Savage Pump Weekly -- Back

It’s time for another round of Savage Pump Weekly, and this week, we’re focusing on the forgotten half of your upper body -- the back.

 

99% of people hitting the gym love training the “glamour” muscles on the front side of their body -- chest, biceps, and shoulders -- but far too often there’s a severe lack of prioritization (or effort) given to training the back. At times it’s understandable, next to legs, back training is the most grueling and arduous training that you’ll undertake each week. After all, the back is the largest muscle group in the body. Yes, it’s even bigger than the quads or hamstrings.

 

While most of you might take this as a negative, it’s really a tremendous positive. A well developed back not only makes you look more muscular and gives you a wider top half (helping given the image of a narrow waist), but due to the sheer size of the back musculature, it can also give you quite possibly the biggest pump of any muscle group on your body!

 

Over the next four weeks, we’ve got a back workout that progresses in intensity and volume, utilizing both heavy weights and high reps, resulting in a back workout training program that not only makes you bigger, faster, and stronger, but also delivers one hell of muscle pump!

 

The training program we have ahead for you is more than enough to get a savage pump going, but if you want to really amp up the intensity on your back pumps, take a serving of Mega Pre before you hit the gym! Mega Pre contains 6 grams of pure L-Citrulline along with GlycerPump and VasoDrive-AP to boost nitric oxide, enhance vasodilation and increase blood flow, leading to the most epic of muscle pumps.

 

Click here to get your hands on Mega Pre, so you're always prepared for back day!

 

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Keys to Effective Back Training

Don’t Pull with your Arms

 

The cardinal sin of all back workouts (except for not training it at all) is making the biceps do the brunt of the lifting. This not only limits the amount of weight you can actually pull on a given exercise, but also reduces the effectiveness of the exercise you’re performing, which is why so many people struggle to develop their set of “wings”.

 

Rather than initiating the movement with your hands, imagine you’re pulling with your elbows. This internal cueing will make a world of difference in both the weight you can pull and the overall quality of movement during all pulling exercises. Concentrate on driving your elbow back behind your body and towards your hips as far as you can. This ensures complete contraction of the muscles of the back, which helps drive more blood to them and ultimately generate a mega back pump.

 

Loosen Your Grip

 

Another big no-no when it comes to back training, particularly on movements like pullups and rows is using a crushing iron grip on the bar (or dumbbells). Rather than trying to crush the bar like you do after finishing a great bear, loosen up your grip. Leave the death grip for when you’re actually trying to improve your grip strength.

 

Gripping the bar too hard or tightly leads to over-recruitment of the forearm muscles, which like our previous point, reduces the amount of weight you can lift, induces premature fatigue, and decreases the amount of work your back muscles are actually performing.

 

Instead of using an ironclad grip, imagine your hands are simply hooks. Their sole purpose is just to hold onto the weight, leaving your back muscles to do the work.

 

Lower Under Control

 

This point applies to all resistance training exercises, but lowering the weight under control is especially important when focusing on getting a massive back pump.  It’s incredibly easy once you pull the weight to the top to simply let gravity do all of the work on the lowering phase of the exercise, especially movements like the 1 arm row, pull up, pulldown or seated cable row.

 

As we’ve discussed before in our Chest Edition of Savage Pump Weekly, you want to “bleed” the reps. Once you’ve raised the weight and held the peak contraction for a solid count of one, take 3-4 seconds to lower the weight, ensuring that the back muscles are slowly lengthening, and essentially “resisting” gravity pulling the weight to the ground.

 

Ultimately, this may force you to lower your working weight, but what you’ll trade in poundage, you’ll make up for in quality of movement and overall activation of the muscles of the back, which is what we’re after in the first place.

 

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Savage Back Training Techniques

3-Way 1 Arm Dumbbell Row

 

Dumbbell rows are a staple of back workouts. We’ve all done them before, but chances are, none of you have performed them like this.

 

Typically, when performing a 1 arm dumbbell row, you use a neutral grip and row the dumbbell, pulling back towards your hip and not straight up to the armpit, which focuses more on the bicep, and then lower it back down. This is a great way to work the back and there’s nothing “wrong” with it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t up the intensity and get an even bigger back pump out of this exercise.

 

Enter the 3-way 1 arm dumbbell row.

 

Here you’re going to perform a dumbbell row three different way.

 

The first way, you’ll be using a pronated grip, and doing an elbow-out dumbbell row, which focuses more on the muscles of the upper back and rear delt. After performing your first 10 reps, you’ll then perform another 10 reps using the traditional neutral grip and rowing the dumbbell parallel to your body. For the final 10 reps and “third way” of the 3-Way 1 arm dumbbell row, you’ll rotate your wrist so that now, you’ll be pulling with a supinated grip. Perform a final 10 reps, and then proceed to do the same 3-Way dumbbell row with the other arm.

 

Rest 60 seconds after both arms are completed and then get back to work.

 

In essence, we’re doing a mechanical drop set, moving from the most difficult variation to the least difficult variation as the muscles fatigue. This allows you to force a lot of blood to the muscles of the back, maximize time under tension, and create a lot of metabolic stress, all key factors in stimulating hypertrophy as well as an epic pump!

 

100 Rep Sets

 

So often when we’re training, we tend to get stuck in the same old rep schemes (3-5, 8-10, 12-15, etc.). While there’s nothing “wrong” per say with these reps schemes (after all, they are the most tried and true rep schemes for building muscle and strength), there’s equally nothing “wrong” with going outside of the “traditional” way of doing things and challenging your muscles with something they’ve never done before.

 

That’s where 100 rep sets come into play.

 

100 rep sets tend to work best near the end of your workout and with isolation exercises. Due to the high amount of fatigue and metabolic stress 100 rep sets induce, using something like a back squat or deadlift is far from ideal.

 

In this back workout, you’ll be doing “100s” of the straight arm pulldown, a highly underrated back exercise that helps develop muscles of the serratus, teres, lat, and rear delt. Select a weight that roughly your 20 rep max, start your stopwatch and begin performing reps.

 

Now, chances are fairly high you won’t be able to complete all 100 reps your first go. If you can, that means you whiffed on weight selection and went too light. Taking short 10-15 seconds breaks will be required, but do not let go of the rope attachment until all 100 reps are complete.

 

Write down your time for how long it took you to perform all 100 reps. Each week, aim to complete your 100 reps faster than the previous week. When you can complete all 100 reps in less than 5 minutes, bump up the weight by 5 pounds and start over again.

 

Now, let’s get to the back workout!

 

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Savage Pump Weekly Workout -- Back

 

Week 1

Sets

Reps

Rest

Deadlift

4

3-5

150 sec

Neutral Grip Pull Ups

3

8-10

90 sec

Seated Cable Row

3

10

60 sec

1 Arm Dumbbell Row

3

12

60 sec

Straight Arm Pulldown

3

12-15

60 sec



Week 2

Sets

Reps

Rest

Deadlift

5

3-5

150 sec

Neutral Grip Pull Ups (add weight if needed)

4

8-10

90 sec

Seated Cable Row

3

10

60 sec

3-Way 1 Arm Dumbbell Row

3

10/10/10

60 sec

Straight Arm Pulldown

1

100

0 sec

 



Week 3

Sets

Reps

Rest

Deadlift

5

3-5

120 sec

Neutral Grip Pull Ups

4

8-10

75 sec

Seated Cable Row

3

10

60 sec

3-Way 1 Arm Dumbbell Row

3

10/10/10

45 sec

Straight Arm Pulldown

1

100

0 sec




Week 4

Sets

Reps

Rest

Deadlift

5

3-5

120 sec

Neutral Grip Pull Ups

4

8-10

60 sec

Seated Cable Row

3

10

60 sec

3-Way 1 Arm Dumbbell Row

3

10/10/10

30 sec

Straight Arm Pulldown

1

100

0 sec



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