Without a doubt, the back is one of the hardest body parts to train, next to legs. Not even the fact that it is so energy draining when preformed properly, but the fact that you can't see your back when training it and that its very hard to focus on when training it. I guarantee that if you went around your gym and asked people if they were satisfied with their back workouts and back pumps you would get many people answering, no.
What Doesn't Your Back Routine Match Up?
I feel that this is due to a few different reasons. One being that the form they use is downright terrible, I mean I won't even begin to tell some of the things people do while training back. For back, form is one of the most important aspects, above everything else. I mean its great that you can throw around a 150 for a dumbbell row, but do you even get a pump what so ever after the set? This leads me to one of my most important training principles, NEGATIVES. Do a back workout with out negatives and then try one with them, the difference is incredible.
I personally think people should do 4-6 second negatives on back exercises that allow them. Of course your not going to be able to do negatives that slow on barbell rows, but pull downs, pullovers, machine rows, should defiantly be preformed with slow negatives. Another factor that I feel presents a problem, is that people cannot get the proper concentration to get the most out of the exercise. Training back requires a very high level of concentration on all of the exercises preformed, more so then any other muscle.
How To Incorporate Hardcore Training Principles Into Your Own Workout!
Now, this workout isn't an exact workout of what you should be doing, it is just merely a reference as to how to incorporate hardcore training principles into your own workout, and to get the most out of your back workouts. Why do a workout and not get anything out of it, and keep doing it over again? You must realize that something must be wrong in you training. I feel that this article will help many readers who are not getting very good results with their current back workouts, and it will help them progress faster, which is the main reason why people workout.
Exercise 1 Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
The workout is started with dumbbell pullovers, a few warm-up sets are preformed before the one working set is started. I personally really like using dumbbell pullovers as the first exercise, mostly due to the fact that it loosens up you back and stretches out you upper body. On the one working set I use a 120 lb. dumbbell and use 4-6 second negatives, towards the end of the set my partner will also give me a few forced reps, for a total of 8. After this set, my upper lats are pumped and I'm ready to really start getting into the workout.
Exercise 2 Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
The next exercise that is done is lat pull downs using a wide grip, but not going down to the kinked part. Usually two warm up sets are done prior to the working set, which is a triple drop with negatives. The pin is put around 190-200, this is only done for 3-4 reps with 6 second negatives, the weight is then dropped to 150 and another 5-6 reps are cranked out, the weight is again lowered to 120 and the final set of 8 reps is preformed before finishing. This is a very brutal set to say the least, and my back is usually pumped beyond belief after it is done.
The form is strict on this but not overly done, the concentric is usually at a normal speed but the negative is 5-7 seconds, all the while concentrating hard on feeling the lats doing the work. That is probably one of the most important things while training back, FEELING THE REPS.
Exercise 3 One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Now that my overall back is pretty blown out, I usually focus on working the lats individually. I prefer the Hammer Strength row, plus the pics of Nasser and Dorian using it are inspiring. One warm-up is done prior to the set, which is rest-pause. The set is done using two plates and a 35, and my positioning on the machine is set like a dumbbell row to hit the lats even better. I get 8 reps on the first set, while using a 6 second negative, 4 on the second with the help of my partner, and 3 on the last. After waiting for my partner to do his set, my other is preformed and my lats are blown up beyond belief.
Exercise 4 Bent Over Two-Arm Long Bar Row
To finish of the workout we set up a T-bar row in the corner and use the close grip handle. On these T-bar rows I use 35lb. plates to get a deeper stretch. Two strait sets are done using 4 35's on the first and 5 on the second, with a 4 second negative. On the first set 8-10 reps are preformed, and on the second I get 6. This usually finishes off my back very well. After this workout my back is pumped beyond belief and I can't physically do anything else but lie down on a bench.
After taking a little break and downing a protein shake, I perform a stretch on the pull-up bar by hanging an 80 lb. dumbbell on my waist and hanging (with wraps, of course) for 45 seconds. I feel this helps a lot, and it also helps to make your back much wider. This also stretches out your joints and forearms, which get very, very pumped at the end of this workout even while using wraps, which everyone should be using while doing a workout like this.
Well, that's probably one of my favorite back workouts to date, and of course you can always rotate the T-bar with rack dead lifts, which I like to do sometimes. I feel this back workout hits the back from upper to lower, but the most important thing is applying the intensity to the workout. Of course someone can go in and do this workout, or one like it while using lightweight, and really bad form, and get nothing out of it. But if you go in there and use good form, negatives, and maximum poundage on you working sets, then you will leave the gym spent and with a feeling of accomplishment.