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Back Routine Opinions?


I want to build a great back and wanted input on my exercise choices etc.

My current routine:

Deadlifts (3-4 REPS, HEAVY)X 4





Anything i should change? Thanks for any feedback.


I think the deadlift part looks good, but I would recommend bumping up the reps to at least 8 per set in the rows, pull downs, and shrugs if you want the size.


Well i was thinking of using weight for 7-8 rep scheme for all those exercises every 4th or 5th week or so as a de-loading week. Since lifting very heavy for long periods of time is hard on the joints and nervous syste plus it would switch things up.

I want to build size and strength, so i usually prefer to go very heavy. Wondering if i am doing too many exercises or too many total sets or not enough?


well how long have you been doing your current routine? and maybe it is time to try a new protocol


I don't think it's enough. I like to do anywhere from 6-8 exercises all 4-5 sets with 8+ reps. I always deadlift with a few lower reps though.

I mean you can try your way, but I just don't think it's ideal for size.


Just got back into weight-lifting about a month ago, current routine i've only been doing for about 2 weeks.Wanted to know if the routine has a good exercise selection and if the amount of sets/exercises is good.

When i started a month ago i was 177 lbs. Month later i am 183 lbs and not as soft. Prolly started with around 15%bf. Now i am beginning to see the top two rows of my abs, still not doing cardio though ( need to start).


I've read that you should stick to about 12-15 total sets for a muscle group. You are doing 40 sets! Might work for you, but that might be overtraining for others. I don't have incredible genetics. Have to work hard for every lbs of muscle.


Dude so did I. I don't have incredible genetics either, I hate when people assume that big guys didn't have to work for every pound they gained, that it just magically appeared. Thats just a retarded way of thinking.

Overtraining doesn't happen 99% of the time. It sounds like you are relatively new so how do you know that your genetics aren't good? That's just a cop out.

Look, you don't need to do what I do I was just using it an an example. The back is a huge muscle, very complex,and you have to hit it from tons of angles, which is why I do so much work for it. I think you have the basic exercises down, but you need to use more reps if your goal is size.


I am 23, been lifting since age 17. But haven't put many years of serious training and proper nutrition in though. Now i am serious. When i was 17 i was 132 lbs. I assumed you might have had a good base size when you started weight-lifting. I was scrawny, though during college i was on and off with my weight-lifting ( but still eating a lot even when not working out regularly) for the first time in my life, i had a little belly and a little bit of love handles!

What other exercises would you suggest during back day?


I started at 155 lbs, and I'm a pretty tall guy. My first bench max was 95 lbs, I didn't have it easy either.


To be honest I don't know the names of half the shit I do lol. Most of the back work I do is on various machines. Stuff like reverse pulldowns, alternating machine rows, a ton of wide grip pullups, T-Bar rows, stuff like that.

Back has a ton of options, but they are all row variations. I usually do 2-3 rowing exercises. 1 low, 1 middle, 1 from high if that makes any sense?


I think i'll add seated rows before i finish the session with shrugs ( my favorite).



Read "The Bauer Chronicles" in the T-cell from start to finish. He has always used a shit ton of volume, and he's not overtrained. (Well, I may not know that, but if he's overtrained, I wanna fuckin' be overtrained, too.) He just eat's a ridiculous amount of food.

I believe the same has worked for Prof X.

Threewhitelights has gone up a weight class for PLing by training his ass off and "eating enough cow."

My last program, I was lifting 4 days a week doing around 25-35 sets per body part, plus doing cardio 3 days a week and I had never made more progress nor had I felt better.

I'm beginning to think this "overtraining" talk is a load of shit.


I'll have to give that a read. Thanks.


yeah i believe you need more volume than currently, but you wont be able to achieve that volume if you are going to heavy

i train with fairly high volume (30 sets/workout, 8-12 reps per set) but i do splits, so my back may get hit with 20 sets 8-12 reps

i never feel overtrained, but i also eat and supplement accordingly

i train like you have reported (high weight/low volume) when I wish to train for strength, but i only do that for a few weeks at a time to keep me psychologically motivated (i like variety). however, I do not feel i have great potential to grow at such a low volume

but everyone is different. i am a big proponent of volume. you must find what works for you

but you will not necessarily overtrain by increasing your volume, so dont make excuses like that


Professor X ramps up the weight to a top set on every exercise (and seems to be doing less exercises overall.. Usually the last being not a working exercise but one for the pump.. Something along those lines). Bauer does most/all sets to failure at the same weight AND does a ton of exercises.
Bauer is the volume machine here... We don't have too many like him around, though.


There is an upper limit, yes. But you have to push it hard.

During winter break from college, I had nothing to do but train. By the end, my elbows, shoulders, and knees were starting to ache. But all of my weights went up and I gained 4lbs (in 3 weeks) Now I'm doing the deload. May not have been the smartest thing, but I think that the envelope needs to be pushed to see where the limits are.

Overtraining is real, but it is rare. Food is often the medicine man to this "problem."

A wise man once said "the more I eat, the better my genentics get"


You don't have enough volume in this workout for a beginner, you also need to put your back day into context what does your weeks training plan look like?

Other things I would do are change out bent over BB row for single arm dumbbell row as the bent over version is difficult to perform with strict form and heavy weight. I would also get rid of the lat pull down and exchange it with say a total target number of chins/pullup's say 50 performed over as many sets as it takes.


bump IMO volume is good/better

bump on the chins over lat pull downs, but i do rep out on pulldowns when i can no longer do any more pullups or negatives

bump on the single arms over barbell rows

also bump on TRENCHANT ive done that before where i overloaded training for a few weeks and was then forced to deload but i made good gains. def not something to do often

it just doesnt look like a program that would beget many gains, but i am a volume whore


agree, more volume = better than what you have now.

HOWEVER, don't amp it up right away. You said you just got back into weights after a long layoff, so increase the volume gradually. Give your body time to get used to the stress.

Usually the big cause of overtraining (BESIDES not eating/sleeping enough) is that the guy just jumps straight into high volume stuff when he isn't conditioned to handle it.

If you've been training low volume and heavy, then transition to higher volume stuff on your accessory work (ie--not deadlift/squat/bench), but don't jump into a 35-40 set day like waylander right away. People like him and Bauer have spent a long ass time getting to the point where they can handle that volume routinely.

I like to increase each exercise by 1 set every week until I'm 1 or 2 sets above what my target volume is, then I immediately drop to my target volume the next week (eg-- target is 4 sets, start at 2 sets and ramp to 6, then drop to 4). This is only usually when I've taken time off or coming back from some injury/interference, or even when I've devoted a lot of time to low volume high intensity work and have lost my work capacity.

Also, and I admit my bias, but WHY do people put deadlifts on back day?? I'm being serious here. I mean, high rack pulls I can see, but full on deadlifting? That's way too stressfull for me to handle heavy deadlifting and then do a full back session. Or, rather I could handle that, but deadlifts would suffer from my leg day. I dunno.

But then, I train legs 2x a week as dedicated sessions.