The Ultimate Pull Day: Back and Bicep Destruction

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So, it’s another Monday and another International Chest Day has come to an end. You finish your final set of dumbbell flyes and you are already thinking about your next chest day. But, it’s time you get pumped up and excited for Tuesday. If Monday is known as International Chest Day, then it’s time to start thinking of Tuesday as International Back Day.

Whether you are running a typical bro-split style of training or a Push/Pull/Leg weekly workout split, there’s a good chance you are following up your chest day with a killer back session. Building a big, strong, massive back builds a strong foundation for your body and will assist you in getting stronger across other lifts.

The goals of building a back that’s both dense and aesthetic is a goal that spans across the fitness realm from bodybuilder to powerlifter to the beginner fitness enthusiast. If you’re a bodybuilder or physique competitor you want a strong, wide back to achieve that aesthetic, V taper shape.

If you’re a powerlifter, you need a strong, massive back to support large amounts of weight during a record setting squat or allow you to deadlift the weight of a small car. If you’re just starting to get into the lifting game you may just want a back worthy enough to fill out that extra-large T-shirt.

Ryan Rodal and Brently Rousset perform a high volume back and biceps destruction workout.

But, most people tend to train their back incorrectly and ineffectively. Performing a couple sets of rows and 37 sets of lat pulldowns is not going to give you the type of back you want or deserve. You need to work out your back from top to bottom for proper development. Your back is a huge muscle group and in order for it to grow you need to hit it hard, at multiple angles, and with a lot of volume.

On your back day it’s important to hit one exercise that targets your lower back, one that targets your latissimus dorsi (lats), and one that targets your middle to upper back.

Deadlifts are one of the best exercises to perform for building strength and mass in your lower back. While the deadlift movement targets other muscle groups including your hamstrings, glues, and lats, deadlifts are going to help build your lower back to its fullest potential.

Different variations of pulldown movements are a great way to target development in your lats. If you want that wide, wing-like back you need to do more than just set after set of wide grip pulldowns. Using different handles and different grips on the cable pulldown station will allow you to target your lats at multiple angles.

You can supplement your wide-grip, overhand lat pulldowns with an underhand grip or use a V-Bar for close grip pulldowns. After performing these pulldown movements with various grips and positions you will feel the difference of how your lats are squeezed and engaged within each movement.

Using different grips, equipment, and handles for rowing movements is also a great way to target development in your upper and middle back. Doing barbell rows, T-bar rows, close or wide grip cable rows, and single arm dumbbell rows are just a few examples of how you can perform a rowing movement in a different position and at a different angle each time you go into the gym to destroy your back.

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With this back and biceps workout you are going to work your back hard, heavy, and with no mercy. Your back can take a beating and it’s time to give it one. And, it doesn’t stop there. Once your back has filled out the front, back, and sides of your shirt, it’s time to full out those sleeves too.

Your biceps have already been engaged heavily in the back exercises completed in this workout so you will hit your arms with light weight and a high rep range. Think of the back workout you just crushed as a pre-exhaust workout for your biceps. Your biceps are already primed, warmed up, and ready to grow, so you will use a lighter weight and focus on the squeeze of your biceps with every rep.

By finishing your back day with 3 bicep exercises you will have completed an effective ‘Pull Day’ that will help spur growth in your back and biceps. Let’s get to lifting.

Back and Bicep Workout

Back and Biceps Workout
Pull Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts – Warm up sets. Rest period 60 seconds  2  8-10
Deadlifts – Rest period 90 seconds  3  4-5
Heavy Deadlifts – Rest period 2 minutes  2  2-3
Barbell Rows – Overhand or Underhand – Rest period 45 seconds  4  10-12
T-Bar Rows – Rest period 45 seconds  4  10-12
Underhand Lat Pulldowns – Medium to Wide Grip – Rest period 30 seconds  4  10-12
Overhand Lat Pulldowns – Wide Grip or Close Grip with V-Bar – Rest period 30 seconds  4  10-12
Rope Lat Pulldowns – Rest period 30 seconds  4  10-12
EZ Bar Curls – Rest period 45 seconds  4  8-10
Superset One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curls with Double Arm Hammer Curls – Rest period 60 seconds  4  8-10
Squad 20s – Rest period 30 seconds  4  20

“Squad 20s” – A workout unique to the Tiger Fitness Squad, we want you to give this a try. Using a cable machine and straight bar attachment you will perform 10 reps with a wide grip, then with no rest immediately change your grip to a closer grip and perform 10 more reps with the close grip.

Celebrate International Back Day

Depending on your typical weekly split you can hit this workout on your Pull Day or perform just the back portion of this workout on your back day. The structure of this workout allows you to adjust the workout and keep things new and exciting each time you walk into the gym.

If you’d rather do underhand barbell rows versus overhand barbell rows you can do that. If you’re not feeling a wide grip lat pulldown that day and want to switch it up with a V-bar pulldown then go for it.

Keep the reps high, intensity up, and let’s grow that back together.

Follow the Tiger Fitness Squad on Youtube and on Instagram (@thebrentness and @ryanrodal) for the latest articles and videos on fitness, nutrition, and workout advice.

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Name: Brently Rousset

Bio: Born, raised, and currently residing in beautiful San Diego, CA, I've been around some form of fitness almost my entire life. My mom was an aerobics teacher at the local gym when I was in elementary school through middle school. My dad had a full home gym in the garage and raced mountain bikes professionally through my high school years. My parents engrained the importance of health and fitness into me from a young age. I started playing soccer in my elementary days only to leave it behind for my true loves of basketball and surfing.