Back to Gainz:

I know, I know, it’s not as much fun as chest or biceps. However, a serious back day is essential for anyone serious about building a complete physique. Not only is your back one of the most aesthetically important muscle groups, it’s also important to train back for overall health and posture. In fact, we have to do nearly twice the work on our back as we do on our front just to counteract the effects of all of the forward movements we do every day. Between driving, working on a computer, texting, and other movements we do every day, we are constantly rounded forwards. And that’s not even counting chest and shoulder workouts! Today we will set out to make that right; focusing on correcting your posture, strengthening your back, and building a better V-taper with lots of high-volume lat work. And with bulking season fast-approaching, it’s time to pack on some size! Without any further delay, let’s jump into this brutal back workout.

Exercises

Wide-grip Pull-ups

We will begin with a classic back exercise, the pull-up. Wide-grip pull-ups allow you to work on on the uppermost part of the lat, really helping to accentuate the V-taper. This will make help to make your back and shoulders look wider while making your waist look smaller. Everyone has done pull-ups at one point or another, but the rep scheme here is what makes this exercise really unique. We are going to do 100 straight reps in as few sets as possible. Once form starts to suffer, it’s time to break until the next set. As soon as you feel semi-recovered, jump back in. It’s brutal but effective. The exercise is also scalable to your fitness level. While advanced lifters may be able to get 100 reps, some may struggle to do a single pull-up. This workout will work for all fitness levels! Simply choose your fitness level below, and follow the prescribed rep scheme.

Ultra-advanced

100 Reps Weighted

Advanced

100 Reps

Intermediate

50-75 Reps

Beginner

100 Lat Pulldowns with 50-100 lbs less than your bodyweight, OR 100 assisted Pull-ups

Heavy Work

Next, we’ll move on to some heavy rows, focusing on the stretch at the bottom as well as the squeeze at the top. Perform 4 sets of 6-8 reps on 1 arm-dumbbell rows, going as heavy as you can with perfect form! Without swinging or using any momentum bring the weight to your hip, squeezing for 1 second at the top of each rep. For an added challenge to your core, perform the reps with your free hand on your knee rather than on a bench.

Cable Superset

Though cables can remove some of the stability involved in most lifts, they also add constant tension, something that we will take full advantage of here. Supersetting V-Bar lat pulldowns and seated cable rows, we will attempt to kill your lats via time under tension. Performing 20 reps of each exercise you’ll be able to overload your lats like never before, resulting in some huge gains.

Iso-Row Finisher

Ever tried chest supported dumbbell rows lying face-down on an incline bench? Tough exercise right? It’s about to get a whole lot tougher. Start out the exercise as you normally would, lying face-down on an incline bench holding dumbbells. You’ll row one arm at a time, however, while one-arm is rowing the other will be performing an isometric contraction. In other words, while your right arm is rowing, your left arm will be holding the dumbbell at the top of the movement. Perform 4 sets of 10 reps on each side, switching sides every 5. These isometric contractions are tough, especially when you are already fatigued.

Rope High-Row Posture Correction

Yes, you just did the finisher. Yes, there’s another exercise afterward.

This exercise is meant primarily to help set your shoulders back and down, though you’ll definitely see some muscle growth from it as well. While lat-pulldowns and low-rows can leave your shoulder rounded and shrugged, high-rows allow you to correct this issue. Using a cable rope attachment set near the top of the machine, you will brace your feet against the weight stack. Contrary to the shoulder elevation caused by other rows, this row will actually put you into a better posture by targeting your lower traps. Not only will this balance out your other exercises, it’ll also really help to define your mid-back by hitting the muscles from a very unique angle. Do 3 sets of 15 with a weight that will allow you to focus primarily on your positioning, going slow and squeezing hard at the end of each rep.

 

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Pull-ups As Few As Possible Advanced: 100

Intermediate: 50-75

Beginner: 100 Lat-Pulldowns

Heavy 1-Arm DB Rows 4 6-8 Do not use a bench for support if you’re looking for an extra core challenge
Cable Superset:
Seated Rows
V-Bar Lat Pulldowns
4
4
20
20
Finisher:

Iso-Incline DB Rows

4 10 each side Alternate arms every 5 reps. While one arm is rowing the other is holding an isometric (motionless) contraction at the top of the movement.
Rope High Rows 3 15 Focus on positioning

Thanks for reading! Be sure to let us know what you want to see next in the comments below, and reach out on social media (@thefitexpo) to tell us how you liked the workout!

Alex Gaynor

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