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Back to training back.

 Challenge – 110 skips, 11 reps on everything else. See here for more info. Done before workout.

Day 2 of getting back in to training after a week off and more than anything I’m just relieved that I can walk after yesterday’s squats. Today is all about the back, which is probably my favourite body part to train. In my experience most people don’t do this complex group of muscles justice. Without boring the pants off of you let me tell you a little about the back. First off it’s not 1 muscle groups it’s at least 5, and that’s only counting the big ones. You have the (I’m going to give the muscles their casual gym names rather than the uber-complicated latin ones, it’s not that I don’t know them – I do, it’s just that I reckon you don’t care.), Lats, Traps, Rhomboids (ok, a bit of latin stuff.), Rear Delts and Lower Back. Here’s a pretty picture of them:

There is a whole load of other body parts that get in on the act when you’re training back such as; glutes, hamstrings, biceps, forearms, obliques, abs and neck. If you look back at that list you can easily see that there isn’t much that gets missed out. To train the back hard is to stimulate almost your entire body, and more stimulation means bigger, better, badder, bolder bodies. Which is good.

Not only are there a lot of muscles used when you train back but it needs to be trained in a number of movement patterns:

Horizontal pull – Rowing style movements such as; bent over row, dumbell row, T-bar row, inverse chins, Kroc rows, dead rows, Hammer machine rows, seated cable rows plus many others.

Vertical pull – chin ups and pulldowns done in every conceivable way, with every possible grip or attachment.

Static holds and picking up heavy stuff – I think the best way to get a nice, big, muscly back is not in moving the muscles but asking them to stabilise the shoulders and spine in heavy lifts. Exercises like deadlifts, rack pulls, farmers walks, front squat holds, romanians and good old fashioned regular squats will develop your back better then any of the more traditional movements.

Today I did dead rows, which are bent over rows that you start from the ground for each rep. The bar must be completely dead still and the rep performed explosively. I trained with Project Goliath and we worked up to a set of 5 reps @ 120kg. It felt really good and I was in half a mind to go up again for some more sets, but common sense prevailed and we did some lat pulldowns instead. We didn’t really count the weight, reps or sets – just worked up till it hurt, did a few more, then stopped.

I’ve got deadlifts to do on Friday which should finish my back off nicely for the week.

Yours with lats of lunacy,
Dave Carter.

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