You can train your back from many angles with many exercises, but that doesn't mean you need a marathon training session to effectively build back strength and size. In this video, Josh Bryant walks through a cluster set workout designed to be done in a very short timeframe. Once you're warmed up, it will take you less than 30 minutes to finish the entire session. Before beginning the workout, it's important to recognize that it is not a marathon; it's a sprint. You've got to be ready to go pedal-to-the-metal, balls-to-the-wall for the entire 30-minute workout.

Smith Machine Rack Pull

For this exercise, wear straps. This is not meant to train your grip but to train your back. Hold each rep at the top for one second to allow the muscles to isometrically contract. Pulling from the rack instead of from the floor makes this more of a back movement by taking the legs out of it and enabling you to really focus on the muscles instead of stabilizing throughout the movement. Perform six reps and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this rep and rest protocol for six minutes.

Mechanical Advantage Dropset Pull-Ups

As Josh had outlined in the past, you want to perform these pull-ups using the mechanical advantage dropset method. The execution this time is slightly different. Starting with the most difficult grip (wide grip pronated), perform four reps, rest 15 seconds, then four more reps, rest 15 seconds, and repeat until you've hit failure at that grip. Then move your grip to the second grip (supinated chin-up) and continue with four reps and 15 seconds until you hit failure again. Finally, move to the easiest grip (neutral grip) and do four reps and 15 seconds rest until failure has been reached again.

Hammer Strength Row

The back can handle a lot of weight, volume, and frequency, and this row provides another great angle to hit it from. Perform six reps, holding each rep at the top for one second. Rest 15 seconds and perform six more reps. Repeat this, performing six reps and then resting for 15 seconds, for five minutes straight.

Straight-Arm Pulldowns

This final exercise must be performed very strictly with a muscle-intention style. The arms must be kept straight and the back must do the work. It is not a heavy exercise and it should not be performed loosely. This is the strictest part of the workout. Perform 10 reps and then rest 15 seconds. Repeats this process with 10 reps and 15 seconds rest for five total minutes.

By the minute:

  • (0:23) Smith machine rack pulls
  • (3:05) Mechanical advantage dropset pull-ups
  • (4:08) Hammer Strength row
  • (4:42) Straight-arm pulldowns
  • (6:45) Tyrus and Josh share thoughts on the workout

WATCH: Badass Back Attack with Greg McCoy and Tyrus Hughes

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