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Classic Physique Star Chris Bumstead’s Off-Season Back Training

The Classic Physique phenomenon shares the workout and tips he incorporates for a bigger back.

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Chris Bumstead's Off-Season Back Training
Richard Numeroff
Chris Bumstead's Off-Season Back Training
Richard Numeroff

One of Chris Bumstead’s goals in the off season is building thickness in his already-wide back. To build it up, dumbbell rows have been his go-to move. And as for the with he already has, Bumstead credits lat pulldowns.

Check out his tips and workout below to add thickness and width to your back.

Tips from Chris:

  • Every three back days, I change up the start of my back workout. I rotate through deadlifts for three back workouts, then switch to rack pulls for the next three workouts, and then I skip both, moving right to dumbbell rows, for the last three workouts of the cycle.
  • Rather than use a staggered stance on dumbbell rows, I like to square my feet to the bench where I stabilize my body with my resting arm. This really allows the movement to be more concentrated.
  • To hit your lower lat, make sure you’re performing seated rows low, to below your belly button. 
  • Incrporating both close-grip and wide-grip pulldowns will help you target different back muscles. On my close-grip pulldowns, I use the rope attachment.
  • For my wide-grip pulldowns, I do two dropsets, aiming for 12 reos and then dropping down to a weight that will cause failure after about 15 reps.
  • When performing the dumbbell pullover, focus on a deep stretch and only come about 3/4 of the way up to keep tension on the lats.
  • I like to end my back workout with two burnout sets of back extensions (no weight added) to failure.

Return to PHYSIQUE PHENOM for more training tips from Chris Bumstead>>

Routine

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Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 7

Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
6
Reps
6-8*
Rest
--
*Add weight each set working up to a last set of 6-8 to failure. Replace deadlift with Rack Pull after 3 workouts for the next 3 workouts. Skip Deadlift/Rack Pull after performing them each for 3 workouts, going back to Deadlifts after 3 workouts off.
Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
10-12/ea
Rest
--
Place resting arm on a bench
Exercise 3 of 7

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
10-12
Rest
--
Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Bench, Straight Bar Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Use rope attachment.
Exercise 5 of 7

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Bench, Lat Pulldown Bar
Sets
2
Reps
12/15
Rest
--
Perform a dropset of both sets. After the first 12 reps, drop to a weight that you will fail at after 15 reps.
Exercise 7 of 7

Back Extension

Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
to failure
Rest
--
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