ModernMASS | Back

April 14, 2015


It’s Back Day.


Chest day was yesterday, shoulders are tomorrow. It’s been a long time since I’ve followed a routine written by someone other than myself. There are several very good programs out there, but once you understand how the body works, the way muscles come together like musicians in a symphony, you learn to conduct and lead your body to produce whatever results you desire. The arrangement may change per varied goal, but the principles will stay the same. Once these are gathered, you will come to the conclusion that nothing is new, revolutionary or novel.  But getting there takes time. Study, ask questions, find the best in your area of interest and become a shadow.  Now get to work!




Back Day Mass Moves


T-Bar Row

The T-Bar Row is a great exercise movement for overall back mass.  Because your elbows are close to your side as opposed to something like a barbell row, you will achieve greater low lat recruitment.  To make this exercise truly effective use 25lb plates instead of 45’s for increased range of motion.




DB Row

This common exercise is often performed incorrectly.  To get full maximal recruitment of the lats, envision rowing with your elbows back towards your opposite back pocket instead of a strict “up and down” pull.  John Davies, Founder of Renegade Training, recommends the “prone” alternative as well. Lying atop a raised and secure bench that allows your arms to fully outstretch, grasp the dumbbells with the knuckles of your hands facing forward. Row the weight upward with elbows coming out at a 90% angle, hold for a 2-count before ‘squeezing’ the arms against your body, and repeat the peak contraction element.


Straight Arm Pulldown

This is a great lat movement that I’ll often save for the end of my back workout to give my lats a good burn.  However, because it’s one of the few lat moves that don’t incorporate the biceps, it can be a great movement to pre-exhaust a compound movement such as the T-Bar row. Although using an “isolation” movement prior to a compound movement may sound counterproductive to some, pre-exhausting can be an effective technique to add mass.


Back Day Kick Start:


DB Row 5×5
A1 Straight Arm Pulldown 4×12
A2 T-Bar Row 4×12


ModernMASS_Back with Pro Team USPlabs Athlete Joe Mackey


Prepared by Nik Ohanian


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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