Best Back Workout For Mass – Wide & Thick

Best Back Workout For MassAlong with the shoulders, a wide back can really emphasize a V-Tapered physique that so many men strive for. There are two main movements to back training: rowing and pulling. Rowing puts focus on building back thickness while pulling puts focus on back width. A fully developed back, as you can see in the picture above, is both thick and wide. This is the best back workout for mass which will have you busting through plateaus and on your way to the barn-door back you have always wanted!

Power-Building Back Routine

With the goal of putting on mass it is most effective to up your training frequency and to make use of both bodybuilding and power lifting techniques. This two day power-building back routine focuses on building strength through compound movements which can then be transferred on to exercises focused on hypertrophy.

Day 1

Barbell rows: Warm up and 5 sets of 5 reps

Weighted Pull-Ups: 5 sets of 5 reps

T-Bar Row: 5 sets of 5 reps

Deadlift: 5 sets of 5 reps

Day 2

Pull-Ups: 40 reps

Lateral Pull Downs: 4 sets of 12-15 reps

One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Lateral Push Down: 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 1

The first day of this back workout for mass focuses on training for strength. You will do compound movements for low reps in order to get your nervous system accustomed to lifting heavier weights than usual. All the movements will stay in the 3-5 rep range. Aim to get 3 minutes of rest in between sets so your body can fully recover before the next set.

Exercise#1: Barbell Rows – 5 Sets of 5 reps

Barbell rows are a great compound movement for the back because they work everything from the lower back to the traps. As with most exercises, form is key. In order to have the barbell row effectively work your back muscles, make sure you feel the contraction. It is very easy to over utilize the biceps in this one. Use your hands as hooks that merely assist your back in doing the majority of the work. You can’t take the biceps completely out of the equation, but it is important to establish a mind-muscle connection in order to have the barbell row deliver its desired effects. I like to use a wide over-hand grip. Check out the tutorial video on how to properly do barbell rows. Keep in mind that the more parallel your back will be to the ground the more range of motion you will have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llmqCjrI24k

Exercise#2: Weighted Pull Ups – 5 sets of 5 reps 

Everyone is familiar with pull ups, but weighted pull ups really overload your back. Weighted pull ups are amongst my favorite exercise for developing back strength. Most gyms have a dip belt which you can use to add the extra weight. If your gym doesn’t have one then you can use a dumbbell by interlocking it between your feet as you grab the pull up bar. People can usually do more chin ups (underhand grip) than pull ups (overhand grip) because chin ups increase use of the biceps. If you have difficulty doing pull ups, then chin ups can be a good stepping stone to help you get better. Too often I see people in the gym doing pull ups with barely any range of motion. Make sure you lock out at the bottom and have your chin at least up to bar level at the top. Focus on pressing your shoulder blades together to increase the use of the lats. The Buff Dudes over at YouTube do a great job at explaining the common mistakes people make doing pull ups.

Exercise#3: T-Bar Row – 5 sets of 5

I don’t think any exercise targets back thickness like the t-bar row. If your gym does not have a designated area for the t-bar row, all you need is a barbell, handle, and some plates. You can put the barbell against a corner of the wall and carry on with the exercise. Once again, it is very easy to get the biceps over involved. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together to feel the contraction. Like with the barbell rows, the more parallel your back is to the ground the more range of motion you will have. Too many people add too much weight for this exercise and end up sacrificing form. Scott Herman does a good job to demonstrate the proper form.

Exercise#4: Deadlift – 5 sets of 5

The deadlift is at the end of the routine because it is the compound exercise that takes the most out of you. If you deadlift at the beginning, it is difficult to exert maximum effort on other exercises. Given, you won’t be able to exert maximum effort on the deadlift now, but the deadlift recruits other major muscles, like the hamstrings, as well. The deadlift can be tricky because bad form can result in injury. Too many people add too much weight and sacrifice form. When lifting the weight up focus on pushing with your heels and keeping your back straight. Once again, I’ll let the Buff Dudes demonstrate.

Day 2

While the first day of this back workout focused on rowing, the second day puts emphasis on pulling. Pulling movements are more intended for the goal of back width. You will be doing relatively high reps. Remember the rule of “quality over quantity”. Focus more on form than weight. Breaks in between sets should be no longer than 30-45 seconds.

Exercise#1: Pull-Ups – 40 reps

Starting with pull-ups is a great way to warm up for what is to come. Try doing 40 reps in the least amount of sets. I usually aim for 10 reps per set for 4 sets. Keep track of how many sets it takes you to complete the 40 reps. Overtime push yourself to complete them in fewer and fewer sets. There is nothing quite like mastering your own body weight. If you can easily do 40 reps in 2 sets, then consider adding additional weight.

Exercise#2: Lateral Pull Downs – 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Lat pull downs work the same muscle groups as pull ups with further emphasis on the lats. Lat pull downs are the go to exercise for back width. It is very important that you really feel the contraction while you force your shoulder blades together during the concentric (bringing down) movement of the exercise. Like with most back exercises, it is very easy to get the biceps involved. I like to use the analogy of using your hands as mere hooks for the back to bring down most of the weight.

Lat Pull Downs For Back Mass

 

Exercise#3: One Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 sets of 8-10

I like implementing uni lateral movements (using one side of your body) to overcome muscular imbalances. When done properly, the one arm dumbbell row is great for overloading the back muscles, particularly the lats. Focus on the contraction and work on developing that mind muscle connection. This is another exercise where it can be tricky to get the right form, so I’ll let Scott Herman demonstrate.

Exercise#4 Seated Cable Row – 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Cable rows are great for bringing out the middle/lower part of your lats. Cable rows are more intended for thickness than for width, but they fit well into this routine to hit different parts of your back. Let no other than 8X Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman demonstrate the movement for you.

Exercise#5: Lateral Push Down – 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Last, but certainly not least, the lat push down. The lat push down is a very underrated back exercise. Nonetheless, it is great for isolation and serves as a finisher for this already very intense workout. Due to its isolation effects, you will really feel your lats at work. This is the one exercise which actually makes me feel the pump in my back.

To Sum Up

I want you to do this 2 day back workout for 8 weeks. I usually take a 3 day rest in between the two days.

Day 1

Barbell rows: Warm up and 5 sets of 5 reps

Weighted Pull-Ups: 5 sets of 5 reps

T-Bar Row: 5 sets of 5 reps

Deadlift: 5 sets of 5 reps

Day 2

Pull-Ups: 40 reps

Lateral Pull Downs: 4 sets of 12-15 reps

One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Lateral Push Down: 4 sets of 12-15 reps

If you are serious about seeing your back grow, upping your training frequency is a surefire way to boost your efforts. Obviously the nutrition side of things plays a major role, so aim to get in quality calories as well. On the training side of things, this routine has you covered. This is truly my best back workout for mass and in just 8 weeks you will see noticeably larger lats!

What do you think of this routine?

Is it missing your favorite back exercise? Let me know in the comments section below!

Want more of my best workouts for mass? Check out the following

Best Chest Workout For Mass

Best Shoulder Workout For Mass

Best Arm Workout For Mass

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Comments

  1. Arjun says

    Is it possible to superset the exercises in the powerlifiting (day 1) days of the chest and back routine? Espcecially as you suggest 3 mins rest times between sets…

  2. guillermo kesselbrenner says

    Is it ok to preform your leg workout the next day after the back workout, in the leg workout there is romanian deadlift and in the back workout there are 5 sets of deadlift?

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