Back Exercises

Build A Back Like Arnold's

A wide, v-tapered back starts with time spent at the pull-up bar. Here’s how Arnold beefed up his lats with this bodyweight move.

by CSCS
Build A Back Like Arnold's

Anecdotally, lifters who commit to doing pull-ups regularly report quick gains in strength and stamina on the bar – more sets with more quality reps.

So take your own Arnold-like approach to pull-ups and watch your lats expand in no time flat. And it won’t hurt on your seismic sets of rows, either.

Exercise                Sets/Reps

Pull-Up                   X/50

--Arnold would perform as many sets to failure as necessary to reach 50 reps. He would rest 1-2 minutes between sets.

For more on Arnold’s unique approach to training, pick up the October issue of M&F, on newsstands now.

Wider Grip, Wider Lats?

Arnold famously suggested this in his prime and, with the way his back looked, no one was going to argue with him. And while it’s true that his wide-grip pull-ups – which he did behind-the-neck as well – targeted the upper, outer lats, you can further activate the lats with a slightly narrower grip because it increases the range of motion on those muscles. 

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