I'm doing SL5x5 and, for my without tonight, I swapped the normal Pendlay rows with the incline row machine. I was quite shocked at the weight difference. Normally, I'd be rowing around 115 but with the machine I could only manage about 70 (for the same sets/reps). But I wasn't just arbitrarily playing with the program, I decided to try the machine because I felt I had been cheating on the bb rows by using my lower back and glutes. To try to determine if I had been cheating, I wanted to see how my bb row compared to a roughly equivalent isolation exercise. My logic being that the machine should use every muscle that should be used in bb rows and limit me to only those. Therefore, if I wasn't cheating and all the same muscles are used, then the weight should be about the same. Such a large difference between my bb row and machine row would seem to indicate that one of the following is true:
- The machine row isn't as similar to the bb row as I thought. Specifically, the incline row leaves out muscles used in the bb row.
- I've been cheating on my bb rows.
So is it 1 or 2? And if it's 1, what is left out?
An incline row machine similar to what I'm using and referring to: