1...any particular reason for lots of pulling in the vertical plane and considerably less horizontally (upper back work, not consdering deadlifts)? I've quickly become a fan of balancing pulling in the two main planes of movement, so I might suggest that, unless you have a real need to focus more on vertical pulling, maybe adding in something else to work some extra rowing movements, even if it's just some seated cable rows or something.
2... just wanted to ask if there's a particular reason that you incorporate more upper back in this workout when your previous one had upper back in it as well.
3...I found that to build up some solid shoulders, volume needed to go up considerably for me to 6-10 sets, so think about how your shoulders are coming along and consider adding another exercise if you're not happy with the results. Perhaps some 1-arm standing DB presses or if you have access to any of the Hammer Strength shoulder press machines, they're usually pretty good and rather fun from time to time.
4...Calf raises, if you need them they're fine, but unless you've got some scrawny calves that really need bulking, I wouldn't worry about them too much (I always find it interesting at my gyms how many people will do 20 sets of calf rasies, but won't spend a fraction of the time on the rest of their legs!)
5...If you want to condense, I'd recommend cutting the ab work for 2 reasons - first, I think that 7 total sets is probably more than most people need to incorporate every time they get trained, and next, you're getting ab work indirectly done every time you squat, deadlift, barbell row, standing overhead press, etc. so much like arm work, if you're doing good compound stuff you may not need as much time devoted to abs as you think, even if they're not always sore from the way they're getting indirectly trained.
6...Also, last of all, if you rotate back to workout #1 after the 3rd one, you're going back to lower back work soon afterward, so unless you do lightweight stiff-leg deadlifts, you might be taxing your lower back prior to the crucial back workout.
7...Maybe consider changing to something similar that's effective yet less taxing - 1-legged SLDL or RDL comes to mind, as they totally kick my ass every time even with doing a 20-rep set with as little as 60 lbs. per hand. Just stand on one leg, hold one DB in the opposing arm, and do the movement, trying to never let the foot that's off the ground touch unless you're about to fall over. The first few times are tough, but once you get your groove it's all good. Best when done standing to the side of a bench or something above knee height so that you can tap your hand down to balance for a split second if necessary. These were a trick shown to me when I was training at NX Level where they work with a lot of top-level athletes, and while I thought it was kind of a stupid movement at first, I quickly found that nothing kills my hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes like these do.
1. Hmm, I never looked a a vertical/horizontal ratio. I have always been looking to train more for back width than depth (my barrel chest is thick enough already!). You think doing two different horizontal row exercises would be beneficial? What would I cut from the vertical routine?
If you already have a really thick set of lats that just aren't wide, then putting more emphasis on vertical pulling isn't a bad idea. But, for most people I think having a good balance is important. I've seen some guys with wide lats from doing plenty of pull-ups, but they look paper thin from the side because they never row or do any pulling movements in other directions. Just as well, I've got some relatively thick lats, but am just finally getting them to widen up a bit, which is because I FINALLY got back to vertical pulling regularly after neglecting it for a few years. I guess it all depends on where you stand now - I'd just say that if you put more focus on vertical pulling for a few months, change it up maybe in late January and switch the number of sets out to do more rowing movements for a bit just to keep things balanced later on.
2. Well I do shouder press and shoulder-ups for shoulders, dips and DB bench for chest, and close-grip bench and pushups for triceps. I just moved lat pulldown from back day because I was getting killed doing all that back work on one day, but I really want to develop lat width...
I'm all with you for frequet back workouts to get wider. My upper back is a freakin' workhorse for training, and can handle a lot more than anything else. And, I need to train it more often to get the most out of gains in that area, so hitting it twice weekly isn't really all that bad. I just usually space one different workout that's unrelated to upper back between those workouts to ensure I'm properly rested, since if I hit it too often and don't go all-out every time, I just don't get much in the way of returns. I just don't know if only 3 sets on that following workout is going to be all that beneficial with such low volume for upper back again.
3. I thought about adding lateral raises, but I am hesitant to add more isolation movements. You think overhead DB press will be useful after doing military press?
I'm not huge on lateral raises - if I do anything of that sort, on rare occasions I'll do lean-away lateral raises on a cable machine to provide a better constant resistance as my shoulder pops with DBs if I try and keep my arms fairly straight. But, I can't stress enough that with shoulders, many times more pressing is good (at least, that's what worked for me!) If you do single-arm DB overheads, you can use a bit of body English and a little tilt to work with heavier weight than you'd normally manage, which can definitely be beneficial for upping your strict overhead press strength. That, or, you could do push presses after strict pressing, or jerks in front or behind the back as well. Oh yeah, partial overhead presses are fantastic for overloading as well - I'm lucky enough that one of my gyms has a massive power rack with pin settings all the way to just 2" short of complete overhead lockout for me, so I can do standing partial presses at pretty much any height. Brutal, but fun stuff, and between those and push presses, I credit them with making me go from being happy with a 165 overhead push press up to 275 in just a little over a year (I didn't do much strict pressing at that time, just lots of leg drive presses, some jerks, and anything that forced me to handle weights well beyond my strict press mark).
4. Meh, I just want huge calves!
Well, that's as good a reason as any!
From years of being the fat kid, I've never had less than 19" calves, so I guess I had a mixed blessing in that regard with never needing to work them much.
5. Fair enough, which exercise you think I should cut?
That's a tough one to say. I'd recommend cutting (at least temporarily) whichever exercise in the 3-set range that provides you with less challenge to complete. If you're hitting 3x10 with some added weight in one of those movements and can barely scrape by with the final rep on the last set, then you're doing pretty well. Or, just alternate each of your two main ab movements each time that workout comes around to keep things varied. Like I said, I'm not big on ab training so I'm not the best with advice on them, but if you're supporting heavy weight in other compound lifts, then I'd think 3-4 sets total should do you well.
6. I actually have a 4th day for cardio, but I didn't list it b/c it doesn't relate to my lifting.
That's good to know. Gives you a bit more time to recover, which is ideal.
7. Hmm I will definitely try these tomorrow. Sounds like another exercise where you look goofy but it really works your body.
Yeah, they look weird, are hard as hell to keep your balance with at first (I recommend just trying to hit 20 reps each leg with a 15-20 lb. DB the first time to learn the movement). Here's a link to a video clip of how it looks:http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=7eACTTzeh-E
As you'll see, he's doing it with 2 DBs, but with one it really challenges your stability more and I credit that with being why my hip flexors really get worked on them. One thing to note, I recommend bending the knee as if you were doing a Romanian DL rather than keeping as straight as he does. You'll feel it a LOT more in the hamstrings with a decent leg bend. For years I had the attitude that if it wasn't a major compound movement, it wasn't for me, but a few things along the way have convinced me that those "weird" exercises can have a sound place in a program and will do some good overall. Heck, pro strongman Phil Pfister came back to win the WSM contest after spending a year doing lots of plyometics, stability work and explosive light to moderate weight movements, so while it's not a "big" lift, let's say that if the day comes that you can crank out high-rep sets of these with a 120+ lb. DB, you'll be one strong dude for sure.
Oh, and thanks for all the advice!
Not a problem. Thank YOU for actually reading my typical novel-length replies!