Last month you got a taste of the power bodybuilding world with my chest workout. Now, it’s time to smash your back with the same kind of weight and volume. The basic principles of the two workouts are identical—start with a main lift where you go as heavy as possible for your working sets, taking as much time as you need between sets to fully recover.

The accessory moves that follow are also heavy, but never at the expense of good form. You don’t have to time your rest periods during the accessory moves, either, but you should aim to pick up the pace somewhat; you won’t need as much recovery time as you will during the deadlift. Over the years, I’ve learned to listen to my body and attack the sets as soon as I’m ready.

Keep Strength Levels High

Remember: Power bodybuilding is not just a system to build strength. It’s also the best way I know to retain strength while dieting to get lean. Keeping strength levels high should be a priority for everyone, because when you lose strength, you lose size. And if you diet hard only to be left with a body without muscle, what was the point? If you can stay strong year-round, you can stay big year round, no matter how hard you diet when you’re trying to get lean. Strength sustains you.

See workout on next page. 

Back Blasting Workout

How to Do It: Go as heavy as you can. My weights are show in the far column.

Exercise Sets Reps Mike’s Weight
*Pullup 4 12 N/A
*Deadlift 4 8 135, 225, 315, 405
**Deadlift 8 5, 4, 3 495, 585, 650
***Deadlift 7 3 705
Lat Pulldown 4 10 Full Stack
Seated Row 4 12 Full Stack
T-bar Row 4 8 360
Hyperextension 6 15 45

*as warmup, **Ramp up, ***Working sets