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I was looking for a lift to hit upper back and I found a T Nation article about high pull. My purpose is to build muscle mass in an optimal way but I don't care about explosive power or Olympic lifts.

Is this TRULY a bodybuilding exercise? If yes, how? There is no real eccentrics, which we know is the most important phase for muscle growth.

I am very pressed for time during my workouts, so I need to choose efficient exercises (regarding mass building stimulus / unit time efficiency).

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  • What makes you think eccentrics are the most important part of a movement for muscle gain? – Dark Hippo Dec 8 '20 at 12:17
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Even if you don't care about explosive power, large compound lifts recruit and build a lot of muscle mass. You should use them to build a solid base and then build off that.

However, I can't say I've ever had a muscle pump from high-pulls, deadlifts, or cleans in the same way that I have with, say, bicep curls; if that's what you mean by "bodybuilding exercise". If you're looking for that pump, it probably won't be the best exercise for you.

The upper-back still has quite a few different muscles. Pull-ups, lat pull-downs, shrugs, or bent-over rows might be more focused. The article I believe you're referencing also suggests doing the high-pulls in the 4-5 rep range. Lowering the weight, increasing the reps, and using a tempo style (e.g. 2-1-2) is another way to feel the muscles work more. Isolation machines will help you dial in muscle growth for bodybuilding as well.

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