Jacked Back: Only 3 Exercises and 1 Principle

How to Build a Strong, Muscular Back

Want a big back? Keep it simple with these three basic exercises and one overriding principle.

Every day I see average gym-goers trying to build their backs with the latest training methods. They’ll try every obscure exercise variation, and they’ll add bands when there’s no logical reason to add bands.

New exercises and resistance bands have their uses, but these people are often just bastardizing an already perfect exercise, making it more complicated and less effective.

Building a strong and muscular back is simple, but it’s not easy.

If you’re serious about building a strong, muscular, and dense back, then stick to the exercises that offer you the most “value for time” – the basics. To quote legend John Meadows, “It’s the basics, performed with intensity, which delivers results.”

The 3 Exercises

  1. Rather than worrying about how many different deadlift variations you can do, focus on adding 50-100 pounds onto your conventional deadlift in the next 6-12 months.
  2. Rather than worrying about protracting and retracting your scapula perfectly on every rep of a single-arm cable row, focus on doing heavy bent-over barbell rows as explosively as possible.
  3. Rather than worrying about which grip is best to use on the lat pulldown machine, focus on increasing your unbroken, strict pull-ups.

You get the point. Focus on the basics and never stray from them.

The 1 Principle

Use the most important training principle of all time: progressive overload. Gradually increase weight and reps on the deadlift, bent-over row, and pull-up. I guarantee you’ll build a strong and muscular back.

Prioritize the basic lifts. Incorporate progressive overload. This simple approach will take you far.

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