The back, in my opinion, is the most complex muscle group in the entire body and thus the most challenging to maximally develop. However, it is also (in my opinion as a bodybuilder, fan and judge) the most impressive to view when body fat is the low single digits, and all of those “gnarly” bumps and grooves are standing out in bold relief!
There are a lot of muscles to think about when approaching back training: the lats, the teres, the rhomboids, the posterior delts, the mid/upper traps, the erectors, and yes the muscles that lie deep within the back (not readily visible to us).
And with it’s vast complexity, the entire back musculature carries with it the indisputable need to utilize many different exercises, angles, and grips in order to create true "completeness." While it is certainly cool to have a wide, nicely “V’d” back, and awesome to achieve that “thick as a brick look,” when someone comes along that combines width, thickness and detail it is literally a jaw-dropping sight to behold, especially for those of us who truly appreciate the outer-limits of physical development!
The way I approach my own back training, as well as that of my many clients, is to try and effectively stimulate every portion of the back during each workout, and to do so without over-training or spending several hours in the gym. This means NOT trying to perform every exercise in existence at every back workout, but rather utiilizing a unique grouping of movements at each session.
The following page offers a basic overview of how I recommend every serious lifter approach their back workouts. This formula has literally transformed my back over the last few years from a medicore muscle group to one that now garners serious attention from bodybuilding judges and photographers alike: