Update and question on sleeping right lat

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KenDowns
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Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by KenDowns » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:48 pm

Recently I asked about what seemed to be a "sleeping" right lat, and was advised to do various pulldown variations to try to wake it up.

To make a long story short, I found the only way that I could get the mind-muscle connection was using an underhand grip, and in particular the suggestion for straight arm pulldown failed completely because my tricep was wearing out so fast trying to keep the arm straight.

So I did some iso triceps tests and found for a pulley triceps extension my right is only about 85% of my left. I could do 17 reps on the right side before I had to stop because of a horrific burn, but I got to 20 on the left with no significant burn but a failure of strength.

So I figure it's probably as simple as doing extra sets of some kind of tricep move supersetted with the underhand pulldowns I'm already doing.

Any other ideas or suggestions?

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Re: Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by robertscott » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:47 am

you can have a very slight bend in your arm doing the pulldowns. That's what I do and I feel it's more elbow friendly and doesn't fatigue the triceps.

Don't give up on the pre-exhaust, but remember it's not about moving the weight, it's about feeling the rep.

Serious question: can you flex your lats? Try it, put your hands on your hips and try and do a lat spread pose. I'll be dollars to doughnuts you can't do it very well. That's bad. Practise really flexing and squeezing your lats, then when you do the pulldowns, at the bottom of the rep squeeze your lat like when you're flexing. This is massively important.

you shouldn't be using much weight for the pre-exhausting, shoot for sets of like 15 or so, with a 2 second squeeze and 3 second negative.

you'll get it, just takes practice. Lots of people have trouble feeling their lats.

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Re: Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by KenDowns » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:03 am

robertscott wrote:you can have a very slight bend in your arm doing the pulldowns. That's what I do and I feel it's more elbow friendly and doesn't fatigue the triceps.

Don't give up on the pre-exhaust, but remember it's not about moving the weight, it's about feeling the rep.
Not to worry I haven't given up.
robertscott wrote:Serious question: can you flex your lats? Try it, put your hands on your hips and try and do a lat spread pose. I'll be dollars to doughnuts you can't do it very well. That's bad. Practise really flexing and squeezing your lats, then when you do the pulldowns, at the bottom of the rep squeeze your lat like when you're flexing. This is massively important.
I can't really do this. If I lift my arms up a bit and crouch down, like Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, then I can feel them.

My trainer once asked me to flare my lats and I did. He said, "no flare your lats." I said, "Um, I am." he said, "uh...."
robertscott wrote:you shouldn't be using much weight for the pre-exhausting, shoot for sets of like 15 or so, with a 2 second squeeze and 3 second negative.
Right, I'm using about 20# and up to 30, but nothing that would cause me to grit my teeth and lose the mind-muscle connection.

But I'm not doing this as a pre-exhaust for anything. I do it on off-days. Is there something I'm missing here?

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Re: Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by robertscott » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:51 am

KenDowns wrote:
robertscott wrote:you can have a very slight bend in your arm doing the pulldowns. That's what I do and I feel it's more elbow friendly and doesn't fatigue the triceps.

Don't give up on the pre-exhaust, but remember it's not about moving the weight, it's about feeling the rep.
Not to worry I haven't given up.
robertscott wrote:Serious question: can you flex your lats? Try it, put your hands on your hips and try and do a lat spread pose. I'll be dollars to doughnuts you can't do it very well. That's bad. Practise really flexing and squeezing your lats, then when you do the pulldowns, at the bottom of the rep squeeze your lat like when you're flexing. This is massively important.
I can't really do this. If I lift my arms up a bit and crouch down, like Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, then I can feel them.

My trainer once asked me to flare my lats and I did. He said, "no flare your lats." I said, "Um, I am." he said, "uh...."
robertscott wrote:you shouldn't be using much weight for the pre-exhausting, shoot for sets of like 15 or so, with a 2 second squeeze and 3 second negative.
Right, I'm using about 20# and up to 30, but nothing that would cause me to grit my teeth and lose the mind-muscle connection.

But I'm not doing this as a pre-exhaust for anything. I do it on off-days. Is there something I'm missing here?
try touching your lats when you flex them, that'll help. Practice practice practice.

do your pre-exhausting first in a workout, then do a whole bunch of sets of pulldowns. That's right, I said pulldowns, not pull ups. Really squeeze the reps when you pre-exhaust, and REALLY squeeze the reps on your pulldowns. Get a good stretch at the start of every rep and pause in the contracted position too. Take all your sets to failure, but don't lose form. You WILL feel your lats after this.

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Re: Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by KenDowns » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:36 am

robertscott wrote:do your pre-exhausting first in a workout, then do a whole bunch of sets of pulldowns. That's right, I said pulldowns, not pull ups. Really squeeze the reps when you pre-exhaust, and REALLY squeeze the reps on your pulldowns. Get a good stretch at the start of every rep and pause in the contracted position too. Take all your sets to failure, but don't lose form. You WILL feel your lats after this.
OK got it. I will try the pre-exhaust then pulldown tomorrow on press day.

By coincidence, after my first reply I went to the gym and today was my first day since November resuming with my trainer. I had mentioned this issue of lats to him. Probably not a coincidence but I tend to let the bar drift forward on deadlifts and today we did a lot of reps with low weight pulling very hard to keep the bar against my shins. I really really felt the lats on that.

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Re: Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by robertscott » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:36 pm

a cue I find that really helps is to think about pulling your elbows in, not your hands. Just think of your hands as hooks that attach to the bar, the movement is all elbows

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Re: Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by KenDowns » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:02 pm

OK Bob I gave it a shot. I'm not ready to shout Eureka but I definitely got something.

First did right arm only, with left fingers poking right lat, as best as I could tell. 20 pounds. Before pulling I would tense the lat then pull downward. Two sets of 15.

Then I went to a very low 55 pounds and did 3 sets of 20. Got extremely tough at the end of each set. Each time I'd tense then pull. After awhile I remembered to stay tense on the eccentric as well lol.

After each of these sets I would feel a sensation in the lats similar to after a set of farmers walks or deadlifts. That was a bit of a light bulb right there, noticing the feeling was the same.

So I will keep this up. If the sensation is what they talk about when they say "the pump" then suddenly I understand bodybuilders a little better :smile:

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Re: Update and question on sleeping right lat

Post by robertscott » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:58 am

no, the sensation is what they call the Mind Muscle Connection. Very important for bodybuilding.

The pump is when you've worked a bodypart and it gets all swollen up and awesome looking.

Keep at it Ken! Definitely sounds like you're getting it. Really squeeze at the bottom of each reps, for 2 seconds at least

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