Workout of the Week: October 18th- Back Attack


Cardiovascular machine- 5min


Arm circles- 4 sets of 15 seconds each way, alternating between small and large circles. (yes, just like in gym class)

External rotation- using thera-bands, do 3×15 reps of external rotation (see I-1)

Light warm up sets- Before starting your working sets, make sure to do 2-3  very light sets to familiarize the movement and bring blood to the muscle.

Additional warm-up options- light pull-ups, rack chins, lumbar extension, light bicep curls, torso rotation.

Working Sets

T-Bar rows: 4×8; 120s rest.

t bar
T-bar row

SET-UP: Use either a wedged barbell with a narrow double grip cable attachment (my preference) or a T-bar designed machine. Approach the bar with feet shoulder width apart.

EXECUTION: Pick up by handles with a deadlift-like technique. Keep chest up, head/spine neutral, and knees bent. With slight momentum, yes SLIGHT. Row the bar to rib cage while keeping elbows tight to body. Then lower to almost complete arm extension.

TIPS: Control the eccentric motion, but pull in a powerful lat crushing motion during the concentric phase. Mentally isolate the muscular action of your lats, and NOT your arms. Let your ego go, and lift what you actually can.. This exercise is excellent for back thickness.


Neutral grip lat pull down: 3×10; 60s rests

SET-UP: Use the bar that looks like a lat pulldown bar, but has handles on the end (see I-2). Attach it to the lat pull-down pulley at your gym. Adjust knee pad so legs are firmly snug.

EXECUTION: Grab handles and lean body slightly backwards (hips should make a 100-120 degree angle). While keeping elbows wide, pull towards body until bar is even with your throat. Then extend until arms are just about locked out. Breath in on eccentric (up) and

Neutral lat pulldown
Neutral lat pull down

out on concentric (down).

TIPS: Mentally isolate lats as primary worker. On eccentric motion, allow lats to open and stretch as if you were posing. While slight momentum is beneficial, do not swing torso and/or lean extremely far back.

 Dumbbell incline bench wide angled seal row: 3×12 (super set with next exercise)

SET-UP: Find an adjustable bench and set it at the incline you would for a normal incline chest exercise. Grab 2 dumbbells, preferably around weight you would do dumbbell shoulder presses with. This exercise will require you to lie chest down (reverse) on the bench.

EXECUTION: As mentioned in the set-up, begin by lying on the bench in a reversed position as shown in example picture.

DB seal row
                                      DB seal row

TIPS: I prefer to go lighter than maximum weight so that I can control the movement. This also allows for a solid squeeze at the peak of contraction. You may experiment between neutral and prone hand positions. Breathe on concentric and inhale on eccentric

Cable reverse fly: 3×12 (second part of super-set)- 120s between cycles.

SET-UP: You may do on fly machine, with dumbbells, or cable machine; each have their own feel and benefit. Just make sure your spine and head remain neutral, can cause nerve pinching if not (trust me).

EXECUTION: As mentioned, keep back/ neck neutral. While keeping elbows almost, but not completely locked out, open arms out from side until a contraction of your upper back and shoulders stop the movement. The movement should be controlled, as this is a technique needed isolation lift, rather than a heavy weight type.

DB Reverse Fly
DB Reverse Fly

TIPS: Mentally chase the burn while doing this movement, which will take practice. If hands are prone, the movement will target post deltoids and traps. If hands are neutral, the upper back will be targeted more; experiment with both.

This concludes the back workout; Additional body parts may be added to the workout (ex. biceps, shoulders)


The picture below has some recommend stretches to do following this back workout.

Do each stretch for 2-3 sets of 10-20 second holds.

Back stretches
Back stretches (click to enlarge)


God gave you another day, and another healthy workout.

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