In the book I go into detail about why the back is integral to strength and your physique.
In this system I give you a template to train back 4 days a week.
If you think its too much, its not.
Chuck Vogelpohl had been known to train lats every single day, I had a conversation with a well-known lifter who incorporates back work into every single workout of his own as well.
If you think about this, it makes sense. Every single “powerlift” utilizes the back greatly.
Bench press – the back acts as a shelf and contracts while lowering the bar properly. Without a tight back, the lift is made that much more difficult to press. Try this experiment and see for yourself: lower the bar without a tight back, use a lighter weight than your 1RM, press it. After that use the same weight and complete it with good form, tight lats, squeezing your back into the bench, pulling the bar to your chest rather than letting it just drop.
After that rudimentary experiment, you tell me how the back isn’t vital to a strong bench.
Squat – tight back, better bar support, stronger lift. I’ve worked with people who were stuck at a certain weight and the first thing I look for is how tight their back is. The FIRST thing. From the first moment you set up to unrack the bar to the final moment when you are standing with a successful squat, the back needs to be strong and tight. You cannot push weight from the floor without having that back being able to support that weight, period.
Deadlift – do I really need to say this? If you cannot see how the back is vital to this lift, you are a lost cause.
Overhead press – while not a competition lift, its the single best lift for your shoulders when properly performed. It also helps your bench by giving you stronger delts. Having a strong back will ensure you are “shelfing” the bar properly for the drive. I go into that further in the book.
The back creates width to your body, it creates a v-taper which gives the illusion of a narrower waist. It adds thickness which takes off critical distance for the bar to travel when benching as well. After all, the purpose of powerlifting is to move the bar through the plane in the most efficient manner with the most power and strength you can. Having a thicker, stronger back will help that process.
I am not one to delve into research. I am not a scientist, I am not the guy to sit there and pore through studies. I spend my research under the bar, with clients and with the years I spent playing sports, competing in strength sports, training people and learning from lifting with some excellent lifters both drug-free and non-tested. So I have learned what works and what is worthless.
The back contains a multitude of muscle groups, each are hit in their own way with their own exercises.
The major ones are:
Traps: technically part of your back.
Rear delts and supraspinatus: yes, delts, but they are integral to solid back development and strength.
Lats and teres major/minor
Rhomboids and serratus posterior superior
Erectors and supporting muscles
Serratus posterior inferior
Obliques and the lumbar musculature
The back is one of the most muscular areas of the body, period. Various exercises, angles, bars and hand positions will hit the entire area effectively and its up to you to fully utilize the tools at your disposal to make this happen.
Rows, pulldowns, single arm work, etc. Its all needed for total development and strength optimization.
Strong back = stronger lifts
Bigger back = more impressive physique
Pick up a copy of Behemoth Strong on PDF. .
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