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I have been doing a full-body workout for five months now.

The main pull exercise was the inverted row. I have been lowering the Smith bar since I started five months ago. Currently I am "lifting" 66% of my bodyweight. I find it quite hard but I haven't yet reached a plateau.

I have now access to assisted pull ups and I badly want to include them in my workouts. But after trying once, I realize that the combination of inverted row and assisted pullups in the same day puts my wrists in danger, it is simply too taxing on them. Besides that, my workouts take too long. Hence the need for a split workout.

If I do a push/pull split my workout will be shorter (in time) and my wrists will have more time to recover, but I will have to cut down the total number of pull sets, otherwise my writst will suffer. So basically this split is useless as a way of combining the two exercises I want to combine.

If I do a vertical/horizontal split I will have a single pull exercise per workout, but my wrists will not benefit from this split because they will have to work equally during horizontal pull (row) days and vertical pull (pull up) days. So basically the paradox is that I would split my routine because of my wrists, but then the wrists would be the only muscles that do not benefit from the split.

What is the best approach here?

  • 1
    First of all, it is a good idea to do a split training and the problem with your wrists are probably because your technique isn't quite good. I would recommend you watch some videos with explenations of the technique. This helped me. I thought I was doing it correct, but a little movement in the wrist during a reputation was my mistake. Maybe you shoot yourself during some repetitions. Hope I could help you. – android May 24 '15 at 18:56
  • Thanks (+1). My question is what should I use, a horizontal/vertical split or a push/pull split. And why. – Mephisto May 24 '15 at 19:52
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If I do a push/pull split my workout will be shorter (in time) and my wrists will have more time to recover, but I will have to cut down the total number of pull sets, otherwise my writst will suffer.

Not necessarily. More time between workouts could mean that your wrists fully recover and are ready for the increased volume.

If I do a vertical/horizontal split I will have a single pull exercise per workout, but my wrists will not benefit from this split because they will have to work equally during horizontal pull (row) days and vertical pull (pull up) days.

Not necessarily. Your wrists may be stressed quite differently, or by quite different amounts, by different exercises.

I realize that the combination of inverted row and assisted pullups in the same day puts my wrists in danger, it is simply too taxing on them

First, how did you realize this?

Second, how many sets did you do more than normal? Did a single additional set cause trouble?

  • I really appreciate your answers, thanks!!!. 1. I realized it was too much volume because I started feeling a very light pain in one forearm during the added pull exercise. The kind of pain you know is quite different from mere discomfort or exhaustion. I stopped immediately. Three days thereafter (today) it is over, but yesterday it was a bit sore (I stopped on time). And 2. I had done 3 sets of ~9 inverted rows (well, it was 9,10 and 9 reps), where the second and third were very difficult, nearly impossible to finish. Then I tried two very light high-rep sets of assisted pullups. – Mephisto May 25 '15 at 15:34
  • Also, I think I need to introduce some short of micro-cycling because now by adding 1~3 reps per workout I am nearly always working close to exhaustion, pushing the limits a bit further away each workout. Then I always need three full rest days to recover. I don't think now that this approach is optimal. At the end of the day it is similar to a 5x5 linear progression but introducing tons of reps. I thougth of safety when I designed this approach. Now I am not so sure. I am always close to injury: last time my forearm, the latter it was a shoulder, a knee... – Mephisto May 25 '15 at 15:47
  • Very often I find myself the day after a workout saying "oh no, please God, not this time, please..." because this or the other body part is in pain: a shoulder, an elbow, a knee... Usually a tendon insertion, but also joints. Then it goes away after introducing one or more additional rest days and, when I eventually come back to the gym, I find that I am capable of more reps/load. So the system works (also I see it in the mirror). Because the amount of extra work introduced each workout is very low (1 to 3 reps) I have avoided injuries. But I doesn't seem safe in the long run. – Mephisto May 25 '15 at 15:56

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