Workout Routines

Back on Track for Greater Growth

Break though your growth barriers with this plateau-busting back blast.

by CSCS
pullup at gym
Duration 1 day
Exercises 8
Equipment Yes

Rows, pulldowns and chins — these exercises comprise the nuts and bolts of any solid back training routine. These multi-joint moves help to add width and depth to your back and are perfect for the guy looking to add mass to the lats. But diligent trainers quickly learn that what worked last year may not work this year. It's called a plateau, and no matter how hard you're training, if you're not mixing up your workouts and demanding more of your targeted muscles, your gains are going to stall out like a motorcycle with a bum clutch.

This workout is sure to provide the jolt you need to get your growth back on track. With this assortment of strength-based exercises, your back is forced to remember what it was like to get sore.

"This back routine is simple, but brutal," Pena says. "You can use this as a substitute for your back routine this week to shock your lats, or you can make it your regular routine for a month to see how it works for you. This is for seasoned gym rats only — the heavy nature of this routine can leave inexperienced lifters open to injury."

Have fun, and don't forget your straps!

The Workout

Exercise 1

Romanian Deadlift
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
6,10,12,15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Rack Pull You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Rack Pull thumbnail
4 sets
6,10,12,15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Dumbbell Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Shrug thumbnail
4 sets
6,10,12,15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Farmer's Walk You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Farmer's Walk thumbnail
4 sets
50 steps reps
-- rest
Grab a heavy set of dumbbells, take 50 steps, making sure to keep your chest high and shoulders back. After 50 steps, turn and continue striding until failure.

Exercise 5

Seated Cable Row You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Seated Cable Row thumbnail
-- sets
30 reps
-- rest
Perform these rest-pause style using your 5RM. Complete 2-3 reps, then rest 10-15 seconds before diving back in. Repeat until you reach 30 reps.

Exercise 6

Lat Pulldown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar How to
Lat Pulldown thumbnail
-- sets
30 reps
-- rest
Perform these rest-pause style using your 5RM. Complete 2-3 reps, then rest 10-15 seconds before diving back in. Repeat until you reach 30 reps.

Exercise 7

General Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Pullup thumbnail
2 sets
To failure reps
-- rest

Exercise 8

Good Morning You'll need: No Equipment How to
Good Morning thumbnail
3 sets
12-20 reps
-- rest
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