In this article I’ll show you how to use Lat Pull-Downs to develop awesome lats, THT style.
Compound exercises don’t usually take the intended body part into a position of maximum contraction. They therefore cannot place any resistance in the one position where the maximum number of muscle fibers are recruited and ready to be overloaded.
However, the lat-pull down is one compound exercise that DOES:
- Work the lats in harmony with their FUNCTION
- Take the lats into the PCP and imparts growth stimulation there
As stated in a previous article, the function of the lats is to pull the arms down towards the body.
This is an easy exercise to do. Let’s take a look at the vid I’ve made to demonstrate…
How To Do Lat-Pull-Downs
(Please ‘like’ it on YouTube if this helped. Personally I preferred the 5 star rating system but what are you gonna do).
- Don’t use the angled handles. For most people this grip is too wide to be maximally effective. You won’t be as strong on this movement with your arms spaced that far apart. Grab the bar with a wide grip just before the bar bends (if anything my grip is still a little too wide here. I noticed it when watching this back – the bar used is longer than regular ones). Wider-than-shoulder-width is good.
- Pull down under control until the bar touches the top of your chest
- This is the Peak Contraction Point.
- Hold in this position for a second before slowly lowering the bar back up
- This is important: DON’T release the contraction from the lats at the top of the rep. You can’t tell from the video but I am stopping just short of locking the arms out and ensuring that my lats are still contracted at the top.
- Repeat until muscular failure
Note: When you get strong enough I suggest you use wrist straps to ensure that the set terminates when the lats have been fully overloaded, NOT when your forearm strength gives out.
Total Anabolism 3.0 is very much in the works guys. I want to have vid tutorials for all exercises contained in the new program, so when I get them all done and posted up here, the book will be ready!
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Thanks for the new video Mark. Looking good man! I learned a few things from the bullet points – great resource.
Thanks for the vid Mark. My Gym has a lat machine with movable handles and no bar….i find it difficult to maintain form, and am not sure if i am getting the full benefit of the movement..any ideas?
Would you recommend these over the lat pull-overs you posted a video on a few months ago?
thanks mark – any chance you could run the same ‘lats’ piece – but for those without pulldown equipment? i could do a couple of variations on a bench – one where one knee and arm is on the bench and the dumbbells are pulled up to side (like a row style) and another where i’m laying face down on bench at an upward incline and sort of row both dumbbells up at the same time -but never really am sure if i’m doing them correctly…
hey, now *there’s* an idea for a column or series of columns: “the ultimate small space gym” – design a whole set of workouts around dumbbells, maybe small bars and only a floor, small bench or chair (or bed) and maybe a swiss ball or something like that…you’d get the whole NYC crowd 😉
I really want to get big lats and so i have been using the machine you suggested in the other article targeting the lats… should I use this exercise as well in conjunction with the machine work out?
Also can you clarify what you mean by:
This is important: DON’T release the contraction from the lats at the top of the rep.
another great video man !!! keep up the good work
Very nice website,iam from India and here in India peoples lacks knowledge,iam recommending this beautiful website to as many friends of mine,sir it would be great if you post a topic on how to build big biceps…iam only 10 mths old in the gym and i gain only 1.5 inch biceps without proteins etc,only natural diet but i do take vitamin c and e and dextrose after workout….
Iam concentrating on building biceps…so i do only barbell curl ….4 sets
Below is the workout
FLAT BENCH PRESS
DECLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
TRICEP PULL DOWN
mark IS THIS WORKOUT OK?
I have good shoulders,traps,but mine chest and biceps are not so good.,,,so iam concentrating on these….pls help mark…..
I’ve got a response to your query. There is a similar machine at my gym (without the bar and with movable handles). To give you an idea, My machine is a Nautailus wherein you face inwards and pull the handles down towards the chest from above.
I have experimented with this problem, and the hardest hit I have found for good Lat development is if you hold your handles as if you are doing a T bar row above your head, and you pull the handles down towards yout chest as if they were in a fixed flat bar posistion (exactly like in the video – it just takes more control on your behalf). Aim to have your hands a bit wider then your chest and you are done.
I prefer the bar Lat pulldowns but if Im strict on the Nautilus I can get as good a workout.
Great site, Mark! You really helped me change my body. After 1 THT cycle I gained 5 kgs or 11 lbs, my arms grew bigger about 3,5 cms and I am satisfied with strength gain. I could curl 45 kgs, now I can 60 and on squat I started with 80, now I can squat with 110 kgs.
What do you think about narrow parallel grip lat pulldowns? I combine them with wide grip.
I think you need to increase number of excercises for biceps. Try preacher curls and incline dumbell curls. You need to train your back a little bit more. Try barbell rows and deadlift. This should help you.
I LOLed as I read this as I JUST rolled wide-grip lat pulldowns into my routine last week and just finished doing my rotation of them tonight.
Mark, you always keep the hits coming. I’ve really got to get around to submitting some before/after shots.
Keep hittin’ ’em hard.
North Bay, ON, Canada
i have been using creatine with glucose powder,is it right..?
i dont see any change in my body,its lean n tiny,i wonder y inspite i exercising,having protien food n powder…ext
Why…..?Please help me…..
m from india….
Please suggest me if i take Whey protien with Createne monohydrate will it be a good combination for building muscles?
I have to say, I’m so impressed with a few tweaks I’ve made (changes) to your outlined THT 2.0 routine. Tweaks such as cable preachers for Biceps, Peck Deck for chest rather than heavy dumbell flies to name a couple. I have truly already reaped the benefits! Following your routine, I don’t do back until Friday so I will do this new form of Lat pull downs and em excited as all hell to feel the difference in the PCP!
My gym has great equipment, hammer strength lat pull down machine but funny as you said, the set grip is too wide so therefore, when I’m trying to reach failure on my lats, I find my arms are giving out before that! I’m picking up some straps and will incorporate this movement. Oh and by the way, those french curls for tricep going past the head are friggen amazing!! I keep getting guys walking up to me after a set telling me not to go past my head LoL but clearly, that’s BS, when it feels so good as they stretch back and get full motion!
Cheers to you Mark! I’d love to contribute more with you on some things, hopefully I can get in contact with you with regards to that.
Thanks JM….you are right it takes a lot more to control the handles but in the end i do feel the workout, and my lats are engaged…problem is when i come close to failure it gets hard to keep the handles in the correct position
damn i wish i had hXc eqipment like that lol. i just have a pretty cool chin up bar. i would really like to see an alternate to this without a machine, as stated in a few responses above. cant wait for TA3.0!
The grip for that lift puts the biceps in a weak position.
Whouldn’t it make it difficult to reach true failure in the lats if the biceps terminate early because of the grip? Not saying the biceps will outlast the lats if the grip changes but they will certainly last longer.(such as palms up close grip pulldown) If anything to reach true failure in the lats you would need to terminate the weak link(biceps). Pre exhausting the lats(with isolation exercise such as straight arm cable pulldowns) then superseting to this exercise would allow the fresh biceps to kick in after the lats fully fatigue(overload).Thus reaching true muscular failure(overload) in the positive rep portion of the lats(aswell as the biceps).
Very good article though. Hope to see more in the future they are always insightful to my thinking in the bbing world.