Extreme Back And Bicep Workout For Muscle Mass

June 15, 2020 15 min read 1 Comment

Training your back and biceps together in one session is a very common thing to do in today's bodybuilding routines. There's a reason why so many people follow this routine, and that's because it works.

But what's crucial is that you need to know how to perform a proper back and bicep workout. You need to know which exercises, the intensity, form, and so forth.

Whether you are a beginner or advanced lifter, you need to put together a solid workout routine to maximize your muscle gains. If you don't have a proper training routine, you're not going to get the most out of your progress.

The last thing you want to do is waste your time and not get optimal results. That's why we're here to help you - we're going to take you through an entire back and bicep workout.

Following this article will help you effectively target these muscle groups to stimulate and grow them.

Why you should train back and biceps together

Of course, many of you will want to know why the back and biceps are trained together and not separately.

This is done because you also activate your bicep muscles when performing back exercises. For example, when you perform a row, you also help pull with the help of your bicep muscle.

That means you are indirectly training your biceps with most of the exercises you are doing to target the back. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to follow a back and biceps workout in your routine.

The same thing goes for training chest and triceps together. Push movements activate your triceps, so that's a good combination too.

The back muscles make up for a large part of your overall physique. Having a wide back will make your physique look impressive, especially if you have a small waist.

That's why it's essential to make sure you're targeting these muscles correctly. First, you start the workout with multiple exercises to hit the back muscles, followed by exercises to target the biceps.

Your biceps won't need as much volume as your back because the biceps brachii muscle is tiny in comparison. That means you won't need to do as much work for that muscle group, just a few good, and intensive sets to finish them off.

Back And Bicep Anatomy Explained

Before we take you through the back and biceps workout and exercises, it's helpful to learn which muscles are activated during this routine.

By educating yourself on the muscles, you can work on your 'mind-muscle connection' or MMC. Having a good MMC can benefit muscle growth and contraction, especially for pumps.

Let's continue by looking at the atanomy of the back and biceps.

Back Muscle Anatomy

The back makes up for a large part of your physique, and it can be divided into multiple different muscle groups. We're going over each muscle group to help you learn more about the back.

You must know that since there are so many different muscle groups, you must follow a routine that targets the back from every angle.

In this back and biceps workout routine, you will see that we will target all the muscle groups to help you get a balanced physique.

Latissimus Dorsi

Latissimus-Dorsi

Firstly, we have the Latissimus Dorsi, which many of you will know as the lats or wings. It's the biggest group in the back. That's also why many people prioritize training the lats, as they are crucial in creating a v taper physique.

The Latissimus Dorsi play an important role, as they are crucial for protecting and stabilizing the spine. A few examples of great exercises for targeting this part of your back are pull ups and lat pulldowns.

Rhomboid and Teres Major

Rhomboid-and-Teres-Major

Next up, we have the Rhomboids and Teres Major.These upper back muscles are located at the end of the shoulders and are very important when pulling. That's because they help rotate and retract the scapula.

The Teres Major is closely connected to the rear deltoid muscle and is often a forgotten muscle in terms of training. But don't worry, our workout routine helps you target the muscle.

Trapezius

Trapezius

Lastly, there is the Trapeziusor traps. The Trapezius is located at the upper and middle back and continues all the way up to the neck.

It has three significant areas in the back muscle. The upper, middle and lower parts are essential for moving and stabilizing the scapula.

Bicep Muscle Anatomy

The bicep is located at the top of your arm and is connected to the shoulder and the triceps. Just like the back muscle, it consists of multiple parts with different functions.

Let's go over the parts and help you understand how the bicep works.

Biceps Brachii

First, we have the Biceps Brachii. The Biceps Brachii consists of a long and short head, meaning it makes up for the most part of the muscle group.

If you want biceps, you're going to have to make sure you're doing exercises that target the Brachii. Keep reading as we will show you the most effective exercises for your workout.

Brachialis

The other part of the biceps is called the Brachialis. It can be located on the outer side of the arm, directly below the Brachii.

The Brachialis plays an important role in the flexion of the forearm and the functionality of the elbows. To train the Brachialis, you must not use your Brachii.

The 5 Best Back Exercises For Mass

There are a lot of different exercises you can do to target the back muscles. But of course, you want to perform the most effective ones and stimulate the muscles properly.

We've put together a back and bicep workout that'll help you put on muscle mass and target all the right muscle groups.

Let's start by checking out the best back exercises we've included in the workout, how to perform them, and how many sets and repetitions you should aim for.

1. Lat Pulldown

Lat-Pulldown
Sets Repetitions

3 - 5

12 - 15

We're starting with our first exercise of the back and bicep workout, the lat pulldown. It's an excellent movement that really targets the Lats (Latissimus Dorsi).

Before performing the working sets, do one or two sets with a lightweight to warm up the muscles. Get some blood flowing to your muscles; that will help prevent injuries from happening.

You'll find that many lifters start their back workout with this exercise, as it's an ideal movement to create a V-taper physique.

To perform the lat pulldown:

  1. Get seated on the machine and grab the attachment with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Lean back slightly, but not too much, and then proceed by pulling the attachment all the way down to the upper part of your chest.
  3. Squeeze your lats and back muscles at the bottom of the movement.
  4. Once you're at the bottom of the movement, proceed with straightening your arms so that you are in the starting position again.

It's important to get a good stretch on your lats. To get a good stretch, you must extend your arms almost entirely at the top of the movement.

Try it out, and you'll feel your lats do the work during the exercise. Make sure to use a challenging weight, but not too heavy where you are sacrificing form.

It's also good to know that there are different variations of pulldowns you can apply to your workout. If you want to switch it up after following this routine for a while, you can use a wider grip, underhand grip, etc.

2. Barbell Rows

Barbell-Row
Sets Repetitions

3 - 4

6 - 8

After we've finished our sets of lat pulldowns, we're moving on to the second exercise, which is barbell rows. It's a highly effective compound movement that'll help you build a big back.

We've included barbell rows in our back and bicep workout routine because it stimulates the entire back. You're working the lats, rhomboids, and even the traps.

How to perform barbell rows:

  1. Line up your feet with your shoulders and grab the barbell around your shoulder width.
  2. With the barbell in your hands, bend over while keeping your back straight.
  3. Lift your chest and lower and fully extend your arms to get a good stretch.
  4. Pull the bar back, all the way to your abdominals.

During this movement, you get the entire range of motion to activate as many back muscles as possible.

It's crucial to maintain a good form during barbell rows. Keep your lower back straight, don't let it round. Make sure that you're not using a weight that's too heavy, as this may put too much stress on your muscles and lead to possible injury.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot perform barbell rows, consider doing dumbbell rows instead, as they're a great alternative.

We're convinced that barbell rows are one of the best exercises for building a wide, thick back. Make sure to include it in your back and bicep workout!

3. Close Grip Lat Pulldown

Close-Grip-Lat-Pulldown
Sets Repetitions

3 - 4

8 - 12

Up next, we have our third exercise, close grip pulldowns. This pulldown variation is an excellent way of further isolating the lats.

A good back and bicep workout will always include at least one, preferably two different pulldown variations. They're simply the most effective exercises for optimally targeting the lats.

But, it's important to perform this exercise correctly. That's because you want to activate and stimulate the right muscle groups for them to grow.

How to perform close grip pulls downs:

  1. Get seated and grab the attachment with arms extended, your palms facing each other.
  2. Pull the attachment down to your chest while maintaining a straight posture.
  3. At the bottom, squeeze your lats together for maximum contraction.
  4. Proceed to straighten the arms again and return to the starting position.

As we've mentioned with the other exercises, you must focus on the stretch and squeeze. That will do wonders for your back growth, so make sure to fully contract the muscles when going through the movement.

4. Seated Row

Seated-Row-Machine-Close-Grip-Alternate
Sets Repetitions

3 - 4

8 - 12

The fourth exercise in this back and bicep workout is going to be seated rows. We've said it before, but rows are an excellent movement to build a massive back, which we're aiming for.

You can do seated cable rows or seated machine rows - whichever has your preference. Both of these row variations are executed the same.

How to perform seated rows:

  1. Get placed on the machine and grab the row handle or attachment with your arms stretched out in front of you.
  2. Keep a straight posture and pull the handle or attachment towards you.
  3. Pull your arms and elbows to your lower abdominals and contract your back muscles while maintaining a straight back.
  4. Release the contraction and repeat the above.

You can choose to do this exercise with both arms simultaneously. But, most people, including myself, prefer working one arm at a time to get a good mind-muscle connection.

Do what feels right for your body as long as you perform the exercise correctly and aim for the proper amount of repetitions.

5. Cable Pullovers

Cable-Pullover
Sets Repetitions

3 - 5

12 - 15

Last but not least, we are doing cable pullovers. At this point, the muscles in your back are fatigued, and we're finishing everything off with a sets of cable pullovers.

We're doing this as the final exercise for the back because it's not necessarily very heavy or intense; it's more of a stretch and pump movement.

How to perform cable pullovers:

  1. Start by facing the cable machine, attach the straight bar and make sure it's at the highest setting.
  2. Grab the straight bar and take a step away from the machine; this helps create a good stretch during the exercise.
  3. Stand shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly, and lean forward.
  4. Once you're positioned, pull the bar down to your thighs with your arms straight, and make sure your lats are doing all the work.
  5. Squeeze at the bottom and return to the starting position.

If it's your first time doing this exercise, you may not feel your lats working immediately. It can take some time for you to get a good mind-to-muscle connection, and once you do so, you'll feel them doing all the work.

With this exercise, you want to use light weights, so don't go ego lifting on this movement. If you're using too much weight, your triceps will take over. That's not what you want, so use the right amount of weight.

That was the final back exercise, and we're moving on to the biceps.

The 3 Best Biceps Exercises For Mass

We've just finished all the back exercises in our workout, meaning we're going to jump right into the biceps exercises. You may already notice that your biceps and forearms have already been stimulated during the back movements.

This is completely normal, and it's exactly why we train back and biceps together in one workout. That's why we're not going to do a crazy volume for the biceps, especially if you are a beginner; you won't need to stimulate it a lot.

We're going to show you the best biceps exercises for mass and size. Make sure to follow our guidelines closely, and you'll be blown away by how this routine can help you grow.

1. Dumbbell Curl

Dumbbell-Curl
Sets Repetitions

3

8 - 12

The first exercise we're going to do is called the dumbbell curl. Many of you will be familiar with this exercise, as it's a staple movement included in many workout routines.

We swear by dumbbell curls because it's excellent for isolating the long and short heads of the biceps. Hitting these heads is crucial if you want to grow big biceps, so keep reading to learn how to perform this exercise correctly.

How to perform the dumbbell curl:

  1. Begin this exercise with a dumbbell in each hand, and your arms should be resting by your side.
  2. Bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells all the way up to your shoulder area.
  3. While performing the curl and bringing the dumbbell up, ensure that your upper arms remain stable and shoulders relaxed.
  4. Squeeze the biceps at the top of the exercise and lower them back to starting position.

As we've said with the back exercises, make sure to squeeze and feel the muscle work. Don't just go through the motion; you have to really activate the biceps.

Please note that you can choose to perform the dumbbell curls standing up or seated down.

Many people tend to use momentum to bring the weight up when standing up; this is something you need to prevent from happening - form over weight.

2. Barbell Curl

Barbell-Bicep-Curl
Sets Repetitions

3

6 - 10

Another quality and effective exercise is the barbell curl. It's an excellent movement that targets the entire biceps, even the brachialis.

If you want to build big biceps, it's a must-have exercise. We like going slightly heavier when doing barbell curls simply because they're so good for isolating the bicep muscles.

How to perform barbell curls:

  1. Grab the barbell with an underhand grip and have your hands positioned slightly wider than your hips.
  2. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, and stand straight with your chest up.
  3. Keep your upper arms relaxed and curl the barbell up, ending right below your chin.
  4. Squeeze and contract the biceps at the top and slowly release them back to the starting position.

We can't stress the importance of keeping your upper arms relaxed. Keep your elbows close to your body when performing these curls. Doing this will put all the work on the biceps, which is exactly what we want.

If you're looking to switch things up, we've got a unique and challenging variation of barbell curls you can do. We're talking about Barbell 21s, which really fire up your biceps as no other exercise does.

They're named 21s because that's the total amount of reps you're going to do in one set - sounds challenging, right?

21s are divided into three parts, in which each part you perform 7 reps, followed by 7 more reps, and then 7 reps to finish the set off.

Check out the video below to know how to perform barbell curl 21s!

3. Cable Bicep Curl

Cable-Bicep-Curl
Sets Repetitions

3

12 - 15

As we're nearing the end of this back and biceps workout routine, there's still one biceps exercise left - the cable curl.

It's a great exercise to squeeze out the last bit of power left in the biceps, after which they can start recovering from the workout.

To perform cable curls:

  1. Start by facing the cable machine, and make sure the cable is attached to the lowest setting.
  2. Grab the cable attachment with an underhand grip and curl the weight up, you should have a slight bend in the elbows.
  3. During the curling movement, make sure that your upper arms stay in place to force the biceps to do all the work.
  4. Flex your biceps at the top of the movement and slowly release it back down to the starting position.

This exercise is performed with one arm at a time. By working your arms individually, your stronger arm won't be able to compensate for the other during the movement.

After finishing the three sets of cable curls, you'll be done with the back and bicep workout routine. Now it's time to provide your muscles with a good meal, preferably containing quality protein and carbohydrates.

There's still more information left we want to share with you to help you get the most out of your workouts, so keep reading!

Beginner Back And Bicep Workout Routine

Now that we've shown you the best back and bicep exercises, we will show you an example of what a good beginner routine looks like.

The below routine may not look like that much, but trust us when we say that it will be enough to get your muscles growing.

Before starting the routine, make sure to warm up properly. A good warm-up would be 5 to 10 minutes of the cross-trainer, followed by a few sets of high repetitions to get the blood flowing to the muscles.

Exercise Sets Repetitions

Lat pulldown

3

12 - 15

Barbell row

3

8 - 12

Close grip pulldown

3

8 - 12

Cable pullover

3

12 - 15

Biceps curls

3

12 - 15

Barbell curl

3

8 - 12

If it's your first time doing the above back and biceps workout, it's crucial to make sure that you are performing each exercise correctly. Don't look at how much weight you're pushing, having a good form is more important.

Why do hammer good form so much? It's because good form will help you activate the correct muscle parts and keep you injury-free. Once you've nailed down the form, that's when you can start focussing on increasing the weights.

Advanced Back And Bicep Workout Routine

We've also put together an advanced back and bicep workout routine. This routine has more volume, meaning you're challenging your muscles even more.

We recommend trying out this advanced routine if you've been training for a longer period and know what you're doing.

As we've said with the beginner routine, make sure to warm up before starting the back and biceps workout. About 5 to 10 minutes of cardio paired with a few sets of high repetition pulldowns will be sufficient.

Exercise Sets Repetitions

Lat pulldown

4

12 - 15

Barbell row

4

6 - 8

Close grip pulldown

3

8 - 12

Seated row

3

8 - 12

Cable pullover

3

12 - 15

Dumbbell curl

4

8 - 12

Barbell curl

3

6 - 10

Cable curl

3

12 - 15

Make sure to lift with high intensity, proper form, and a challenging weight. We recommend taking about 30 to 90 seconds of rest between each set.

By doing so, you're keeping the intensity high and pushing your muscles to the limit. That's exactly what you want because you want them to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question related to the back and bicep workouts or exercises? Check out our most frequently asked questions below.

How long should a back and bicep workout be?

There's no such thing as an optimal time frame in which you should finish your back and bicep workout. With that said, we recommend taking about 60 to 90 minutes for your workout.

If you keep the intensity high and do not rest too long between sets, you can easily finish within that window.

What should I eat after my back and bicep workout?

After your workout, it's crucial to provide your body with a quality meal as quickly as possible. You're going to want to get in a meal that has plenty of proteinand, of course, carbohydrates to fuel the glycone stores.

If you don't know how much protein you need, read our article on how much protein you need for muscle growth.

A good example of a meal after your workout would be rice and chicken, sweet potato and ground beef, etc.

Should I warm up for my back and bicep day?

Yes, it's very important to warm up for your back and bicep day. This is because you want to prevent injury and get the blood flowing to and through the muscles.

It's advised to do about 5 to 10 minutes of cardio; something like the cross trainer is a perfect option. Once you've finished the cardio, do multiple warm-up sets of your first exercise.

Let's say you're starting with lat pulldowns, then do 2 or 3 sets of 20 repetitions each.

How do you stretch after a back and bicep workout?

Stretching your back and biceps after a workout can be beneficial for recovery and cooling down the muscle. An excellent stretching routine for your back would be:

  • Cat-Back Stretch
  • Across Side Reach
  • Lying Leg Over
  • Seated Leg Over Twist
  • Standing Arm Pull Lean
  • Standing Grab Lean Back

How often should I work my back and bicep?

Training your back and biceps once per week will be more than enough, especially if you're new to training. If you've been training for some time and really want to bring up your back, you may consider training it twice per week.

If you want to hit it more often, we recommend going with a Push, Pull, Legs (PPL) routine.

But initially, once per week will be sufficient. Focus on the other aspects, such as nutrition and recovery, as these will also play a significant role in helping you grow.

Conclusion

We've introduced you to the best back exercises and the best biceps exercises for packing on muscle mass. In our opinion, these exercises are the best movements you can do for those muscle groups.

Please make sure to perform these exercises correctly, as that'll make a big difference in your progress. Using good form will activate the right muscle groups. Make sure to read through the explanation we've given you for each movement.

We've also shown you two types of back and bicep workout routines - a beginner routine and an advanced routine. Depending on your experience, try out one of these and let us know how it has worked for you.

Besides training your muscles the right way, it's also crucial to have your nutrition and rest dialed in. Make sure your body gets enough protein, as these are the building blocks for your muscles.


1 Response

Xavier Jacobs
Xavier Jacobs

October 13, 2022

Awesome Workout!!!!

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