Cashout Back Training Thread...

Cashout

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This topic is brought to you by our resident sage and my friend PFM...thanks for the idea!

Cashout Back Pic from 1/22/2013
Rear_Lat.jpg


Back training, for me, has always been a very difficult endevor. I think the biggest reason that has been the case is that back is darn hard to see when you are training it. I know that sounds odd but it is true. I know I do much better training a muscle if I can see it respond as I work it. That is just not always the case with back.

Beside that visibility issue, back is a huge muscle group that is comprise of so many smaller muscles. That compounds the confusion for many when they set out to work back.

I was no different 27 years ago when I started bodybuilding. I really had no idea how to attack this huge and somewhat invisible body part.

What I did learn very early on that has influenced my back train and subsequent back development is what I call...

RULE #1 of Back Training - Weight is a Function of Form.
I learned early on with back to lift for feel and not for weight. With back it is easy to sling weight around doing rows and pulldowns. I never really benefited from that type of training in terms of growing my back and eventually it will lead to injury. What I did find to be helpful was concentrating on the contraction, stretch and the form. My goal was, and still is, to finish a set and have that tight, cramppy pumped feeling in my lats. If I hit it right, the lats feel like they are just swollen and hanging under my armpits. It is a hard feeling to describe but you know what I'm talking about if you've felt it before.


RULE #2 of Back Training - Extend the Set.
Back is big. A lot of times with back, the little muscles used bis, forearms used in gripping and lower back used for support will fatigue and give out first. I learned to remove those muscles as the first point of failure. Lets face it, if you are doing heavy cable rows or lat pulldowns with some weight, your lower back and arms may fatigue from supporting your body or holding the weight before your lats are fully exhausted. To this end, I like to use drop sets. The support muscles might give way with 280 but they can still support 185 for another 6-8 reps so strip the weight and extend the set. I do this with lots of my movements - cable rows, lat pulldowns are favorites for this type of back work - quick and easy and back into the set with out much disruption. A lot of times, I'll do triple drop sets with these movements. Another type of technique that worked for me for extending the set was super setting or even giant setting back. I love this type of training and it accomplishes the same goal with back as drop setting - going beyond your normal support muscle limited work load.

So those are my two Back Training Rules. I've followed that type of approach for atleast 20 years now and it his helped me develop my back to a respectable competitive level.
 

LeanHerm

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Awesome read cash. Nothing but great stuff from you.

I'm the same way as far as weight. The only thing I lift heavy when doing back is deads. Other than that I do lower weight and try the best I can to have perfect form. I isolate the muscle.
 

DF

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Very good points Cashout. My bi's do fatigue often while doing back. I'm going to do as you suggest.
 

63Vette

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Thank you for the excellent advice brother!

Respect,
Vette
 

Patriot1405

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Excellent read Cashout!!! Smaller muscles always give out first. I also sometimes use hooks on those exercises, to take my grip and forearms out of the equation!
 

Cashout

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Excellent read Cashout!!! Smaller muscles always give out first. I also sometimes use hooks on those exercises, to take my grip and forearms out of the equation!

I use wrist straps myself on all my back training - as you noted its the back we are trying to train not the grip strength.
 

mistah187

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Nice read. Def good information .
 

grind4it

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Great advise. I wish the kids in my gym knew this. My joints hurt just watching them do lat Pulldowns and rows.

A bodybuilder I have workedout with told me "if you want to grow your back you have to check your ego".

Thanks Cashout that was a great read
 

pirovoliko

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excellent thread as always...two simple tips easily taken for granted and overlooked..
 

AlphaD

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Thanks for the great read cashout!!! Those tips are something I will start to institute into my regimen. I also have always used a slow tempo/mind to muscle connection when training esp. for back.
 

PillarofBalance

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Great info Cashout...

For me, my back didn't start to develop at all until I really came to understand the mind muscle connection. Once I could squeeze and target specific areas of my back, I was unstoppable.
 

pirovoliko

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Great info Cashout...

For me, my back didn't start to develop at all until I really came to understand the mind muscle connection. Once I could squeeze and target specific areas of my back, I was unstoppable.

I have a hard time with that as well and I think its largely because as Cashout said, we cant see behind us...Any tips from anyone on geting proper contraction depending on back exercise?
 

JAXNY

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Excellent read Cashout!!! Smaller muscles always give out first. I also sometimes use hooks on those exercises, to take my grip and forearms out of the equation!

Same here, I always use wrist straps.
Thanks for the thread Cash very good
Info. Like you said form is key, and more
Important then weight. A lot of guys either
Forget that, ignore it or some just don't
Even know it.
I use drop sets and triple drop sets quit
A bit in my training. Works very well,
With great results.
 

Cashout

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So how do I currently incorporate these rules into back training? Glad you asked ;)

There are several different combinations for back that I've developed but this was today's session...

Heavy Lat Pulldowns -
Set 1) 280 X 13 reps dropped to 190 X 9 reps dropped to 120 X 9 reps
Set 2) 280 X 10 reps dropped to 190 x 7 reps dropped to 120 by 6 reps
Set 3) 280 X 10 reps dropped to 190 X 6 reps dropped to 120 X 6 reps

Barbell Bent Rows
Set 1) 275 X 14 reps dropped to 185 X 11 reps
Set 2) 275 X 11 reps dropped to 185 X 9 reps
Set 3) 275 X 10 reps dropped to 185 X 8 reps
Note: The trick here is to sandwich the 25lbs plate between the 2 45lbs plates and have a rack to pick up and set down in so you can strip quickly.

Deadlifts
Set 1) 10 reps X 315
Set 2) 10 reps X 315
Set 3) 10 reps X 315

There you go. That is one example of Back Rules in Action!
 

PFM

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I made my best lat gains last year using the contraction principle. Recently I have fallen back into the old rut of weight over form. Thanks my friend for the advice, it's just what I needed to hear.

Straps are something else I've been letting my ego get my there too. Straps and drop sets (even if my last set is with the yellow DB's).
 

Jada

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Thanks cash for the knowledge.
 

gymrat827

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i do a lot of the things you talked about here. Back is my strongest area, but i dont just move weight. I breakdown all the muscles with various movements.


I dont stick to rows + pulldowns either.... my little baller gym has tons of back machines and again.... i concentrate on muscle breakdown.


nice post
 

DarksideSix

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as always, great advice Cashout. much appreciated!

Quick question, how do you feel abouta cambered grip (thumbs same side as fingers) while training these lifts?

I'vefound that by gripping the bar like this, whether doing rovs or pulldowns, it helps my smaller muscles from fatiguing as much.
 

Azog

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Great thread Cash. You really are inspiring to a lot of us. Time to catch up! No excuses.
 

Cashout

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as always, great advice Cashout. much appreciated!

Quick question, how do you feel abouta cambered grip (thumbs same side as fingers) while training these lifts?

I'vefound that by gripping the bar like this, whether doing rovs or pulldowns, it helps my smaller muscles from fatiguing as much.

I always use wrist wraps so I general use a straight over hand grip (thumbs and fingers on same side of the bar).
 
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