Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back

Awesome Muscle Building for Your Back!
Undoubtedly, a well developed back is the hallmark differentiator between those who train the “show” muscles, and those who train the “go” muscles.
big arnold back Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back

Arnold’s flawless back development!
A well developed back is unmistakable. Starting with the upper traps, the mid and lower traps and the rhomboids, as well as the lats and even , when bent forwards, the lumbar (erector group) musculature pops out as to thick ridges that run beside the spine.
Additionally, for athletes, strong and balanced back development helps to prevent injuries and keeps you in the game and in the gym so your training can continue uninterrupted by injuries.
Guaranteed, if you think you can forgo the important stuff, just to work on the show muscles, you’ll be hit up with an injury that can keep you out of the game for years!
Don’t Risk Injury… Train Serious, But Train Smart! (TSTS)
Considerations for Awesome Muscle Building Training For Your Back
1. Exercise Selection
If you could only do one exercise for back, I would say Deadlifts would be your best choice, but thankfully we can do more than one exercise. Deadlifts are the exercise that will best allow you to express your strength and develop top end strength, but they take a toll on your recovery, so while you need to do them, they shouldn’t be your main focus. Do them once a week, or even once every two weeks cycled in in place of a squat exercise.Safe and effective deadlift technique:

Ensure back is in neutral arch, brace abdominals forcefully.  Begin movement by “pushing” the floor away from you.  Maintain the same upper body to floor angle until your legs are nearly straight, then using glutes and hamstrings, pull your hips inwards, squeezing your butt as your upper body pulls up into the finish position.  Be sure to lock your knees out and continue to brace your abdominals hard as you squeeze your glutes to pull you into the finish.  If you don’t keep your abdominal brace and lock your knees out, and you pull your glutes in hard, you increase the risk of injury to your back!


Overload with chains, bands, partials

Here’s a short video I put together that shows you the exact description above in action.

 Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back
How to Deadlift for a Massive Back!
Pull-ups and Chin-ups
Pull-ups and chin-ups are the most important exercise for you to do on a regular basis. They are heavily reliant on the CNS, and thus contribute to significant strength gains that have massive carry-over to many other exercises.

 Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back
Band-assisted Pull-ups (start)
Because of the stretch position at the bottom, they are also excellent for adding mass to your back. Repeated studies have shown that muscles grow best when loads are applied to muscles in a stretched position.
And if those reasons aren’t enough, pull-ups and chin-ups will teach you to leave your ego at the door. I can’t tell you how many times when I used to work at silly commercial gyms I would see big muscular guys doing partial range of motion cable pulldowns with 200+ pounds on the rack, yet they could barely do 5 chin-ups. This is just not acceptable, and if you’re an athlete, you’ll just plain suck if this is your situation!
Don’t be that guy! (Or girl!!)

 Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back
Band-assisted Pull-ups (finish)

Pull-ups and their variations are the meat and potatoes of your back
training program.

Because there are so many variations, you can get even up to three good pull-up workouts into a single week.  At that volume (3x per week), they’ll all have to be different, but that’s the beauty of it!  You get way more benefit.

Here’s an example:

Monday: Parallel-grip pull-ups 5×8 (strength with strength capacity)
Wednesday: Weighted Chin-ups 6×3 (strength)
Friday: Wide-grip band-assisted pull-ups 3×20 (conditioning)

Overload with: bands, chains, plates, etc…

Bent-over rows/Seated rows
All forms of rows rely on lower back strength to hold your body in position (except for chest-supported varieties), which makes your ultimate strength in the movement reliant on your current low back condition. If you’ve already done deadlifts in your workout, chances are you wont’ be setting any strength records in your rows training.
Rows are great for adding additional training volume, and to ensure you have good scapular retraction and depression strength, which is ultimately important for helping with your bench.Warning:  Don’t do deadlifts and then a bent-over variation of rows.  It’s just too much for the back.  A good combination is some form of pull-up first, followed by rows.  If hitting rows is a must after deadlifts then use one of the chest-supported variety.

Keep a variety of rowing movements in your program including from the bottom up: seated rows, bent-over dumbbell or barbell rows, wide-grip elbows out barbell, dumbbell, or seated rows, rope face pulls with elbows below shoulder height, rope face pulls with elbows above shoulder height (very important to help encourage mid- and low-trap recruitment patterns – helps to overcome rhomboid dominance patterns), dumbbell or barbell shrugs, and overhead shrugs with dumbbells or barbells.  Variety helps prevent boredom too!
Overload with rest/pause, pre-fatigue, giant sets, etc…
Lower Back
The lower back may be small compared to the upper back, but the importance of it’s development in size, strength, and conditioning cannot be overstated!

Reverse+Hyper+Low+2 Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back
Reverse Hypers (controlled movement)

You can Deadlift, Chin, and Row all day long, but if you don’t develop your lower back properly, you’ll pay the price with either slow progress in the rest of your back and leg development or worse become injured!

To keep your lower back strong and well conditioned include back extensions, 45 degree back extensions, and reverse hypers in your training.  For all three, brace the abdominals, maintain a neutral arch, and move from your hips.  These exercises also target the hams and glutes but with much lower loads than main lifts like deadlifts.

Overload with dumbbells / kettlebells / plates / bands / medballs / barbell

2. Exercise Intensity
Yes you need volume for adding mass, but you’re not going to add any mass or get any stronger if you’re always lifting puny weights.  Don’t be gun-shy here!Exercise intensity is inversely related to how many reps you can manage per set.  Depending on whether your goal for the training phase is more strength or hypertrophy, each exercise group has a repetition range you can choose from.

Main lifts (like deadlifts) 1-5 reps
Pull-ups and chins 3-20 reps
Bent-over/seated rows 6-15
1-arm rows 6-12
Back extensions/45 degree back xt/reverse hypers  10-20 reps

Point is, even if you are going for size, make sure you’ve got blocks of training where you go heavy, choosing weights that put you in the low end repetition ranges.  Without some heavy training, you just aren’t going to get bigger or stronger PERIOD!

3. Training Volume

The body’s limited ability to recover from intense training necessitates a lower overall training volume as training intensity increases.If you’ve been doing a higher volume (3-4 exercises, 3-4 sets, 8-15 reps) to build some size, and you’re moving into a strength phase, your volume might look more like 3-4 exercises, 1-5 sets, 3-8 reps.

Getting stronger is not a function of trying to beat your max every time you hit the gym, and continually adding more exercises to your program.  Getting stronger relies on recovery.  So train with 70-85% of your max on a regular basis, staying away from failure on most of your sets.  Periodically you can push out some RM (repetition max) sets (where you train to failure) or push up into the 90-93% range for just a few sets of just a few reps, and finally every so often (4 weeks to 4 months) you can go for a new max.

If you’ve been training longer than 6 months, a deload week every 3-5 weeks will help tremendously with managing your overall volume.

A Deload week is not a NO-LOAD week.. it’s NOT a week where you don’t go to the gym.  It’s not a vacation from training although it should feel like one in the sense that your body gets a rest.  But a proper deload week involves going in and hitting your lifts with significantly lighter weights (60-65% 1RM) for a much reduced volume (50%).

The goal for your deload week is to practice your technique, work on weak points (i.e. rotator cuff strength, hip strength, flexibility, mobility, soft-tissue work, etc…).  At the end of your deload week your body should feel rested and your mind should feel ready to hit the gym with ferocity come Monday!

4. Balanced Training

The worst cause for lack of progress is injuries.  Other than using safe exercise technique and using deload weeks to help with recovery, the best way to prevent injuries and ensure continued training progress is to use a balanced training program.The only saving grace when you see meatheads at the gym who walk around like they’re king shit, only training their chest and arms, is that they’re likely just a short time away from suffering a good injury that’ll keep them out of the gym and out of your way so you can get your training done and not have to see them!

Here’s a few balance pointers:
1. Horizontal press vs. horizontal pull (row)
2. Vertical presses vs vertical pull
3. Anterior shoulder vs. posterior shoulder
4. Horizontal row with elbows down (seated row) vs. horizontal row with elbows up (face pulls)
5. Always hitting some external rotator cuff work at least once a week.

 Aylmer Personal Trainer Reveals How to Build Muscle Build an Awesome Back
Band pull-aparts to chest

Finally, make sure you do the small stuff… external rotator cuff, band pull-aparts, face pulls… and do your soft tissue with the roller and/or lacrosse ball… this is the stuff that keeps the shoulders able to handle the heavy stuff.

Soft-tissue work removes adhesions and scar tissue, helps mobilize tissue around the joints, and helps mobilize the thoracic spinal segments and ribs too!

Here’s a couple sample back workouts for massive size and strength:

Workout 1
Deadlifts 5×5
Pull-ups 7×3 (weighted)
Face Pulls 3×15

Workout 2
Deadlifts  3×3
Chin-ups 5×10
Chest-supported rows 4×12
DB Shrugs 3×15
Band external rotator cuff 3×20

Give these a try and let me know how it goes!
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Posted in Athletic Development, Awesome Upper Body Strength Training, How to Build Back Muscles, How to Build Muscle, how to deadlift, massive back training by admin | 709 Comments

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