Lat Width vs. Back Strength

Here’s one you probably won’t hear every day. Basically, I want to increase my back strength to catch up with my chest [bench press] strength, but I don’t want to increase my lat width in the process. I’m currently a 44 (suit jacket size) at 5’9" and by my sense of aesthetics this is plenty wide for my height. My physique goals are concentrated around adding arm and thigh mass right now, not torso mass. Aside from keeping my reps low and the weight high, are there any other tips anyone can think of? Particular grips/exercises to avoid?


If you want to improve strength, but not size (width), try concentrating on the wide grip horizontal rowing movements. Even if you do gain size, it shouldn’t translate into width. Stay away form narrow grip rows, chin and dumbell rows as they tend to activate the most muscle fibers and elicit growth.

I did and 8 sets of 3 protocol (using 3RM) that put 10-20 lbs on my bench 1RM). Try 8X3 bent over wide grip rows. Once youcan do a full 8 sets of 3, increase the weight.

Bent over dumbell rows using the same grip you use in the bench, your palms facing your feet, bring the weight to your delts and hold there. You have to use a really bent over stance where your torso is parallel to the ground in order to totally isolate the muscles. This will not only increase your strength but also your thickness. Another excersice you can add for your purpose is rear deltoid pull backs. You can either do these in the smae bent over manner with a lot less weight or use a pulley and remeber to bend your torso real low. laters pk