Building a Fortress – Back routine !


Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked well-developed backs of the older athletes, then I just promised my self – I like it and I will have one, when I grow up. When I myself began to develop my back, I faced many barriers for the completion of this difficult but worthy goal . It took me a lot of time and effort to find the right way forward, but I didn’t stop for a second just because the achieving of well developed back requires time, and certain approach, which I am gonna show you. So step one!

Training the back can be quite a challenge, not as much because of the size of the back, but more because many people cannot feel the back muscles working when they train. They do not feel that they are using their muscles, can’t feel the pump most of the time, can’t visualize the working muscle simply the main problem is weak muscle-mind connection. The most common mistakes are the main use of the forearms and biceps through the execution of the repetitions. That’s why some of the trainees feel the pump in their hands – if you feel the pump in your biceps on back training well you doing it wrong.

>>>Let’s start with the key principles

  • To take out the biceps from the game simply use a thumbless grip. Do not squeeze your wrist at any point of the full range of motion. Imagine that your arms are hooks and with these hooks some ”engines” at the back are pulling the weight. The arms just hook the weight and the other compartment do the work.
  • Let the working muscle (no matter which exercise you execute) be the initiator of the movement. First contract with the back muscles then the hands will come to play as a secondary group as the are presumed to be.
  • Unfortunately, most of the people thinks that they will pick a few exercises perform few sets for a 10 reps and that’s it. back training – done. But it doesn’t work like that. The exercises pick and their order is crucial.
  • The weight – this is a vast subject and you have to do the precision calculation by your own. What program you use, what is your goal at the moment, what is the nutrition at the training day, what supplements you have used and so on. There are many factors and it is not so simple to tell what weight you should use. But of course I can give you some advises.Keep the rep range between 8-10. First set warm up with 50% of your max then escalate to 60%-70%-80%. Last set should be to failure. If you wanna to work more hard just do the 3-rd set to failure as well. So then you will have to 2 sets to failure in a total amount of 4.

>>> It’s time for work

>>Wide grip chin-ups


>Extend your hands and take a wide grip on an chinning bar

>Look up towards the bar and start pulling yourself up. Exhale on the way up and keep your elbows slightly bent to prevent unwanted pressure on the biceps tendon.

>Slowly lower yourself to the starting position

*Use the full range of motion – all the way up, all the way down

*If your forearms start to burn use hook grip – switch your thumbs over the bar like the four other fingers

>>Barbell rows


>Stand with legs slightly bent, grasp the bar with an overhand grip and the hands wider than shoulder-width apart. With the back straight, lean forward at the waist of 45 degrees, so the bar is at knee level. This is the stance that should not change throughout the set. This is starting position.

>Inhale and hold your breath. Now pull the bar up to just below the chest. At the end of the movement squeeze the shoulder blades then the rhomboids and trapezius will contract.

>Slowly lower back to the start positions and exhale.

*Never round the back to prevent the injuries and keep your head up all the time, you also may use a weight belt. Execute in front of the mirror to watch for your proper technique.

>>T-bar row


>Straddle the bar with legs slightly bent, leaning forward with a flat back about 45 degrees. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip.

>Inhale and pull the bar to the chest. Squeeze the shoulder blades at the top of the movement. For an extra intensity hold like this for 2 seconds.

>Slowly lower back to the start positions and exhale.

*Do not brake the good form of the execution. If you swing lower the weight.

*Keep your back straight, head up and eyes looking forward.

*You can use a weight belt if you want.

>>Seated rows with rope


As you can see in the picture the model use the standard attachment for this exercise. But we will attach rope to increase the range of motion for the desirable ”good squeeze” at the end of the movement.


>Attach the rope extension to the low pulley. Sit facing the machine, feet resting on the foot pad and the torso bent forward. Keep your back straight. All the time to prevent back injuries.

>Inhale and slowly pull the rope in towards your stomach. Pull the elbows back as far as possible. This is the end of positive repetition. For an extra intensity hold like this for 2 seconds.

>Slowly lower the back to the starting position. Do not let the weight stack drop.

*Keep your shoulders to go forward. Do not use your legs or waist to move the weight.

>>>The numbers

Back workout A
Exercise                                                                 Sets                Rep Goal
Wide grip chin ups 4 10
Barbbel rows 4 8-10
T-bar rows 4 8-10
Seated rows with rope 4 12-15

-Unknown Coach

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