How to get the most out of your back training by eliminating biceps involvement.
Back training is somewhat of a tough job largely because you can’t properly see the muscles worked while you are training. Oh, and yes, you can’t flex them of the mirror.
What makes the matter even more complicated is that the biceps usually tends to take some of the load off of the back muscles by flexing the elbows when pulling, thus diminishing the back muscles’ development.
However, hitting the back muscles is an extremely important part of your fitness pursuit. So what should you do when you want to have a productive back and biceps day?
The simplest answer would be to just separate the muscle groups and train them on two different days. Or, you could also first train the biceps and fatigue them enough so that when you are training your back you will prevent yourself from using the biceps unconsciously.
That means that the biceps will be too tired to be the dominant muscle when you are pulling, which in turn allows you to train both biceps and back in the same workout session and enables your back muscles to have a much better workout since the rhomboids, lats and erectors spinae will be the dominant group that moves the weight in each exercise.
Three different types of curls stimulate the biceps muscle from three different angles. The classic barbell biceps curls have an overall mass-building effect, the cross-body curls target the underlying brachialis part and the tie-in with the forearm and the incline bench curls increase the peak on the outermost part of the biceps.
Afterward, you proceed with the back exercises. First, you begin with the underhand grip barbell rows, that are otherwise heavily biceps-dominated. After you’ve annihilated your biceps, the hands will now act as hooks just holding the weight, while your lats and middle back will be the only muscle group involved in moving it.
The wide-grip pulldowns will hit the upper and outer part of the latissimus dorsi and the pull-ups, that usually involve the biceps a lot, will target the lower lats. You will finish the workout with back extensions which will stimulate the erector spinae which will enhance core stability and help you in any physical activity.
Ensure that you lift weights that will get you to failure within the rep ranges written below if you want to build muscle mass. Even if you fail to achieve less than 8 reps on some exercise you shouldn’t get discouraged because this will tell you exactly how much weight you will need to use the next time you train and it will make you mentally stronger.
The Back and Biceps workout :
Barbell Biceps Curl – 4 x 8-12
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl – 4 x 8-12
Cross-Body Hammer Curls – 4 x 12
Underhand-Grip Barbell Rows – 4 x 8-12
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns – 4 x 8-12
Pull-Ups – 4 x 8-10
Back Extension – 4 x 12
Before starting the biceps curls do a couple of warm-up sets, without going to failure. When doing the pull-ups perform the eccentric(negative) part of the movement slowly, going for 4 to 5 seconds on each rep until you reach full extension at the bottom. You can even use and assisted pull-up machine if you are having trouble finishing all the reps.