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  1. #1
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    How to build your BACK

    This is an excellent, and very frequently asked question. how do I build my back? I want it wide and thick, How is that possible?

    First of all you need to understand that this article is targeting intermediate or higher stages of lifting. that exclude novices.
    A novice shouldn't complicate his workout at all. all you need as a novice or even at the beginning of the intermediate stage is to stick to the basic movements, progress and profit!

    Now for intermediate and advanced lifters you need to understand that your back is such a very big muscle group hitting it from as many angles as possible is necessary to achieve full development. The easiest way to think about training the upper back is to break it down into three basic movement patterns.
    -Horizontal Pulling
    -Vertical Pulling
    -Isometric Training

    Horizontal Pulling
    Rowing(Pendlay Rows, Bent Over Rows) is the ultimate movement for back thickness, Rows involve the mid, lower traps and rhomboids as well as the lats. thus back thickness.
    I also find One Arm DB Rows, cable rows to the abs and T-bar rows best for working your inner portion of the back.

    Vertical Pulling
    Vertical Pulling is as important as horizontal pulling. Pull downs, Pull ups and Chin ups involve the lats and teres major as well as other back muscles depend on the variation and grip width those are the muscles that makes upper torso appears wider.

    Isometric Training
    Isometric Training(Deadlifts, Rack Pulls) Play an important role when it comes to back development. even back then before I understand more about pulling mechanics I found heavy deadlifts to do magic to my lower traps and rhomboids, during the deadlift your back is contracting isometrically to transfer the forces generated by the hips and legs which leads to growth. regarding that you will be using heavier weights in deadlifts compared to other exercises.

    Mind Muscle Contraction
    When performing pulling movements mind muscle contraction is a very important factor avoid jerking the weight up and start focusing on your target muscles. concentrate on using your elbows and shoulder blades to initiate the movement not your biceps. imagine your hands as hooks and you are pulling with your elbows not your hands, and pulling your shoulder blades down or back(depend on the line of pull)
    .

    The Variety
    When it comes to vertical and horizontal pulling exercises and almost any exercise many elements will change the muscles involvement such as Grip width, Pulling direction(Rows to chest/Rows to abs, Pullups/behind the neck pullups). as I mentioned earlier hitting your back from as many angles as possible is necessary to achieve full development. therefor keep a good variety in your back routine for best results.

    Balance
    keep vertical and horizontal pull exercises relatively.
    my back day usually look like this:
    -Rows to chest movement
    -Rows to stomach movement
    -Pull up variation
    -Pull down variation
    -Deadlifts or rack pull variation.

    I dont do alot of sets usually between 2-3. I'm a strong believer that less is more. I switch my starting exercises between vertical and horizontal every couple months or so and I like to keep the deadlift as my last exercise because it leaves me completely drained.

    Last but not least
    You need to understand that there is no one size fits all. everyone's body mechanics are slightly different therefore the body response to each exercise will vary, you need to keep experimenting to find out what works best for you.
    Last edited by SexyBack1; 02-08-2013 at 02:15 PM.
    MUST READ about back development : http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151735043

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  2. #2
    I need about tree fiddy davisj3537's Avatar
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    Repped, now if only newbs would read it.
    Experience, not just theory
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  3. #3
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davisj3537 View Post
    Repped, now if only newbs would read it.
    Thanks, I hope so mate.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Josh1223's Avatar
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    Repped boss thank you

    Knew all of this, this is good for people who neglec back or have just recently started training back, OR people that have seen no gainz in their back!!
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  5. #5
    Registered User averyrosa1's Avatar
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    great advice
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  6. #6
    Registered User Dsewell13's Avatar
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    Good post. I never relly incoporated bent over rows i my back routine until as of lately, I believe back should be hit with a lot of volume though. But everyone is different
    http://teamfd.firstdescents.org/2012/fd/tokenspullups/sewell/

    10,000 Pulls for 1000 Dollars for Young Adult Cancer survivors through the organization First Descents. Click the link and learn and hopefully donate.

    Currently 1087 dollars raised and 5615 pull ups done in the last 26 days (October 16,2012)
    New goal of 1500

    525+ 275 + 345 = 1145 total
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  7. #7
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Josh1223 View Post
    Repped boss thank you

    Knew all of this, this is good for people who neglec back or have just recently started training back, OR people that have seen no gainz in their back!!
    thanks for your feedback.

    Originally Posted by averyrosa1 View Post
    great advice
    Thanks

    Originally Posted by Dsewell13 View Post
    Good post. I never relly incoporated bent over rows i my back routine until as of lately, I believe back should be hit with a lot of volume though. But everyone is different
    exactly everyone is different sometimes i do more sets but i don't find that to go well for me.
    MUST READ about back development : http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151735043

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  8. #8
    Registered User Dsewell13's Avatar
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    I love hitting back, I don't think low volume gets the job done for me
    plus no one's backs are going to form the same way.
    I think your back looks insane, but it didn't form up the way mine did
    http://teamfd.firstdescents.org/2012/fd/tokenspullups/sewell/

    10,000 Pulls for 1000 Dollars for Young Adult Cancer survivors through the organization First Descents. Click the link and learn and hopefully donate.

    Currently 1087 dollars raised and 5615 pull ups done in the last 26 days (October 16,2012)
    New goal of 1500

    525+ 275 + 345 = 1145 total
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  9. #9
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dsewell13 View Post
    I love hitting back, I don't think low volume gets the job done for me
    plus no one's backs are going to form the same way.
    I think your back looks insane, but it didn't form up the way mine did
    Agreed man
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  10. #10
    Registered User TheBeastTyler's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Hopefully you'll have a good amount of noobs read this.
    Feb 1, 2013 (started getting serious)/Current maxes at bw of 156-162lbs

    Bench 205x3 (went back up about two inches before touching chest)/300
    Squat 230x5 (half squat)/350 (below parallel)
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    Workout log:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=159776261&p=1197756951#post1197756951
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  11. #11
    SerbianBrah nikolic993's Avatar
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    bumping this.
    Good post.
    Vulpea când n-ajunge la struguri zice că-s acri.
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  12. #12
    Registered User kratosbrah's Avatar
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    So, OP. I'm doing around 15 sets for back, atm.

    Right now I do Pullups, Bent Rows, DB Rows, Pulldowns, and Cable Rows. I see in your post it implies that cable rows/db rows basically work the same area, so is it redundant for me to do both? Should I switch those cable rows out for deadlifts/rackpulls?
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  13. #13
    Trying hard. MikeDavidL's Avatar
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    Some feedback from a total noob.

    You've summarized it very well into the 3 main areas. Very easy to understand, and helps un-muddy the waters a little. I particularly liked your point about the mind muscle contraction. I'm just starting to discover how doing the same exercise only slightly differently can mean the difference between an awesome workout and an almost pointless one. Visualizing the exercise properly as you perform it is an excellent tool, I will be applying this technique from now on.

    I'm still a ways off from putting all of this to good use, still building up a starting muscle base at the moment. But this is very good information. Thanks for your time spent putting it together.
    "Eternal Life is living for others." -William Branham

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  14. #14
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kratosbrah View Post
    So, OP. I'm doing around 15 sets for back, atm.

    Right now I do Pullups, Bent Rows, DB Rows, Pulldowns, and Cable Rows. I see in your post it implies that cable rows/db rows basically work the same area, so is it redundant for me to do both? Should I switch those cable rows out for deadlifts/rackpulls?
    Seated Cable Rows and DB Rows are not the exact same exercise infact every single exercise will hit different angles of your back muscles unless it 100% mimic another exercise, I find pull ups behind my necks to have a different effect on my back other than regular pull ups and so on, but basically your workout is lacking an isometric movement you can go for the substitute.
    MUST READ about back development : http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151735043

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  15. #15
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nikolic993 View Post
    bumping this.
    Good post.
    Thanks for the Bump man.

    Originally Posted by MikeDavidL View Post
    Some feedback from a total noob.

    You've summarized it very well into the 3 main areas. Very easy to understand, and helps un-muddy the waters a little. I particularly liked your point about the mind muscle contraction. I'm just starting to discover how doing the same exercise only slightly differently can mean the difference between an awesome workout and an almost pointless one. Visualizing the exercise properly as you perform it is an excellent tool, I will be applying this technique from now on.

    I'm still a ways off from putting all of this to good use, still building up a starting muscle base at the moment. But this is very good information. Thanks for your time spent putting it together.
    Thank you for ur feedback mate, yes since your starting out just stick to basic movements and worry about progress more than variety.
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  16. #16
    Registered User MichaelCJ's Avatar
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    Face pulls ftw.

    Still a decent foundation you've laid out there.
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  17. #17
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    Nice post(s), seems like fundamental stuff tho, but i guess others are learning.

    Obviously another important part of the equation....eat more
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  18. #18
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    Good post! What do you use for rows to chest? I guess on DB rows I pull higher up, but if I try to pull into my chest with a BB or the cables it feels a bit awkward on my shoulders. Do you suggest I lighten the load a bit or do you use a diff technique? Thanks.
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  19. #19
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BZBantam View Post
    Good post! What do you use for rows to chest?
    I use Pendlay rows

    Originally Posted by BZBantam View Post
    I guess on DB rows I pull higher up, but if I try to pull into my chest with a BB or the cables it feels a bit awkward on my shoulders.
    Try pendlay rows (rows from the floor) and play around with the grip, I prefer wide.. during pendlay if you keep your torso stationary and parallel to the floor you will find it easier on the shoulder to pull to the chest more than if you do with an inclined torso during a bent over row

    Originally Posted by BZBantam View Post
    Do you suggest I lighten the load a bit or do you use a diff technique? Thanks.
    I go as heavy as possible for the target reps while keeping full control on the exercise.
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  20. #20
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    Repped, good post bud
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  21. #21
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    makes sense to me
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  22. #22
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    Lightbulb

    You missed a very important vertical pull - the shrug.
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  23. #23
    Registered User SexyBack1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -Lucifer View Post
    You missed a very important vertical pull - the shrug.
    i also didnt mention face pull all of these are great additions but am trying to stick to the basics to keep it simple, thanks for your input
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    Originally Posted by SexyBack1 View Post
    i also didnt mention face pull all of these are great additions but am trying to stick to the basics to keep it simple, thanks for your input
    I got that, but the upper traps barely grow if you don't do shrugs, and traps popping out makes a big difference in appearance.

    Good thread, by the way. I wish I'd seen something like this when I was a newbie.
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    Originally Posted by -Lucifer View Post
    I got that, but the upper traps barely grow if you don't do shrugs, and traps popping out makes a big difference in appearance.

    Good thread, by the way. I wish I'd seen something like this when I was a newbie.
    Thank you, and your definitely right, but i always like to see the upper trap as a different muscle i usual train it during shoulder day, but thats just me.. maybe ill make a follow up on traps soon thanks again.
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    looks good. very informative. i always do deads first or else i am too drained to focus on anything else
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    im currently doing this routine

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=150375983


    how would you modify the back routine since i personally feel it isn't the best.
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    Originally Posted by NaturalFTW View Post
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=150375983

    how would you modify the back routine since i personally feel it isn't the best.
    Chinup
    Pendlay row
    DB row
    DB shrug

    Just throwing it out there. Listen to whatever the OP says because his back looks far better than mine.
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    Originally Posted by NaturalFTW View Post
    im currently doing this routine

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=150375983


    how would you modify the back routine since i personally feel it isn't the best.
    Originally Posted by -Lucifer View Post
    Chinup
    Pendlay row
    DB row
    DB shrug
    ^ this but no need to remove pulldowns, you just switch cable rows for chin ups and thats it. pull downs should be overhand grip(pull up style) but if you wish you can make a switch and use underhand for pull-downs and pull ups instead of chin ups, whatever you are comfortable with, i also prefer pendlay rows over Bent-over but again it go for wutever you feel more comfortable with.

    side note: at 5'7' 140 lb i don't think this program would suit you best tell me more about the weights you are using for your main lifts (deadlifts, squats, bench press, rows and overhead press) and for how many reps
    Last edited by SexyBack1; 02-09-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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    Bump, hope more people can see this.
    MUST READ about back development : http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151735043

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