Back workout for mass

Back workout for mass

As you probably know, when done right, not is a back workout one of the toughest workouts out there, it’s also one of our favorites.

A back workout HAS to be tough if you want that awesome V-Taper that you see on the pro’s and the physique competitors. It is part and parcel to the wide upper body and small waist look that is so highly desired.

In the video below, Brandon Griffith and Gabe “T-Reks” Tuft, change up the routine to shock their muscles. Typically focusing on high reps, supersets, and even giant sets, they switched it up and pyramided down from 20 reps. Each set they added weight to increase the tension on the muscles.

One of the takeaways from this back workout video should be two fold – your workouts should be fun but they should also be intense! You can hear Gabe breathing heavy in most of the footage in between sets. It’s a really good illustration of how the high the intensity is cranked up for this back workout.

Focus on the target muscles during your back workout

During the back workout for mass, or any style workout, you should be focusing on contracting JUST the back muscles. Make sure you relax the other muscle groups (except for your core, which should be engaged at all times) and pull only with your lats and rhomboid. For all of your exercises, keep your back as straight as possible, shoulders pinned back, and keep the tension on the muscle by stopping your range of motion just shy of a lockout or fully straightened arms. This will help keep all of the tension in the lats, rather than using your shoulders and spinal erectors (low back) to move the weight.

Use straps during your back workout for more massStraps VS No Straps for back workouts

If you’re a power lifter and you’re training for competitions, don’t use straps. If your focus is on bodybuilding, then grab yourself a set of straps and use them when the weight becomes too heavy for you to finish your set because your forearms give out. Before you say anything, yes, we realize that you are sacrificing forearm development by doing this BUT you are also allowing yourself to increase the amount of weight and reps you can perform using your back, which is the targeted muscle group anyways. More reps = more tension = more blood in the back muscles.
Take another, separate day and focus on forearms. We will typically do them at the end of our arm workouts and again on the day we do calves. This allows us to totally focus on the forearms and ensure that everything evens out and there’s no question about underdeveloped forearms or symmetry.


Full arm workout is below! But first, if you like this workout, you need to try our 12-week program:

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Back workout for mass from Body Spartan

Lat Pulldowns


Lat Pulldown Position 2 for back workout
Lat Pulldown Position 1 for back workout


Be sure to slow down the tempo and use strict form. Hold for a half to one second at the bottom and focus on squeezing and contracting the lats.

Set Drop Set Reps Weight Rest
1 No 20 140 lbs 2 minutes
2 No 18 160 lbs 2 minutes
3 No 16 170 lbs 2 minutes
4 No 14 180 lbs 2 minutes
5 No 10 210 lbs 2 minutes to next exercise

Bent Over Rows

Again, slow down the tempo and get a good half second to full second hold and squeeze at the top of the motion. Both overhand or underhand grips are acceptable. Just remember to switch them up from week to week. Also, NO BOUNCING. Use good, strict form and don’t use your legs to get the weight up to your stomach by bouncing.

Set Drop Set Reps Weight Rest
1 No 20 135 lbs 2 minutes
2 No 18 185 lbs 2 minutes
3 No 16 225 lbs 2 minutes
4 No 14 245 lbs 2 minutes
5 No 10 275 lbs 2 minutes to next exercise

Cable Single Arm Standing Rows


Cable standing row for back workouts
Cable row starting position


Start with your palm facing down and as you pull the cable towards your body, rotate so that your palm is facing inwards (supinate).

Set Drop Set Reps Weight Rest
1 No 20 80 lbs 2 minutes
2 No 18 90lbs 2 minutes
3 No 16 100 lbs 2 minutes
4 No 14 110 lbs 2 minutes
5 No 10 120 lbs 2 minutes to next exercise

T-Bar Rows

Focus on pulling with the lats and keeping your chest on the pad. As you approach failure, you can cheat a few reps or use partial reps with strict form.

Set Drop Set Reps Weight Rest
1 No 20 1 plate 2 minutes
2 No 18 2 plates 2 minutes
3 No 16 3 plates 2 minutes
4 No 14 3 plates and a 25lb 2 minutes
5 No 10 4 plates 2 minutes to next exercise

Cable close-grip low rows

Cable low row for back workouts

Be sure to keep your shoulders pinned back for this specific movement. Stretch as far forward with your arms as you can without letting your shoulders round or allowing your lower back to move. You should be leaning back, just slightly. Note: at this particular gym, the weight stack maxed out at 210 pounds. If possible, increase the weight each set.

Set Drop Set Reps Weight Rest
1 No 20 200 lbs 2 minutes
2 No 18 210 lbs 2 minutes
3 No 16 210 lbs 2 minutes
4 No 14 210 lbs 2 minutes
5 No 10 210 lbs 2 minutes to next exercise

Pull ups


Pull ups starting position
Pull ups top position


Any back workout for mass should include pull-ups. They are tried and true and pretty much every bodybuilder and physique competitor swears by them. Why? Because pull-up build a big back, that’s why.

Set Drop Set Reps Weight Rest
1 No To failure Body weight

Final thoughts on the back workout for mass

So use this back workout for mass and to shock your muscles by doing something out of the ordinary. You HAVE to keep your body guessing and continuously change up your workouts. Keep your intensity but change the rep schemes, the style, the exercises, the total number of sets and reps, etc. The more you shock your body, the more you’re gonna grow.

We’ll leave you with this back workout for mass gallery for inspiration:

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