The following details my secondary back workout from the Elitefts training compound in London, OH. Secondary back workouts typically include leaving reps in the tank, training for a pump and avoiding intensity techniques. They are designed to aid recovery via adding intelligent volume and are sprinkled within a typical week of Mountain Dog Training as designed by my coach, John Meadows. I deviated slightly from that philosophy here simply because the workout took place at the Elitefts Compound and Dave Tate took over the biceps programming portion.

Christina and I did this workout the day before my presentation at the UGSS. Here is what the workout included…

A. Lat Pulldown

I used a Tsunami Lat Bar for this exercise. The idea behind this attachment is to recruit more muscle fibers when initiating the pull and in peak contraction. This was my first experience with a Tsunami lat attachment and I’m now wishing my gym had one!

  • Set 1 x 10 reps with 100lbs
  • Set 2 x 10 reps with 125lbs
  • Set 3 x 10 reps with 150lbs
  • Set 4 x 10 reps with 150lbs

*I prefer to only bring the bar to about chin level. The attachment allowed for a bit more explosiveness when initiating the movement which I liked. Pause briefly in the contracted position before using a slow eccentric. I went up in weight until 10 reps got tough.

B. Dumbbell Rows

  • Set 1 x 10 reps with 100lbs
  • Set 2 x 10 reps with 110lbs
  • Set 3 x 10 reps with 120lbs
  • Set 4 x 6 reps with 150lbs

*I intended to perform 4 sets of 10 reps working my way up in weight; however, I miscalculated the weight on my final set and only got 6 reps. I thought it was 130 pounds. The key is to let the weight hang and stretch you briefly at the bottom before driving your elbow back hard.

C. Chest Supported Rows

I believe the machine we used was by Magnum. I selected the exercise because the machine allowed a pronated grip and the ability to keep my elbows high to target the upper/middle back.

  • Set 1 x 10 reps with 150lbs
  • Set 2 x 10 reps with 150lbs
  • Set 3 x 10 reps with 150lbs
  • Set 4 x 10 reps with 150lbs

*The key here is to get a full range of motion to ensure you really stretch and then contract the upper/middle back hard in the flexed position.

D. Dante Rows

  • Set 1 x 10 reps with 90lbs
  • Set 2 x 10 reps with 90lbs
  • Set 3 x 10 reps with 90lbs
  • Set 4 x 10 reps with 90lbs

*I believe this exercise originated from Dante Trudel; hence the name. I finished off back with this exercise because it allows for a good stretch of the lats. The key is to extend our arms into a pronated position when fully extended and then into a supinated position when fully contracted. Also, contrary to when performing most back exercises you want to round your back vs arching it.

E. Biceps Giant Set: Thompson Bell Curl - Dumbbell Curl - Onnit Primal Bell Curl

  • Thompson Bell Curls x 8 reps with 35lbs
  • Immediately followed by...
  • Dumbbell Curls x 8 reps with 25lbs
  • Immediately followed by…
  • Primal Bell Curls x 8 reps with 15lbs

*Dave Tate dictated this giant set. The idea was to alter the lever point of the weight via Thompson (around wrist), Dumbbell (on wrist) and Primal (below wrist). I performed the giant set as listed above twice and then tried a third set, but in the opposite order. I only got about 2 full reps with the Thompson curls at the end before finishing with partials.

F. V-Bar Pulley Curl Extended Set

  • Stem Grip Curls x 8 reps with 45lbs
  • Immediately followed by…
  • Ball Grip Curls x 8 reps with 45lbs

*The idea here is to set the cable pulley to about head height, step away from but face the weight stack with a false grip on the stem of the V-Bar attachment and curl for 8 reps. Immediately shift to a supinated grip on the 4” balls and curl another 8 reps to extend the set. Perform this for 2-3 rounds.

G. Lying Cable Tsunami Bar Curls

  • Set 1 x 8 reps with 45lbs
  • Set 2 x 8 reps with 45lbs
  • Set 3 x 8 reps with 45lbs

*The key here is to lay on a utility bench and curl the Tsunami bar attachment down to above your head and flex hard in the contracted position.

That concluded this secondary back and biceps workout.

Train hard!