Your back is the greatest canvas you possess. A solid block of meat made up of some of the biggest muscles in the body. It is also one of the areas most responsive to training, mainly due to the mass of testosterone receptors found there. A huge back will really set off any physique, and here’s how…
From towering traps, dropping between the bulbous teres major and infraspinatus muscles, leading to the wing like lats, spreading above the trunk like erector spinae bulk, a muscular back is truly a sight to behold. But so many people don’t give this area the attention it deserves.
To build a hulking back, you need to hit everything from all angles, using knowledge of anatomy and muscle physiology to ensure your sculpture is developed to its full potential.
Who doesn’t LOVE training back, anyway? Who doesn’t LOVE the feeling of the biggest pump you can get? Well… maybe that certain crowd who only train chest and arms, while strutting around the gym… but enough about them, eh.
Feeling the central muscles blown out like iron rods, lats pushing against the triceps, traps bulging and threatening to burst over and devour the delts. Heaven! A thick, strong back will also give protection to the spine, ribcage, and internal organs. Many crash victims have been saved the worst by having good back development.
Now, before we start, take a look at that picture just above… Take a long, hard look… note the thickness, the total development, the sheer slabs of pure beef… If you don’t immediately recognize that back, you need to know that it belonged to the SIX TIME MR. OLYMPIA, Mr. Dorian Yates. Many of the tips and techniques detailed in this article come straight from the Dorian Yates school of back development. They are the skills used to build and hone the greatest back EVER. Sure, they may seem a little different. Yep, they defy convention. They fly in the face of a few commonly believed…. ‘ground rules.’
But… they work. So let’s get going…
The human back really is a thing of beauty. It’s like a tree had a baby with a steak. The symmetry, diversity, and visual power is just stunning. So, what exactly are we looking at?
Starting at the top, we have the large and impressive traps, spreading across the shoulders and stretching from the back of the neck, way down the back. Some people like to train traps with shoulders, others are more interested in the back. We’ll tackle this conundrum in a bit.
Next, we have a real tangle of muscles, including teres major, infraspinatus, and the rear delts. Rear delts get such a smashing from upper back training that it may be wise to drop them from delt day and give them a few sets at the end of your back training, to avoid overtraining them.
Now we’re down to the lats. Notice how low they are. See how far down the back they stretch. This is important. Many people forget this lower portion. Check out Dorian’s lower lat development. That’s what stood him apart.
Finally, we arrive at the lower back, the erector spinae. Vey strong muscles, responsible for extending the hips, or as it is formally known… DEADLIFTING. A strong lower back lends to a strong core allowing many other lifts, especially those like squats, can offer stronger benefits.
Using big, compound lifts, like those associated with back training, cause the body to produce more testosterone, the primary anabolic hormone. Adding Sheer Alpha+ to your supplement stack amplifies this effect. This super potent supplement is packed with ingredients proven to uprate test production, with no nasty side effects.
Starting at the start. Always warm up well, especially when working vulnerable areas like the lower back, and big lifts like deadlifts. Touching your toes a few times really won’t cut it. You need to mobilize the whole midsection, as well as the shoulders, elbows, and entire back area. Get the blood pumping, then get into warm up sets. There’s no excuse. Skimping on a couple of minutes each session won’t seem so smart when you’re spending two months on the sofa, feeling sorry for yourself.
Everyone agreed that deadlifts are essential for back development?
But, what if you were to be told that full deadlifts are over-rated?
Thought you might pull that face. Take another look at Dorian… he rarely did a full deadlift.
If you’re a powerlifter, full deads are a must; if you just want to gain muscle, keep them to a minimum.
The upper partial deadlift is far superior at stimulating the back muscles with constant tension while avoiding injury. You need only lower the bar to just below the knees, before straightening up again. Going lower only involves the legs and constantly puts the lower spine into a compromised position. Sure, throw in the odd set or two, but you will get better results in the target muscles, the back if you use partials.
A good deadlift routine would be to start with 2 sets of light, full deadlifts as a warm up, before moving on to 5 or 6 sets of upper partials, with maybe a heavier set of full lifts at the end if you feel the need.
Back training is tough going. It can take it out of the muscles and even start to eat into your tissues. Take Sheer BCAA before, during, and after training to avoid muscle breakdown and protect your gains.
Straight Arm Pulldowns
One exercise that many people ignore, or have never heard of, is straight arm pulldowns. They really open up the lats and get the blood pumping. They also serve as a pre-exhaustion movement, meaning that your lats will tire first when you get into the compound lifts.
Rows are, along with pull ups, essential for upper back gains. But we’re going to mix it up again, Dorian style…
While more traditional, overhand rows are great, the underhand version hits the lats more comprehensively and through a greater range of motion. This is the key to how Dorian built those monster lower lats.
It will feel awkward at first, but persevere. You will feel a difference.
Time to throw another myth on the fire. A wide grip DOES NOT build a wider back. In fact, the opposite is true.
Check out the picture and note how much further the lats are stretched with a NARROW, UNDERHAND grip. At the top of the movement, the lats are also contracted to a greater degree. At the top, arch your back, pushing your chest at the bar, and squeeze.
Let’s not totally trash the wide grip, it also has its place, mix it up. Hit the muscles from all angles. However, the narrow grip stimulates more muscle, including the often neglected lower traps.
One place where a wide grip is useful is seated rows. Take a straight bar, grip around 1.5 times shoulder width, and pull into your lower rib cage, always remembering to arch and squeeze.
One Arm Rows
One arm rows are a great way to finish off the upper back. Too many lifters go too heavy with these like it’s some competition to see who can pick up the biggest dumbbell… and maybe it is.
Go heavy for sure, but concentrate on getting a full range of motion, with a good stretch at the bottom (while keeping the back flat) and a big squeeze at the top. Pull the weight into your midsection, not up towards your ribs.
The best way to get huge lat pumps is to use a nitric oxide booster. Sheer Nitro is a potent supplement, engineered to increase natural production of NO, dilating blood vessels, gorging the muscles, and stacking more weight on the bar. You won’t be able to get your arms by your sides!
Now for the extras…
As previously mentioned, many like to train traps with delts, and this makes sense. Save the shrugs for shoulder day. Just make sure you get a good squeeze through the lower traps on back day. Arch and squeeze that upper back.
With regards to rear delts, if you feel they get a real toasting on back day, just add a few sets of bent laterals at the end to finish them and drop them from shoulder day. They are a very small muscle and as such can easily be overtrained, leading to poor recovery and development.
Now… a more hands-on approach from the six-time Mr. O…
Dorian back vid- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tjs6mjKw-AE
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