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Back Routine Design


Would someone be so kind as to help me design a back routine? I've always had difficulty putting everything in the right order and doing the optimal number of sets/reps. I consistently run out of gas after my first two exercises. My two main goals for back day are: 1) Be able to do a lot more pull-ups. I was thinking of something like 10 sets of 4-5 reps... and 2) Increase my strength in dead lifts, significantly.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Dude if your goal is to be strong in deadlifts, a back routine won't help much.. Although deadlifts can give you a insanely thick lower back (and upper middle), most of the movement initiates from the hamstrings and glutes, the back is simply working hard isometrically do hold the weight.

I recommend you start off with a program like WS4SB because it allows you to get stronger, learn motor patterns for many different lifts AND also put on some nice mass...


To incease pull-up numbers specifically, check out GTG

But for a back routine..umm..

what other lifting do you do?
I mean, I suppose you are running some kind of split, what is it?

Standard back exercise choices..
BB Row, I prefer from the floor every rep., or
DB row
Gm's, or
reverse hypers.

For deadlifts, do more deadlifts- and squat. If that doesn't help, find the weak spot and work on it-
eg. rack pulls, weighted hypers, sldl, grip-work, what-ever.

I mostly agree with wrpl, get yourself onto a TOTAL program, written by a professional.

Hope this helps.


I always do weighted pull-ups first on my back days. I am totally fresh and they allow me to use the most weight possible. It's tough to have both of those goals however. If I were you, I would deadift first, then use pull-ups as an accessory movement after along with other lower and upper back exercises. This would probably give you relatively good increases in both lifts, but to really improve one or the other, you would want to focus more on one or the other.


My split is:
Monday: Back + Abs
Tuesday: Chest + Calves
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Legs + Abs
Friday: Shoulders + Arms + Calves
Saturday: Abs/Cardio/Off
Sunday: Off

I do deads on back day because squating and dead lifting on the same day is murder on my lower back! I want to stick to the split for now, though (just got off a total body program). The problem is that I can't do enough pullups to make them a good muscle builder. I want to get to a point where I can do three or four sets of 10-15 reps.


I've tried a few things to help increase pull-up numbers-

I mentioned GTG, I haven't tried that myself but know a lot of people who have good success with it.
I tried shooting for a certain number of reps, no matter how many sets it takes. It might be something like 10x3, but then next work out shoot to beat the overall number, 1x4 + 9x3 and so on. Take as long as you need between set, up to 5 minutes.
Do them first on your back day, because that is when you are freshest.
Do slow negatives after you've done your regular sets. Do them as slow as possible, at least 5 seconds. Do as many of these as you can after your regular sets.
Do pull-ups until you can't do anymore, then switch to neutral grip and get a few more reps, then switch to chin-ups and get a few more reps.

Now, I can't do a huge number of pull-ups, but by mixing up these methods I've been able to increase the number substantially.

I think if you were doing pull-ups, dead lifts, and a row, that should enough for a back day.


Deads (or rack pulls, preferably)
rack chins
kroc rows
lat stretch
call it a day.