T Nation

T-men love back day

Anyone got a fave back workout? I generally go through the following on back day with strength or hypertrophy protocols 1> chins (currently supinated 5x5 + 35pds) 2> deadlifts (staganant at 3x8-10x220) 3>rows (currently BB 3x8-12x140 and DB 3x8-12x60). Probably alot of volume and not enough weight but my body responds to it and it gives me more time to look down on the pec and bicep muscle pumpers ;). F&*^ beach muscles - Rhomboids rule!

Have you tried Hammer Pulls? YOu load up the end of an olympic bar with as much weight as you can handle and, while bent over the bar (the bar is in alignment with your T-sack) you pull up towards you. Your lats should feel like they’re being systematically pulled out of your flesh by a magnet of somesort. I generally do 3-4x10 or a slower eccentric with 4-7 reps. Lata.

"MB Eric: Loves working the back attack. Since 1237."


What’s up Dre Dogg? You know I like blasting my back and have actually had comments from the ladies who say I have a nice back. I’ve pretty much been doing the same exercises for my back and have only been using different reps, sets and weights. So you know I hit it hard with weighted chins, seated rows, deadlifts and any additional back work I get from clean pulls and power cleans. And I like to just pop out a few chins during the week with my chin up bar at home! K.I.S.S. It works every time!

Dre, if your deadlift is stagnant, rather than three sets at 220 why not try something like 135, 225, then move up five or ten pounds each week on your third set?

HERE HERE!!! I aplaud the awesome love of back workouts, for a while I thought I was the only one…every try the 100 rep principle on back day? It has to be my fav. workout, I do it once a month on my lats doing wide grip pull ups(no weight necessary) and my back feels smoked for a week.

Yates Row – sometimes even done as GVT.
This is a bent row leaning over only about
20 degrees, pulling bar to waistband of
shorts, keeping shoulders forced down HARD
rather than there being any sort of shrug,
and scapulae tightly retracted on top,
holding the top, slow negative.

Chins (supinated) after medium-wide-grip pullups (palms forward.)

Hammer IsoRow, seperate sets for each arm.

Hammer Hi Row.

Hammer Low Row and Hammer Row (very similar.)

There also used to be a Hammer Behind the Neck Pulldown at my gym which was superb, especially
when done one arm at a time, but unfortunately they got rid of it.

In all these exercises, it is key to achieve
a full contraction and hold it for a second
or two. It is also key to obtain a full stretch especially at the end of the last set, and
hold it for like 15 seconds (this is quite
painful, but worth it.)

An average would be 4 or 5 of these
exercises for 2 sets each, but if an
exercise is more sets, then there might be
only 2 other back exercises.

Hey Dre! I love working my back too. I usually do the following routine: 3x10 wide grip pullups, 3x10 medium grip pullup, 2x10 v-handle pulldown, 3x10+1x5 hammer strength iso low and hi row. By this time, I’ve got quite a pump. Next, I do 3x10 upright row, and finish off with 4x10 back extensions. I use the counter-balanced pullup machine since i don’t quite have the power to hoist my ass for 60 pullups. When done with this routine, I mix up my surge, but it is hurts to shake the bottle, and slam it-oh it’s sooo good. Taking a shower afterwards is also interesting. I have to do a modified crunch-hug pose to shampoo my hair. Give this a try sometime, and let me know how it works for you.-The Starkdog

I agree with Bill Roberts about the Yates row (a semi-bent-over barbell row with an underhand grip, pulled into the waist). Get the form down right (i.e. arch your back and keep your chest stuck out throughout the set) and this exercise will add mass and strength to your lats, upper and inner back like no other.

Hey Dre, Why don’t you do less reps on your deadlifts. 8-10 is a lot of work on your lower back to hold that iso contraction. Try using lower reps and more weight and you will jump up in weight very soon. Just make sure as the weight is added, the form is still perfect. Bad backs suck! Another thing I have been hooked on is Ian’s lying dumbbell rows. In one of his programs he said to do 21’s with them. I just do them for sets of 6-8 and they feel great.

Chins Chins Chins!!! usually about 10-15 total sets of many different types of chins, I might occasionally do the ol’ Yates row to “help” things along…

Bill, could you elaborate of some of the exercises you mentioned? They sound like quality back asskickers. Thanks, lata.

“MB Eric: Breakin’ his back to break a sweat since 1967.”


Eric, there’s not too much to say on
the exercises I mentioned besides the
Yates Row, which Damici gave a good
further elaboration on, and on the chins
and pullups. On those latter two, it’s
worth pointing out that getting the bar
as low on the body as possible, and with
the back arched, scapulae together, and
preferably the body leaning hips-forward/head-back as much as possible.
(No leg swing though.)

On all or pretty much all back exercises, you want the fully contracted position being like
a Playboy bunny sticking out her rack for

The various Hammer exercises require
the Hammer Strength machines. The main
reason I belong to the gym I do is because
they have this line.

For most exercises, free weights work great
because gravity can be used appropriately.
However, the back is also good for pulling
down (for which gravity doesn’t work with
a barbell or dumbbells) or pulling towards
you (for which also gravity does not work
very well.) Also the back tends towards
arced movements. These machines are very
good for back work.

I forgot that I usually throw in a set of hypers. Anyone doing reverse hypers or good mornings? I hear these are great for squats but my training partner has back problems doing these so I compromise. I pretty much never use machines but MBs hammer pulls and Bills Yates Rows sound like the warrant a shot next workout.

Double D, can you fill me in on what King’s lying rows look like? And while I’m asking, can anyone tell me the proper form for seated rows? I actually blasted my back yesterday and the pain today is dull and sweet. Lata.

"MB Eric: Back at it, since 1707."