Back Workout of the Week – Winter 2013 Week 2

Week 2: you’re back after the punishment from week 1? That is a good sign!

Training Goals:

  • Maintain high volume training for both back and biceps to build a solid foundation for future training, and other lifts.
  • Improve pull-up strength by performing pull-ups prior to rowing exercises.

We keep up the massive volume for week 2, but have made some small changes to let you bump some of the weight up slightly. Some portions of this weeks training are the same as last week – this is on purpose.

Week 2: Volume Training

Warm-ups: Warm up your upper body to prep for your back session

  • Light shoulder dumbbell raises (front, lateral, rear) – 3×15
  • If you need more warm-ups, do a few light sets of lat pull downs

Pull-ups: One of our goals this training cycle is to increase your pull-up strength. If you can already complete 10 pull-unassisted, you might want to change the program order and do your pull-ups after barbell rows.

  • If you cannot get at least 5 pull-ups on your own, use assistance
    • Assisted pull-up station
    • Resistance bands, set up for reverse resistance
    • Use the minimum assistance required to get at least 5 reps
  • If you can get at least 5 reps on your own, add weight to your first set
  • Use double overhand, wide grip
  • Perform 4 sets to failure

Barbell Rows:

  • Weight: Select your 10RM for barbell rows
    • Increase the weight slightly from last week (5-10%)
    • Should still be a weight you can get 10 reps without using rowing cheat technique
  • You should be somewhat warm after pull-ups, but if you need a couple of warm-up sets to get to your working weight, take them
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps at this weight
  • On your 4th set, complete rows to failure, using some cheat technique to get as many reps as possible
  • On your 5th and final set perform a drop set: perform rows to failure, rack the weight and have training partners peel off weight and continue to failure again without resting.
    • Complete 2 drops, for example, if your starting weight is:
      • 315: drops will be 225, then 135
      • 225: drops will be 185, then 135
      • 135: drops will be 115, then 95
    • Keep your hands on the bar while your partners remove the weight
  • Rest: Rest until you are recovered between sets (3-5 minutes) except during the drop set
  • Equipment: Use wrist straps for this exercise, you will not be able to hold the bar without them to effectively work your back

Dumbbell Rows, Unsupported:

  • Weight: Select your 10RM weight dumbbell
    • If you did not get sets of 10 last week, keep the weight the same, and try to get more reps (10)
    • If you did get sets of 10 reps last week, bump the weight up this week
  • Perform 3 sets to failure
  • Rest: Rest until you are recovered between sets (3-5 minutes)
  • Equipment: Use wrist straps for this exercise

Hammer Curl/Lat Pull-down Superset: You completed this superset last week. We are going to pre-exhaust your biceps so that your lats have to do more of the work

  • Weight: Select a weight you can get the sets and reps in the appropriate ranges. You should be able to move the weight up slightly from last week
  • Start with hammer curls, complete all reps with proper form
  • Complete lat pull-downs after your hammer curls
  • Rest:
    • Take 1-2 minutes rest between hammer curls and lat pull-downs
    • Perform hammer curls immediately after lat pull-downs (no rest)
  • Complete a total of 3 supersets

Hammer Curl/Cable Row Superset: You completed this superset last week also. We continue with the bicep pre-exhaust, and perform high rep cable rows to engage more of your back muscles in the rows (rhomboids and lower/mid traps)

  • Weight:
    • Continue the superset with the same weight for hammer curls
    • Select a weight you can get 20 reps with on the cable rows
  • Squeeze each rep on the cable row tightly at the top, pinching your shoulder blades together
  • Rest: same as for the previous superset
    • Take 1-2 minutes rest between hammer curls and cable rows
    • Perform hammer curls immediately after cable rows (no rest)
  • Complete a total of 3 supersets


  • Intensity was slightly lower than last week, but volume remains high. Because of the lower intensity, you should be able to perform each exercise with slightly greater weight than week 1. Back and biceps should be completely fatigued when done.

Workout Plan: 2013 Winter – BWOW Week 2 v1

BWOW workouts this cycle:


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