T Nation

Workouts A and B

Hey, my current routine is:
m: back/shoulders
t: legs
w: chest/arms
th: off
f: back/shoulders
sa: legs
su: off

As you can see, I have two back/shoulders workouts per week. These are by far my longest workouts. I just feel that there are so many more ways to work the back than say, the chest. I know that for every back movement, there is an antagonist movement, but the back is such a big and complex muscle and I just like to do a lot of different stuff for it.

A typical back/shoulders workout goes like this, with weight pyramided up for 4-6 sets for every exercise. Compounds start at around 14 reps and pyramid up to 5-6 and sometimes 2-3.

wide grip lat pull down
close grip lat pull down OR T-handle lat pull down
straight bar cable row
T-handle cable row
-drink a serving of Surge-

dumbbell shoulder press
machine lat raises
reverse fly on the machine for rear delts
dumbbell front raises with a good amount of cheating and a controlled lowering OR barbell front raises
few sets of face pulls

For back, I recently found these two hammer strength machines that I want to start using. One is the one in the main picture on:
http://us.commercial.lifefitness.com/content.cfm/plateloaded
I really liked the feel on that one.

The other is called the iso-lateral low row, I think. It rows from below the waist and I like the feel of it. No other row that I’ve done works that angle.

So, that’s 6-7 different back exercises that I like that I feel all work the back differently. I also like to do different shoulder exercises other than the dumbbell press. I tried the behind the neck smith machine press and liked that a lot. I don’t like the military press. I like the press to be more at ear level and not in front of you.

So, I thought, maybe I’d have two different back/shoulder workouts and I’d do each one once a week. So, on Monday, I would do workout A and on Friday, I would do workout B. I don’t know if I would benefit from this, but I would be able to have a bit shorter workouts. I could do all of the exercises that I like, which I’m guessing would stimulate more growth in more areas.

I don’t know how to split them up, but I was thinking maybe I could do something like…
workout A: vertical pull and dumbbells for shoulders
workout B: horizontal pull and barbell/Smith machine for shoulders

What do you guys think of this? This was just an idea because I feel that I’m doing the exact same workout too often. I appreciate any advice.

Oh, and I always do my lat pull downs first, so doing this would let me use more weight on the rows since they would be my first exercises.

I do a push / pull split, full body. 2 on 1 off. Cardio after lifting for 30 minutes currently, sometimes on the off day too.

One week is built around deads, the next squats.

Works well for me. I change the various exercises and reps from time to time but usually stay with a push pull format.

Why aren’t you deadlifting?

fucked up back and I’ll hurt myself again if I do it more.

That’s not what I need help with though. Any advice on this routine change?

[quote]Artem wrote:
fucked up back and I’ll hurt myself again if I do it more.

That’s not what I need help with though. Any advice on this routine change?[/quote]

Fix it first?

[quote]Artem wrote:
fucked up back and I’ll hurt myself again if I do it more.

That’s not what I need help with though. Any advice on this routine change?[/quote]

Start with the bar and add 5 lbs each workout. This two solutions - (eventually) a stronger back and you won’t hurt yourself again.

Guys, I don’t need help with exercise selection or fixing my back. I asked if splitting up a workout like I posted is a good idea.
Any input?

It’s usually a mistake to try and do too much. You lose focus on making real progress and the weights you’re progressing with slows down because you’re rationing your energy and concentration just to do it all.

If it were me, I’d pick 4 exercises for back and 3 for shoulders and take those as far as I can, and when an exercise stalls out for several weeks in a row, switch it out for a different one from the arsenal you have on the backburner.

Ultimately it’s up to you and how you feel your body will respond.