T Nation

Weak Back Suggestions

I have been powerlifting for a little over a year now, and have made some great gains using the conjugate method of training. However, in the past month my bench has hit a wall. I think it is do to a weak upper back. My raw bench is 415 at 220. Any suggestions to bust through this?

Identifying your weaknesses is the key to making continual progress, so you’ve got the right idea. It’s difficult to tell what is causing your plateau over the internet. Identify your sticking point and go from there. What seems to be the problem? If a weak back is your problem, do lat work on the same plane as your bench. Chest-supported rows work very well. Read articles by Dave Tate if you haven’t already. Good Luck

Nice bench.

Pulls to the face are a pretty obvious answer that I assume you are already doing.

In addition to that, we really like band pull aparts. We do them with both our palms up and down. These should help alot. Super set them with shrugs for even more fun.

CS Rows work great for building lat strength. If you have access to a prone row that works just as good if not better.

You might also try banded pull downs. They are done in the power rack. Choke your bands at the top of the rack and then place the bar in them. Set up in your normal bench position and then pull the bar to your chest and hold for a 5 count. I started with the light bands and am now able to do blue+green.

Thanks for the info guys. I will try to incorporate some new back movements, especially with the bands. My lockout strength seems to be strong (465 raw 2 board max), but obviously could always be stronger. I get pissed when I stall out though. But I guess everyones has been there before. Anyone have any special suggestions? Thanks for the input

From what I remember of the westside articles, you may want to work on bar speed. If you’re having trouble with stalling out, that may be the culprit. They usually suggest chains or bands.

Titan…

Everyone has their weaknesses no matter what kind of numbers they put up. The keys to getting past the road blocks are to identify the weaknesses and then train to overcome them. Also, and even more importantly, is not to let these road blocks defeat you mentally. For several weeks in a row you might stall at the same spot at the same weight and become extremely frustrated. Then one day it all just comes together and you blow right past that weight that had eluded you and never look back. Just have to stay focused and determined.

i like to go to my local high school and climb the rope everyso often for back forearm work all in one. but if u want fun go buy a big rope anchor yourself down and pull your car you yourself alla strongman. and yes rows and everything are great but you know Variety is the spice of life.

Titan,

Check out my article “Wanna Grow? Gotta Row” for tons of rowing variations you can use. This should help you bust out of any ruts and keep your training fresh!

Stay strong
MR

Mike,

I think some of these movements are just what I was looking for. I’ll let you know how I pan out. Thanks.