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I have built a routine which main goal is hypertrophy, and goes with the following strategy:

large muscles groups (back, legs, chest)
are trained with 3-4 X 8 supersets, usually isolation + compound
I.E.: chest is trained with 8 cable flys + 8 barbell bench presses back to back

small muscle groups (arms, shoulders)
are trained in 3x8 sets, intervals, with the last set usually being an intensive dropset
I.E.: biceps are trained with 3x8 inclined dumbbell curls, third set drops until exhaustion

I have seen substantial size gains utilizing this protocol and I would like to re-use the template's structure in future, when I will bulk again, but with different exercises.

I seem to fall short on alternatives to isolate lats muscles for pre-fatiguing purposes: so far I have used

straight arms pulldowns
lat horizontal shrugs

Any other good options to isolate lats so that they don't get much help from other groups (I.E. biceps)?

The more options, the better. Many thanks.

Dario

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4 Answers 4

Front Lever progressions have really help me to really isolate my lats and make them grow.

My progressions initially was to be able to hang on to a pull-up bar for at least a minute without feeling too much muscle fatigue (which i had a lot before). Then I'd start with tucked front levers, progress to straddle front levers, then single leg front levers and finally front levers.

Straight arms pulldowns are in a way similar to doing front levers, but personally having to fight gravity seems to give me better results in my lats and serratus. Having to lock out the elbows takes the biceps out of the equation.

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I know you want to avoid biceps, but I would suggest pull-ups/chin-ups, specifically wide grip the way Arnold did them.

I go as wide as I can and stare straight up at the ceiling with my back arched as much as possible. I do as many as I can. I always get a serious pump in my lats after I do this.

I have noticed that the wider I go, the less I use my biceps and the more I use my back.

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Chest supported rows are my favorite upper back exercise. They don't isolate your lats, but I've never been able to "isolate" the lat muscle effectively. They do a good job of keeping you from cheating the lift, which is important.

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