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  • Simple choices

    Hi BBM team I have a question on grip / bar and alternatives to similar exercises and I’m sure it really does not matter and I’m sure it’s all just personal preference but I’d like to know your choices and everyone else feel free to join in.

    barbell curl or dumbbell curl?

    chin up or pull up?

    barbell row or dumbbell row?

    tricep press down straight bar, rope attachment or v bar attachment?

    low row with lat pulldown attachment or v attachment?

    dips or push ups?

    stiff leg deadlift or RDL?

    front squat or high bar squat?

    Pendley row or barbell row?

    lying tricep ext with E-Z bar or dumbbells

    I also know there’s place in a program for all these alternatives just want to know your favourites and others favourites

  • #2
    As you suspected, I have no "default" preferences between any of these. I'll move this to the unmoderated section and let others chime in.
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      Surely this is very individual, best is to try them all yourself.

      Comment


      • #4
        Some of these are tools for slightly jobs. Chin ups hit the biceps more, pull ups hit the upper back harder (depending on your grip width). Some of them, I don't know: triceps press down with rope or bar? Pick your favourite.

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        • #5
          My thoughts, YMMV:

          barbell curl or dumbbell curl?
          Barbell allows for more incremental loading vs DB. However, the bicep is largely responsible for rotating your wrist, and is loaded differently at different angles that may be desirable, yet inaccessible with a barbell. E-Z bar can give you some of both worlds. There's a reason why it was invented. Also, DON'T be the &@#$ who curls in the power rack.

          chin up or pull up?
          See @ropable's response

          barbell row or dumbbell row?
          I've already covered BBvsDB loading increments, but also, the BB row has more transference to the DL, which is usually prized among powerlifting communities which is where the roots of this community come from. This is because BB row requires you stabilize the lift with your lower back. That said I fucking hate BB rows and refuse to do them for that very reason. I've DB rowed 120lb for 20 reps on each arm, but when I do a set of 8 BB rows at 185, I'm sloppy as hell because I don't have those 3 points of contact stabilizing my upper body. When I spend time doing rows I want my lats to feel torched, not maximize lower back transference to DL. Also, I count the heavier weights for more reps on DB rows as grip work for my DL.

          tricep press down straight bar, rope attachment or v bar attachment?
          Why limit yourself to only 1? Have fun! try em all! Seriously, that's one of the things I like best about tri(and bicep) isolation moves is mixing it up.

          low row with lat pulldown attachment or v attachment?
          Meh, no opinion

          dips or push ups?
          Having done a metric fuckton of push ups in the Army, I'll say that if you are benching, and have dip bars available, do the dips. Quoting Andy Baker:
          Dips are unique because they put the shoulder joint in an extreme position of extension. This targets the outer head of the tricep the best. The outer head is the most visible head of the tricep from an aesthetic point of view, but it’s often described as the “lazy head” in power lifting because it’s believed to contribute the least to the Bench Press.
          They also hammer the tri's

          stiff leg deadlift or RDL?
          Easy. I refer you to the untamed Alan Thrall
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYEVqa4C0yg

          front squat or high bar squat?
          Meh, Have you done both? Assuming you primarily low bar, and don't want to try high bar as a primary movement, if you want to do a variant that puts more emphasis on the quads, why go halfway and do high bar? Unless of course you are like me and are uncoached and find the front squat rack to be untenable I guess.

          Pendley row or barbell row?
          No opinion, see BB row vs DB row for why.

          lying tricep ext with E-Z bar or dumbbells
          Find your own preference
          Forum topics and other links I've found useful

          Comment


          • #6
            As always, I'm going to recommend Zercher squats for people who (like me) suck at front squats, but want a squat that targets quads and upper back.

            They don't hurt if you pad the bar. And they require no particular shoulder/wrist flexibility, or even coaching. Dirt-simple lift to learn.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cwd View Post
              As always, I'm going to recommend Zercher squats for people who (like me) suck at front squats, but want a squat that targets quads and upper back.

              They don't hurt if you pad the bar. And they require no particular shoulder/wrist flexibility, or even coaching. Dirt-simple lift to learn.
              See, this is why I thought the OP’s list of questions with answers that can be boiled down to “it’s a matter of preference” was still a worthwhile conversation starter.

              When I started doing RDLs as my supplemental pull, I wanted to do a more quad dominant squat variant too but even 135# made my anterior deltoids hurt for 3 days when using the crossed arm rack for front squats. So I was using the Safe-T bar as an alternative. Zercher never even occurred to me.
              Forum topics and other links I've found useful

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh, and I was introduced to the concept of Zercher squats with an old SS forum discussion titled “Race to 405 Zercher squat” that devolved into an argument on if it was a valid builder of strength or only good as a display of strength.

                The OP got in a tissy with

                Sean Herbison and told him he can’t have a valid opinion since he’d never even done one, to which Sean responded by posting this, most epic gym mic drop

                https://youtu.be/fWggYlGyBq4
                Forum topics and other links I've found useful

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't think that any of the listed exercises are inherently 'better' than the other; however I'll attempt to give my insight (current preferences)

                  1.reverse grip easy bar curl- feels great.
                  2. Chin up- unless ur purposefully trying to stay away from biceps.
                  3. dumbbell row- excellent for grip.
                  4. ezbar pushdown- good for overload
                  5. tie..lat bar better for rear delts. v bar better for lower back
                  6. push ups better for warm up/ calisthenics- dips better for working sets (in my opinion)
                  7. Whichever one you recover better from.
                  8. whichever feels more natural.
                  9. I cant believe im saying this but....p row.
                  10. I do not like to lay down when training triceps at all. I either stand or do a seated behind the head dumbbell extension.

                  Comment


                  • cwd
                    cwd commented
                    Editing a comment
                    re: pushup vs dip, I like both.
                    I do offset pushups (not-quite-one-arm pushups) instead so I can get to RPE 9 in 10 reps instead of 20. I'm hoping this will keep me from regressing on bench while I'm focusing on OHP this block.
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