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Old 12-01-2009, 09:07 AM   #1
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Default Lat Width vs. Lat Thickness ...Throwdown Dec09

Speak your mind on this issue...I welcome rants, raves and biased opinions...

Throw Down...Lat Width vs. Lat Thickness

Many trainee approaches and systems focus on "lat width" movements and "lat thickness" movements.

--Do you believe lat width movements make the back "wider"?
--Do you in the effectiveness of machine pulldown movements?
--Do you believe all back movements are "back thickness" movements?

(Feel free to add your own questions on this topic)
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 12-01-2009 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:18 AM   #2
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I train both. I think there is definitely a difference between width and thickness, but I train for thickness moreso than width. It just makes sense for my goals and my chosen lifting style (powerlifting vs. physique).

And, I say I train for thickness more than width because I feel that the rows and deadlifts I do are more effective then the pull-ups/chin-ups I do.

Also, the only machine I would ever use for either is the assisted pull-up machine. However, if that's not available, I hit up single arm pull-downs on the lat pull-down machine. It's not ideal though.

Lastly, it's odd, I say I don't like to train lat width very much but I have a pretty impressive lat spread.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:22 AM   #3
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AAHH this is a real good question. As always genetics will play a big factor in how your back width looks. I think working the back is the hardest exercise for newb's btw. I constantly change how I hit them. I stay away from wide grip pull downs due to the stress it puts on the shoulder area. I have also read studies that show a neutral grip hits the entire back very hard (this is what I do). For the lower back back extensions work awesome. I like barbell rows for my middle back and thickness. I also think behind the back shrugs hit the traps and upper middle back as well. I do lat pulldowns, but I ususally do drop sets or pyramid sets. This way I can fatigue the muscle and not over due my shoulder and elbow joints. I also use straps. Doing bicep work b4 lats works good to help remove them from back training. I did this until all my arm injuries started killing my back progress. My fav. back exercise though it a st. arm (both) lat pull down. It doesn't take much weight and when you hit it just right it feels like your arm pits are going to explode. It takes a lot of practice to hit the muscle on this one though (and or the correct machine and bar).
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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from time to time I will also throw in a set of seated rows, and reverse grip pulldowns as well.

All this is just from my personal experience. I'm not saying do this or that just what I have found works for me.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #5
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Probably the best way to add back width is to shrink your waist. That is something I'm still working on btw.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:30 AM   #6
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Lastly, it's odd, I say I don't like to train lat width very much but I have a pretty impressive lat spread.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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Personally, I don't believe in "back width" exercises. I'm not railing against pullups or pulldowns, but I simply do not believe that a back exercise that stretches the lats at the top will add extra width. I get a fairly intense back contraction from deadlifts.

I've generally had non-impressive lats. But in the last 2 years, since I've started deadlifting heavily, my lats have become my best bodypart. I realize this isn't the best photo, but it does show my lats in a relaxed position.

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Old 12-01-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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Look at AC all ripped out with his V-cut and shit lol. Lookin good bro.

And steve....wtf man youre a fukin horse, I want to see a legit cut out of you within this next year man!
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:42 PM   #9
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Look at AC all ripped out with his V-cut and shit lol. Lookin good bro.

And steve....wtf man youre a fukin horse, I want to see a legit cut out of you within this next year man!
Yeah, bud...working on getting cut. I'm in a holding pattern the last 2 months. I need to keep holding through Christmas. I would like to compete once before I croak. And with Ripped doing it next year, well...
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Speak your mind on this issue...I welcome rants, raves and biased opinions...

Throw Down...Lat Width vs. Lat Thickness

Many trainee approaches and systems focus on "lat width" movements and "lat thickness" movements.

--Do you believe lat width movements make the back "wider"?
--Do you in the effectiveness of machine pulldown movements?
--Do you believe all back movements are "back thickness" movements?

(Feel free to add your own questions on this topic)
Its always been my opinion that lat width vs thickness exercises are a myth. Each exercise puts stress on different parts of the muscles in the back, like for me t-bar rows always burn the outer portion of the back, bb rows hit most of my upper back, and pull downs hit my teres major and rohmboids a bit more. Each of those adds to my thickness, and the more muscle you add the more your back is forced to expand, creating the width. There is only so much room to add muscle before it has to start expanding.
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