Physique shows are won and lost because of the details in the competitors' backs, and nothing says strength like having that width and thickness straining against your shirt. To achieve this, you have to go all out, and this plan is just what the doctor ordered.

Perform this workout once a week, or as a change of pace every once in a while, and you'll wake up everything behind you and get it growing!

The Back Workout You'll Feel Till Next Week
1
Pullups
Perform 3 sets with wide grip, then 3 sets with a neutral grip.
6 sets, 8-10 reps (rest 90 sec. between sets)
2
Pendlay Row
5 sets, 5 reps (rest 90 sec. between sets)
3
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
3 sets, 8 reps (rest 90 sec. between sets)
4
Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
or Machine
3 sets, 10 reps (rest 90 sec. between sets)
5
Barbell Deadlift
3 sets, 12 reps (rest 90 sec. between sets)
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Technique Keys

Pull-up

You knew these were going to be included and you know why. They work! It's that simple.

The twist is you're going to do 3 sets with a wide grip and 3 sets with a neutral grip. This will help you target the lats from multiple angles. Can't do pull-ups? Use a human assistant for a boost, an assisted pull-up machine, or a band. If you must, use a pull-down machine as a last resort. Body weight not enough? Add weight with chains, a belt, or a vest.

Pendlay Row

This isn't the barbell row you've seen where guys are ever-so-slightly bent over. This is the old-school version where you pick it up off the floor. You're going to feel this everywhere from top to bottom, which is good.

Don't be afraid to break out straps if you want to go heavy, but don't jerk and use sloppy form. You might be swearing about these over the next few days, but you'll swear by them in a few weeks.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

You have to devote attention to each individual side, right? There is nothing better than this move to help you do just that.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Do yourself a favor by paying extra attention to the negative here. Letting the weight drop each rep isn't going to help you, and it might hurt you. Pause at the bottom to feel that deep stretch, then crank it back up again. If you feel momentum taking over, you're going too fast.

Machine or Dumbbell Pull-over

If your gym has a pull-over machine, make sure you use that. (Then let your gym owners know that they are awesome, because not nearly enough people have that machine anymore.)

If not, go with the dumbbell variation. Either way, really concentrate on using the lats here and don't focus so much on the weight. That was what the rows and pull-ups were for. Let the stretch go as far as you safely can to maximize your range of motion. Squeeze and hold the contraction for a second before continuing.

Deadlift

Deadlift

What? Deadlifts at the end? Yep, and here's why. Since you've reached the end of the session, your back won't be able to handle as much weight, so you're going to have to really concentrate on the execution, which is the main focus of this program. This will help you develop that lower back and in the long run, your deadlift max should go up.

If your lower back can't handle these, use a rack pull, with the bar set at around knee level. It'll still scorch your lats, upper back, and pretty much everything else.

About the Author

Roger Lockridge

Roger Lockridge

Physique shows are won and lost because of the details in the...

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