T Nation

Working Out the Whole Back

I wanted to get you guy’s opinion on what I should do for back.

I am currently doing the following:

pull downs
1 arm t-bell rows
cable rows

would I be getting enough of a back workout if I threw out the cable rows and threw in some partial or full deadlifts?

I usually do 9 sets of back using pyramids: 10,8,6. Any advice on my back routine would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. my current goal is cutting (not sure if that makes a difference)

The only similarity between cable rows and deadlifts is that the muscles used in both occupy the same general region of the body. I can’t think of any good reason why a healthy trainee wouldn’t include lower back exercises on his “back” day.

Why are you doing pulldowns rather than chinups?

[quote]AlphaStar wrote:
I wanted to get you guy’s opinion on what I should do for back.

I am currently doing the following:

pull downs
1 arm t-bell rows
cable rows

would I be getting enough of a back workout if I threw out the cable rows and threw in some partial or full deadlifts?

I usually do 9 sets of back using pyramids: 10,8,6. Any advice on my back routine would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. my current goal is cutting (not sure if that makes a difference)[/quote]

Ditch one of the rows, add deadlifts and shrugs

[quote]Weasel42 wrote:
The only similarity between cable rows and deadlifts is that the muscles used in both occupy the same general region of the body. I can’t think of any good reason why a healthy trainee wouldn’t include lower back exercises on his “back” day.

Why are you doing pull downs rather than chinups?[/quote]

I am doing pull downs because I can probably do 2 chin ups at best.

The only problem I have with dead lifts is that a few days later I train my legs and they are sometimes sore, can you suggest some excercises that focus more on the lower back?

Everything that you can do for your lower back is gonna involve your hamstrings. I agree with bmitch, add the deadlifts and shrugs. as far as the soreness… maybe move your leg day to another day if possible or try foam rolling and other recovery techniques to help speed it up.

And for exercise suggestions check out this article.

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/most_recent/5_things_you_need_to_know_about_every_exercise

deadlifts the same week as squats often proves difficult due to low back and leg recovery issues, a member of T-Nation, Shane54, has his log posted on the strength sports forum, and his way of organizing a training microcycle i think solves much of this.

he has a light squat/dl week, and a heavy sq/dl week.

mon is a heavy squat day, friday is a heavy deadlift day, thats four days rest between heavy pulling and squatting, the folowing week is a “light” week, so after heavy deadlifts friday, he takes it "easy with light squats/legs on monday, which is perfect because the shorter recovery period.

go check his log out and talk to him.

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/4_directions_to_a_kickass_back&cr=

I know how hip it’s become to deify certain exercises and most of the ones so honored, including chins are fine movements. However cable exercises for the back work and for many people for various reasons better than chins.

[quote]AlphaStar wrote:
Weasel42 wrote:
The only similarity between cable rows and deadlifts is that the muscles used in both occupy the same general region of the body. I can’t think of any good reason why a healthy trainee wouldn’t include lower back exercises on his “back” day.

Why are you doing pull downs rather than chinups?

I am doing pull downs because I can probably do 2 chin ups at best.

The only problem I have with dead lifts is that a few days later I train my legs and they are sometimes sore, can you suggest some excercises that focus more on the lower back?[/quote]

rack pulls

rack pull
bent over row
shrug

[quote]AlphaStar wrote:
Weasel42 wrote:
The only similarity between cable rows and deadlifts is that the muscles used in both occupy the same general region of the body. I can’t think of any good reason why a healthy trainee wouldn’t include lower back exercises on his “back” day.

Why are you doing pull downs rather than chinups?

I am doing pull downs because I can probably do 2 chin ups at best.

The only problem I have with dead lifts is that a few days later I train my legs and they are sometimes sore, can you suggest some excercises that focus more on the lower back?[/quote]

Yes I have been trying to solve this problem for some time. I like the other posters idea of heavy and light, but I have come up with two solutions. I just alternate. When I do deadlifts that week I do leg presses instead of squats so I can still train heavy or, I train

Monday - Upper (Chest/Back)
Thursday - Lower
Friday Upper(shoulders/arms).

[quote]AlphaStar wrote:
Weasel42 wrote:
The only similarity between cable rows and deadlifts is that the muscles used in both occupy the same general region of the body. I can’t think of any good reason why a healthy trainee wouldn’t include lower back exercises on his “back” day.

Why are you doing pull downs rather than chinups?

I am doing pull downs because I can probably do 2 chin ups at best.

The only problem I have with dead lifts is that a few days later I train my legs and they are sometimes sore, can you suggest some excercises that focus more on the lower back?[/quote]

Man you have to do the pull ups and chins. Do the pull downs because you need variation, not because you can’t do the other. If you can only do two, do 5-10 sets of 2. Don’t be embarrased, even Jay Cutler has said he can only do 12 reps fresh and his second set he is lucky if he can do 4-6.

Chin-ups
Reverse-Grip Pulldowns
1-Arm Dumbbell Row
T-Bar Row (Chest-Supported or Old-School)
Barbell Row (Start Each Rep From Floor)
Various Cable Rows and Machine Rows
Any Pullover Variation

Shrugs are to build the “Yolk.” The Yolk consists of the traps, rhomboids, and rear deltoids. It deserves a lot of attention by itself as well.

Any Shrug
Any Olympic Lift Variation
Upright Rows
Triceps Rope Rows to Forehead
Any Rear-Delt Fly
Seated Dumbbell Power Cleans
Wide-Grip Pulldowns and Pull-ups

I’ve come to accept the fact that the Lat-Pulldown and Lever-Machines aren’t that awful and are great for building back size.
The also allow you to continue working your Lats and Upper Back when your Lower Back is fried and you can’t continue to benefit from standing Back Exercises.

Deadlifts, Rack Pulls, and Olympic Lifts are obviously great for building big backs and good total body strength, but in terms of pure Bodybuilding interest I think they’re misinterpreted.

Being able to Deadlift 700lbs or Clean 405lbs or whatever isn’t going to make your Lats wide. But Doing these moves will make your body strong enough to train your entire body heavier. Likewise, people who reach these numbers will have huge backs, but they won’t have gotten them just from doing

Deadlifts and Cleans for singles. They’ll have gotten their huge backs from all the High-Rep Assistance and Supplemental Exercises they’ve done for their Back so that they can handle those heavy weights. It’s an Yin to a Yang.

Just suck it up, a little DOMS never hurt anybody. Personally, I put my deadlift day opposite my squat day on my lifting schedule. (I squat monday and DL friday) - that really works for me.

everyone is going to tell you the same thing: deadlift

use a wider grip so the your index finger just about lines up (maybe a little past) the end of your shoulder.

theres no way you can deadlift and not have a good back.

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
deadlifts the same week as squats often proves difficult due to low back and leg recovery issues[/quote]

I really hesitate disagreeing with you. I do agree that it is difficult, but not impossible. I currently am in the 7th week of Rippetoe. I squat 3x/week. Sometimes deadlift 2x/week depending on the week.

Maybe I don’t disagree. It is difficult and it is also possible to do both.

I agree with previous poster as i deadlift and squat during the same week. . My problem is when i try and do deadlifts twice a week with squats twice a week. This is to much for me if i do it every week; but i can do dead lifts once a week and squats twice a week with no problem.

I also follow the rippetoe method; but the advance rippetoe method does state it maybe necessary to allow more recovery time when one becomes more advanced; thus, both posters maybe right. Either way deadlifts are the most demanding exercise to me (much more than squats)when done heavy and one has to be careful not to overtrain… I think there maybe a lot of variation between individuals on recovery time for deadlifts…

Try also throwing in some standing bent over cable rows. Do this last in your back workout and it will give you a serious pump. You can get a real good stretch doing this.

Pull-ups for your upper-back. How much do you weight Alphastar. Because I have seen big guys like 230lbs 5"11 do sets of 12 pull-ups. The heavier you get it turns into an extremely good mass building exercize because your reps will be lower. “Alot of big niggas can do weights, but they cant do the bar”

I was in a similar predicament with regard to pullups; i could only do a couple of reps.

I would keep the regular pullups but not eliminate the pull down until you gain more reps with the regular pull-up…

What i did was supersetted pullups/chinups with pulldown machine to gain further reps and did this for a total 8 to 12 reps(until failure) for 4 supersets). Eventually, you will be able to do enough pullups so as not to use the pull down machine.