While most of the world is hating Mondays, we’re embracing it. For many of us, it’s our first workout of the week (I realize some of you may train on the weekends and/or do not have the typical Monday-Friday schedule). What makes Mondays even more special, at least for me, is it’s what I call my big back workout day.
Big Back Workout
You all know me well enough by now. I stick to the basic back exercises for the most part. In fact, this is true for every body part. I guess I’m a bit on the old school side of weight training. The basics have worked quite well for years, and guess what? They still do. Here’s this morning’s big back workout.
- Dumbbell Pullovers
- 4 sets x 15, 12, 10, 8 reps
- Plate-Loaded Rows
- 6 sets x 15, 12, 10, 7, 7, 20 reps
- Seated Rows
- 4 sets x 10 reps
- Reverse Grip Pulldowns
- 4 sets x 12 reps
- Hammer Strength Low Rows
- 4 sets x 12 reps
- Barbell Rows
- 4 sets x 15 reps
Big Back Workout Details
I want to go over my big back workout in detail aside from just how many sets and reps I did. I’ll go into a little of why I did what I did for this workout and explain each back exercise.
› I’ve been starting with dumbbell pullovers for about a month now. This helps build those muscles between your chest and lats. It also serves as a great warm up and pump for your back before getting into the heavier weights. I went up a little in weight each set.
› Plate-loaded rows is a back exercise that mimics barbell rows (also called bent-over rows). It’s not really classified as a machine as you’re actually lifting free-weights. It does indeed save your lower back from hurting so you’re able to focus more on the muscles you’re working. I like to move up in weight each set and do max effort for those last couple of heavy sets. I then end with a set of 20 reps. This concept ensures you hit all muscle fibers.
› Seated rows to me are more of a concentrated back exercise. Where you can go heavy, I tend to focus more on the contraction of my back muscles throughout each rep.
› I generally do regular lat pulldowns but every now and then I’ll switch it up and do reverse grip pulldowns. This back exercise hits a different part of your lats than what you may be used to. I expect to be sore from these tomorrow.
› I absolutely love Hammer Strength equipment for back. My gym has the Hammer Strength low rows, high rows and the normal seated rows. You’ll see one of these performed in most all of my back workouts. They target the muscle perfectly. And like the plate-loaded rows, there’s no strain on your lower back.
› I ended my big back workout with good ole-fashion barbell rows, or as many call them bent-over rows. This is actually my favorite exercise but going heavy puts a lot of strain on my lower back. Ended my back workout with these forced me to go a little lighter. And I also went for higher reps. This gave me a tremendous pump.
Sets & Reps = Big Back
You can see that I did a lot of exercises, sets, and reps for my back workout. I’m a fan of high volume. And I believe that’s what it takes to build a big back.
Back training is something I’ve become more focused on over the years. It creates thickness, width, and depth to your physique. Having a big back gives you a 3-dimensional look. You essentially look big (and are big) from all angles.
As I’m writing this, I’ve already eaten two meals. Once I get home from the gym I have a shake. This usually consists of 2 scoops of whey protein, a table spoon of natural honey, and either a banana or a cup of yogurt with fruit. Sometimes on a high volume day like back or legs, I’ll do both a banana and yogurt.
My second post-workout meal is typically an hour or so later. I usually eat eggs and a glass of orange juice for this one. Sometimes I’ll throw in sausage or maybe toast. Now that we’re talking about food, I’m hungry!
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