Connect
To Top


Back Training–Squeeze for Better Muscle Growth


A lot of people seem to have trouble getting their back to grow or binging out the thickness and detail. Back is one body part that I feel you need to control the form with. Most "hardcore mass builders" for back are performed with lousy technique and a lot of cheating, i.e. bent rows. Most people perform these with horrible form. Vince Gironda used to recommend holding the contracted position for up to 6 seconds if you have this problem. I’ve found a few tricks that seem to really help.

The first is to use an old-school Gironda exercise. Prop a bench up on both ends so you can do two arm dumbbell rows. Don’t be concerned about the bottom stretch as much as the contracted position of the movement. That’s the magic of this exercise. Lay face down think about expanding your chest as you try to pull your elbows back. Imagine you are trying to touch your elbows together behind you. Pull up for a count of 3 then try to hold it for 2 then lower with a 4 count and repeat.

[*Get the latest e-book collection of Vince's methods, quotes, workouts and advice Vince Gironda: Legend & Myth by Alan Palmieri, one of Vince's students. Read the Iron Man magazine review here.]

As I progress onto an upright movement such as wide or narrow grip pull-downs either overhand or underhand I practice a tip I learned years ago. I always start fully upright and S-L-O-W-L-Y lean back to about a 45% upper body angle––there is ZERO swinging or momentum the way I do this. Therefore the resistance curve mimics what was achieved with a Nautilus Pullover machine (which was an amazing exercise seldom found anymore) and my elbows go through a wide range of motion in relation to my torso.

Remember muscle growth occurs when it’s stimulated then allowed to recover. Swinging and cheating is not stimulation. Work the muscle, not the ego. Give these tips a try for a bigger, more detailed back!

If you back needs more width, use two overhead movements and one rowing movement. If your back needs more thickness, use two rowing movements and one overhead movement.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Blog Post

  • Why Your Big Toe Is Your Key To Great Calves!

    If you're looking to really build your calves, this one little piece of advice will help tremendously. Yet you rarely, if...

    Nick NilssonApril 6, 2016
  • Create Big-Ass Shoulders With Mike Rashid

    His motto “Train Your Mind as Hard as You Train Your Body,” may test your muscles and your mind.

    Iron Man MagazineMarch 21, 2016
  • The Workout and Happiness

    Happy New Year—a perennial cliché!  Can anything or anybody make you happy? To paraphrase a well-known line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,...

    John BalikFebruary 11, 2015
  • New Year Resolutions

    January first, the birth of a new year.  Time to reflect on the old and plan for the new! Historically, January...

    John BalikJanuary 15, 2015
  • Do You Know Squat ?

    Have you heard any of the following recommendations? “Don’t let your knees go over your toes when you squat, because it’s...

    Doug BrignoleDecember 30, 2014
  • Another Rewarding Olympia Weekend

    A couple of weeks ago I was at the Mr. Olympia competition, the 50th rendition of that iconic event. What started...

    John BalikDecember 15, 2014
  • Muscle Beach Breakfast Club

    I have been a part of Muscle Beach Venice since competing there in the mid ’60s. Much has changed in the...

    John BalikNovember 15, 2014
  • The Science Behind My 2 Week Body Transformation into a Mythological Minotaur

    Sometimes getting in shape can mean perfect timing.  In order to make a 2 week body transformation, science can play a...

    curtis.fisherNovember 14, 2014
  • Bodybuilding: Art or Mass Appeal

    With increasing frequency, we’re hearing a segment of the bodybuilding fan base speaking out against the trend toward ever more massive...

    Doug BrignoleNovember 13, 2014