The Back Day Burnout: A Big Thick Back Workout

Want to do a back workout that will challenge you and leave you feeling as though you’ve really accomplished something? Try the Back Day Burnout Workout!


Absolutely nothing makes you look as physically dominate as a thick, wide back.

Every true alpha male has a back as wide as the Great Wall of China and as thick as the bricks it was built with.

But, if you’re not quite there yet, have no fear.

Today we’re bringing you an epic back day workout that will help you develop that V-taper every single lifter aspires to develop from the first day s/he picks up a dumbbell.

This workout isn’t for the faint of heart and if you’re not an experienced lifter, it’s not a good place to start.

Build the foundation for your muscle with a beginner workout and once you’re a little more experienced and ready to tackle a challenge such as this workout, come back and give it a shot.

There’s no need to burn yourself out right off the bat.


The Back Day Burnout covers all of the bases. It has heavy sets for you strength seekers. It has high volume hypertrophy sets for all of you aesthetic animals.

But the true challenge of this workout comes down to completing the final burnout finisher, and only those with some serious muscular endurance will come out victorious.

This workout is best done with a partner who has similar strength as yours. As the workout progresses, you’ll find comfort in knowing someone is going through this workout with you. Believe me, it’s a doozy!


The Back Day Burnout workout starts off with some heavy deadlifts. The deadlift is one of the most crucial exercises a lifter can have in their workout program to build a strong and functional lower back.

By keeping the reps low and the intensity high with this compound lift, we can get an enormous bang for our buck in total poundage moved to start things off.

Related: Deadlift Domination – 5 Tips for 5 Plates

Perform a dynamic warmup and some light warm up sets before working your way up to the working sets of the Back Day Burnout.  Also, you may want to be prepared to be on the platform for a while. You’ll be performing 8 total sets of heavy deadlifts.

Once you’re warmed up, start of with 3 sets of 5. Whether you keep the weight the same or not for each set is completely up to you; however, I’d recommend only moving up as the reps per sets drop.

After you finish off your sets of 5, move right into 3 sets of 3. The reps are lower, but the weight you’re using should be heavier. Keep your focused dialed in. These are the reps where gains will be made.

Lastly, hit a couple of heavy doubles. You want to go as heavy as you can here, but it is important to know your own strength. There’s no point in risking injury trying to pull weight you’re not used to. Go heavy (I like to try and out do my partner), but be smart.


After you’ve finished up your deadlifts, move on to the first exercise of your hypertrophy lifts. We’re going to kick things off with wide grip lat pulldowns to try to build some lats that flair out.

Shoot for 3 sets of 10 with your first lat pulldown variation and really focus on contracting and squeezing your lats on each rep. Be sure to pick a weight that is challenging, but also allows your to hit every prescribed rep of the program with perfect form.

M&S Athlete Performing Lat Pulldowns on Back Day


We’re not moving from the cable pulldown, but you are going to need to swap out the cable attachment. We’re going with a close grip variation next, but this variation will probably be slightly different from any you’ve done before.

Grab the close grip handle as you normally would to get into a pulldown position. Instead of sitting on the machine though, we’re taking this all the way down to the floor.

You may need your partner’s help to get in position for these. As you approach the floor, wrap your feet around the bottom of the machine for stability. Arch your back slightly and using your lats, pull the weight to your chest.

If you’re too far back, the weight will hit the top of the machine, so make sure you are level with the pulldown cable.

Go lighter on these the first couple of times you try them and make sure you hit 12 reps on all 3 sets.


After you complete both pulldown variations, head over to the t-bar machine row. Don’t actually get on the machine though, because instead of t-bar rows, we’re going to be performing Meadow rows.

Related: John Meadows – His Journey to the Arnold, Brand, & Back Workout

Hover over the end of the t-bar and grab it with one arm. Once you’re in position, row the weight up as you would while performing a dumbbell row. Remember to squeeze your back with each rep.

The Meadow row can be tough, especially if you lack grip strength. If you find yourself struggling to hold onto the end of the bar, don’t worry you’re not alone. Either lower the weight you’re using and work on building that grip of yours, or implement some straps for these.


Continuing on with our rows for this Back Day Burnout, finish up your hypertrophy sets with supported dumbbell rows on the incline bench.

I love performing dumbbell rows in a supported fashion for a few reasons. After those heavy deadlifts and Meadow rows we just did, your low back is going to be fried and the support is going to be a breath of fresh air.

Also, by implementing the support on your front, it eliminates potential cheat reps that many lifters are guilty of when performing traditional dumbbell rows.

Set up an incline bench and rest your chest on the back of it. Grab the desired amount of weight you wish to use and perform 10 strict reps for 3 sets.

M&S Athlete Performing Pullups on their Back Day


By now, you’re probably thinking that everything listed above looks like your normal, run-of-the-mill back day workout. So, if you’ve been reading all this time and just waiting to see where the burnout comes into play, you’re in luck.

The Back Day Burnout finisher is no joke. You’re going to need some serious endurance to accomplish this after all of the aforementioned exercises.

The finisher to the workout is 100 total combined reps of either pullups, chin-ups, or inverted rows. You can perform as many reps of any of the three that you prefer, but there are three rules.

  1. You have to hit at least 10 total reps of each by the end of the 100 reps.
  2. You have to cycle through them in the order they are listed (pullup, chinup, inverted row).
  3. Once you fail, you have to move on to the next exercise in the rotation.

If you’re working out with a partner, turn this into as much of a competition as the heavy sets of deadlifts were. See who can do these 100 reps in the fewest sets. And make sure that each of you are doing full reps with perfect form.

Come all the way down on the pullups and chin-ups (but not to a completely unloaded position) and pull yourself up to where your chin is over the bar. On the inverted row, make sure that you touch your chest to the bar on each rep. If you or your partner doesn’t accomplish this, the rep doesn’t count and they have to move on to the next exercise.

Good luck!


Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlifts 8 5, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2
2. Lat Pulldowns 3 10
3. Close Grip Lat Pulldown from Floor 3 12
4. Meadow Rows 3 10
5. Supported Rows on Incline Bench 3 10
6a. Pullups
6b. Chinups
6c. Inverted Row 100 total reps

 Author|Josh England

Enter the ring: The beginner’s guide to boxing workouts


Boxing gyms have come a long way from the gritty, dank cages Rocky prowled in the predawn hours of Philadelphia’s winters. Just as we had the luxury-climbing-gym revolution last year—when men skipped the treadmill and instead flexed their bouldering skills—we’re now witnessing an explosion of ultra-high-end boxing temples.

Leading the way are Box ’N Burn Boxing and Fitness in L.A., Chicago’s Unanimous Boxing Gym, and, most recently, the gleaming Rumble, which opened a 6,000-plus-square-foot location in New York this past January. The knockdown palace, which is partly co-owned by a former Google executive and a master trainer from Bravo’s Work Out New York, is a mix of full-body toning and working the aqua heavy bag (which is much easier on the joints and tendons).

“Our clientele doesn’t just punch a bag for 45 minutes. We have weights and benches,” says Eugene Remm, a head of the EMM Group and a Rumble coowner. “Add our overall cleanliness, and nobody thinks ‘boxing.’” (For more about Rumble, visit

We totally approve of the rise in boxing gyms, and not just because we’ve seen Creed too many times. Boxing isn’t just about fighting—it’s a great workout that boosts mental agility, improves coordination, and blends cardio and muscle sculpting. “Boxing is the only sport where you have to stay on your feet the whole time to be successful,” says Eric Kelly, a four-time amateur national champion who now trains clients in NYC. “Meanwhile, you’ve got to keep a guy’s foot out your ass. That requires every muscle in the body!” Ready to step into the ring wherever you may live?

Here’s your 12-round game plan:

The Beginner’s Guide to Boxing Workouts

You’ve hit YouTube, and after watching highlights of Mike Tyson knocking heads into the cheap seats, you’re amped to learn the ropes. Now what?

“Start by going to a reputable gym,” says Heather Hardy, the WBC international featherweight champ. What constitutes as “reputable” depends on your personal preference. The gym doesn’t have to be beautiful—it can be a hole-in-thewall reeking of Bengay with heavy bags wrapped with duct tape.

Next, pick a trainer. “Let the owner know if you’re interested in competition or fitness,” says Hardy. And you know you: Do you respond better to an earful of growls from a grizzled vet, or pats on the butt from a gentler soul? Make sure the gym trains “whitecollar types,” and steer clear of anyone lacking ring time. “I don’t take the ‘no fighting experience’ trainers as seriously,” says Kelly. “Ever heard of a swimming instructor who hasn’t swam before?”

And don’t be intimidated. The camaraderie found in boxing gyms is second to none, and most boxers are chill cats who are happy to share tips. From the banker throwing a soft punch to the welterweight prospect fighting on HBO next week, each is there to better themselves. “It’s one of America’s last true melting pots,” says Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.


Group gigs are great for spinning, but in the boxing space? There’s something to be said for starting out by yourself and locking down the basics, bringing it back to the good old days, when men were men and drank raw eggs to get pure protein power. “One-onone is best,” says Kelly. “You get all the attention. Your trainer can focus on the proper technique and make sure you ain’t just staring at asses and being lazy.”

Your Total-Body Boxing Workout

The beauty of boxing workouts is that you can still become a mini Mayweather whether you make it to the gym or not. Done right, this boxing workout will eventually transform you into a Golden Gloves god.

STEP ONE: Stretch

No muscle goes unused, so spend five to 10 minutes before the bell rings stretching every body part. Work those hamstrings: Stand straight and bend over, with your fingers touching the floor. To prevent tearing your shoulder muscles, place your hand against a wall and lean away, which stretches the fibers.

STEP TWO: Jump rope

Jumping rope is crucial to building the quickness and agility you’ll need to be a ring king. Start out jumping with both feet, then gradually alternate, jumping five on the left and five on the right. Only after you master that will you be coordinated enough to jump back and forth between right and left.

STEP THREE: Shadow box

This drill helps you learn to stay balanced when you punch. It also puts your hammies, adductors, quads, and calves to work as you laterally move side to side. Start with three rounds, sliding and popping combos—which helps refine your evasion techniques—while picturing a foe in your face. You’ll eventually be able to shadow box for 15 minutes (or five rounds) and in the process build a toned trunk.

STEP FOUR: Heavy bag

Learn how to control your “foe” with a jab while also working your core and hips, from which you’ll transfer power to your punches. “The power comes from the ground up,” says Kelly, “and the core must be strong to get the right velocity behind each punch.” Aim for heavy bags attached to a chain, rather than those connected to the wall— the swinging helps hone your body movements. As you hit the bag for three to four rounds, make sure to snap the punch before you bring the hand back.

STEP FIVE: Speed bag

Fast-twitch muscles up top pop as the speed bag goes rat-a-tat. The goal is to build combos, which will improve shoulder strength and train you to keep your hands high. Besides getting those killer shoulders, practicing the speed bag is for rhythm, timing, and relaxation. Punches shouldn’t be thrown with flexed muscles—relax your arm to keep a steady rhythm, which translates to a more fluid motion. Don’t “punch” the bag; it’s as if your hand is holding a bicycle pedal moving in a continuous circle, hitting the bag every time it gets to the top. To improve your accuracy and head movement, sub in a double-end bag.

by Mike Woods | January 5, 2017