Workout Routines

Back Thrashing Pullup Workout

Reacquaint yourself with your back musculature with this one-day pull-up blitz.

Duration 60 min
Exercises 3
Equipment X

No one enjoys crippling pain but the dedicated lifters among us tend to regard soreness as progress – a badge of honor worn with pride, if a slightly diminished range of motion. And when it comes to training the back, it can sometimes be difficult to achieve that hallmark soreness because you can’t see your back at work during each set. One way to summon those long-neglected fibers – to leave no doubt as to the growth environment you’ve created – is to put yourself through the paces of a high-volume session with one exercise or movement pattern.

Get Pulling

The pullup is a timeless back-builder that guys tend to eschew in favor of lat pulldowns and row variations.  But if you can build proficiency with the pullup, then gains in lat size and strength are not far behind. Your biceps, by the way, get a healthy dose of peripheral work from nearly any pullup variation.

Once or twice a month, use this pullups-only routine to thrash your back and get growing again. For this workout, we’re suggesting an overhand grip, with your hands spaced just outside shoulder-width apart. Each time, choose a different variation such as underhand pullups (chin-ups), a narrower overhand grip or, if you have access to parallel bars, use a neutral grip. For a finishing act, raise your arms up parallel to the deck and contract your lats hard for 30 seconds. Try not to cramp up and be sure to stretch your lats thoroughly when it’s all said and done.

60 Days to Fit: Follow this program from fitness expert James Grage and you'll be in great shape in just two short months.

The Workout

Exercise 1

Weighted Pullup You'll need: Dip Belt, Pullup Bar, Weight Plates How to
Weighted Pullup thumbnail
2 sets
10 reps
60-90 sec rest
Perform these rest-pause style, two at a time, with 15-25 seconds between segments until you reach 10 reps. choose a weight that allows you to complete 5-6 total reps. This will allow you to perform cleaner reps while still working up to your 10-rep goal.

Exercise 2

General Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Pullup thumbnail
-- sets
25 reps
60-90 sec rest
Perform as many sets as it takes to reach 25 reps with your own bodyweight. Strive to reduce your total number of work sets each time.

Exercise 3

Negative Pullup
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
3-5 reps
2-3 min rest
“Jump” yourself into position with your chin roughly parallel to the bar and resist gravity for 5-10 seconds on the way down. Climb or jump back into position and repeat for 3-5 reps.