There are a few things that need to happen in order to produce muscle growth. You need to use significant load when lifting weights Enough time under tension to create structural damage to the muscle tissue Enough stimuli to up-regulate anabolic hormones and increase protein synthesis Proper recovery and workout nutrition Many people often think that if they lift as heavy as possible, or use as much volume (sets and reps) as possible they will […]
There are a few things that need to happen in order to produce muscle growth.
- You need to use significant load when lifting weights
- Enough time under tension to create structural damage to the muscle tissue
- Enough stimuli to up-regulate anabolic hormones and increase protein synthesis
- Proper recovery and workout nutrition
Many people often think that if they lift as heavy as possible, or use as much volume (sets and reps) as possible they will trigger muscle growth. Lifting more weight and doing it too much can often lead to overtraining; beat-up joints and poor results in the muscle development category.
I have found that there is a sweet spot for a time under tension, load, and volume in order to produce muscle growth when training your back. In general, spending about 30-45 minutes working for a larger muscle group twice a week, with 65-85% of your estimated 1-rep max, in a circuit fashion, will produce the best results for muscle growth.
Here is a breakdown on how to do this when you want to get your back to grow and look like a Razorback Gorilla!
When training the back, you can’t forget to utilize pull-ups and deadlifts. Where people go wrong with these exercises is going too light, or doing too many reps. Pull-ups and deadlifts produce the best results when done with a heavy load and low reps. I have found that around 5-reps produces some great strength gains, as well as thickness and overall mass in the lower back, lats, and upper back. The machine row is also great to utilize when trying to go heavy. If you go too heavy on bent-over rows, you are likely to use poor form and risk throwing out your back. The machine row is perfect for heavy load, time under tension, and lowering the risk of injury when using heavy loads.
Exercise Sets Rep Tempo Rest Period
* 1A Pull-ups 5 5 1/1/3 90 seconds
1B Machine Row 5 5 1/1/3 90 seconds
**1C Deadlifts 5 5 EXP 2-minutes
*Add weight if the reps are too easy.
** For the deadlifts, use the first 3 sets as warm-ups. These should be relatively light and not be anywhere near 80-85% of your 1-rep max. The last 2 sets should be the only sets around 80-85% of your 1-rep max.
Notes: Perform all three exercises in a circuit fashion. After 1 warm-up set using light-weight (except the deadlifts) use a weight that is about 80-85% of your 1-rep max. Make sure to rest at least 48-72 hours before you perform the next back workout.
After your first back day of the week, your muscles are ready for some increase blood flow to the muscle and some extra byproduct to be built up to produce lactate and increase growth hormone. The lat pulldown is much more favorable when using higher reps than the pull-up. The 1-arm dumbbell also produces great results when utilized with high reps (The Kroc Row). Finish off the back with some shrugs, and you are on your way to some serious upper-back growth!
Exercise Sets Rep Tempo Rest Period
1A Lat Pulldowns 3 12 1/1/3 90 seconds
1B 1-Arm DB Rows 3 12ea. 1/1/3 90 seconds
1C Barbell Shrugs 3 12 1/1/3 2-minutes
Notes: Perform 1 light warm-up set and then start at a weight that is about 65% of your 1-rep max (except the push-ups). Add weight on each set until you reach about 80% of your 1-rep max. Make sure to rest at least 48-72 hours before you perform your next back workout.