The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Feel the lats on a bent row?

    Hey guys. I do bent rows just about every back workout, have been since I started lifting. I have only on rare occasion been able to feel them in my lats. I usually feel all rows in the middle of my back, from a little below my traps to about halfway down my back, or around my shoulder blades. I feel them this way no matter if I do them from off the floor to an almost standing position, with emphasis shifting up the back the closer to standing that I am. But the emphasized area is always around the shoulder blades. This is where I have always felt rows. Where do you guys feel them the most, and is there a technique change I could implement that would enable more lat activation than what I currently experience? Also, the further out my grip is on overhand rows, the more I feel them in my rear delts, which is normal though. I've always had awsome rear delts though.

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  3. #2
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    I'm with ya, I feel rows in the center of my back. My lats are lagging, I get too much bicep involvement on my chins. I'm sure my form sucks, or my (lack of) mind-muscle connection in this respect is to blame. I want to try changing my DB rows, rowing to the hip, and then holding for a count, and maybe adding a set a of stiff-arm lat pull-downs to the front (not sure if the right term), to try to force more lat involvement.

    Also: where in PA are ya? York here.
    Last edited by manowar669; 05-14-2004 at 09:37 PM.
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  4. #3
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homunculus
    Hey guys. I do bent rows just about every back workout, have been since I started lifting. I have only on rare occasion been able to feel them in my lats. I usually feel all rows in the middle of my back, from a little below my traps to about halfway down my back, or around my shoulder blades. I feel them this way no matter if I do them from off the floor to an almost standing position, with emphasis shifting up the back the closer to standing that I am. But the emphasized area is always around the shoulder blades. This is where I have always felt rows. Where do you guys feel them the most, and is there a technique change I could implement that would enable more lat activation than what I currently experience? Also, the further out my grip is on overhand rows, the more I feel them in my rear delts, which is normal though. I've always had awsome rear delts though.
    Try pre-fatigueing your biceps by doing all of your bicep work before you do your back work.

  5. #4
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    Actually, I think that where you pull the bar to makes a big difference. Maybe I pull too high, I usually hit the upper ab region. Maybe I should pull to the lower ab, almost to my waist. What do you guys think? I'm not a big fan of the pre-fatigue school of though. I think that takes away from the focus of a compound power movement - and that is weight lifted. You are supposed to go heavy on rows, and if you pre-fatigue yourself with biceps work beforehand, I think you just end up really torching yoru arms and not your back. Besides, I don't really feel my biceps when I lift overhand. I go underhand if I want a little assistance from my bi's so i can go a little heavier. Seems some peole like pre-fatigue, but its not my bag. Thanks for the advice though. I do switch up the order though, so in a sense I'm not always hitting the bent rows first when my back is fresh.

  6. #5
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    rows hit your rhomboids moreso then lats, vertical type pulls such as lat pulldown/pullups will work your lats.

  7. #6
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homunculus
    Actually, I think that where you pull the bar to makes a big difference. Maybe I pull too high, I usually hit the upper ab region. Maybe I should pull to the lower ab, almost to my waist. What do you guys think? I'm not a big fan of the pre-fatigue school of though. I think that takes away from the focus of a compound power movement - and that is weight lifted. You are supposed to go heavy on rows, and if you pre-fatigue yourself with biceps work beforehand, I think you just end up really torching yoru arms and not your back. Besides, I don't really feel my biceps when I lift overhand. I go underhand if I want a little assistance from my bi's so i can go a little heavier. Seems some peole like pre-fatigue, but its not my bag. Thanks for the advice though. I do switch up the order though, so in a sense I'm not always hitting the bent rows first when my back is fresh.
    It's just what always has worked for me. If you are training the movement than I totally agree with you, but if you are training the muscle than I disagree. Good luck.

  8. #7
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    H, my bad, I just read how you disagree with pre-fatigue...I guess your going for powerlifting style workouts where synergy is critical...I admit right away I know nothing about that style of lifting, but your right in doing compounds and not wanting to prefatigue...I see where your coming from...
    you can completely disregard my post here....

    Quote Originally Posted by SalahG
    Try pre-fatigueing your biceps by doing all of your bicep work before you do your back work.
    Salah, could you explain this? I understand the concept of prefatigue...was this a typo? because I can't figure out how prefatiguing your biceps is going to help your back?

    As to lat work...
    IMHO:
    training single arm for rows is less then ideal
    Rows work your rhomboids, traps and lats.

    There could be several reasons you don't feel them in your lats.

    First off can you flex/flare your traps?
    If you can flex them then try pumping them up by flexing them out before you do a row. This will work the mind-muscle connection before you even do the move, plus get some blood flowing to the area so when you do the movement you'll be able to concentrate and flex the lats.

    Second thing you can try is prefatiguing your lats by doing pulls or pull downs first. If you want you can even superset by hopping from one station to the next. In most gyms the cable row machine is attached to a pulldown and pullup section so this shouldn't be an issue.

    If focusing on your lats is the key, and your having a hard time with the mind-muscle connection then I'd make sure to do them near the beginning of your workout when your body is sharpest.

    If your having to much forearm failure from doing reps slow then don't be ashamed to use straps.

    Concentrate on pulling whatever apparatus your using as low to your midsection as possible...the higher you go the more trap/rhomboid ineraction your gonna have.

    Finally, stretch between row sets...using one arm grab something at chest height, then bend your knees and stretch away....you should feel a tearing/stretching in your lower lat down by your ass.

    For me, rows are a finesse move, not a power move.
    I do my cable rows with 60-70 lbs and I use all of the techniques I mentioned above in my back workouts.
    Last edited by geoffgarcia; 05-14-2004 at 11:20 PM.

  9. #8
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffgarcia
    Salah, could you explain this? I understand the concept of prefatigue...was this a typo?
    Well, what I am saying is what I do traditionally. I pre-fatigue my biceps, I just do them specifically (i.e. DB Curls), and get them out of the way. Then I follow them by doing my back work, and have found that instead of my biceps taking over for the movements, my back does the movements. I can, however see where he is coming from in that you will work the lats just as good if you go as heavy as you can, but he wanted to 'feel' his lats in the exercises and by pre-fatigueing I usually feel my lats in the exercises a lot more.

  10. #9
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    salah, no offense man...I understand what your saying....but that just doesn't make any sense at all (to me)...I can see not one iota of logic behind what you do there...

  11. #10
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffgarcia
    salah, no offense man...I understand what your saying....but that just doesn't make any sense at all (to me)...I can see not one iota of logic behind what you do there...
    I don't have any studies or anything to back it up, and actually now that I think about it, it really isn't that intelligent, it's just the way ive always done it. BUT here's the logic I used:

    My biceps are strong. They like to do the pulling movements for me. BUT I want my back muscles to do it for me. Therefore I make my biceps tired, and the back muscles will do more of the work instead.

    Hope that made a little more sense.

  12. #11
    Senior Member wrestlemaniac's Avatar
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    Firstly your back is a bigger muscle than your biceps so it's stronger. Also, you can continue to do an exersize untill the muscles used are too weak to continue. If your biceps are already weakend then it's pretty easy to say that when you do a back exersize the biceps will reach failure far before your lats ever will and your lats will be pretty un-fatigued.
    Last edited by wrestlemaniac; 05-15-2004 at 02:37 AM.

  13. #12
    Banned Reinier's Avatar
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    Feel them? They sting like a bitch

  14. #13
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalahG
    Try pre-fatigueing your biceps by doing all of your bicep work before you do your back work.

    THat's just wrong. It's like saying go pre-fatigue your triceps before doing bench press.

    DO NOT do this. It will make things worse. You will tire out much more quickly because in any back lift, your biceps are one the weakest muscles and will tire out the quickest.
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  15. #14
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    And as i found out last week, tricep before chest makes you fail and nearly drop the bar on a bench press!

  16. #15
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    i always thought that if you were to do a split it would be back then bi's on the same day since they would be prefatigued and chest then tris on another. if you did tris before chest and your press movement is mostly tris at the upper end you wouldnt be able to put up as much weight. please correct me if i am wrong but that is my opinion.

  17. #16
    Banned Jezmason's Avatar
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    Aye, tis true, but i saw a friend their and we were spottin, and he was already on tris so we spotted each other, which was stupid. I always do back/bis chest/tris coz rows usually prefatigue the bis and presses do the tris

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max-Mex
    THat's just wrong. It's like saying go pre-fatigue your triceps before doing bench press.

    DO NOT do this. It will make things worse. You will tire out much more quickly because in any back lift, your biceps are one the weakest muscles and will tire out the quickest.
    Why is it wrong? It's a common lifting technique. How does it not make sense to you?
    If your problem is that you're using TOO MUCH biceps to perform the lift, doesn't it make sense to take that muscle out of commission so it won't contribute to the lift???
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  19. #18
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    The reason it's wrong is that if your tire out the biceps, then your lat's will hardly get any work. Think about. Why would you want to tire out the smaller muscle? You can't take the biceps out of a row or chin/pull up. It's not an isolation lift. They reason most people fail on any compund lift is not because of the larger muscles tiring out, but the smaller ones.

    Would you do calf work before squats? If you want to pre-fatigue anything, you'd work the lats by doing some form of pullover or stiff arm pull down.

    Also, if you are using too much biceps, then you need to work on your form. Not pre-fatigue them.
    Last edited by Max-Mex; 05-15-2004 at 01:34 PM.
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  20. #19
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfresh
    i always thought that if you were to do a split it would be back then bi's on the same day since they would be prefatigued and chest then tris on another. if you did tris before chest and your press movement is mostly tris at the upper end you wouldnt be able to put up as much weight. please correct me if i am wrong but that is my opinion.
    That is correct fresh. Start with compound movements first then isolation.

    The better way to overcome smaller muscle weaknesses (ie tri's on bench and bi's on back) is to pre-fatigue the larger muscle (pec, lats, quads) with an isolation lift then move to the compound lift. You won't be able to lift as much but the larger muscles will be worked to the fullest.
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  21. #20
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homunculus
    Hey guys. I do bent rows just about every back workout, have been since I started lifting. I have only on rare occasion been able to feel them in my lats. I usually feel all rows in the middle of my back, from a little below my traps to about halfway down my back, or around my shoulder blades. I feel them this way no matter if I do them from off the floor to an almost standing position, with emphasis shifting up the back the closer to standing that I am. But the emphasized area is always around the shoulder blades. This is where I have always felt rows.
    It maybe that you bringing the bar up to high. What I mean is the bar is hitting near your chest than near you belly button. Lifting the bar higher will cause your upper back muscles to contract more (hence the feeling there). If you aim the bar more towards the stomach, it will cause your lats to work more. Also, remember to stick your chest out at the end.
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  22. #21
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max-Mex
    THat's just wrong. It's like saying go pre-fatigue your triceps before doing bench press.

    DO NOT do this. It will make things worse. You will tire out much more quickly because in any back lift, your biceps are one the weakest muscles and will tire out the quickest.
    Yeah, I guess Max-Mex knows more about training than Arnold Schwarzenegger or Franco Columbo who used this training technique constantly.

  23. #22
    Senior Member wrestlemaniac's Avatar
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    He's not saying he knows more than anyone, he's saying it doesn't make sense (cuz it doesn't) if they do it (which I highly doubt) then thats good for them but it just doesn't make sense. Put a guy who's got gigantic lats but the arms of a 90 pound little girl on a row (I doubt you'll ever find someone like that though). Will he be able to do a single rep? No. Why? Because his arms will be incapable of bending with that much weight pulling against them. Same thing with bench, they might get it about half way up but after that nothings happening.

  24. #23
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestlemaniac
    He's not saying he knows more than anyone, he's saying it doesn't make sense (cuz it doesn't) if they do it (which I highly doubt) then thats good for them but it just doesn't make sense. Put a guy who's got gigantic lats but the arms of a 90 pound little girl on a row (I doubt you'll ever find someone like that though). Will he be able to do a single rep? No. Why? Because his arms will be incapable of bending with that much weight pulling against them. Same thing with bench, they might get it about half way up but after that nothings happening.

  25. #24
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalahG
    Yeah, I guess Max-Mex knows more about training than Arnold Schwarzenegger or Franco Columbo who used this training technique constantly.
    Go ahead and try it and see what happens. Do a full bicep workout then try to do your back lifts. It's the only way to find out.
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  26. #25
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max-Mex
    Go ahead and try it and see what happens. Do a full bicep workout then try to do your back lifts. It's the only way to find out.
    Been there, done that.

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