Progressive Overload: How to Build a Wide Back with Dumbbells Only

Google Sheet Workout Export

By Blue Star Nutraceuticals

Experience Intermediate (2-3 years)
Time 58 minutes/day

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Average Exertion
Average Cardio Intensity

Ready to build a bigger, wider, and stronger back to upgrade your physique?

You requested more of these Progressive Overload dumbbell workouts on the previous chest and arms videos - we listened - and today, we’re back to build your back!

Progressive overload is the single best way to build a bigger, stronger back - guaranteed - and what today’s workout is all about! So stick around and I’m gonna show you the best way to do it.

Matt Daciw here from Blue Star Nutraceuticals, and today I’m running you through exactly what you need to do, to build width, thickness and strength in all areas of your back to achieve a more impressive physique, with one of the best back workouts of your life.

And the best part of all? You can do the entire thing with just a few dumbbells and a bench!

So smash that thumbs up button, be sure you’re subscribed with notifications on so you never miss these killer workouts; then get ready to build an incredible back! Let’s get to it!

For this workout, you’ll perform 6 exercises in linear fashion.

You’ll start by performing 2 heavy, compound exercises for 5 sets of 5 reps using 85% of your 1 Rep Max.

For exercises 3 and 4, you’ll perform 4 sets of 10 Reps at 75% of your 1 Rep max

And for exercises 5 and 6, you’ll perform 4 sets of 12 reps or higher, using 70% of your 1 Rep Max.

Because this is done in a linear fashion, you’ll perform all sets of exercise 1 before moving on to exercise 2, and continue in this fashion until all 6 exercises are complete.

You’re only allowed up to 60 seconds rest between sets, to catch your breath and rehydrate with AminoFast™ before continuing on to the next set.

You should complete the entire workout in under 1 hour - if it’s taking you longer than that, step it up!

As always, the workout is listed for you in the description below. Now let’s get to work!

Exercise #1: Dumbbell Deadlift [5x5 @ 85% 1RM]

Keep your back straight, chest up, head in a neutral position - brace your core and lock everything in before you begin the movement, then pull the dumbbells up, keeping them as close to your shins as possible using your hamstrings, glutes and low back to raise to the top. Remember, the arms are just hooks along for the ride, don’t pull with your arms, unless you want to end up tearing a bicep! Once at the top, lower back down under control to the starting position.

Exercise #2: Dumbbell Supinated Bent Over Row [5x5 @ 85% 1RM]

Keep your torso as close to parallel with the ground as possible - and brace your core. A little body english is ok on this exercise - but still keep the movement as controlled as possible. With your hands rotated towards the ceiling, row the weight up to your mid stomach, pulling with your elbows, and control the weight back down. This will help work your back and biceps in the same movement.

Exercise #3: Dumbbell 1-Arm Row [4x10 @ 75% 1RM]

Grab a dumbbell, keep your torso parallel with the floor and pull with your elbow, squeezing your lats as you raise the dumbbell to your hip. Perform all reps on one side, then switch sides.

Exercise #4: Chest Supported Dumbbell Shrug [4x10 @ 75% 1RM]

Set an incline bench at about 45 degrees. And set up with your chest against the bench, with a dumbbell in each hand hanging down at your sides. Retract your shoulder blades and shrug the weight straight up from the floor, squeezing hard at the top, then lower down under control. The forward leaning body position of this movement will cause you to shrug the weights in more of a diagonal direction from your torso rather than in line with it. This forces you to move the weight in better alignment with your trap muscle fibers, allowing you to get a better stretch and contraction in your traps, which means better muscle building results.

Exercise #5: Dumbbell Pullover [4x12+ @ 70% 1RM]

Setup in a bridge position, lying perpendicular to a flat bench, with your upper back on the bench. Hold the end of a dumbbell in your hands, with your arms extended straight. Lower the weight behind your head down towards the ground getting a deep stretch in your lats, then focus on bringing the weight back overtop of your head without bending your arms. You should feel this in your lats, under your armpits and somewhat in your pecs. This is one of the best dumbbell exercises for building width in your upper back.

Exercise #6: Rear Delt Dumbbell Fly [4x12+ @ 70% 1RM]

These are one of the best exercises for isolating the rear delts. Keep your torso parallel to the ground and raise your arms up and out to your sides, keeping your palms facing the ground. Limit the amount of momentum you use with these and really focus on targeting those rear delts.

And that’s a wrap!

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Google Sheet Workout Export

Warm up for 5-10 minutes.

1.Dumbbell Deadlift

See Exercise Notes

5 sets5 reps60s
2.Reverse Grip Bent Over Dumbbell Row
5 sets5 reps60s
3.One-Arm Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

See Exercise Notes

4 sets10 reps60s
4.Chest Supported Dumbbell Shrug

See Exercise Notes

4 sets10 reps60s
5.Dumbbell Pullover (on arched bench)

See Exercise Notes

4 sets12 reps60s
6.Rear Delt Raise

See Exercise Notes

4 sets12 reps60s

Date Created: 2/6/2021, UTC

Last Updated: 11/3/2021, UTC

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