Back and Traps Workout
No matter what workout program I’m on I’ve generally started out the week with a back workout on Monday mornings (and lately I’ve been throwing in some traps on back day). That being said, unlike most people, I love Mondays. Well, at least Monday mornings! Over the years I’ve upped my training volume a little for my back workouts because it’s such a large muscle and there are so many details you can bring out in your back if you train it properly, and with volume.
If you’ve been following my workout blog you’ve noticed that I’ve been training with strict, controlled reps. In fact, I’m somewhat doing a negative for each rep (about 3 seconds on the descent of the movement). The goal is to control the weight rather than letting the weight control you. This type of training also promotes good form, not to mention you’re targeting the muscle on each and every rep rather than just moving a bunch of weight around. In other words, we’re not just lifting weights; we’re building muscle tissue.
Back N’ Traps Workout
Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets x 12-15 reps
Chest-Rest Plate Loaded Row Machine: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
Hammer Strength High Rows: 4 sets x 10 reps
One-Arm Seated Rows: 3 sets x 8 reps
Close-Grip Pulldows: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Shrugs: 4 sets x 10 reps
Like last week’s back workout I started out with a pulldown movement, in this case, lat pulldowns. I stuck with a higher rep range here to get the muscle warmed up. Actually this equated to 6 sets if I were to include the first 2 warm ups that aren’t listed above. The chest-rest row is one machine I see many people using horrible form on because they’re trying to go too heavy. I keep my chest on the rest pad and make sure my reps are strict, controlled, and using full range of motion. If you do anything less, you’re not going to get the full benefit of this exercise.
One-arm seated rows is something I haven’t done in a while but this exercise really targets the lats. I equate one-arm seated rows to dumbbell rows (although free-weight dumbbell rows are a bit more taxing). After my back workout was done I hit several sets of dumbbell shrugs doing extremely controlled reps and more time on the negative portion of each rep. I also squeezed my traps at the peak of the movement. Traps exercises are something else that people often get carried away in using a lot of weight but neglect their form.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an advocate of using heavy weights for muscle growth. But if you’re form is bad you’re not really working the muscle, at least not as much as you could be. This is especially true for development a muscular back.
Train with Passion,