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  1. #1
    Registered User Tylamb's Avatar
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    Pull ups and Bent over rows: thickness or width?

    I keep reading conflicting things. For awhile, I had read some here and in Robert Kenndy's Encylopedia of bodybuilding that Pull ups are for lat width while bent over rows adds thickness, yet I read some people here now say the other way around.
    I would like to know what people think and if they could show explantions on how they would say example bent over rows add width.

    And before anyone says "do both", I do plan on using both after I finish starting strength. Right now, as I do SS, I am working on also getting to do one pull up as on my day for bench pressing. And before anyone says "Don't F with the program", Ripptoe clearly states in the second edition of Starting Strength book that pull ups are okay for assitence.

    Thanks. I like learning new things as I lift.
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  2. #2
    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    The people on here that reversed that, are stupid.
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    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    This thick vs. wide thing is very confusing. Muscles are roughly tubes right? So like a circle face? Does this mean thickening and widening exercises both change the shape of muscle fibers so that the face goes from circle to oval?

    If it were increasing uniformly, you'd think the tube would get both wider and thicker...
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    Registered User m3dude's Avatar
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    no, your thinking of the internet thats a series of tubes
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    This thick vs. wide thing is very confusing. Muscles are roughly tubes right? So like a circle face? Does this mean thickening and widening exercises both change the shape of muscle fibers so that the face goes from circle to oval?

    If it were increasing uniformly, you'd think the tube would get both wider and thicker...
    Muscle fibers do get both wider and thicker with hypertrophy, but large muscles like the lats have multiple attachment points so the angle of pull directly affects which portion of the muscle is emphasized.
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    Time to bleed!!! Mr. Tripeps's Avatar
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    The width gained from pull ups is mostly stretching the ligaments and muscles that attach the scapulae.
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    Johnny Rotten ThickAsABrick's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by m3dude View Post
    no, your thinking of the internet thats a series of tubes
    lol

    well played
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    User ZoranM's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tylamb View Post
    Ripptoe clearly states in the second edition of Starting Strength book that pull ups are okay for assitence.
    Really??
    That's impossible. You can't not mess with the program, and all of a sudden mess with the program. Even with pullups.
    bb.com, a place that turned Deadlift into a forearm isolation exercise

    and a place where 99% of 21 year olds have bad back and knees.
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    Registered User vincerich's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    This thick vs. wide thing is very confusing. Muscles are roughly tubes right? So like a circle face? Does this mean thickening and widening exercises both change the shape of muscle fibers so that the face goes from circle to oval?

    If it were increasing uniformly, you'd think the tube would get both wider and thicker...
    Originally Posted by m3dude View Post
    no, your thinking of the internet thats a series of tubes

    Excellent....
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  10. #10
    Registered User Tylamb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ZoranM View Post
    Really??
    That's impossible. You can't not mess with the program, and all of a sudden mess with the program. Even with pullups.
    In the second edition of the Starting strength book, he has a section in the book that has assitence exercises and why they are put in there. He says pull-ups purpose is to strengthen the Lats if the bench press is lagging. Some other assitence exercises he has listed includes back extensions, good mornings (these are to help with PC and Deadlift and says since it is not a main lift not to do less then 8 reps so as to not risk injury), roman chair sit ups, Romeanian deadlifts, bent over rows (surprised? he says okay as assitence. He does not want them replacing Power cleans. The only thing that can replace power cleans is power snatchs if you have wrist flexiability problems. He says the purpose of the Power clean and the power snatch is to build speed for the lifter, which is why I think he hates people using the Row to replace the clean.)


    I do not have the manuel at the moment since I am on vaction at the moment, but there are a few more in there.

    Anyways, thanks for the reponses everyone. I take it then that rows=thickness, Pull ups=widthness.


    Also, I think in the Starting Strength FAQ, someone should put up the list of assitence lifts authorized by the book only. Also, someone should put up the purpose of the Power Clean and Power Snatch and why Bent over rows are not okay replacements even if Glen Pedley says they are okay.
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  11. #11
    Registered User southpaww3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tylamb View Post
    In the second edition of the Starting strength book, he has a section in the book that has assitence exercises and why they are put in there. He says pull-ups purpose is to strengthen the Lats if the bench press is lagging. Some other assitence exercises he has listed includes back extensions, good mornings (these are to help with PC and Deadlift and says since it is not a main lift not to do less then 8 reps so as to not risk injury), roman chair sit ups, Romeanian deadlifts, bent over rows (surprised? he says okay as assitence. He does not want them replacing Power cleans. The only thing that can replace power cleans is power snatchs if you have wrist flexiability problems. He says the purpose of the Power clean and the power snatch is to build speed for the lifter, which is why I think he hates people using the Row to replace the clean.)


    I do not have the manuel at the moment since I am on vaction at the moment, but there are a few more in there.

    Anyways, thanks for the reponses everyone. I take it then that rows=thickness, Pull ups=widthness.


    Also, I think in the Starting Strength FAQ, someone should put up the list of assitence lifts authorized by the book only. Also, someone should put up the purpose of the Power Clean and Power Snatch and why Bent over rows are not okay replacements even if Glen Pedley says they are okay.

    i dont know man. i would still say that in my opinion rows are for the width and maybe even make your lats a seem a half inch lower (longer looking) and pullups with the wide grip can wprk more in the middle of your back and stretch your lats when your hanging. so if they are working more in the middle of the back how is it for width. the closer the grip on any lift will work father outside of the muscle...in my opinion.
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  12. #12
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by m3dude View Post
    no, your thinking of the internet thats a series of tubes
    I'm using that analogy since it's popular, but I'm quite sure that myofibrils were the first series of tubes.

    Originally Posted by Pheownix View Post
    Muscle fibers do get both wider and thicker with hypertrophy, but large muscles like the lats have multiple attachment points so the angle of pull directly affects which portion of the muscle is emphasized.
    Those attachment points go to different heights though, so there could be the upper/medial lats and the lower/lateral lats. I take it that so-called width is the lower lats and so-called thickness is the upper then? Meh. I want to break things.

    Originally Posted by Mr. Tripeps View Post
    The width gained from pull ups is mostly stretching the ligaments and muscles that attach the scapulae.
    Ligaments that attach the scapulae to where? The spine?
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  13. #13
    Time to bleed!!! Mr. Tripeps's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Ligaments that attach the scapulae to where? The spine?
    Sorry, i meant tendons.
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  14. #14
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Ohhhh...

    I still don't get this width thing... wouldn't the muscle belly of the lats also create width?
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