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Phil Heath’s Basic Back Workout Routine

Build a back like "The Gift" with this routine that pounds your posterior.

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Phil-Heath-Back-Wide-Grip-Lateral-Cable-Pulldown
Per Bernal / M+F Magazine
Phil-Heath-Back-Wide-Grip-Lateral-Cable-Pulldown
Per Bernal / M+F Magazine

Will he or won’t he compete in this year’s Olympia remains the 2020 question, but what can’t be questioned is how basic free-weight exercises have been the staples of the seven-time Olympia winner Phil Heath’s back workouts during his career.

Rows with barbells (using both pronated and reverse grips) and dumbbells beefed up his lats, rhomboids, and middle traps. Wide-grip pull­ups and lat pulldowns stretched his lats laterally. Over the course of “The Gift’s” career, his back grew and grew. In fact, throughout his career, Heath has made more improvements to his physique than any other bodybuilder, past or present.

Take a look at how he developed his impressively strong back with just a few moves and switching up grips and angels:

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Routine

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Phil Heath Back Routine

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 5

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Bench, Lat Pulldown Bar
Sets
4
Reps
10-12
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 5

Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
10-12
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 5

Barbell row

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
10-12
Rest
--
How to
Alternate between pronated and reverse grips.
Exercise 4 of 5

One-arm Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
10-12
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 5

Lat Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar
Sets
4
Reps
10-12
Rest
--
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