Back training for Mass – making the most of your gains

Back training has always been one of the more intense muscle groups to train because it is covering a large area and there are several areas to cover, such as your upper back, your lat muscles, your lower back and your traps. there are many great exercises that you can do for training your back, whether they be combinations or isolation moves.

Back training I would like to discuss in today’s topic which will we will be talking about back training for mass and making the most of your gains. There are many great exercises that you can perform for building a large and muscular back and other exercises that you can do to single out specific areas in your back, especially if you have lagging areas.

Backs diversity

The back can be a very complex muscle group, between the many different varied angles as well as twisting movements and shrugging, if you put your back training first in every workout like you should because it is a larger muscle group, you should see some pretty good results in your back training after just a short period of time.

First of all for back there are your lat muscles, you will see the most development from doing wide grip chins to lat pull-downs. The most basic are the barbell rows, dumbbell rows and t-bar rows which train the thickness for your lat muscles, and then trap training such as barbell shrugs and dumbbell shrugs, plus you can incorporate narrow grip upright rows which will work the traps muscles.

There are your lower back muscles which get trained when doing such movies as good mornings and stiff leg dead lifts. Dead lifts are a great way for building and strengthening your entire back region as well, these are referred to as more of a power lifting  move that are also great to incorporate for a back training workout for building muscle size.

How many times should you train back?

Back is a muscle group that you will typically want to work out no more than twice a week, you can split your back training up in a couple of different ways such as doing you’re rowing moves and your lat building moves such as lat pull downs  in one day and you can train your lower back and traps on a separate day.

Another option is you can train back and biceps on one day and you can do your traps on another day with shoulder training, then with your lower back training you can do in a separate workout along with the leg training day, there isn’t really any wrong way to split up your training within the week, but it is a good idea to follow by a few certain pointers to avoid over training.

One common place where a person can find themselves over training is if they do pull muscles two days in a row, meaning if one day you did back and then biceps on the second day. Incorporating the same muscle group within 2 days can result in overexertion of a muscle group and can result in over training. So it is best to split your muscle groups between different days, such as pull muscles on one day, push muscles on the next day and leg training on your third day.

What is the best way to perform rowing exercises?

Typically all back rowing exercises are done in the same manner where you are bent at the hip at a 90 degree angle and you start out with your upper torso stretched forward with your arms stretched forward and then you are bringing your arms back so that the bar or the weight is touching your midsection as you arch your lower back so as to squeeze your back muscles with each repetition.

First of all there are the barbell rows which you do in a standing position bent at a 90 degree angle, you grab a barbell pull the wait till the bar reaches your midsection tensing your lower and upper back muscles. this exercise works the upper back region and the thickness of the back muscles will come into play when you’re doing this exercise.

There are other rowing moves that you can incorporate for your back training such as t bar rows, one arm dumbbell rows and cable rows such as with a machine. Any one of these rowing exercises are great for incorporating your upper back and building the muscle thickness for your upper back.

The advantage with different varied exercises Is you can switch up your training from time to time so that you avoid hitting a rut in your training results, for example if you were to perform the same exercises day in and day out week after week month after month, you would definitely be hitting a rut in your training and you won’t see the results that you would hope for.

It takes varying your training and persistence with your goals in order to see the results that you would like to, the main thing is to have persistence and to switch your exercises around from month to month or even week-to-week, this will help to reassure that your back training workouts are staying fresh to help you from reaching one of these training ruts and not seeing the results that you are training hard for.

What are the best lat exercises I can do?

It is quite common that the best known lat building exercise are wide grip chins, the wide grip chins are an exercise that builds the lat muscles, especially giving you the appearance of a wide back and this exercise is a compound movement meaning that it stresses more than one muscle group at a time.

Wide grip chins are an exercise that is going to take more energy, and typically when performing this exercise you are pulling your entire body weight which tends to turn some people off from performing this exercise, because not everybody is strong enough to pull their entire body weight around.

There are ways around performing the wide grip chins where you don’t need to pull your entire body weight, such as a stretchy band you can place over the chinning bar and under your knee, this will help in boosting your body weight up when performing this exercise. There are other ways such as having a spotter grab you by the ankles and helping with assisting you up.

Another exercises that can be used for developing a wide back are the lat pull-downs, this exercise you can use with a overhand grip or a underhand grip, either way you will be stressing your lat muscles from different angles which is all good for switching things around and avoiding a training rut.

There are other variations when performing the lat pull-downs and wide grip chins such as using a narrow grip, these are all good for stressing different angles to the muscle and keeping yourself from hitting that dreaded training rut.

Training your lower back

Lower back training can be a good preventative maintenance for training seeing as though your lower back takes a lot of stress from day to day when bending and picking things up, but you will need to be careful when performing some of these moves because they can cause strain on the lower back.

One example of  lower back exercises would be good mornings. This exercise you stand tall with a barbell over the back of your shoulders or holding a pair of dumbbells at arms arms legs at your sides, then you bend forward until your upper torso is parallel with the floor and slowly raise your torso back till you are standing straight up.

Another exercise for training the lower back is the stiff leg dead lift which is basically performed in the same way as the good morning exercise, stiff leg dead lifts you are holding the weight, more commonly a barbell in front of you at arm’s length and then you bend forward until your upper torso is at a parallel degree with the floor and then slowly raise your torso back until you are in an erect standing position.

Another exercise that is great for developing the lower back as well as your entire back is the dead lift, as far as that goes they can work your entire body, this exercise is typically known as a power training move but is also good for building your muscle size and strength and your back as well as your lower back and your legs.

Training traps

The trapezius or also referred to as the trap muscles, the trapezius is located around the upper area on your back or also known as at the base of your neck. This muscle when developed will give you the appearance of wide neck. Exercises that would be included for developing your trap muscles would be in the barbell shrugs, this exercise you can perform with the barbell in front of you or you can hold a barbell in back of you.

Depending on how you hold the bar, whether it be in front of you or in the back of you can stress your trap muscles to a different degree as well as the grip that you are using, such as a grip with the palms of your hands facing towards you or a grip with the palms of your hands facing away, either way will stress your trap muscles but will target them at a different angle.

You can perform the shrugging move with dumbbells, this will give you more of a varied range, with this exercise you can rotate your shoulders more freely while holding a pair of dumbbells. You can start by holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs and rotate your shoulder up words and then backwards, lowering your shoulder with a dumbbell angled more at your sides.

Doing this rotation will stress your traps at a different angle, but it is also necessary to roll your shoulders from the front to back to reach a full range when developing your trap muscles. You can perform the shrugs just strictly straight up and down but you will receive much better results if you rotate your shoulders from front to back in a circular motion.

One word of caution, when performing this exercise, you will want to make sure that you are maintaining strict form and keep looking forward, if you are looking all around and from side to side as though you aren’t really paying attention to what you are doing it is very easy to pull a trap muscle while you are performing the shrugs, especially if it is a heavier weight


There are many varied techniques when it comes to training your back, but in general for back training you will basically want to maintain a scheduled routine for training your back, try not to train your back muscles more than twice a week and try to avoid training the same muscle group two days in a row.

For example, back training is referred to as a pull muscle as well as biceps are referred to as a pull muscle, so it would be a good idea to schedule your back and biceps for the same day where as you train back in one day and your biceps the next, your biceps will become overexerted from being trained two days in a row.

On your biceps training day, any work that you do for biceps would be direct work, but if you did back training the next day there would be negative bicep work which would not be allowing your biceps to gain a more fully rested state. After all when you see muscle growth is not during the actual training, but it is from the time that you are  resting your muscles, especially during sleep is when you will see the greatest share of muscle growth.

I hope that I have shared with you some positive information on back training and you have taken something positive away from this. It is in my best interest to offer information that can help others out with their training as my knowledge has been gained over years from experience through trial and error.


If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the box below and I will be happy to reply to you as soon as possible.

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