Bodybuilding Back Training

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Volume Training for Back

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One of the most frequent complaints I hear from new lifters is that they can't seem to get their back to respond from training like other body parts such as arms and chest. I had this same problem too. I think almost everyone goes through it. My back used to be flat and narrow. Today it is one of my best body parts since I've learned what works for me.

My back didn't start growing until I learned two things. First, I learned that the back can't be trained with poor form and weights that are too heavy to handle properly or you'll end up stimulating other muscle groups instead of the targetted lats and back muscles.

Second, I learned that my back responded better to high volume training. Once I upped my sets to 18-21 per workout and my reps to 10-16, my back started growing quickly. It was sore after workouts in the right spots for the first time in my life. A typical back workout for me is 4 sets of chins to failure (Use a spotter if you can't get at least 8 reps on each set), 4 sets of Barbell rows, 4 sets of Behind the neck Pulldowns, 4 sets of seated Long Cable Rows, and 3 sets of stiff-armed Pulldowns. On the stiff-arms I use only about 50-60 pounds and try to isolate and flex the lats on every rep. I perform the movement very slowly with my back arched as much as possible.

If you've been having trouble getting your back to respond and you've been doing 6 sets of heavy weights with less than optimal form, try the above program for a month and see if you don't start getting better results. Another trick is to hold the weight in the contracted position for a count of 3-6 before letting it back down to the starting position. This will help to teach you how to use the back muscles and contract them while exercising.

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