The PERFECT Back Workout (Sets and Reps Included)

  • Published on Feb 17, 2019
  • The perfect back workout should consist of exercises for not just the lats and traps but other important muscles of the back as well. That said, even that doesn’t make the back workout complete. In order to round out your back with a well rounded workout you need to fill in the gaps of what is lacking on those popular back exercises and put science back in your training. That is what we do in this video.
    The problem with lat focused training isn’t just that it trains simply a fraction of what the back muscles are capable of but also that many people choose repetitive exercises that work the back in the same plane. For instance, if you look at the pullup and lat pulldown you will see two major vertical pulling exercises that while not bad to perform in the same back workout, overlook the importance of horizontal pulling if nothing else is done.
    It goes beyond this however. Even when you perform the pullup, many will look at it as a high rep bodyweight exercise only. They overlook how powerful the movement can be when loaded up with additional weight as in a weighted chin up. This can become a tremendous compound exercise option and one that is capable of building a lot of back strength, size and overall gains. Additionally, getting locked in on one grip during this exercise is costing you the chance to work other areas of the back such as the teres major (which in and of itself occupies a large amount of mass above the lats) and therefore limiting the gains you will see from your workout.
    Instead, you will want to be sure to mix up chins and pullups along with a foundational strength exercise for the back like the deadlift to start your workout off right. The deadlift has the ability to work many of the areas of the back all in one shot. The traps, lats, and lower back all get a heavy dose of overload on this powerhouse of a back exercise. If you load it heavy enough and refuse to sacrifice your form, this can be an enormous benefit to your overall back development.
    We also have an opportunity to introduce some straight arm pushdowns with each warmup set of deadlifts. This helps to ingrain one of the most important movement patterns you will need to not only perform the deadlift but all next level back exercises.
    As you make your way through the workout however you also don’t want to miss the chance to train explosively. When you train like an athlete you always want to speed up what you slow down with your heavier weight training. The barbell dead row is a perfect example of this. Perform this powerful back exercise as a follow up to the deadlift and you will find that even a heavier weight seems lighter and more able to be accelerated.
    No perfect back workout would be complete without some additional focused tension towards the lats. This allows you to develop that mind muscle connection that is important for maximizing hypertrophy of the back. Choose between one of the two exercises listed and only do one of them. Just focus on really squeezing each rep and taking the lats through their full range of motion for optimum effect.
    Finally, a perfect back workout will not forget the importance of corrective exercises for the back. Here we want to be sure we work both the lumbar erectors and rotator cuff. We can do both in one move using the Hyper Y/W combo shown in the video. You will not need to use heavy weights to do this. Light weights will still light you up in exactly the way you need to be for best effect.
    Here is how to construct the perfect back workout:
    1A. Deadlift x 10,8
    1B. Weighted Chin x 4RM, 8RM
    2A. Deadlift x 6,6
    2B. BW Wide Grip Pullups x F,F
    3. Barbell Dead Rows (12RM) - 2-3 x 8-10
    4. Alternating 1 Arm High Cable Row OR Rocking Pulldown - 2-3 x 10-12
    5. Hyper Y/W Combo - 2 x 14-20 (alternate Y/W each rep)
    6. Barbell Ladder Shrug Finisher - 1 x F

    When you put this together in the format as I’m suggesting here, you not only now hit the back through its full range of motion but you hit every function of the this multi muscle group posterior chain as well. The supersets and ladders allow for an intensification of the workout to ensure that you are creating enough overload to spark growth in these muscles.
    This is just one example of how to apply science to your back workouts. If you want to train like an athlete you want to put science back in every workout you do. You can do that with the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs available at the link below and get started right away on building a ripped, muscular, athletic body.
    For more back workout videos that also hit the traps, low back and help to build bigger lats, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at the link below and don’t forget to turn on notifications so you never miss one.
    Build Muscle in 90 Days -
    Subscribe to this channel here -
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Comments • 2 937

    ATHLEAN-X™  5 months ago +797

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected within the first hour the video is published. Click the link to see if you’ve won. No strings attached!
    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • robert rainford
      robert rainford Month ago

      Could I still do arms the next day since there is a compound moment in the exercise I’m new at this

    • Z
      Z 2 months ago

      Does anyone understand the first exercise? Are the deadlift and chin-ups performed as a superset? Does the 2 min rest start after the deadlifts, which then get cut into by the chin-ups?

    • conriquez1000
      conriquez1000 2 months ago


    • fpark
      fpark 3 months ago

      Hey Jeff, for the barbell dead rows or deadlifts for that matter, are you supposed to drop the weight going down, or control it on the way down?

    • Guy Austin
      Guy Austin 3 months ago

      What about Rhomboids?

  • Jacob Moore
    Jacob Moore 2 days ago

    The background music is a bit much

  • Kingdom Athlete
    Kingdom Athlete 2 days ago

    Every time I do a back workout a day later it feels like I have a torn lower lat or pulled muscle and it takes two weeks to heal. If you see this comment and you might know the answer why please help

    • Reaper G.R.M.
      Reaper G.R.M. Day ago

      What workouts are you doing for your back?

  • edutheboss98
    edutheboss98 3 days ago +1

    What would be the best workout split with the perfect workouts?
    I’ve been thinking about:
    Monday: chest and biceps
    Wednesday: back and triceps
    Friday: shoulders and forearms
    Saturday: legs
    Abs every day

    • A Confused Walrus
      A Confused Walrus 2 days ago

      I've been doing
      -Chest and triceps
      -Bicep and lats
      -Legs and shoulders
      - 2 cardio sessions
      -abs whenever I'm free

  • Tejinder Singh
    Tejinder Singh 3 days ago

    Jeff is like selvester stalone

  • Jordan Dudley
    Jordan Dudley 3 days ago

    Series is dope 👍🏼

  • theoriginalnestor
    theoriginalnestor 4 days ago

    Thanks for the constant knowledge and more importantly keeping us away from getting hurt.

  • I'm a good boy
    I'm a good boy 4 days ago +1

    Put it at 1.5. Thank me later

  • Royal
    Royal 4 days ago +4

    I need a back workout that gets you strong enough to do the chin ups. I can’t even do them with body weight. 😓

    • Brandon May
      Brandon May 4 days ago

      Here you go. I thought this was really good

  • Barnigan mcpoyle
    Barnigan mcpoyle 5 days ago

    Every time I watch one of your videos I learn 20 new things to do in the gym! Love the athlean x program

  • V M
    V M 5 days ago

    Perfect Jeff

  • LaurAgony
    LaurAgony 5 days ago

    If you look closely at 8:14 his right side is overdeveloped compared to the left.

  • Chleric
    Chleric 6 days ago

    Do you rest after doing chin up/ pull ups or u just jump straight to deadlifts

  • Biglove Levi
    Biglove Levi 6 days ago

    thank you so much for giving time for teaching loved

  • Akhil S
    Akhil S 8 days ago +1

    Is the perfect back workout missing straight arm scapular work ?? 🤔🤔

  • That Guy
    That Guy 9 days ago +2

    If our back is called back. Why isn't our front called front, but instead chest, stomach and what not. Hmmm..

  • Michael Williams
    Michael Williams 10 days ago

    I love his humility

  • Benji Xu-Page
    Benji Xu-Page 11 days ago +1

    Wtf Jeff is wearing a shirt

  • LudwigRULEZ 1602
    LudwigRULEZ 1602 11 days ago

    Sometimes I have trouble hitting the lats more than anything

  • Lauri Voutilainen
    Lauri Voutilainen 11 days ago

    Thank you!

  • Timothy Rasey
    Timothy Rasey 11 days ago

    I can’t even do a pull up 😭

  • Christian François
    Christian François 12 days ago

    Genuinely loving your workout videos! Everything you say just make so much sense and give a real and close understanding of each exercise!

  • bboy rahim
    bboy rahim 12 days ago

    I'm. Confused 😕

  • Tempelis
    Tempelis 13 days ago

    *Is it bad to go to failure on each set?*

  • Bubu Lollie
    Bubu Lollie 13 days ago

    I'd say I'm good in shape and in theory this workout looks great. But in reality, your hands can't hold on to the bar after the first couple of repetitions. So it's not your muscles that get tired, but your wrists. So I recommend to either mix some things up or use just a couple of these exercises.
    Have a nice one!

  • galileo93
    galileo93 13 days ago

    Thanks for another great video.
    I didn't understand how much rest should I take between each set.
    For example - between the 4th set of the deadlift and pullup (2B) and between the Barbell Dead Rows (3).
    I'm aiming for 1-2 minutes of rest here, is that correct?

  • Jason
    Jason 14 days ago

    Explosive lifting looks so f"n stupid. No wonder bodybuilders are getting smaller and smaller..

  • ritzar12
    ritzar12 14 days ago

    I've tried the perfect chest and perfect back routines but I find that I currently don't have the muscular endurance in the 'support' muscles to properly complete all sets/reps. Is it recommended to keep lowering the weight until I can complete the workout and build from there or do I keep with the appropriate rep max weights and press on until I can complete all sets/reps then add more?

  • Drfaireborn
    Drfaireborn 14 days ago

    Hey Jeff. I just discovered your page about six months ago and find them very informative and educational. Can you tell me the best way to build pull up strength for my 13 yo son? I have been training for a long time and am just introducing him to weights. I had thought to build up using the pulldown. Thanks.

  • Amit Singh
    Amit Singh 14 days ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge 😊. It means a lot.

  • Luke Melichar
    Luke Melichar 15 days ago

    Best music on a vid. EVER!

  • Soham Bhosle
    Soham Bhosle 15 days ago

    Where do you lock your legs while doing the Hyper Y/W ? Please help!

  • PoNG_PowER _SRB
    PoNG_PowER _SRB 15 days ago

    What does 1A and 1B mean?

  • Kelevra
    Kelevra 16 days ago +1

    You’re a legend Jeff, thanks for everything!

  • silvio kostadinov
    silvio kostadinov 16 days ago

    does anyone know the name of the background music?

  • Joker Smile now cry later

    Your guide help much
    thanks you so much

  • Huy Truong
    Huy Truong 17 days ago

    What's the "RM" mean?

    • Jay Bee
      Jay Bee 16 days ago

      Rep max. 8RM = pick a weight that you can do a maximum of 8 reps, for example 😉

  • Naman Sharma
    Naman Sharma 17 days ago +1


    • weems2575
      weems2575 5 days ago

      Actually there are people who can do the weighted chin up. He has other videos focused on building up to having the strength to do the weighted chin. Work on building your chin up strength first.

    • Keith Si
      Keith Si 16 days ago

      Lmfaooo just a suggestion

  • Dang Dude
    Dang Dude 17 days ago

    I'm so intent on listening to jeff I didnt even notice that his videos have music in the background

  • noon6
    noon6 17 days ago

    Can someone clarify something for me? The deadlifts combined with the pull I doing the pull ups after the 2 sets of deads + rest or am I doing it superset style? Deads + rest followed straight away by a set of pull ups?

  • Antxon Carbonero
    Antxon Carbonero 17 days ago +7

    Did this workout for the first time yesterday. Rip my back today... And I thought was in good shape...

  • Raj Ridoy
    Raj Ridoy 18 days ago

    Hey Jeff, I struggle with body pull-ups. How do you recommend I do the pullsups in between the deadlifts?

  • RooFa Elmisrate
    RooFa Elmisrate 18 days ago +2

    I have a question
    Do I keep doing those same exercises or change it up every week ??
    Answer plz

    • Anonymaus 30
      Anonymaus 30 17 days ago +1

      RooFa Elmisrate It is recommended to start changing exercises every 3-4 weeks of a workout

  • Robert .W
    Robert .W 19 days ago

    So tiny

  • Ted
    Ted 20 days ago +2

    Hmm... I think the perfect back workout consists of Cavaliere's 8 hour face pull workout. Looks like I'm wrong since Jeff used all of face pull accessory lifts...

  • Ali raza
    Ali raza 21 day ago

    1:56 the real part starts

  • Steve Fowler
    Steve Fowler 22 days ago

    Just did this workout...not quite up to the reps in the bodyweight wide grip pullups as I was already kapooped and as I am not quite there but I did a very robust but slightly shortened word, Outstanding. I love DL's and pull ups/chin-ups so it was fun and the French ball rotator cuff exercises (which I need to be very careful as I have a tear in my left shoulder) felt awesome, will definitely keep them and them along with the high pulley row, those also felt perfect on my RC. I ended it with a baby set of shrugs because I don't really like those, but I will more next time...I made up for it with 2 sets of 3 reps of cleans and jerks, just because I felt like doings some...a really fun workout.

  • brian taylor
    brian taylor 22 days ago +7

    How to workout your back with a bad shoulder joint....I had a shoulder surgery done 2 year back... but still feels weak. And don't want to stress it too much. Any recommendations???

    LUIS FLORES 23 days ago

    Question, I've watched all the perfect workout series. But this is the only video were the main compound lift starts light then heavy. 8,6,4,4. On the other videos he starts heavy to light. 5,5,8,10 etc. Why is that?

    • Kakugen
      Kakugen 22 days ago

      No idea. Usually the heavy lifts come first as they are energy taxing

  • Daniel Bustos
    Daniel Bustos 23 days ago +2

    Jeff will set off the “lunk” alarm by just walking into a Planet Fitness.

  • Ham AlA
    Ham AlA 24 days ago

    Wanted seeing U healing up injuried

  • Ismael Mendez
    Ismael Mendez 24 days ago

    Your a beast brah

  • Clint Basile
    Clint Basile 24 days ago

    Someone could scale his back like a mountain climber

  • ben dover
    ben dover 24 days ago

    I got the workout I needed and got an endorphin rush while doing it.

  • Luis Carrillo
    Luis Carrillo 24 days ago

    Really got me working my ass here nice video

  • jwdlh
    jwdlh 25 days ago

    just wondering is Jeff in toronto?

  • bambowilk
    bambowilk 25 days ago

    What's the music in the background?

  • Nyfiken Show
    Nyfiken Show 26 days ago

    Not sure I understood the rest time with the dead lift. Is it meant to be 4 RM deadlift, 30 sec rest, chin ups, straight back to 4 RM deadlift without any additional rest? Does anyone know?

  • Raj Kumar
    Raj Kumar 26 days ago

    He speaks more than 3 set...

  • danllow gaming
    danllow gaming 26 days ago

    i have a big doubt we have to do full body workout or hi specific muscles at a specific day.

  • Blacklisted87 PS4
    Blacklisted87 PS4 26 days ago

    Jeff’s trying to get me yelled at the gym lol. Pull ups, last pull down and the cables all tied up during my first set lol!

  • A
    A 27 days ago


    OROCHI KASAKI 29 days ago

    Should we train another muscle with the back ?? Since those workouts seem more like a killing machine for the whole bacc 😁

  • Ryan Carroll
    Ryan Carroll 29 days ago

    Love this!

  • Connor Worsham
    Connor Worsham 29 days ago

    Awesome Jeff! Now, can you make a back work out without Dead lift, explosive barbell dead rows, and anything else that makes me over-exert myself when I’m working out?
    Hahaha Hahaha.......oh god I hate deadlift

  • Global Travel
    Global Travel Month ago

    I don't get it, when do we do the Mike chang towel row?

  • Shawn Barry
    Shawn Barry Month ago

    Thank you 🇺🇸

  • James Helmy
    James Helmy Month ago

    Great video!

  • Steve Acosta
    Steve Acosta Month ago +1

    Jeff I like your workouts but I suck at doing pull-ups/chin-ups. If I make it to 4 reps I am done, any suggestions?

  • Overxpossed
    Overxpossed Month ago

    Hi there; I'm needing to train a wider back and I don't know how the muscle I need to grow is named. You have the dorsal muscle, which is big, and there is an smaller one that connects to the armpit; that's the muscle I need to grow. Any idea? I already have worked out good dorsals. Thank you all in advance!