One simple rule that will make your back grow

I am now fast approaching two years of solid training and it feels fantastic. When I first started, I won’t lie to you, my goal was originally to get rid of the fat around my abdomen that had developed over prior months. After a few months it started to dawn on me that there are other goals to have than just having “abs” (read: not fat) such as not being weak or small.

Previously in my life the only areas that I had honestly ever focused on where my mirror muscles which weren’t the full set of them. It was just my arms and chest: I’m pretty sure at least every guy has gone through this phase in their lifting life – maybe you’re still there.

After these few initial months had gone by, I suddenly decided that I needed to reassess what I should be aiming for. This turned out to be big and strong and around 80kg. (Yes, I had a target weight, and guess what. I’ve stayed around this weight for a year.) The next step was figuring out how I was going to do it. After a lot of trial and error I stumbled across what I believe is the most efficient way…

Now in this post I will stay on track, so that means talking about the back. And the trick is simple. Lift Heavy with High Repetitions. If you’ve ever seen anyone with thick, dense backs, I can guarantee you this is exactly how they developed them. The back is one of the strongest muscles in the body due to its need to keep you upright and solid in a multitude of directions and activities. If your bench is stronger than your bent over row, you need to put some time aside to really hit your back.

Now I would suggest starting on my beginner programme which kick-started the lifting lifestyle of EHF’s Rakesh. [This isn’t online yet, but will be soon and link will appear here.] If not there are a few specifics that will really help:

  • To develop strength don’t bounce and go. Leave the weight dead before you go again. In chin ups this would mean relax at the bottom before you pull up.
  • Feel free to take slightly longer rests if needed. Lifting heavy is hard.
  • If you’re new try to do at least equal amounts of push and pull. In simple terms this means if you do one workout hitting shoulders and another hitting chest, then you would train back twice to make up for this.
  • Focus on using your back and not your biceps when pulling.
  • Get some chalk. Your grip is the biggest limiter in training your back.
  • Don’t use wraps. It’s like chalk but you won’t train your forearms.
  • Don’t use a belt (if you have back issues see a doctor first!). You want to develop a strong core. I’ve never used one.
  • Primarily focus on compound exercises:
  1. Deadlift. Practice with light weight before moving up.
  2. Bent Over Rows. With a barbell.
  3. Kroc Rows. Single arm dumbbell rows with a heavy weight.
  4. Chin ups/Pull ups. Vary your use of them, ensuring a full range of motion.

We are Enraged Hippo Fitness and our goal is to help you reach yours. Feel free to ask any questions and we will answer them as soon as we can. Keep growing guys! And don’t forget to like the Facebook Page to the right or visit the You Tube channel (search).


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