3 Great Exercises For A Thick Back


Training the back can be a challenge.  You’ve got quite a few muscles to deal with and you need to train for both width and thickness. When you see someone like the man himself, Rich Piana, you’re seeing stunning back development. What does it take to get a thick, massive back like Rich had? It begins with rowing movements. Here’s 3 Great Exercises For A Thick Back to get you started in the right direction! Ready to train? Let’s get going!

Exercise # 1 - Deadlifts

For many, this is the King of exercises. Here, we’re not talking about ultra-heavy deadlifts for 1-2 reps. We’ll want to use moderately heavy weight for 8 reps. The key to this exercise is proper form, so if you have even the slightest doubt about your form, have someone that’s certified watch you and help you make any needed adjustments.

The other thing is you want to warm up thoroughly before tackling your working sets. Finally, too many guys pull the bar up only to let it drop to the floor. It’s one thing if you’re training for strength and need to just get the bar up. In this case, you aren’t interested in the negative phase of the rep. Yet if mass and thickness are your goals, the eccentric phase of the rep has a lot to offer. Therefore, perform a full rep under control, from start to finish. 

Exercise # 2 - Barbell Bent-Over Row

Here’s a classic exercise for building a thick back. This exercise works the entire back structure. Synergist muscles affected by this exercise include the biceps, forearms, pecs, and the long head of the triceps. The legs act as stabilizers. Now that’s a serious exercise!

An important point about this exercise is to keep the knees bent. This will ease some of the pressure on your lower back. As above, make sure your form is correct and work moderately heavy for 8 reps. 

Exercise # 3 - Seated Cable Row

This is also called a low cable row. It’s a great exercise that allows a good stretch at the beginning and keeps tension on the back throughout the ROM (range of motion). You can use a straight handle or V-handle on this. Again, good form is key. Also, it’s a continuous tension exercise that works perfectly for the following rep tempo: 2-1-4, or 2 seconds concentric, pause and squeeze in the fully contracted position, and a slow 4 seconds eccentric. On the last rep of a set, pause and hold the fully stretched position right before the turnaround for a 10-count.

How Do I Apply These To My Workout? 

You can alternate a thickness day with a width day. So, for example, Back Workout # 1 could consist of the exercises listed in this article. Your working sets should be 3 sets x 8 reps. You should fail on the last rep. If you feel you can easily knock out more reps, add weight. On the Bent-Over Rows and Seated Cable Rows, you could extend the set by using the rest-pause technique.

Now, for Back Workout # 2 in your training week, you could do a width workout. Or, you can focus on thickness by doing 2 sets of each of our thickness exercises in every back workout, and then add 3-4 sets of 1-2 width exercises. These are just examples. You should set up your back workout based on your own goals. 

5% Nutrition Supplement Suggestions

Of course, you’ll want to combine your favorite 5% pre-workout with Full As F*ck for the best possible workout experience. From there you can add any of our natural muscle builders. A great addition would be Freak Show with your 2 biggest carb meals of the day. If you’re training for thickness, you’re training for more muscle and you should be eating accordingly. That means not only a lot of protein but more carbs. For these tough back workouts, you’ll want all the stored glycogen you can get, which comes from quality carbohydrates. Real Carbs or Real Carbs Rice can help with this.

From there, we have a wide range of great products in our main and Core lines. Some great examples are Core Creatine Monohydrate and, if you’re using more “aggressive” supplements, Post Gear. Before you try out our 3 great exercises for a thick back, stop by 5% Nutrition today and stock up!

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