Introduction to back building

A new course is available at Weik School of Body Conditioning – building a big strong back! Those interested in sitting through an easy course, need look no further because class is just beginning. Follow me, pay attention and I can assure you an A grade.

After which all you have to do is take what your learnings from the course and apply to your training for massive back gains. Chapter 1 will start with the basics and we’ll get into more detail later on in the course.


Chapter 1: anatomy of the back

Let’s look at the anatomy of the back. It’s not overly complicated and once you understand how the back works, you’ll find it easier to visualize, plan and execute your back workouts.

The lats:

The largest back muscle. The latissimus dorsi starts all the way up at the upper end of the humerus and runs all the way down to the pelvic girdle. The lats function is to pull the arm down towards the pelvis.

The traps:

The trapezius is another powerful back muscle. The traps run all the way down the upper section of the spinal cord and attaches at the middle of your back. Their main functions include: scapular adduction (bringing the shoulder blades together), scapular depression (pulling the shoulder blades down) and scapular elevation (shrugging).

Smaller muscles:

– There are key smaller muscles that aid in back movement such as the teres major and rhomboids. The teres major is found at the outside edge of the shoulder blade and attaches all the way up at the humerus. Its main role is to bring the arm towards your back.

– The rhomboids are found on the spinal column and attach to the middle of the shoulder blade. Rhomboids are used to bring the shoulder blades together.

– There are also a whole bunch of little muscles in the back which run along the spine.

– The erector spinae, which includes the longissimus, spinalis, and the iliocostalis.

– The erector spinae is a group of muscles that support the spine and extend the spine.

– They are attached to the vertebrae, pelvis and also to the ribs.

Chapter 2: different parts of the back

Different exercises will hit different parts of the back. For example doing wide grip pulldowns will target the outer back, while doing close grip rows zone in on the middle of the back.

It is of course important to hit all parts of the back to create overall balanced back development with a great V-taper. By creating a fully developed back you can still have a reasonably sized waist but look like you have a large upper body.

Hitting the lats will help widen your back while hitting the middle of your back pulls out details. One of the arts of bodybuilding is muscular development and creating an illusion that makes you look larger than you really are.

Look at any successful bodybuilder or physique competitor and you will see a well developed back. Great slabs of muscle popping out every nook and cranny of their back. That is the look you want to achieve.

learn how to build a strong back-02

Chapter 3: a selection of back exercises

All of these can be found in You Tube if you need film instruction:

Barbell Wide GripRow
Barbell Close Grip Row
Dumbbell Wide Grip Row
Dumbbell Close Grip Row
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Cable Rear Delt
Lat Pulldown (to the front)
Lat Pulldown (to the back)
Bodyweight Pull-ups (different grip variations)
Bodyweight Chin-ups (different grip variations)
Assisted Pull-ups (different grip variations)
Assisted Chin-ups (different grip variations)
Weighted Pull-ups (different grip variations)
Weighted Chin-ups (different grip variations)
Barbell Deadlifts
Dumbbell Deadlifts
Smith Machine Deadlifts
Barbell Stiff-leg Deadlift
Dumbbell Stiff-leg Deadlift
Smith Machine Stiff-leg Deadlift
Straight Arm Cable Pulldowns
Reverse Flys
Barbell Pullover
Dumbbell Pullover
Machine Pullover
Barbell Upright Row
EZ-Curl Bar Upright Row
Dumbbell Upright Row
T-bar Row
Smith Machine Wide Grip Row
Smith Machine Close Grip Row
Barbell Shrugs
Dumbbell Shrugs
Smith Machine Shrugs

Chapter 4: mass building back workouts – sets & reps

Workout 1

– Wide grip pulldowns 3×8-12
– Close grip pulldowns 3×8-12
– Wide grip barbell rows 3×8-12
– Close grip dumbbell rows 3×8-12
– Barbell shrugs 3×8-12

Workout 2

– Wide grip pulldowns 3×8-12
– Neutral grip pulldowns 3×8-12
– Wide grip dumbbell row 3×8-12
– T-bar rows 3×8-12
– Dumbbell shrugs 3×8-12

Workout 3

– Wide grip pull-up 3×8-12
– Close grip chin-up3x8-12
– Smith machine wide grip row 3×8-12
– Smith machine close grip row 3×8-12
– Smith machine shrugs 3×8-12

Workout 4

– Close grip pull-up 3×8-12
– Wide grip chin-up 3×8-12
– Straight arm cable pullover 3×8-12
– T-bar row 3×8-12
– Barbell shrugs 3×8-12

Workout 5

– Assisted pull-up 3×8-12
– Assisted chin-up 3×8-12
– Barbell stiff-leg deadlift 3×8-12
– Barbell upright row 3×8-12
– Dumbbell pullover 3×8-12

Course conclusion

Ideally you want to focus on the mind-muscle connection. You should really focus on and feel each rep and absolutely sense the muscle working. If you don’t feel your back engaged in an exercise you are probably doing it wrong or using a weight that you can’t handle and therefore using more than just your back.

Most of all you must have fun with your workouts. If you there’s no fun then what’s the point? Apply what you’ve learned on this course and see where it takes you. Good luck and see you at graduation!

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.


Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans