybe. I hadn’t lifted for a long time, 3-4 months, before my surgery because I was in a deep depression. I still am from time to time but I force myself and my gf to go to the gym. The reason my deadlift( and my other lifts too I guess) are lower is because it always feels like my right spinal erector is doing all the work. So I get nervous about injuring my back again. I have a lift in my shoe, to help if there’s a leg length discrepancy. But I also think it may be from years of bad posture and leaning to the right when I sit. That need to be corrected. Also to force the left spinal erector to work I will stand with my left foot on a 10lbs plate when deadlifting.


#7

My ideal back looks like Damien Patrick’s back. He’s on YouTube.


#8

To let everyone know, aesthetics are important to me, but functional strength is more important.


#9

What do you mean by still seeing your shoulder blades? A picture would be nice. You’re 290-ish lbs at 5’10, I honestly can’t comprehend it.


#10

Yeah this is normally an issue for skinny guys


#11

Just tons of dumbell rows and pullup/lat pulldown variations. Hammer strength machines great also if have acces to them.

I’d stay away from deadlifts and the like for quite some time with your medical condition.

Train one day heavy 5x5, one day high volume 7x12-15


#12

Bro, I’m gonna say this with love: You’re very fat and quite weak. You need to worry about building a “3D back” like Johnny Depp needs to worry about which shelf his Academy Award will go on.

You just had spinal surgery a few months ago. Presuming you got the all clear to train at 100%, focus on keeping up the fat loss, building total body strength, and getting confident with your body’s mobility and stability. The awesome physique will show up down the road. Plain old boring health and legit “functional movement” needs to come first.


#13

Undermine my progress why don’t ya! Lol just kidding. Yeah you’re right. I’m well aware I need to lose more weight. But I’ve gone from 305 max to 288lbs in about two months. Trying to take it somewhat slow so I can maintain the weight once it’s off me. Develop better eating habits, ya know? My body is weird here I am at 288lbs, yet my traps, shoulders, and chest are more defined than they ever were before. Anyway I do disagree with the very weak part. Sure for a normal guy, without back surgery and crippling depression, the numbers I gave you are pretty weak. But for someone who’s gone through a whole heap of shit like I have this last year I think they’re pretty good and they are only getting better. I increased my bent row today to 155lbs from 120lbs. So that’s good. Just kind of taking it slow so I don’t injure myself again. But yeah basically everything you’re saying is on point.


#14

Good job on the fat loss so far, and with recovering from surgery. Once you get those lift numbers higher your back development will be sure to follow, just don’t re-injure yourself.

As a bigger guy you at least have the silver lining of being able to lose fat while simultaneously building muscle, and the last thing you need to do right now is feast. You can build a moderate amount of muscle even in a caloric deficit.

Just do three exercises - deadlifts, barbell rows or dumbbell rows, and pull ups or chin ups. Just doing these, always including the deadlift, should be all you need to make progress for a long time.


#15

First off, congrats for getting better. Secondly, you should probably stop using it as a crutch, sounds to me like you’re trying to justify your lack of progress. This might sound harsh and unreasonable, considering I’ve no idea what you’ve been through but expect more from yourself. That’s the only way you’ll improve.


#16

Yeah, I’m not sure how it came out as “feast to fill in my back”. Lol I actually wrote “Ways to fill in my back” how it translated to feast is beyond me. I’m dumbfounded. But yeah, I completely agree the extra fat has been helpful. My shoulders, chest, and traps are experiencing a lot of noticeable growth unlike ever before. Thats why I was asking about ways to really fill in my back. I wanna work those shoulder blades from every angle to fill in that meat sheild while I have the fat to fuel the growth lol


#17

BNo not a crutch, it’s just a reality for me. My back is injury prone and depression has had a tight grip on me all my life. Only recently have I been able to break free enough to learn how to function within it. Imagine waking up and feeling nothing or utter despair, for literally no reason. It’s so much more than just feeling sad. It’s detachment from the one you love. The things you love to do are blurred and no longer seem worth it. It can take shit ton of time to learn how to cope with that. But I did and I’m making it work. No excuses.


#18

Ah I gotcha. For filling in the rhomboids and lower traps it really comes down to feel. You have to work on squeezing those shoulder blades back and together and really feeling the contraction in every movement. Its also not uncommon to have some upper back soreness from a lot of deadlift work. One last thing, I’ve found that rear delt raises, if used properly are a great upper back exercise too.

Lats are a little more straightforward.


#19

Considering your injury, I would advise switching to more lower back friendly versions of these exercises. Chest supported versions of rows, and trap bar deadlifts.


#20

I hear you about the depression, man. I known people who’ve dealt with it and, no joke, training became a lifesaver (literally, in one case). Lifting or breaking a sweat doing hard work 5-6 days a week is essential to staying out of the funk.

Think about starting a training log for accountability, feedback, motivation, and just to shoot the shit. Also, not to touch back on the strength thing but “strong for an injured guy” isn’t really a measuring stick you want to keep referring back to. It’s valid for now, but look forward, set goals, tackle goals, repeat.