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Back & Biceps (Sample gym workout)

53 min
 · 
8 exercises
The Double B! Back and Biceps! Don't forget to note the amounts of weight used, especially for the progressive overloading exercises. Stay hydrated, limber, and mean! Let's go!
Pull-ups
3 sets
60 sec rest
To failure. If too difficult, exchange for reverse rows using a bar. Can you beat last week?
Barbell Deadlifts
4 sets
10 reps
90 sec rest
Progressive overloading, focus on your form, keep your back straight and chin up! Bend the legs.
Bent Over Barbell Rows
4 sets
10 reps
90 sec rest
Progressive overloading. Get that barbel up to your chest, and don't forget to review the instructions!
Rear Delt Pull
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest
Higher reps, lower weight. As you pull be sure to pinch those rear delts together.
Barbell Curls
3 sets
10 reps
60 sec rest
Feel like Arnie!
Close Grip Lat Pulldowns
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest
Lighter weight, use your biceps to pull the bar to your upper chest.
Reverse Flyes
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest
Pick a weight to fail at 12 reps. Try not to take off, you winged creature of the night!
Shadow Boxing
4 sets
60 reps
30 sec rest
Take out some swings in the mirror, but don't hit the mirror because the mirror will win.
Back & Biceps (Sample gym workout)
53 min
 · 
8 exercises
The Double B! Back and Biceps! Don't forget to note the amounts of weight used, especially for the progressive overloading exercises. Stay hydrated, limber, and mean! Let's go!
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Pull-ups
3 sets
60 sec rest
Set 1 of 3
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
To failure. If too difficult, exchange for reverse rows using a bar. Can you beat last week?
Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back, Upper Back & Lower Traps
Secondary:
Biceps, Forearms, Shoulders
  1. Standing under a pull up bar, reach up and hold onto the bar with an overhand grip. Make sure your hands are about twice your shoulder width apart.
  2. Keep your arms straight and hang from the bar so that your arms are taking all of your weight.
  3. Keeping your body straight and not swinging your weight, pull your body up towards the bar by pulling your elbows down towards your torso at an angle.
  4. Continue lifting until your chest is nearly touching the bar. You should feel a “squeeze” at the base of your lats (about midway down your back and to the side) as they contract.
  5.  Once your lats have completely contracted at the top of the movement, slowly lower your body to the starting position.
  6. Repeat.

By using a wide grip, your lats are doing most of the lift, rather than your biceps. It doesn't matter if you keep your legs straight or bent at the knees with your feet crossed. The important thing is that you do not use your legs to assist in lifting your body weight. As your strength increases, you can add weight by using a weight belt.

Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back, Upper Back & Lower Traps
Secondary:
Abs, Biceps, Shoulders
  1. Set the bar to your waist height.
  2. Lie on your back under the bar.
  3. Reach up and grip the bar with an overhand grip with both hands.
  4. Keeping your body straight,  pull yourself up towards the bar by pulling your elbows as far back as you can and trying to touch the bar with your chest.
  5. Hold and squeeze your arm and back muscles.
  6. Lower yourself back to the start position in a controlled motion.
  7. Repeat.

For this exercise, you can use a Smith machine bar, an Olympic bar on a rack or any other straight, sturdy bar set to the right height. The lower the bar is to the floor, the more intense it will be due to the starting angles of your arms.

Primary muscle group(s):
Middle Back / Lats
Secondary:
Biceps
  1. Select the correct weight to counterbalance your own before beginning. The heavier the weight, the easier it will be.
  2. Reach above and use an overhand grip to secure yourself as you kneel on the padded surface of the assisted machine. Tighten your core as well as your glutes.
  3. Lower yourself slowly. Do not lock out the elbow. Pull yourself back to the starting position but do not let the weight touch the stack. Pause and repeat.
Barbell Deadlifts
4 sets
10 reps
90 sec rest
Set 1 of 4
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
Progressive overloading, focus on your form, keep your back straight and chin up! Bend the legs.
Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back
Secondary:
Abs, Calves, Forearms, Glutes & Hip Flexors, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Upper Back & Lower Traps
  1. Place a barbell in a clear space on the floor. (Make sure there are no obstructions in your way.
  2. Stand facing the barbell with your legs about 4-6 inches from the bar.
  3. Place your feet shoulder width apart.Your feet can be pointed straight ahead or turned outwards slightly.
  4. Squat down, keeping your back straight and grip the bar with an overhand grip at shoulder width.
  5. Keep your arms fully extended and stand up with the barbell.
  6. As you lift the barbell, your hips and shoulders should rise together and your back should be straight.
  7. As you reach the top of the lift and are standing straight, rotate your shoulders back slightly until you feel a slight stretch in them.
  8. Lower the barbell back to the floor in the same squatting motion you used to lift it.

This exercise can be very dangerous if performed incorrectly. If you are a novice, only perform this exercise with an experienced trainer's supervision.

Primary muscle group(s):
Glutes & Hip Flexors, Lower Back
Secondary:
Abs, Calves, Hamstrings, Quadriceps
  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor.
  2. Stand facing the dumbbells with your feet shoulder width apart.
  3. Bend knees and hips to lower your torso in a squatting movement,keep your back straight.
  4. At the bottom of the squat grip the dumbbells with an overhand grip,keeping your arms fully extended.
  5. Return to an upright position holding the dumbbells with your palms facing towards your body and extending your hips forward. Do not round your back.
  6. Return the dumbbells to the floor in the same manner you picked them up.
  7. Repeat.
Primary muscle group(s):
Glutes & Hip Flexors, Hamstrings
Secondary:
Lower Back
  1. Holding the handles of the resistance band, step on to the middle. Place your feet at shoulder-width with toes pointing forward. Tighten your core and keep your chest up.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and drive your hips back but NOT lower than your knees. Again, keep the chest up. This is the starting position.
  3. Forcefully contract your glutes, driving them forward. Do not just lean back. Your glutes should be fully contracted. Pause then return to the starting position.
Bent Over Barbell Rows
4 sets
10 reps
90 sec rest
Set 1 of 4
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
Progressive overloading. Get that barbel up to your chest, and don't forget to review the instructions!
Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back, Middle Back / Lats
Secondary:
Abs, Biceps, Forearms, Upper Back & Lower Traps
  1. Set up a barbell on the floor and stand facing it with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Bend forward at your waist and grip the barbell with an overhand grip.
  3. Keep your back straight and nearly parallel to the floor.
  4. Keep your head and neck straight. This is the start position.
  5. Without moving your torso, exhale and lift the barbell up towards you.
  6. Keep your elbows close in to your bodyand use your forearms to support the weight.
  7. At the top of the movement, hold for a count of one and sqyeeze your back muscles.
  8. Return to the start position inhaling as you do so.

If you suffer from lower back problems, this exercise is not recommended. Always keep your back straight throughout this exercise. This exercise can be performed using an underhand grip to engage the triceps also.

Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back
Secondary:
Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back & Lower Traps
  1. Connect a V-bar attachment to the low pulley on a cable station or cable rowing machine.
  2.  Sit down at the station and place your feet on the foot pads or crossbar provided, while keeping your knees slightly bent.
  3. Lean forward, keeping your back straight and grip the V-bar handles with both hands.
  4. Keeping your arms fully extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs.
  5. Your back should be slightly arched, with your chest should be pushed out. This is the start position.
  6. Keeping your torso stationary, pull the handles back towards you while squeezing your back muscles.
  7. Keep your arms close to your sides until your hands reach your abdomen. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  8. Hold for a count of one.
  9. Inhale as you return to the start position in a smooth movement.
  10. Repeat.

Do not swing or rock back and forth as you perform this exercise. Doing so can cause lower back injury. <strong></strong> You can perform this exercise using a straight bar instead of a V-Bar. You can use an underhand or overhand grip.

Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back
Secondary:
Abs, Biceps
  1. Stand tall with a tight core and flat back. Hold a pair of dumbbells at your side with an overhand grip. Bend slightly at the knees as you push your hips back. Keep your chest and head up. Upper body should be almost parallel with the floor.
  2. With your elbows at a 60-degree angle, bring the dumbbells up. Pause when your upper arm is parallel with the floor. Contract the muscle then slowly return the dumbbells to the starting point.
Primary muscle group(s):
Middle Back / Lats
Secondary:
Abs, Biceps
  1. Begin the movement by stepping on to a resistance band with your feet at shoulder-width, toes pointed slightly out.
  2. Bend slightly at the knees and forward at the hips. Maintain a braced core and flat back throughout.
  3. Leading with your elbows, pull the handles of the resistance band back, bringing your shoulder blades closer together. Hold this contraction and slowly release to the starting position.
Rear Delt Pull
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest
Set 1 of 3
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
Higher reps, lower weight. As you pull be sure to pinch those rear delts together.
Primary muscle group(s):
Shoulders
Secondary:
Lower Back
  1. Stand tall facing a pulley that has been adjusted to higher than head-height.
  2. Attach a rope or dual handles to the pulley and grab hold of each end with your palms facing your head.
  3. Engage your abs and pull the weight towards your face. Separate your hands as you pull.

Try to keep your arms parallel to the floor.

Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back
Secondary:
Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back & Lower Traps
  1. Connect a V-bar attachment to the low pulley on a cable station or cable rowing machine.
  2.  Sit down at the station and place your feet on the foot pads or crossbar provided, while keeping your knees slightly bent.
  3. Lean forward, keeping your back straight and grip the V-bar handles with both hands.
  4. Keeping your arms fully extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs.
  5. Your back should be slightly arched, with your chest should be pushed out. This is the start position.
  6. Keeping your torso stationary, pull the handles back towards you while squeezing your back muscles.
  7. Keep your arms close to your sides until your hands reach your abdomen. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  8. Hold for a count of one.
  9. Inhale as you return to the start position in a smooth movement.
  10. Repeat.

Do not swing or rock back and forth as you perform this exercise. Doing so can cause lower back injury. <strong></strong> You can perform this exercise using a straight bar instead of a V-Bar. You can use an underhand or overhand grip.

Primary muscle group(s):
Middle Back / Lats
Secondary:
Biceps
  1. Attach a V-bar / Triangle Bar to the Lat Pulldown machine. Sit on the bench and make sure your knees are secure. Reach up and grab the V-bar with an overhand grip. Be sure to brace your core.
  2. Begin the movement by leaning back slightly while pulling down on the V-bar. Be sure to engage your middle back during the movement.
  3. Once the V-bar is at your chest, pause, contract the muscle, and slowly release to the starting position.
Barbell Curls
3 sets
10 reps
60 sec rest
Set 1 of 3
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
Feel like Arnie!
Primary muscle group(s):
Biceps
Secondary:
Forearms
  1. Stand straight holding a barbell with an underhand grip, your hands shoulder width apart and your arms fully extended towards the floor.
  2. Keep your elbows close to your sides.Your palms should be facing away from you. This is the start position.
  3. Keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the barbell forward and up in a smooth arcing motion while exhaling. Only your forearms should move.
  4. Continue upwards until  the bar is at shoulder level with your biceps fully contracted. Hold for a count of one while squeezing your biceps.
  5. Inhale as you return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat.

This exercise can be performed using a cable station, with a straight bar attachment connected to the lower pulley.<em><strong> </strong></em>

Primary muscle group(s):
Biceps
Secondary:
Abs, Forearms
  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Let your arms hang by your side with your palms facing in to the side of your body.
  3. Keep your elbows close to your sides.
  4. Curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Do not swing your hips to get the weight moving.
  5. Continue raising the dumbbells until they are level with your shoulders with your palms facing in. Your forearm should be in a vertical position.
  6. Squeeze or flex your bicep and hold for a count of one.
  7. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
  8. Repeat.

You can also perform this exercise by alternating between left and right arms or one arm at a time.

Primary muscle group(s):
Biceps
Secondary:
Forearms
  1. Sit on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand  with an underhand grip.
  2. Keep your back straight and shoulders back.
  3. Keep your arms fully extended with your elbows close to your sides.
  4. Rotate your palms so that they are facing in towards you. This is the start position.
  5. Keeping your upper arms upper arm stationary, start to curl the dumbbells upwards in a smooth arc.
  6. As you curl the dumbbells upwards rotate your wrists, so that your palms  face in towards you at the end of the movement.
  7. Continue the movement until  the dumbbells are at shoulder level and your biceps are fully contracted.
  8. Hold for a count of one as you squeeze your biceps.
  9. return to the start position, rotating your wrists back to an underhand grip position.
  10. Repeat.

This exercise can be performed by alternating between arms.

Primary muscle group(s):
Biceps
Secondary:
Abs, Forearms
  1. Set up a cable station with a straight bar attachment connected to the low pulley.
  2. Stand close to the station, feet shoulder width apart either side of the pulley.
  3. Grip the bar with a shoulder width underhand grip.
  4. Keep your elbows close to your sides.
  5. Curls your arms upward from the elbows in a smooth arc.
  6. Continue until your forearms are vertical with your palms facing your shoulders. Hold for a count of one while flexing your biceps.
  7. Lower the bar back to the starting position in a smooth motion.
  8. Repeat.
Primary muscle group(s):
Biceps
Secondary:
Forearms
  1. Holding a water bottle in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Let your arms hang by your side with your palms facing in to the side of your body.
  3. Keep your elbows close to your sides.
  4. Curl the water bottles up towards your shoulders. Do not swing your hips to get the weight moving.
  5. Continue raising the water bottles until they are level with your shoulders with your palms facing in. Your forearm should be in a vertical position.
  6. Squeeze or flex your bicep and hold for a count of one.
  7. Slowly lower the water bottles to the starting position.
Close Grip Lat Pulldowns
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest
Set 1 of 3
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
Lighter weight, use your biceps to pull the bar to your upper chest.
Primary muscle group(s):
Middle Back / Lats
Secondary:
Biceps
  1. Sit at a Lat Pulldown machine and secure your legs underneath the padded surface. Select an appropriate weight on the stack. Reach up to grab the barbell, taking a close-grip. Your hands should be at or closer than shoulder-width.
  2. Tighten your core and keep your chest up as you pull the barbell down and towards your chest. Be sure to pull with your lat muscles.
  3. Once the bar is at your chest, slowly allow it to return to the starting position but don’t let the weight stack touch. Repeat.
Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back
Secondary:
Abs, Biceps, Shoulders
  1. Secure a pair of suspension straps. Stand facing the straps, brace your lower back, and tighten your core.
  2. Lean back, letting the straps hold your weight. Your arms should be straight.
  3. Pull yourself up with your back, maintaining a tight core.
  4. Squeeze the back muscles and slowly lower yourself. Repeat.
Primary muscle group(s):
Lower Back
Secondary:
Biceps, Shoulders, Upper Back & Lower Traps
  1. Connect a V-bar attachment to the low pulley on a cable station or cable rowing machine.
  2.  Sit down at the station and place your feet on the foot pads or crossbar provided, while keeping your knees slightly bent.
  3. Lean forward, keeping your back straight and grip the V-bar handles with both hands.
  4. Keeping your arms fully extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs.
  5. Your back should be slightly arched, with your chest should be pushed out. This is the start position.
  6. Keeping your torso stationary, pull the handles back towards you while squeezing your back muscles.
  7. Keep your arms close to your sides until your hands reach your abdomen. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  8. Hold for a count of one.
  9. Inhale as you return to the start position in a smooth movement.
  10. Repeat.

Do not swing or rock back and forth as you perform this exercise. Doing so can cause lower back injury. <strong></strong> You can perform this exercise using a straight bar instead of a V-Bar. You can use an underhand or overhand grip.

Reverse Flyes
3 sets
12 reps
60 sec rest
Set 1 of 3
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
Pick a weight to fail at 12 reps. Try not to take off, you winged creature of the night!
Primary muscle group(s):
Shoulders
Secondary:
Abs, Upper Back & Lower Traps
  1. With a dumbbell in each hand in a neutral grip,  lie face down on an incline bench. Your palms should be facing inwards.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you so that they are at right angles to the bench. Keep your legs stationary but with pressure on the balls of our feet and toes. This is the start position.
  3. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, move the weights  away from each other  in an arcing motion exhaling as you do so.
  4. Continue expanding your arms until they are parallel to the floor.
  5. Hold and squeeze your shoulder blades together
  6. Return to the starting position inhaling as you do so.
  7. Repeat .
Primary muscle group(s):
Shoulders
  1. Begin by holding a pair of dumbbells and standing with a braced core. Bend at the knees slightly and lean forward from the hips. Maintain a flat back throughout.
  2. Keeping your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement, lift the dumbbells up and out to the side. Be sure to focus the contraction in the back of the shoulders.
  3. Pause at the top of the movement then slowly bring the dumbbells to the starting position.
Primary muscle group(s):
Upper Back & Lower Traps
Secondary:
Middle Back / Lats
  1. Adjust the cables so that the handles sit at chest height.
  2. Grip the handle, across your body in a neutral grip, with both hands.
  3. Keeping only a slight bend at your elbow, pull the cable back across your body using the muscles in your back.
  4. Hold the flexed position for a full second before allowing the cable to pull you slowly back to the starting position.
Primary muscle group(s):
Shoulders
  1. Adjust the seat on the Rear Delt Machine so that your chest is against the padding and the handles are at shoulder level. Tighten your core throughout the movement.
  2. Holding on to the handles in front of you, engage your rear delt muscles (back of the shoulder). Pull the weight, focusing all of the tension in your shoulder muscles.
  3. Pause when the handles are at your sides then slowly return to the starting position. Do not allow the plate to touch the weight stack.
Primary muscle group(s):
Upper Back & Lower Traps
Secondary:
Shoulders
  1. Begin by holding a pair of water bottles and standing with a braced core. Bend at the knees slightly and lean forward from the hips. Maintain a flat back throughout.
  2. Keeping your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement, lift the water bottles up and out to the side. Be sure to focus the contraction in the back of the shoulders.
  3. Pause at the top of the movement then slowly bring the water bottles to the starting position.
Shadow Boxing
4 sets
60 reps
30 sec rest
Set 1 of 4
Rest before next set
Get ready
321GO
Take out some swings in the mirror, but don't hit the mirror because the mirror will win.
Primary muscle group(s):
Abs, Biceps, Shoulders, Triceps
Secondary:
Calves, Glutes & Hip Flexors, Lower Back, Quadriceps, Shoulders, Triceps
  1. Stand tall with a tight core. Keep your gaze straight ahead. Bring your hands up to shoulder level. Make a tight fist with the thumb on the outside of your hand. Do not wrap your fingers around your thumb.
  2. Begin in a left lead stance. Your left foot should be in front. Your right foot should be behind. Throw a left lead jab by extending your left hand straight out in front of you and immediately retracting.
  3. Follow up the left jab with a right cross. Twist your foot and drive your right hip forward as you throw a straight punch with your back right hand. Alternate these two punches. Switch sides when finished with the prescribed repetitions.
Primary muscle group(s):
Abs, Obliques
Secondary:
Shoulders
  1. Sit comfortably with your feet grounded, knees bent, and body upright.
  2. Slowly lower your upper body backwards just enough to feel a strain on your abs.
  3. From here throw a desired amount of left and right eye-level punches.
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