Back not growing... HELP!!!

  • AWBL

    Posts: 4

    Sep 20, 2011 7:59 AM GMT
    I've been training for a little over a year now and i realize that my back is kinda... hmm how to I put it.. flat!!!... I want to add some thickness to it but the main exercises that are said to put on mass to your back just ain't working.

    I do deadlifts, close grip rows, one arm DB rows and I go heavy too - nothing seems to be working - is there something I'm not doing right?

    Any help would be much appreciated - thanks guys!!
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Sep 21, 2011 10:08 PM GMT
    Perhaps you are overtraining, i.e., too many exercises? If you do too much work, recovery and rebuilding is hard. What about your food intake? That's often a part of the problem if it isn't enough to support your efforts.
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    Sep 21, 2011 10:28 PM GMT
    for me the best exercise for back growth is pull ups. I used to use bodyweight but now I add about 25# around my waist. Progress has been pretty fast and my lats are wide.
    If youre making a distinction between width and thickness....hmmm...Id say close grip seated rows hands neutral-grip (palms facing each other). Other one I love for mass is T-bar row...many gyms dont have a dedicated machine for that (mine doesnt) so you hafta wedge an olympic bar in a corner and add plates. Keep ur back straight, bent about 45 degress. Lotta guys omit this move, and they shouldn't, it's a great old-school mass-builder.
  • Neferti

    Posts: 55

    Sep 23, 2011 11:23 AM GMT
    I would look up videos by Dorian Yates on Youtube demonstrating back training. He has some unique twists that really make the normal exercises more effective. There are some interviews with Dorian around the net as well that he explains how he has people train their backs for better results.
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    Sep 23, 2011 1:56 PM GMT
    Not being familiar with your whole routine, I can't offer specific criticism, but as a general rule just make sure you have variety and that you cycle off exercises with enough frequency. The body somewhat quickly adapts and stops growing (dammit), so the best thing to do is keep it guessing by switching out exercises, intensities, volumes, and so forth regularly.

    Also a variety in the mechanism of the exercise has helped me put on size. Switching between bodyweight, freeweight, machine, plate assisted, bands, etc..
  • AWBL

    Posts: 4

    Oct 30, 2011 7:15 AM GMT
    Thanks for the inputs guys, appreciate it. As far as my back routine goes:

    Pull ups - 8 to 12 reps X 4 sets (weighted)
    Deadlifts - 6 - 8 reps X 3 sets
    Bent over BB rows, underhand grip - 8 - 12 reps X 3 sets
    Cable rows - 8 - 12 reps X 3 reps

    I try to go heavy in all exercises however not compromising form,especially the first two exercises. For pull ups, I feel even the sightly variation in form takes the stress away from the lats. I have recently incorporated negatives into my pull ups if I can't make it to 12. On top of that I alternate pull ups with chins every other week.

    I also tried both BB rows both supinated and underhand grips, the underhand grip seems to work for me better as I can feel the contraction throughout the entire lats versus supinated grip.

    Let me know what you guys think of this routine, am I missing something?

    Thanks guys!!!
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Oct 30, 2011 7:44 AM GMT
    When you say heavy for deadlifts, what does that mean? How much?

    Maybe try 5x5 for a few weeks. I'd suggest that on top of the rest of the advice above, you could just not be doing enough with deadlifts.

    When I do them I'm ready to drop after. And I need about two minutes of rest between sets to recover.

    Deadlifts (and squats) get the best hormonal response from your body and will help a lot with everything else.
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    Oct 30, 2011 7:07 PM GMT
    Try doing pull-ups more often.I do them as a warm-up exercise before I start my upper body workouts. So yeah, that's like 3 times per week for me. Don't use weights. Just use your own body weight, and focus on form.
  • melomuscle

    Posts: 1

    Oct 31, 2011 2:07 AM GMT
    Hi:
    If you want to add size and thickness to your back you have certainly chosen the right exercises to do so: From your pics you look like it should be easy for you to add size IF you eat the right diet, rest appropriately, and do those exercises in the correct ways:

    Regarding diet: What do you eat and how often? If you are not eating properly none of those exercises will have much of an effect on your back.

    Regarding rest: How often per week do you train back and when in relation to your back workouts do you work other body parts?

    Regarding how you do the exercises - do you do "perfect reps", squeezing at peak contraction and do you vary your reps between 6 to 12 reps at a time? Do you keep a diary of the reps and poundages you do from week to week and do you try to beat your last performance each time you train? How often do you change up you back workouts? One should change every 6 weeks or so to keep growing or to start growing if your strength has not been increasing bit by bit every week.

    One site member suggested you watch Dorian Yates videos of back training: I fully agree with him - they are excellent, Yates will show you exactly how to do perfect reps. You can find them on http://www.bodybuilding.com

    Cheers
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    Oct 31, 2011 2:11 AM GMT
    AWBL saidThanks for the inputs guys, appreciate it. As far as my back routine goes:

    Pull ups - 8 to 12 reps X 4 sets (weighted)
    Deadlifts - 6 - 8 reps X 3 sets
    Bent over BB rows, underhand grip - 8 - 12 reps X 3 sets
    Cable rows - 8 - 12 reps X 3 reps

    I try to go heavy in all exercises however not compromising form,especially the first two exercises. For pull ups, I feel even the sightly variation in form takes the stress away from the lats. I have recently incorporated negatives into my pull ups if I can't make it to 12. On top of that I alternate pull ups with chins every other week.

    I also tried both BB rows both supinated and underhand grips, the underhand grip seems to work for me better as I can feel the contraction throughout the entire lats versus supinated grip.

    Let me know what you guys think of this routine, am I missing something?

    Thanks guys!!!


    I'm confused by this post. Is this your current routine, or is this what you always do? Do you only switch out pull-ups and chin-ups? As Larkin already wisely pointed out, you need to vary your routine to challenge your muscles to grow.
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    Oct 31, 2011 2:24 AM GMT
    Nothin packs width like pullups. nothing packs thickness like bent over rows. Make sure you bend over to do bent over rows. Otherwise you're doing shrugs.
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    Oct 31, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
    Dips help. They are so underrated but train a number of muscle groups from arm, chest, shoulders, and back.
  • pelotudo87

    Posts: 225

    Oct 31, 2011 2:55 AM GMT
    Everything that everyone has already said here:

    I don't feel like anything helped me as much as weighted pullups have. Just make sure not to use momentum / legs to kick yourself up so that you keep your lats working.

    Another tip that has worked for me is that for back exercises, imagine pulling with your elbows and not your hands.

    For instance, when doing rows, imagine that there is a hook around your elbows pulling your arm back. If you pull backwards from the elbow, you will engage more lats than arm if you pull with your hand as is most people's instinct.

    But once again, like everyone else has already said: the best training program in the world won't overcome a bad diet.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 31, 2011 6:31 AM GMT
    Pull up and dips!! How many can you do AWBL????