Back Workout of the Week – Winter 2013 Week 8

Week 8: Week 8 finishes off the program with a devastating amount of volume.

Training Goals:

  • Weight is moderate, volume is very high.
  • Pull-up strength is tested, let’s see if you’ve improved.

Week 8: Strength Building

Warm-ups: Warm up your upper body with some shoulder pre-hab work.

  • Shoulder Internal and External Rotation
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 15 with a moderately light weight, your shoulders should still be burning when you’re done
  • Alternate right shoulder then left, internal then external for each set

Pull-ups: Week 8 let’s test your pull-up strength – how many pull-ups can you do without assistance

  • Use double overhand, wide grip
  • If you cannot get any pull-ups on your own, you can use assistance – use the same amount of assistance you used week 1:
    • Assisted pull-up station
    • Resistance bands, set up for reverse resistance
    • Use the minimum assistance required to get at least 3 reps
    • Perform 3 sets to failure

If you want to continue or accelerate your pull-up progress, consider doing your pull-ups more frequently each week, at the beginning of a workout.

Barbell Rows – 30 second incremental sets:

  • Get a good drink of water before you start these sets, you won’t be unstrapping from the bar until you’re done!
  • If you need, warm up to your 10 Rep Max (10RM) weight; you don’t want to be aggressive with the weight selection for today’s workout, we want to maximize the reps you can complete
  • Weight: Use your 10RM
  • Sets/Reps: Reps are incremental every set, and are timed; it’s easiest if you have someone timing the reps for you
    • You will perform your sets every 30 seconds:
      • Start your sets every 30 seconds – 0:00, 0:30, 1:00, 1:30
      • Notice that you do not get 30 seconds of rest for each set; 30 seconds includes your set and your reps
      • It works best to have your timer call out when you have 5 seconds to start so you can unrack the weight and be ready to go
      • When you rerack the weight, don’t unstrap your hands, you won’t have time to strap back up
    • Your reps are incremental
      • Set 1 you perform 1 rep; set 2 you perform 2 reps, continue to increment with each set
      • Keep going until you cannot complete all of your reps in the 30 seconds
  • Rest: The longer your set takes, the less rest you have
    • If your set takes 5 seconds to complete (likely your first 5 sets or so), you will have 25 seconds of rest, if your set takes 20 seconds to complete, you will have 10 seconds of rest.
  • Equipment: Use wrist straps, you will need them. If you do these right, your grip will be smoked even using straps.

Dumbbell Rows, Unsupported, Drop Set:

  • Weight: You will use 2 dumbbells:
    • First Dumbbell: Use your 10RM
    • Second Dumbbell: Use a dumbbell about 20% less than the first (if your 10RM is 150lbs your second dumbbell should be about 120lbs; if your 10RM is 30lbs, your second dumbbell is 25lbs…and you likely haven’t been doing BWOW for very long).
  • Sets/Reps:
    • 3 sets
    • Complete as many reps as you can with the first dumbbell, drop it and immediately continue with the second dumbbell
    • Repeat with your other arm for 1 set
  • Rest: Rest until you are recovered between sets (3-5 minutes), no rest between one arm and the other within a set
  • Equipment: Use wrist straps for this exercise, again, you will need it.

Standing Hammer Curl/Lat Pull-down Superset: Pre-exhaust your biceps, then perform your lat pull-downs to force your upper back to perform the majority of the work

  • Weight:
    • Hammer Curls: Use your 10RM
    • Lat Pull-downs: Use your 10RM
  • Sets/Reps:
    • 3 sets of 10 reps with both hammer curls an lat pull-downs
    • Start with the hammer curls
    • Complete lat pull-downs after your curls
  • Rest: Keep rest relatively short, 1-2 minutes
    • No rest between lat pull-downs and hammer curls
    • Short rest between hammer curls and cable rows, 1-2 minutes
    • Keep your technique strict. Limit your use of upper body momentum for both the curls and lat pull-downs.

Cable Rows:

  • Weight: Use your 20RM
  • Sets/Reps: 3 sets x 20 reps
  • Rest: Keep rest relatively short between sets, 1-2 minutes

Standing Barbell Curls: You may add standing barbell curls if your biceps aren’t smoked by now

  • Weight:
    • Set 1: Use your 10RM
    • Set 2: Bump the weight up slightly from set 1
    • Set 3: Bump the weight up again from set 2
  • Sets/Reps: Complete 3 sets to failure; try to complete at least 10 reps on all sets
  • Rest: Keep rest relatively short, 1-2 minutes


Ok, I’ll be honest. The intent of this workout is to completely smoke your upper body. Your back and biceps should be totally exhausted when you’re done, and your conditioning should be taxed as well. Enjoy!

Workout Plan: 2013 Winter – BWOW Week 8 v1 – Web

BWOW Plans for this cycle:



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