Dave Draper, one of the true legends in our sport, was kind enough to participate in our column this issue. If you do not know who Dave is, you should. I’d really appreciate it if you visited his website, I’ll let Dave take it from here in his own words.

“Carrying on to keep us invested in our training through the seasons, I offer two worthy routines for building our back, that part of the anatomy that so bravely bears the burdens of the world. Today we put forward that loyal and unseen region that follows us everywhere we go. The back, the place upon which we sleep and dream, and, with a yawning stretch of the imagination something about which Arnold spoke so decisively in his interpretation of the Terminator.

A strong back, broad and deeply muscled sounds good to me but may not be the goal of every female body-builder – slash – athlete. Still, the exercises listed here will achieve an awesome power and appealing shape that radiates inborn sureness and physical control, a basic hu-man/animal bearing which has become as remote as our instincts.
Let’s stir them up. Let’s get to work. Tapered muscular mass for men and women, the back.”


Medium-wide grip bentover barbell row, warm-up x15, 5 sets x 10-8-6-6-4
The barbell row is a powerful systemic movement that, like squats and deads, puts demand on the total body. Build your muscle and might over an extended period with minor weight increments and solid well-formed reps.

Wide grip pulldown, warm-up x15, 4×8-10
Your back should be arched, your chest straining toward the bar with your elbows back, not forward, all positioned to fully recruit the entire lat complex – width and length. Feel, locate, pump, burn and grow.

Seated lat row, 4×10-8-6-6
No thrusting, no momentum – strictly muscle power and form. This is to be supersetted with stiff arm or bent arm pullovers.

Pullover (stiff arm or bent arm), your choice depending on shoulder structure and health, 4×10-6-6-6
Great stretch, great lat pump, great relief movement that promotes posture aware-ness. Lots of blood circulating oxygen and nutrients to Wake up, Stimulate, Revive and Refresh.

This routine is to be performed twice a week. Once a week at the end of your heavy leg workout, add 4 sets of power deadlifts, warmup x15, 4 sets x 10-8-6-4 reps, incrementing each set enough to make it tough, but don’t draw blood.


Pulldowns, 4 sets x 12 reps (6 reps behind neck, 6 to front) – superset with:

Wide-grip machine dips, 4 sets x 8-12 reps

One arm dumbbell row, 4 sets x 10 reps

One arm overhead cable pull, 4 sets x 12-15 reps

Deadlifts, continue power deads on the leg day of choice. 4 x 10-12 reps, medium weight for a healthy pace. Mean yet serene.

This routine also is done twice a week.

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