I’ll start off by getting this right out in the open…if you don’t train your back and train it hard, you’re an idiot. And I’ll tell you why…

You see, back training is one of THE most neglected aspects of training that, when done properly, can actually have the BIGGEST impact on your overall strength and muscle development.

Quite honestly, if you’re not training your back with maximum effort, you will NEVER achieve the strength or physique goals you’re looking for.

It just won’t happen.

Do NOT neglect your back…and here’s why…


The Crucial Role of Back Training

You need a strong back to provide a solid platform from which to press.

You can’t press big weights if your back caves in the moment you try and lift heavy.

And the thicker your back is, the shorter the range of motion you’ll have to press the bar through, which will immediately increase your numbers.

Want a physique that doesn’t disappear into two dimensions when you turn sideways? Train your back.

Nothing looks worse than a guy with a massive chest and arms with a hunched-forward posture and the back development of a little girl.

I can promise this will get you no respect.

When you’ve got a great back and a balanced physique, you will stand out beyond 99% of the people and 95% of the people who train in most gyms.

Want to BE as strong as you LOOK or LOOK even stronger than you ARE? Train your back.

A wide, thick back conveys power and strength.

It shows that you have put in the time to develop your physique properly and that you are for real.

Anybody who has been around strength training for any good length of time will tell you…the back is what separates the men from the boys.

Want to have more fun in the gym? Train your back.

There are tremendous numbers of exercises and techniques you can use for training your back.

There are so many angles and options available to you with back training, you will NEVER get bored in the gym.

And once you learn some of these variations and techniques, you’ll find your enthusiasm for training will skyrocket!

So why do people neglect back training?

Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing Gains

First, it’s hard. The muscles of the back require heavy weight and plenty of effort.

Because you’re reading this via Mike Westerdal of Critical Bench, I KNOW you’re not afraid of hard work.

So scratch that off the list for you.

Second, the back is not a “mirror” muscle.

You can’t see it when you’re training it like you can with the biceps and the chest (depending on the exercises you use).

To me, that’s the worst excuse in the book, so don’t let me ever catch you focusing only on the stuff you can see while leaving the back of your body to shrivel up into nothing.

Third, it can be difficult to feel the muscles of the back working and firing properly.

The biceps and the shoulders can very easily take over many movements that should be working the back.

Now we’re getting into a somewhat more legitimate reason.

Once you receive proper instruction on how to fire the back muscles and how to put your body into the proper positions to force them to activate, that excuse goes away.

Fourth, you may not know the most effective exercises to work the back with…and believe me, there are a LOT.

You probably know the standard back exercises already…cable rows, dumbbell rows, barbell rows, pulldowns, chin-ups, pull-ups and deadlifts.

And these are all great exercises…don’t get me wrong.

They’re also just barely scratching the surface of an INCREDIBLE number of variations of these basic movements that are available to you IF you know where to find them.

I’m talking about exercises that develop thickness in the upper back far beyond what you can achieve with normal rowing because you’ll be able to use almost DOUBLE the amount of weight.

Or a pull-up that targets the extreme outer lat fibers so strongly it’ll feel like your lats are going to rip as you’re doing it (they won’t, of course, but that extreme tension is incredibly good for developing wider lats).

How about a breathing technique that instantly locks in your lats during ANY back movement.

I’ll tell you right now, if you’re breathing wrong when you’re training your back, you will NEVER get full development (and it’s very simple…you have to breathe BACKWARDS when training your back…inhaling on the pull and exhaling on the lowering phase. The normal breathing pattern of exhaling on the exertion will collapse your chest and relax your lats just when you’re trying to activate them!).

The bottom line is this…the back is one of THE single most important muscle groups in your body.

If you’re not training it hard or you’re not training it properly and with effective exercises, you’re seriously shortchanging yourself and the results you’re truly capable of getting.


Guest Article By Nick Nilsson