In my last post, I shared my high volume back workout, along with some pointers for developing a fuller, thicker, and stronger back.
Well, that high volume back workout is just 1 half of the deliciously gain filled pie that serving for you today.
My 2nd back workout is what I call my ‘heavy’ back workout.
I train following the advice of 5 Time NABBA Mr Universe Eddy Ellwood. His principle is to hit each muscle twice a week, one session is a heavy workout, and one is high volume. Its an approach that has been popularised by Neil Hill’s Y3T system. It is different, but it applies a similar principle.
Working with a series of different rep ranges, will stimulate both fast & slow twitch muscle fibres, whilst also letting your train for strength and hypertrophy.
Im not saying this is the be all and end all of workouts. There are a ton of top level pro bodybuilders, each of which train completely different to one another. What works for me, may not be optimal for you. However since swapping over to this heavy & high volume split, i’ve been making the best progress of my lifting career.
I hit heavy back the same day as high volume triceps. Depending on my schedule, I’ll either train back separately from triceps, or couple them together. This isn’t essential, but if I get the chance to, I’ll often separate them so i can put 100% into back. Rest for a few hours, then hit triceps, along with abs and calves, or triceps and cardio.
My Heavy Back Workout
Deadlifts 5 x 15-12-10-8-6
Pull Down 4 x 8 – 10
Row 4 x 8 – 10
Pull Over 4 x 8 – 10
This is just an outline for the workout. For example, you can use any pull down you want. Wide grip, reverse close grip, a machine pull down.
Whatever you fancy. What is important is to make sure, which ever exercise you select, your perform properly, and with 100% intensity. I’d personally recommend alternating between the exercises you do. For 4-6 weeeks perhaps do a wide grip pull down. Then change this to a reverse close grip for 4-6 weeks.
Next up we have Rows. My favourite is a barbell row. Either over hand or reverse grip.
Alternatives include dumbbell rows, machine rows, t-bar rows or cable rows.
Some of my heavy back workouts involve 2 rows. A barbell row, then later in the workout, a machine or cable row.
Pull Overs can be done with a dumbbell or on a cable. I find this to be a good ‘finisher’ exercise, and can be easily super setted with a lower back extension if you feel the need to do so.
Getting The Most From Your Workout
Many people neglect back for 2 reasons.
Its hard to see the muscle working as you’re training. This means its hard to see any progress, and keep motivated to train it. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ applies here.
The 2nd is that people often tell me they don’t ‘feel’ like they’re working their back. They might finish a full session and come away with no pump, or feeling as though they could go and do another 3 exercises.
The first is an easy one to over come. If you struggle to get motivated because you can’t see your back in the mirror. Take progress photos’. This will help you see the gains your making, and encourage you to keep going.
The 2nd issue is a weight management problem. You’re lifting too heavy. If you cant squeeze your back, and fully contract the muscle, you’re moving weight, not bodybuilding.
Drop your weights by around 30%. Do the movement slow, and squeeze. Gradually work your weight up to a level in which you can perform each rep properly, whilst still feeling a full contraction.
Just because its a ‘heavy day’ doesn’t mean your goal is to pile as much weight on the bar as possible and move it from A to B.
Just an Example
This is just an example heavy back workout i’ve performed on and off as part of my bodybuilding journey since 2013.
The heavy back routine I am currently doing is slightly different to this, however the one I’m sharing with you here has helped me make awesome progress.
Of course we need to train hard and with a high level of intensity if we want to make progress. No matter how hard you push your self in the gym though, you can’t our train a bad diet.
Your supplements plan needs to be in check. Your diet needs to be spot on. Most of all you need to be consistent.
Killing it for a week in the gym, hitting your macros dead on every day and resting up well is awesome. However 1 week of doing this isn’t enough to make progress. You need to adjust your lifestyle so that you’re doing this day in, day out, for years. Only then will you see long term progress. My Protein Shakes aren’t the most expensive ones out there, but guess what. They do their job. People often get caught up in the ultra-advanced level of debates between protein blends, pre workouts, intra workouts. What is the difference between these 2 types of whey? Which pre workout will give me the better buzz? How fast do these carbs absorb?
Forget about all that for a moment and focus on the basics.
I don’t buy freshly caught fish, or organic eggs. The frozen & cheaper versions make up my diet. I don’t have a personal cook, or chef to prepare my meals for me. Im able to follow a clean diet, even when travelling, by preparing my meals in advance.
Its easy to make excuses about how you don’t have the right supplements, or don’t have the time to eat 6-7 times a day. If you want to make progress, you’ll make it work to your schedule.
I hope this back workout helps you guys out, and if you give it a go, let me know down below!