When aiming for size is it better to focus on one compound movement for the back muscles in a German volume training manner (10 sets of 10 repetitions) or is it more optimal to do 1 single set of 10 different back exercises?

Example of 10 exercises for one set each:

  1. Dumbbell row

  2. Archer inverted row

  3. Ring face pull

  4. Back dumbbell butterfly

  5. Dumbbell face pull

  6. Band face pull

  7. Shotgun row

  8. Pullover

  9. Reverse band crossover

  10. Front lever raise negatives

Example of 1 exercise in German volume training :

Barbell high row 10x10


My own thoughts: I would integrate both but 10x10 seems like a lot. So probably 5 or 6 sets.Those various exercises target different parts of the body so if my goal was bodybuilding for an aesthetically pleasing wide back, I would definitely hit at least 3 sets of a lot of those exercises (my favorites would be the pull over, face pull and dumbbell row). A lot of the exercises on your list also work stabilizers which are important for a healthy back.

If you're relatively new to lifting, whatever you do, assuming progressive overload, you'll gain size. I personally think if we just focus on that question of yours alone (I don't like it because there's too many variables like experience, caloric intake, how heavy, form etc.), those 10 exercises with a solid 10 reps for one set each would give you more size (again, assuming progressive overload).

Everyone has a different body. Try both and see what works for you. The pleasure in life is experimenting and seeing the fruits of those experiments.

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