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Thread: New Article: Leave Lat Pull-Down Land and Build A Bigger Back!

  1. #26
    The Highland Brawler Geometheus's Avatar
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    I am going to give the routine a go and add it in to what I am currently doing and will report back at the end of 8 weeks. After the first days workout I realized why I had stuck with lat pull downs.... I can not seem to get to sternum level... any tips?
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  2. #27
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Work on your flexibility.


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  3. #28
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I did 'Workout 1' the other day; it was a good one. I am looking forward to trying the weighted chins and rowing workouts.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geometheus View Post
    I am going to give the routine a go and add it in to what I am currently doing and will report back at the end of 8 weeks. After the first days workout I realized why I had stuck with lat pull downs.... I can not seem to get to sternum level... any tips?
    Your rhomboids and lower traps are weak.

    If you can pull the bar to your chest on a pull down, if you can bench and the bar touches your chest, if you can military press with the bar starting on your clavicles/shoulders, but can't touch the bar in a chin, you're just too weak in the muscles stated.

    Are you able to complete an inverted row ie can you touch and hold your chest to the bar? Work on that. Look up lower trap activation exercises on youtube, read the Nick Tumminello article on upper body warm-ups for some ideas.

  5. #30
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geometheus View Post
    I am going to give the routine a go and add it in to what I am currently doing and will report back at the end of 8 weeks. After the first days workout I realized why I had stuck with lat pull downs.... I can not seem to get to sternum level... any tips?
    You may be using too much weight. For a program like this it is more important that you are doing the exercises correctly and following the protocol rather than just trying to lift the highest amount of weight possible.

    As others have mentioned there may be some flexibility issues as well.
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  6. #31
    The Highland Brawler Geometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    Your rhomboids and lower traps are weak.

    If you can pull the bar to your chest on a pull down, if you can bench and the bar touches your chest, if you can military press with the bar starting on your clavicles/shoulders, but can't touch the bar in a chin, you're just too weak in the muscles stated.

    Are you able to complete an inverted row ie can you touch and hold your chest to the bar? Work on that. Look up lower trap activation exercises on youtube, read the Nick Tumminello article on upper body warm-ups for some ideas.
    DR: I can perform a pull down to chest level and when I bench the bar touches my chest and I can perform an inverted row -although normally I use DBs or Belial Rows. But on military press the bar needs to be weighted down to touch my shoulders and once in that position I can press although its less weight than if I start from a racked position and lower to just below ear level. So with that in mind it sounds like it's a combination of flexibility issues and what you mentioned as my rhomboids and low traps being weak. I will check out the resources you mentioned. Thank you.

    TB: Any good places you can send me links for where I can look for flexibility exercises on this area? Thank you.
    ~G~
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  7. #32
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    I'm a big fan of Craigs articles! Keep them coming!
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  8. #33
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    I did a bit of experimenting with workout 1 yesterday and for the first time I really focussed on scapular function. I've never thought much about pulling my shoulder blades back on chins before and it made a huge difference, I easily got to my sternum each time and they all felt like quality reps. This one thing made me feel like I was engaging my muscles so much more.

    I messed about some more with weighted doubles and singles and it all felt easy. I've got the potential to really improve here.

    Looking back at my workouts last year I just maxed on pullups three times a week and never got any better than about 3x7. Sometime I'd go higher, sometimes lower, but there was no real method. I was too stuck on getting max reps that I didn't consider the merits of many sets of singles or doubles and I never bothered with weighted sets.

    After Christmas I'm going to give this a shot because I would love 15 good pull-ups and 20 chins.

  9. #34
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Great comments guys, I am stoked that everyone liked the article!

    We're moving to weekly article updates in the new year and expect just as good articles/authors aswell as some special suprises!
    Last edited by Joe Black; 12-16-2009 at 02:15 AM.
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  10. #35
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Clough View Post
    Great comments guys, I am stoked that everyone liked the article!

    We're moving to weekly article updates in the new year and expect just as good articles/authors aswell as some special suprises!
    Sounds exciting. You guys are doing a great job on this site
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  11. #36
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Ok, i'm just trying this method and i was wondering that after the 25 pull up's, is it normal that i have to cut back on the weight of my dumbels for performing Single-arm dumbbell rows? I had to yesterday..since i have no experience with this new routine i don't know how hard the pull up's tire my back and arm muscles

  12. #37
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    bump

  13. #38
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    come on..

  14. #39
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    The two workouts are separate. This was covered upthread. You do workout 2 a few days later, not immediately after. This should allow you to recover.

    When you are tired you will have to lift less, so yes, when doing multiple sets of heavy work, you won't be able to continue with the same level of force. Although over time your workload capacity will increase.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Aslin's Avatar
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    I cant believe u didnt mention Bent over rows, deadlifing, power cleans etc.. give me those over chins any day.

  16. #41
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I'm rolling along with this (modified). I've devoted this entire cycle (3 weeks) to the singles on chin-ups and doubles on db rows. The singles are definately getting easier and I'm knocking them out quicker.

    I'm getting ready to move on to the weighted chin-ups. Any idea how much weight I should add? I'm thinking of starting with 20 lbs extra the first week and adding more on the following weeks.

    The third stage calls for using bands, which i don't have yet. I might suck-it-up and order some, but we'll see how the "financial officer" goes for it. Is there an alternative if I don't get the bands in time?

  17. #42
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I wanted to bump this back up to see if anybody has any input
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  18. #43
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I just finished up doing this workout and finally tested my bodyweight chinups. Before starting this workout I was able to crank out 5 reps. I'm doing the 5/3/1 workout, so I did a full 4 week cycle of singles, then a full 4 week cycle of weighted singles, and because i don't have bands, I did a full 4 week cycle of weighted doubles. Today I tested my bodyweight chinups for the first time since starting the routine. I was able to do:





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    Last edited by Off Road; 03-05-2010 at 05:42 PM.
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  19. #44
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Awesome!!!
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  20. #45
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    That's great!

    I didn't order any bands either, so after my four weeks of weighted singles I switched to 3x5 weighted chin-ups. OK, not optimal but I felt like it could be worth doing some rep-work.

    That was last week, and I haven't maxed yet, because I'm a few weeks behind you in the program, but the main thing is 3x5 w/ 10kg felt fine! I'm sure that in another couple of weeks I can get 15-20 chin-ups. I started with 8.

    So for the next 3 weeks should I stick to 3x5 or should I do like Off Road and go to weighted doubles?

  21. #46
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    Off Road - Nicely Done!

    @ Drummer, If I understand correctly, you finished week four, did 3X5 for one week and are now at week 6, correct?

    I would flip that and go to 5X3 and increase the weight for the remaining three weeks. Using doubles during week seven, or even the last two weeks, wouldn't be a bad idea.

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    Yes that is correct. Ok, sounds like a plan!

    Will report back when I'm done. I'm bulking, so I'm fighting an increasing bodyweight, but I'm still confident I'll get a decent amount of reps when I test it.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geometheus View Post
    I am going to give the routine a go and add it in to what I am currently doing and will report back at the end of 8 weeks. After the first days workout I realized why I had stuck with lat pull downs.... I can not seem to get to sternum level... any tips?
    It depends a little on how you function; there a number of different possible inefficiencies here. You really can't go wrong with directly strengthening your scapular retractors (mid/lower traps and rhomboids) and improving thoracic extension. I'd put a little work into external rotation movements as well.

    Improving mobility in your chest with soft tissue work, mobility drills and stretching would probably help too.

  24. #49
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    I remember that this was one of the first things I read on this website 5 months ago. It convinced me to ditch lat pull downs in lieu of The Bar. I began doing WBB 1.1, and at first I was pathetic on pull ups (First-set max was 7) four months ago.

    Yesterday I knocked out 18 in my first set.
    Last edited by Bosch232; 04-15-2010 at 03:06 AM.
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  25. #50
    Constantly Improving Decent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Weller View Post
    It depends a little on how you function; there a number of different possible inefficiencies here. You really can't go wrong with directly strengthening your scapular retractors (mid/lower traps and rhomboids) and improving thoracic extension. I'd put a little work into external rotation movements as well.

    Improving mobility in your chest with soft tissue work, mobility drills and stretching would probably help too.
    Great article. What lifts would you recommend for hitting the scapular retractors directly?
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