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Old 08-05-2014, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default Is training separately for back width and back thickness necessary?

When it comes to the back, judging by what I've been reading, there appear to be two different types of exercises.

Ones that are suited to back width, and ones for back thickness.
For example, dumbbell/barbell rows are refereed to in the bodybuilding world a back thickness exercises, while pull ups and lat pull downs with a wider grip are considered width builders.

I was wondering how much truth there is to this, and if it's necessary to train for both.
I never have, and I assume the answer to that question might depend on experience level.
The back exercises I do, are dead lift, weighted chins, and barbell/dumbbell rows.

Thanks.

- Linden
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:06 PM   #2
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You're already covering your bases pretty well with that selection. The back is a very complex group of many different muscles and yes, they need to be worked from a number of different directions to get full development. That doesn't mean a million different movements, you just need to be pulling from a few different angles, which you are. In a few more months maybe you switch out chins for pullups, or maybe you toss in some cable rows with different grips to supplement your free weight rows, but you don't NEED anything "more" than what you're doing now. You probably, however, will find that you respond different to different variations as you try new things.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:09 PM   #3
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I believe this is one of the concepts in weightlifting that is overblown at best and complete bs at the worse.

I think everyone should train rows and everyone should train a vertical pulling motion (chins, pull ups, name your variant). Doing so will make your back thicker. While IMO you can't make your back wider, you can make the lats flare, and doing rows and vertical pulling will both contribute to this development.

You say you have never trained both types of motions, yet you are doing them both in your routine. So you are training them both. Continue to do so. Focus on progression. And don't sweat the small stuff.

Just one man's opinion.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:26 PM   #4
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I don't train much for back width, and barely fit through a door unless I turn sideways. I credit this to deadlifts, 1 arm rowing, and heavy overhead pressing. Pressing hits my lats very hard, and so do deadlifts. So do rows for that matter, my lats are at least as sore after those as any other part of my back. Even shrugs train the lats.

The back is a mass of muscle, and while certain movements may isolate portions a little more than others, its hard to train any one part heavily without the rest getting involved. The best reason I can see to train a pull-up or pull-down is to get more stability on overhead pressing.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:32 PM   #5
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Even if you follow the words of, say, Dante Trudel, I believe what you're doing already covers width and thickness anyway. Rows and deadlifts for thickness, chins for width. Grip wasn't mentioned, last I looked.

Besides, there's no way DB rows won't hit your lats, etc., etc.


edit: Also, following on from what bruteforce said just above this post, I've matched pullups/chins to OHP for a while now, because they seem to go together well, and also, for maintaining shoulder health (pressing and pulling along the vertical, as well as the horizontal).
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:16 PM   #6
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What you're doing is fine. Thickness comes from the development of a variety of the muscles. You can't simply train for thickness in any body part. You seem to have your bases covered so long as you're doing them correctly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LindenGarcia18 View Post
When it comes to the back, judging by what I've been reading, there appear to be two different types of exercises.

Ones that are suited to back width, and ones for back thickness.
For example, dumbbell/barbell rows are refereed to in the bodybuilding world a back thickness exercises, while pull ups and lat pull downs with a wider grip are considered width builders.

I was wondering how much truth there is to this, and if it's necessary to train for both.
I never have, and I assume the answer to that question might depend on experience level.
The back exercises I do, are dead lift, weighted chins, and barbell/dumbbell rows.

Thanks.

- Linden
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:50 PM   #7
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It depends on what you are trying to achieve I for one train for a balance look to my back
so here is my current back routine:
T-Bar rows
Prone dumbbell rows
Wide grip chin-up/Close grip pull downs( Alternate weekly)
Straight arm pull downs
Seated cable rows
like I said I like the balance look of width and Thickness
I do rack pulls on my hamstring day and alternate reverse hyper or pull thoughs
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice.

The general consensus then is that what I'm doing is fine.
It's been interesting to know other peoples opinions on this.

Never thought about OHP in that way, either.


- L
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindenGarcia18 View Post
Thanks for the advice.

The general consensus then is that what I'm doing is fine.
It's been interesting to know other peoples opinions on this.

Never thought about OHP in that way, either.


- L
Anytime
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:20 PM   #10
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My back has always been wide, and relatively narrow. But seated rows and dead stop deadlifts truly changed that and built the thickness
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