Taking Your Back To The Next Level!

As a powerlifter, it sort of shocked me, as I never dreamed of being a bodybuilder. So I will go ahead and lay out a good back routine that will help the bodybuilder take it to another level!
At the 2005 Arnold Classic Expo, I was privileged to be able to do a seminar in The Cage. I forgot my chalk, so it put a crimp in my plans to haul up an easy 750 deadlift.

Thanks to the mayhem the crowd produced, I was still able to deadlift a real easy 700 in long Dickies pants, totally raw, with no chalk. I was very happy with that pull.

Now I was asked by several bodybuilders about my back development at the show. As a powerlifter, it sort of shocked me as I never dreamed of being a bodybuilder.

So I thought I would put into writing my back routine. If I can build a back like this concentrating on strength, then bodybuilders can take it to an even higher level.

Exercise One:

    Always done conventional or close stance, never over 5 rep sets. Warm up quickly, and get 2 top sets of 5 reps. My best 5 rep set is 625 done totally raw.


Exercise Two:
Bent Over Barbell Rows

    Do these with straps if you can't hold on, and use a belt if needed. I do mine totally raw, no belt, no straps. My best is 455x5 reps. It is OK to use a little momentum--it is normal as the heavy weights are going to jerk your upper body around a bit.

    Bent Over Barbell Rows
    Click To Enlarge.

    Make sure the weight hits the floor on the way down slightly, and make sure you row to your lower abs. DL's and rows are the foundation for sick thickness in your entire backside. 2 sets, 5 hard reps. Unleash it.

Exercise Three:
Weighted Front Chins

    Don't believe the hype about doing these with no weight for high reps to feel it-strap some weight on and get Animal. I can do around 50 pounds strapped around me with a dipping belt for 7-9 reps, at a bodyweight of 240 with real long arms. Stretch your lats in the middle, between sets. Do 3 x 5-9 reps with weight, and one set of 10 without weight.

Exercise Four & Five:
Front Grip Lat Pulls & Dumbbell Rows

    You should feel like your ready for bed now, but you're not. Now it's time to give a choice. Alternate the following two exercises weekly:

    Front grip lat pulls, done with a medium grip, for 2 x 7 reps. Heavy weights on this will give a good bicep pump and not much else. Pull with your elbows on all back exercises. I can do most stacks for 7 reps without too much trouble.

    Front Grip Lat Pulls
    Click To Enlarge.

    Dumbbell rows, or chain saw pulls. Support yourself on a bench, and do heavy weights, 2 x 7 reps. My best is 175 x 7... Never found any heavier dumbbells around here at the gyms.

    Dumbbell Rows
    Click To Enlarge.

Exercise Six:
Reverse Or Regular Hypers

    3 x 15 reps, with weight. Good pump movement here... You should be ready to puke by now.

Exercise Seven:
Dumbbell Shrugs

    Traps are part of your back. Use straps if you must--full range of motion here. Try to touch your ears here, 2 x 20 reps.

    Shown With Barbell.
    View DB Shrugs Here.

Exercise Eight:
Ab Work

    Finish with ab work, with weight. Your choice of exercises, and 4 x 25 reps... Stretch in between sets. Do this workout only once per week and you will be on your way to a killer back.

    Ab Work

    Printable Log Of This Back Routine.

Semper Fi.