For those who care about buffness

Posts tagged “lats

Gym routine

I’ve recently started going to the gym every lunch break. It makes working full time a lot more bearable. So I got Zaki to put together a short gym routine for me. My goal was (and still is) to work on my upper body strength as that is what I need most for my straps training. Zaki gave me five exercises working mostly my delts, lats and pecs. At this stage I’m only using the machines for the following exercises:
Shoulder press
Lateral raises
Chest press
Pull down (wide grip)
Seated row

To that I’ve added the arm extension, which works the triceps. Just for fun. As I’m working for strength I’m only doing 5 reps for 3 sets but I’m trying to go really heavy. My starting weights were:

Shoulder press 35
Lateral raises 17.5
Chest press 40
Pull down 50
Seated row 55
Arm extension 25

After a month on this routine, doing it most days apart from Christmas and New Years and not on weekends, I’ve made quite decent progress. Generally, it’s not recommended to train the same exercises every day but I ignored that. I did some other training namely handstands and straps training as well, sometimes on the same days and sometimes at the weekends. Today is the end of the first month and my weights were as follows:

Shoulder press 45
Lateral raises 27.5
Chest press 40
Pull down 80
Seated row 85
Arm extension 50

I find it most useful to look at the percentage increase from the starting weights to determine my progress. These are as follows:

Shoulder press 28%
Lateral raises 57%
Chest press 25%
Pull down 60%
Seated row 54%
Arm extension 100%

I’m really happy with most of those but the shoulder press and the chest press is lagging behind. The exercise might need tweaking a little to improve those areas.

lats exercises

As i was told my lats are too small in my last straps session, i guess it’s time to punish these babies!

so  what exercises are good for lats, and furthermore, what exercises can you do without having to go to the gym…

well the very first thing that comes to mind is pull ups. if you dont have a pull up bar then get the hell off my blog because quite frankly, you missed the buffness train. it costs £10 at Argos, no excuses!

pulls of any kind are good for lats, but i found the narrow ones target them more than wide ones which focus more on upper shoulder muscles like the teres.

here’s an old video i made:

as for the grip, it’s good to experiment to find out which targets your muscles best and challenges you more. once you’re comfortable w doing 3 x 10 reps (if you’re looking for volume like me, not to failure), then you can add weights. no need for any kit there tho a belt is nice and plush. a simple backpack will do, load it up and feel the burn.

before i get on to using a little more equipment, i found this exercise online:

if you skip to 2’20 you can see he is doing a version of the barbell ab roll that doesnt actually involve a barbell but merely a towel. i will try this one and report. generally this exercise is used for flexors/abs and core more generally, so am curious to see how it involves lats. (tho i guess lats are synergists in this move always, but perhaps the slightly different angle and fact that you have to press down on the floor might help)

so what next then?

– barbell pullovers: all you need for this is a loaded barbell and a (hopefully solid) coffee table or similar that can act as a bench. the key thing is to work w arms as straight as possible, tho a slight bend in the elbow is acceptable, depending on shoulder flexibility you will be able to go lower.
to give you an idea until i get my own video up here:

this can be done w bent elbows too, tho i found my triceps engaged more w bent arm, and thus the lats weren’t as isolated.

– no name band lateral pulldown of sorts (it hasn’t got a name yet): an interesting exercise was suggested to me: using the chinup bar, swing a theraband over, kneel under the bar, grab each end of the band w arms extended straight over head, and pull down to your sides, keeping arms in line w the body in the frontal plane.
i will upload a video of this move tonight. however, i found that my teres muscles engaged a lot more than my lats while i did that exercise, to the point where i am not even sure that the lats engage at all! so i’d say, try it out but check what muscles you are working.

so then, that’s a couple of things to try out without having to pay the dreaded gym membership.

but. the gym does bring a couple of exercises that are fun and give a bit of variety:

– cable straight arm pulldowns:

self explanatory really. to make sure the lats are as isolated as possible, try to keep correct form the whole time. a similar exercise w bent arms is used for triceps isolation so keep these arms straight!

– cable pulldown:

there again form is important do not arch and lower the bar til it touches your chest. i find it hits harder if i dont let my arms go back to 100% full extension and keep everything under tension throughout the whole set. narrow grip can be used too, i find wider is harder!

that’s it for now. just a few lat basics to keep us going. i will update when i think of more exercises.