Building a massive back is kind of like building a house!

And what I mean by that it, if you are missing any resources the final product will be far from perfection. Most men, when trying to build a bigger back, just focus on the lats.

Getting back to the house analogy,  this would be like me saying I’m going to build the house with just 2×4’s. I may get something that looks like a house in the end but it sure won’t be anything special. The point is there are many more muscles that need to be trained in order to build the back of your dreams.


A quick anatomy lesson

Though not an exhaustive list here are the muscles that you must train in order to build an impressive looking back in my opinion:

Lats, Rhomboids, rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres major, subscapularis), trapezius (which we often break down into upper, mid, and lower), posterior deltoid, erector spinae.

Now if you’re thinking that you have no clue what those muscles are or where to find them, don’t worry. You don’t have to be an expert in anatomy to build your massive back. You just have to know what exercises to perform to hit all those muscles and how to program those exercises. Luckily that’s what I’m here for!

The first thing to understand is that all those muscles don’t need to be targeted individually. By utilizing a combination of compound movements and a few isolation exercises we will be able to hit all those muscles in one workout. Compound movements are simply exercises that require multiple muscle groups to work together, while isolation exercises generally try to isolate a single muscle or group to perform a movement.

Muscle growth

back workouts for men_2

I could get super nerdy and explain in detail the four factors that affect muscle growth, but I’d rather keep things simple for you so you can spend less time reading this article and more time in the gym actually training!

So here’s what you need to know – For the average person, volume is king when it comes to increasing muscle size. Volume is simply the amount of total work you perform for a muscle or muscle group. If you want to quantify this you multiply Sets x Reps x Weight lifted.

Another necessary component that assists in your increased volume is frequency or how often you train a muscle. In many bodybuilding circles a muscle is only trained once per week.

However, this is not most effective for the average person because they can’t handle as much volume in one day as a bodybuilder can. So it is better to work up to training a muscle group more times per week. Which is what you’ll do with the workout I’m giving you today.

If you are a true beginner I would start with once or twice per week and work your way up to three or four times per week. This will ensure an increase in volume over time which will lead to an increase in muscle size and strength.

As a quick aside, like most things, more volume is not always better. Your body has to be able to recover from the volume of work you complete. If you do more volume than your body can recover from, then it will have negative effects. This is why we slowly build up the volume over time.

 In Part 2 tomorrow Steven Schmitter outlines a superb detailed plan to help you get that great back!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
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