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namtrag
01-21-2007, 10:26 AM
I pm'ed a forum member for some honest feedback on my physique. One thing he said was my back had good width but lacked thickness. What can I do for thickness? I have been doing bentover rows, and one arm db rows, and neutral grip pullups. I think the rows help with width, but what can I do to help with thickness?

AS this will also help improve my chest measurement, anything I learn will be a great help.

RedIron392
01-21-2007, 10:32 AM
Deads and rackpulls.

Defiant1
01-21-2007, 10:38 AM
I pm'ed a forum member for some honest feedback on my physique. One thing he said was my back had good width but lacked thickness. What can I do for thickness? I have been doing bentover rows, and one arm db rows, and neutral grip pullups. I think the rows help with width, but what can I do to help with thickness?

AS this will also help improve my chest measurement, anything I learn will be a great help.

Hopefully without causing too much controversy or insulting anyone (impossible to do lately it seems), I would say you actually are balanced more towards THICKNESS. Many people with "endomorphic" tendencies are like this.

The fact that you are drawing your shoulders back in your pics I think takes away from this, but if you relaxed your shoulders more I think you would look "thicker".

This would also make sense given your exercise choice-every one of your exercises is a "thickness" exercise (Hammer chins develop the lower lats, which I believe are a component of thickness-to me, width is the flexibility of the scapulae combined with upper/outer lat/teres development ).

I don't know if that helps or hurts lol.

But...

to answer either question (what do YOU think?):

For width, I recommend people do wide grip chins, and do wide grip hangs on off days. You can also use pullovers across a bench with bent arms.

Thickness consists of several factors. It can be lat development (lower areas) and/or traps/rhomboids and erectors (which run all the way up your spine, not just the lower back).

Rows are the go to exercise for this. Since you seem to have a "thick" rib cage, you may want to do rows on a t-bar machine that allows you to bring the elbows back. Don't use too heavy a weight or you will shorten the range of motion.

You may want to add some deadlifts for the erectors and traps.

NuclearArms
01-21-2007, 10:55 AM
I think you also have to consider your goals. Its great to have a comment like those received, but are you competing any time soon? If not, does it provide much added value? If your training program is providing 'you' with the results YOU want, and you are making overall improvement, don;t be too concerned. If you had a tremendous mismatch in strength improvement from back to say legs (percentage wise), then consider some changes. And just for the fun, you may want to add some deads into your program so you are covering the 'BIG THREE' lifts.

namtrag
01-21-2007, 11:15 AM
Nucleararms-Yes, I think I will just keep lifting and getting stronger, while losing fat, that's my goal right now. I do want to compete but it's a log way off. Deads are a great idea, just have to start doing em, hoping someone in the gym can help me with my technique

I am with you defiant1, I think I am thicker than I am wide, so I don't know that I quite agree with that particular part of the critique. I do agree that I need a lot of fat loss and muscle development all over before I am ready to compete.

I just have to remember too that I just really started lifting hard about 4 months ago, so I wll just keep doing the basics. I can't expect to compete quickly, I need to be patiemt.

I hope that I am truly a "diamond in the rough" as a couple of people have told me!

Defiant1
01-21-2007, 12:10 PM
I am with you defiant1, I think I am thicker than I am wide, so I don't know that I quite agree with that particular part of the critique. I do agree that I need a lot of fat loss and muscle development all over before I am ready to compete.

I just have to remember too that I just really started lifting hard about 4 months ago, so I wll just keep doing the basics. I can't expect to compete quickly, I need to be patiemt.




It doesn't hurt to evaluate yourself critically early on, so you are doing nothing wrong.

In terms of "basics", you can always train for YOU within the guidelines of doing the basics.

Example (which, by the way, you seem to have done anyway, using hammer chins and db rows) "stocky" types or those with endomorphic elements often get best results from exercises with a fuller range of motion.

So, your "basic" presses might by DBs instead of BBs, and (as you've done) your back exercises would go toward close grip and longer range of motion.

justtryn
01-21-2007, 01:27 PM
Mike, from your pics, I would have to say you are leaning more towards thickness... but maybe the person you pm'd saw something else. With the DC training I'm doing, you split the back exercises into two categories - back width and back thickness. Here's what I currently do for each, rotated through three separate routines.

Back Width:
Medium Grip Cable Pulldowns (with wedding ring finger on the "bend" of the bar)
Close Grip Cable Pulldowns (using an "A" frame handle)
Rack Chins (on a Smith Machine.... These are an AWESOME back width exercise, and can be done with added weight as you progress)

Another exercise that I'll probably mix in for width are pullups as I'm close to the max on the cable machine at my gym. (I define pullups as holding on the the bar with my hands facing away from my face)

For Thickness:
T-Bar Rows
Machine Rows
Rack Deads

Could also do bent bb rows, or bent Smith Rows, low rows, one arm rows (although I don't think, at least for me, that these are as effective as some of the other thickness movements.)

Ironized
01-21-2007, 03:09 PM
The back tends to look thicker as your body fat goes down. The closer you get to your goals the more lumps and bumps you are going to see thus making it look thicker. It takes a lot of hard work to build a great back, and by the sound of it, you got it in you.

OZBB
01-21-2007, 07:19 PM
I have the same issue, my back is very flat, or was..... I've been working on putting some thickness on my back and its finally starting to appear, but its a slow process. The exercises I've been using for thickness tend toward the rowing movements, seated row, bentover BB row to the lower abdomen, single arm rows and deadlifts for an overall back workout.....but there is one that I've been doing which I use to hit the Rhomboids (mid back) specifically..... take an incline bench set it to about 45degrees.... lie face forward, so your chest is level with the top of the incline (or slightly overlaps), reach down and grab a barbell (weight of your choice) with a medium width overhand grip, and row upward keeping the bar inline with your chest, keep the elbows pointing up to the ceiling........this puts the emphasis on the section between your shoulder blades... its the only exercise I know that hits that area.....there maybe others, but I dont know them.

and Ironized commented above that the leaner you get the thicker your back gets, or appears to be.....I totally agree, as I've leaned down I've developed a nice tight curve to my lower back area which emphasises the thickness further up.....it used to be like an ironing board from my tail to shoulders....so keep at it, it'll come with time and persistence.

hope this helps...

OZBB

Bob45
01-21-2007, 07:26 PM
You've been working out 4 months Mike. You have a trainer that is good. Your making all kinds of progress already. Don't get too picky with all the parts yet. Train hard and eat right like you are. Everything will come eventually. It takes years to build everything.

OZBB
01-21-2007, 08:37 PM
may I add that I've been at this BB thing for just over 2 years and have really only noticed the thickness in my back in the last few months......it takes that long !!!


OZBB

wide lats
01-22-2007, 03:31 AM
Your making all kinds of progress already. Don't get too picky with all the parts yet. Train hard and eat right like you are. Everything will come eventually. It takes years to build everything.

Yes. If your after thickness just T-bar row and dumbell row and barbell row, hard and heavy is best to begin with.

IR45N
01-23-2007, 05:13 AM
Fraid I'm also slipping into the impatient mode but like Bob45 says; give it time & keep plugging at it. The bad thing is, summer is months away but in lifting reality, the good thing is, summer is months away! Plenty of time for plenty of sets 'n reps.

SamJorgensen91
01-05-2012, 07:35 PM
I pm'ed a forum member for some honest feedback on my physique. One thing he said was my back had good width but lacked thickness. What can I do for thickness? I have been doing bentover rows, and one arm db rows, and neutral grip pullups. I think the rows help with width, but what can I do to help with thickness?

AS this will also help improve my chest measurement, anything I learn will be a great help.

Your back looks proportionately thick to me but hey, I guess you can show 10 people the same thing and get 10 different opinions. If youre really dead set though on increasing thickness, any type of rowing movements is going to add to the thickness of your back, while most of the pull ups and pull down stuff would add width. Thats not always the case but a lot of the rowing movements is going to add to your thickness.

Kraken
01-05-2012, 09:24 PM
I really think that thickness comes from just development over years of training. As long as your hitting the basics, (pull ups, deads, rows...) and hitting it hard and eating right, it just takes time.

JerryB
01-05-2012, 11:49 PM
My experience has been using rowing movements for developing back thickness. I keep the reps in the 6 to 8 rep range. I been using the Pendlay row which is executed by placing the barbell back to the floor between reps. I can go heavier than doing regular barbell rows.

http://stronglifts.com/how-to-perform-the-pendlay-row-with-correct-technique/

I think going heavy with any rowing moving is the key to adding thickness to the back. The back consist of a large group of muscles. I think you place more direct stress on all of the members of the muscle group with row than with pull-downs. The latissimus dorsi may be the prime mover in pull-downs, chins and pull-up therefore resulting is developing more width.

The only way to test these assumptions would be through an Electromyogram (EMG) study. Otherwise it may be just broscience.

Back muscles
http://jerrybruton.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/muscles-of-the-back.jpg