Thanks for all the help you have given me, Tom. I did the back workout today
I followed the back routine you had set for me, breaking for 2-3 minutes between sets and 2-3 minutes between exercises. The three sets of wide-grip pullups were very solid, I did two sets for 10 reps and the last set to fail on the ninth rep. This exercise posed some questions.
1) Would alternating sets based on priorities be a bad idea? Much of my experience with pullups have been neutral grip, I use to do 4x8(or failure usually) back in the summer when I had cut down to 185lbs. I was told that alternating between wide-grip overhand, close-grip underhand, and neutral grip was best for the development of a balanced back. Also the fact that my arms are weak(biceps mainly) would prioritizing underhand chinups some days be a good idea? Such as doing a set of chin-ups, then wide grip pullups, then the last set being neutral grip? Or to cater to the fatigue of my muscles, I could do wide-grip because they require the most energy and are the hardest, neutral grip comes next because they require less, and close grip underhand chins next because they require the least?
2) I noticed when doing pullups that I had a symmetrical issue in which my left lat was smaller than my right lat. This goes hand in hand with the fact that upper body-wise, most of my left muscles are smaller than my right, I am right dominance. For this reason I switched alot of exercises over to dumbbells near the beginning of Fall to iron out these issues, dumbbell rows, dumbbells curls, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell bench presses, I think I've had minor to little positive changes in symmetry by implementing this. Is there anything you would recommend or do you suggest I just focus on matching my arms strength for strength on each exercise and the problem should go away eventually.
3) This question goes for all of my back exercises today, I feel like my arms are actually fatiguing or tiring out way before my actual back is. Its really hard to localize where the actual fatigue originates because I've never really felt my back and chest just generally give out but on all occasions I have felt my arms unable to continue the movement despite my chest or back straining my arms to continue. For this reason I think my arms which are...right 14 1/2 - 14 3/4", left 14" - 14 1/4"(measured cold) strength-wise are the general downfall in alot of the lifts which focus on bigger muscle groups.
I have set some goals for myself on each lift of the routine. Here they are, not sure how realistic they are. Mind you I am on a bulk and I plan to be until mid-spring or so, to which I plan to cut for the summer.Dumbbell rows felt real nice, I did three sets of 10, 65-70-75, my general increase in weight with sets, using 65 as a warm and building to a top set of 75. Dumbbell rows felt really really nice, ofcourse my arms felt a good chunk of fatigue from the lift. I really want to get to where I can dumbbell row 95-100lbs for 10 reps at the same efficiency of my current workout. Next I was going to do barbell rows instead of T-bar rows because T-bar rows felt weird to me versus barbell rows which I was use to. But apparently I may have lost strength in barbell rows. I had overestimated my 2x10 at 185lbs which was the heaviest set of barbell rows that I usually did 6-8x back in mid-Fall at around 193-195lbs.
Actually barbell rows felt completely weird to me as if I had never done them. I just did 155lbs and 135lbs to get a grip on where exactly my strength was, but both weights didn't seem to spark a good response or stretch from my back. So I may need to really work on adding strength to all of my compound exercises, be it bb row or t-bar row in addition to squats and bench. Pulldowns went pretty solid as did seated rows in which I did 15 reps. I did pulldowns, close-grip underhand, and seated rows with the v-bar(close grip), not sure if you recommended me to do both exercises with the v-bar or wide-grip seated rows. I did two sets of t-bar rows at the end to get an ideal of which exercises overall felt better, t-bar rows vs. bb rows. T-bar rows ultimately won.
So if you could give me advice on my goals and if they are realistic enough to reach in that timeline(to mid-spring). I had pretty good success with the Bill Star 5x5 Madcow program when I ran it last Winter for nine weeks. But the strength didn't transfer well over to a much higher volume 3-day split with 5x8 set-rep scheme. But I figured that 20+ sets of 8-10 reps per muscle group is quite a bit too much to take on naturally and expect good results.Chest:
Bench Press 5/3/1: 205, 225, 255
Decline DB Press (2 sets of 5 reps) 85lbs
Incline DB Bench Press (3 Sets of 8-10 reps): 75-85-80
Pullups(3x15) and/or 3x10 Weighted Chins
T-Bar Rows(2x10): 4x45lb Plates
BB Rows(2x8-10): 205lbs
Squats 5/3/1: 255, 275, 315
Leg Press(2x10): 6x45lbs each side
No particular goal for db lunges because Im not sure what a good goal would be.
Parallel Dips(3x10): 90lb
BB Curls(3x5-8): 115lbs
Hammer Curls & Conc. Curls(2x8-10): 45lbs
Not sure a good goal for overhead extensions.
Loaded Plate Shoulder Press MachineHoping to be able to do 4x45lbs on both sides for 3x10(Can currently do 3)
Wouldn't mind being able to do 80lb dumbbell seated press or 155lb seated bb press.
45lb Lateral Raises
315lb shrugs/2x 100lb db shrugs
Another goal of mine would be 100lb db flat bench press which will probably only come in time for my arms and shoulders being able to support and stabilize the weight.
Thanks for all the help, Tom.