Back Workout of the Week – Winter 2013 Week 3

Week 3: We’re going to start increasing the weight this week.

Training Goals:

  • Moderate volume and increasing weight for both back and biceps to begin ramping up strength training.
  • Improve pull-up strength by performing pull-ups prior to rowing exercises.

Volume this week will decline, along with a corresponding increase in the weight you lift.

Week 3: Strength Building

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

  • Shoulder internal rotation
  • Shoulder external rotation
  • 3 x 15 of each
  • In addition to warming up, light internal and external rotation is a good pre-hab exercise to help you maintain good shoulder health

Pull-ups: We’re working on increasing pull-up strength, so we start your back workout with pull-ups.

  • 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, such as
    • Weight belt to hang weight plates
    • Hold a dumbbell between your ankles
    • Weight vest
  • Use double overhand, wide grip
  • Perform 4 sets to failure

Barbell Rows:

  • Weight:
    • 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
    • Use your 10Rep Max (10RM) for barbell rows for your first 2 sets
    • Increase weight to your 5RM for sets 3-5
  • Sets/Reps:
    • 2×10 at 10RM weight
    • 3×5 at 5RM weight
    • Increase weight if necessary; you should be within 1-3 reps from failure on each set
  • Rest: Rest until you are recovered between sets (3-5 minutes)
  • Equipment: Use wrist straps as necessary

Dumbbell Rows, Supported: Dumbbell rows will be supported on the bench this week, and work up through increasing weight before finishing off with a drop set.

  • Weight: Your goal is to start with the weight you used last week, if you can’t get 15 reps with this weight, you might want to drop the starting weight slightly. You will use a heavier dumbbell for each set.
    • Set 1: 15RM
    • Set 2: 10RM
    • Drop Set: 5RM/15RM
  • Sets/Reps:
    • Set 1: 1×15
    • Set 2: 1×10
    • Drop Set: Row to failure, switch to the weight you used for set 1 and without resting row to failure again. Do the drop set first with one arm, then the other.
  • Rest: Rest until you are recovered between sets (3-5 minutes)
  • Equipment: Use wrist straps for this exercise

Cable Rows: Increase the weight significantly on the cable rows this week; repetitions decrease and they are not supersets.

  • Weight: Set the weight to your 10RM
  • Sets/Reps: 3×10
  • Rest: Keep it short, 1-2 minutes

Standing Barbell Curl/Lat Pull-down Superset:

  • Weight:
    • Barbell Curls: Approximately your 10RM
    • Lat Pull-downs: Approximately your 20RM
  • Sets/Reps:
    • Barbell Curls: 3×10
    • Lat Pull-downs: 3×20
    • Start with curls, complete all reps with proper form
    • Complete a set of lat pull-downs after each set of curls
  • Rest:
    • Take 1-2 minutes rest between curls and lat pull-downs
    • Perform curls immediately after lat pull-downs (no rest)


  • Volume declines, but remains moderately high, while weights lifted should increase noticeably. You might not feel as smoked this week, but should have still completed a significant amount of work.

Workout Plan2013 Winter – BWOW Week 3 v1 – Web

BWOW workouts this cycle:


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