Bodybuilder Logan Guthrie training back in the gym

HOW TO BUILD A CLASSIC BACK

Looking to add that iconic V-taper to your physique? NPC Classic Physique competitor Logan Guthrie shares his offseason back routine. See which exercises he's using to build his back for the stage.

 

Rope Pullover:

This exercise is a great way to activate and drive blood into your lats. Start with a rope attachment on a high cable. Grab the rope and stand far enough away so that you’re able to get a full stretch at the top. Bend over to a 45 degree angle with chest up and shoulders pulled back. Pull the rope downtowards your waist and drive your elbows as far back behind you as possible. Remember to lead with the elbows and not with the hands to engage lats. Control the weight back down and get a good stretch in your lats at the top. Do an efficient amount of warm up sets before working to failure on the last set. Do 4 sets of 10-15 reps.

Crucifix Pull Down:

Set up a mat on the floor in front of a cable crossover machine for you to kneel on. Next, attach two D-handles to the top hole of the cable machine. Kneel with a handle in each hand, arms outstretched and in a “Y position”. Drive elbows in and down towards your ribs, really focusing on squeezing your lats. Control the weight back up and let the lats fully stretch at the top of the movement. Complete 4 sets of 10 reps.

Chest Supported Dumbbell Row:

The next movement is designed to really increase the thickness of your back. We will be doing Chest supported dumbbell rows. By supporting the chest, you eliminate your ability to swing the weight up and force the lats to do the work. Set up an incline bench at about a 45-60 degree angle. Lay with your chest on the pad and dumbbells in each hand. Drive the elbows back and squeeze your back at the top of the movement and hold for 2 seconds. Slowly return the weight down and allow for a slight rounding of your shoulders at the bottom to get a full stretch in the lats. Complete 4 sets of 7 reps.

Meadows Rows:

This exercise is a unique variation of a T-bar row. You will need to set up a landmine with a weight on the end. You need to position your body perpendicular or 90 degrees from the bar. Grab the end of the bar with one hand and bend over to about a 45 degree angle. Drive the elbow up, contracting your rhomboids and lats. Slowly return the weight and get a good stretch in the lats. This exercise is about contraction of the lats, not moving weight, do not swing or jerk weight up. 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

Close Grip Pulldown:

Attach a V-handle to a lat pulldown machine. Begin by pulling the handle down to the mid part of the chest. Be sure to pull the weight and not rock the weight down. This means that you keep your posture upright and do not bend at the waist and lower back to use momentum to get the weight down. Slowly return the weight back up and get a good stretch in the lats at the top. Perform 4 sets of 7 reps, taking the last set to failure.