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How NOT To Train Your Back!


Posted by Scott_Herman - March 15th, 2019

We’re continuing the “HOW NOT” to train series today with BACK! There are so many different exercises and hand positions you can use when training back that often times you can be left confused and with zero gains. BUT NOT TODAY!

If you missed the first video in this series on CHEST, I will link to it HERE and if you would like to view the ARTICLE version of this video or any of my past videos, just download my app MUSCULARSTRENGTH.

So what makes training back so complicated? Well, it’s because we have a lot of muscle groups to attack. There’s the lats running down the sides of the body, we have the inner back muscles like the rhomboids, lower and mid traps, as well as the lower back and the upper back, which includes upper traps and rear delts.

But don’t worry about all that because I am going to clear it up in the next 5 minutes with these 3 tips.

1. Cheat More, Less Proper Form!

The first mistake most of us make – and this even included me for a time – is training your back with strict and PROPER form. Don’t get me wrong, training with proper form is CRUCIAL for beginners when it comes to ANY muscle group, but after you’ve been training for a while you’ll quickly realize the key difference between training your back and training any other muscle group. Your back benefits more from OVERLOADING with heavier weights and focusing on the ECCENTRIC part of the range of motion (ROM).

This is because the ROM of most back movements is rather sketchy if you think about it. Pull-ups, T-bar rows, underhand rows, reverse flys…you name it. As the weight gets heavier, you’ll have more and more trouble pulling it close to your body.  But if you take advantage of CHEAT reps, or slight momentum on the concentric portion of the movement and then focus on controlling the negative, you can safely overload your back with more weight and see significant progress.

2. Do NOT Waste Your Time With Too Many Back Movements

I keep my training style and advise SIMPLE, but not minimalistic.You do NOT need to perform every single back exercise you know to grow your back. Yes, the back is a complicated group of muscles but that doesn’t mean you have to bombard it from every angle known in existence.

A typical workout I see is 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps of pull-ups, then chin-ups, then neutral-grip pull-ups, then like 5 different kinds of row variations switching hand position and grip. Sounds like a 3 hour workout from hell, but, when you’re natural, at some point you’re just beating a dead horse.  

So you are going to just focus on 3 exercises that give you the most bang for your buck covering the entire back, its basic functions and for each exercise you are going to perform 10 sets of 8 – 10 reps, which is also going to allow you to measure progress over time.

  • Weighted Pull-Up (Or some other kind of vertical pull)
  • T-Bar Row ( Or some other kind of horizontal pull)
  • Face Pull (Or some other kind of rear delt/upper back exercise)

I know it looks “too simple”, but that’s because you’ve been brainwashed. You need to understand that whether you choose the pull-up, chin-up, lat pulldown or any similar movement, you’re training the SAME MUSCLES in almost the same way. Now, I’m not saying that you should choose just one exercise and keep doing it forever, but you certainly shouldn’t be jumping from exercise to exercise wasting time and your ability to increase weight and measure REAL progress.

3. Stop Obsessing With Gripping SUPER WIDE

Serious question: How many of you have been told that gripping the bar wider will help you grow your lats wider? Grip wider to grow a wide V-Taper, right?

Absolutely not. This is ridiculous and potentially dangerous advice. The only thing you’re achieving by using a wider grip is LESS ROM and MORE strain on your shoulders. Now you might be able to LIFT MORE WEIGHT due to the smaller range of motion, but you are better off using a cheat rep or momentum because at least that way you can take advantage of FULL ROM.

Also, when you widen your grip, your elbows will flare out more which leads to LESS biceps activation and more strain on your shoulders. So if you are experiencing shoulder impingement pain, now you know why. The only thing that makes your lats WIDER is BIGGER LATS.  


So which muscle group do you guys want to see me cover next?  Legs? Biceps? Triceps? Leave a comment below and in the meantime, if you haven’t checked out my NEWEST 12 week program “FULL BODY EVOLUTION” now available on my website and app, you can check it out by clicking that blue hyperlinked text. No gimmicky workouts here, just STRAIGHT TO THE POINT GAINS!

Related Videos:

How NOT To Train Your Chest (THIS WORKS BETTER!)

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How to Do More Pull-Ups FAST!

Pull-ups are one of the best exercises to build your back. They are also one of the most difficult. Form alone is hard enough....

Comment below if you are going to try this workout!