Another MASSIVELY important day for overall size and strength gains!
Why is training your back so important?
Apart from being a very large body part that has the potential to
add POUNDS of muscle to your frame, it has a knock-on effect on your progress in other exercises.
For example, you can’t squat much with a weak back, nor can you even barbell curl much on bicep day with an underdeveloped back. It’s true, when your barbell curls get heavy, you need a strong back to stabilize the body and counteract the forward momentum of the load. If not, your last rep won’t be true failure of the biceps, but of the back.
I’m a big fan of having a dedicated back day. The size of the loads involved make it important to have 100% of your strength devoted solely to the back. Furthermore, it gives you a psychological boost when you know you’ve only got 1 body part to hit and a few sets to do.
Let’s take a look at the workout…
- Bent Over Barbell Row
- Bent Over Barbell Row
- Bent Over Barbell Row
It may be only 6 sets, but this is an INTENSE workout. 6 sets are all you need to stimulate growth without causing your recovery time to become unnecessarily long.
Remember, this is Friday’s workout, and your back is going to be in demand for Monday’s leg workout.
But I must stress mental toughness during this workout. A great idea is to repeat to yourself, “One More Rep!“, when you think you’ve already reached muscular failure.
IMPORTANT! There is a big difference with today’s workout. The first 3 sets (deadlifts) are in the 4-6 rep range. Whenever you can get 6 or more reps, make a note to increase the load for your next workout. So after your warm-up, your first working set is the heaviest weight you can deadlift for 4-6 reps.
Take 3 minutes rest and perform another set for 4-6 reps. Because of the inroad into your strength that you’ve made in your first set, you’ll need to drop the weight a little for each successive set – probably somewhere in the order of 10%-15% of the previous set.
Please download your free workout logs for full info on rep ranges and rest times.
Follow these 3 sets with 3 sets of bent over barbell rows. Now, if you don’t like barbell rows, try this variation in form. You’ll allow a little momentum, but use a heavier weight and row up to your waist, not your naval or chest. You’ll get a LOT more actual lat stimulation this way, and it just feels more comfortable and natural.
However, the best lat exercise in my opinion is the pullover machine. This is the perfect way to work the lats in harmony with their function. 100% of the overload will be directed to the lats and you’ll get full recruitment of the muscle fibers. Furthermore, this machine places resistance on the intended muscle in its fully contracted position – when the lats are pulling the arms both down and behind the body. Most free-weight exercises can’t simulate this very well, it’s either down or behind, but not both at the same time.
I recommend the decline cable pullover to substitute for pullovers, but if you have access to the actual machine, go for it!
And that wraps up this cycle of THT. Do 10 weeks of this bad-boy and there’ll be NOTICEABLE changes in your body, not to mention incredible increases in strength.
The feedback from MuscleHackers since re-publishing this cycle has been unreal! So just get out there and do it with all you’ve got! Make sure you let us know your results at the Facebook page.
Wondering what to do after this cycle? Download the free MuscleHack book on THT training at the top of this page and discover 2 more THT cycles. Cycle the cycles and KEEP GROWING! Simple.
Train With 100% Intensity!
PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6 | PART 7 | PART 8 | PART 9 | PART 10 | PART 11 | PART 12
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“you can’t squat much with a weak back, nor can you even barbell curl much on bicep day with an underdeveloped back. It’s true, when your barbell curls get heavy, you need a strong back to stabilize the body and counteract the forward momentum of the load. If not, your last rep won’t be true failure of the biceps, but of the back”
good points, thanks Mark!
This THT2 plan is very slightly different to how I remember it (I still have the PDFs and logs on disk) but I have to say- MUCH BETTER! Really like the split you’ve put together in the XL download, the low-volume approach will suit me well and I really like the lower reps on deadlifts.
Cheers mate, an excellent start to 2011!
OK, I am officially confused.
Lat pullovers are better than rows for lats. Got it. But don’t rows target your mid back primarily and not your lats? Or would it be acceptable to jettison the rows altogether for pullovers for those of us with access to a pullover machine? Any harm in tacking on a few sets of pull overs to get lower, mid, and lats all three? HAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPP.
(oh, and maybe worth mentioning – barbell rows and I don’t get along thx to some injuries, so it’ll be the cable seated ones for me if that makes any difference 🙂 )
I have the same question as @Jo:
Do I substitute Lat Pullover machine for barbell rows? Or do I add barbell rows?
My 3.1 Volumne cycle had all 3, deadlift, barbell rows, and lat pullovers.
Mark, I use pullups on my back day.What exercise should i exclude if i do pullups? also who ya got Packers or Steelers? Mike in Wisconsin
@Dan @Rich. Thanks, guys!
@Jo. If I had access to a pullover machine, I would do 3 sets of deads for the overall back, followed by 3 sets of pullovers on this cycle. In other cycles, I would incorporate a rowing movement to change things up a little. I will be publishing an “exercise bank” soon with lists of alternatives for each exercise so each trainee can plan ahead his or her future cycles. If you want to do 3 deads, 2 bb rows, and 2 pullovers this cycle, that’s certainly a good choice too. Stick to the order I just mentioned though.
@John. See my above reply.
@Mike. Barbell Rows. But again, 3 deads, 2 pull ups, and 2 bb rows, in that order works well. Packers or Steelers? I’ll be honest, I had to google those terms to see what you meant. I got Manchester United 😉
hey mark i know this is off topic, but what do you think of this product
**PRODUCT LINK DELETED**
the reviews seem to be good and it looks like a real weight gainer which is really important to me since im rele skinny
quick question. with this TH2 (latest one you have re-done) do i train using my POP or just do mon, tues, wed and so on, is it just the mass phase workout where you use your POP? very confused.
This isn’t directly related to training your back, but I wasn’t sure how to contact you directly and wanted to share this Yahoo article with you. It talks about “resistant starch” and how it can help to burn fat. Somewhat contradictory to most of what I’ve been reading about carbs, although it is consistent in suggesting the right kind of carbs to control insulin levels. I thought you might find it interesting. Shown below is the link. Thanks again for all your great bodybuilding tips.
@Rex. All weight-gainers are fat-gainers. It won’t do anything that regular calories won’t do. The only time I’d recommend this type of product is when someone finds it hard to eat the amount of Calories they need to add muscle. But this isn’t a “muscle-gainer”. No supplement “builds” muscle as such. You stimulate growth with a workout, then simply eat what your body requires to rebuild the damage.
@Jason. With the 5-day split workouts, you simply do the workouts. Remember, that each body part has plenty of recovery time between workouts. With the full-body HIT program, POP comes into play. If you notice on Wednesday that you aren’t stronger than Monday, stop the workout and rest another day.
@Jerry. I haven’t looked much into resistant starch specifically, but for an article that makes an awful lot of claims, there are zero references. Where studies are mentioned there is no reference but they do say that they were carried out on rats. Nice.
thanks mark, when i get back into training again i reakon i’m going to strengthen my back first with those exercises before i start the cycle.
Woot! An answer just in time for back day! Thx a million, Mark – for absolutely everything from the diet to the excel logs to the blog to the videos and on the list goes. They oughta give you a medal, man. 🙂
so mark are you suggesting i should forget about the product? because ive followed all your workout methods and have got really strong and also built muscle but my weight does seem to increase! ( im 5 11 but only 55kg) so im willing to do anything to increase my weight
Im not really in charge of making my own food and stuff since im 17 but i try to eat as much as i can everyday