Let’s not let the title fool anyone. If you want to build an impressive and strong back, it takes more than 15 minutes a day. It takes longer sessions over a long period of time to achieve that kind of development. That being said, I also understand that bodybuilding and powerlifting athletes also work regular jobs, have families, and take part in other commitments that leave little room in their daily schedules.
By Roger Lockridge
With everything you have going on in your day, it can be easy to use the lack of time as an excuse to pass the gym on your way home. Or at least it was. While I admit 15 minutes isn’t much time to get a good back workout in, it beats 0 so here is a back training session that will have you working from start to finish with that finish being at around 900 seconds. Don’t forget to take your Juggernaut-X. You’ll need it.
Superset 1 – Pendlay Barbell Row and Pullups
Pendlay Rows are different than traditional barbell rows because they start from the floor instead of knee level. They will challenge your entire back from top to bottom and they’re great for improving both power and size. Prepare your barbell with a weight that will challenge you at around 10 reps.
You know what pullups are. Have your barbell with you at the pullup station so you save time moving from one exercise to the next. Knock out as many pullups as you can until you reach failure. If you can’t do pullups you can either use an assistant or do the pulldown version with a weight that will result in failure around 10 reps. Use whatever grip you prefer. I like doing pullups with a neutral, hammer grip.
Back Workout Superset 2 – Hyperextensions and Dumbbell Pullovers
Hyperextensions are a great way to isolate the lower back muscles without placing a serious burden with heavy weights. Dumbbell Pullovers are legendary for their ability to help athletes improve not only their lats but the entire upper body. Doing these movements back to back will be intense but worth it when you see the results. Perform 15 reps with the hyperextensions either using your own bodyweight or by holding a plate for extra resistance.
For the pullovers, lie across the bench with a dumbbell in both hands. Make sure your hips are low so you maximize the stretch in the back. If your gym has a pullover machine, use it instead. 6x Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates was a major advocate of the machine version. Perform 15 reps for this exercise as well.
You’ll perform three supersets of each pair of exercises. So you’ll start with the Pendlay Rows and immediately perform your Pullups after. Rest for 30 seconds between your supersets. This same protocol applies to your supersets of Hyperextensions and Dumbbell Pullovers. By the time you finish the last superset, you will have completed 12 individual sets and within 15 minutes of starting.
Back Workout: 15 Minute Back Blast
Pendlay Barbell Rows/Pullups – 3 supersets of 10 reps each.
Hyperextensions/Pullovers – 3 supersets of 15 reps each.
*No rest between exercises during supersets. 30 seconds rest between supersets.