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My "Pull Day" Workout (Back/Biceps/Rear Delts)

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0


What I am going to describe is my current "pull day" workout. All movements are "pulling" the weight instead of "pushing" it. My week looks something like:

Monday - Pull (Back/Biceps/Rear Delts)

Tuesday - Push (Chest/Delts/Triceps)

Wednesday - Legs

Thursday - Rest/Cardio

Friday - Pull

Saturday - Push

Sunday - Legs

Expect this routine to last 50-75 minutes.

Pull Day

Unless otherwise instructed, always do a warm up set of light weight for each exercise.

Deadlifts (5 x 5)

I love deadlifts. Once I started incorporating this movement into my workouts I've noticed substantial strength gains in other exercises and found it easier to maintain acceptable form in these other exercises. Always deadlift at the beginning of this workout as you want to utilize all your energy for this lift. 

I usually build up to my 5 rep max throughout the 5 sets and work at my 5 rep max for the last two sets. 


  • Set 1: 225
  • Set 2: 275
  • Set 3: 295
  • Set 4/5: 315

I'll post a link below on a book that helped me learn this lift. There is alot of conflicting videos and articles that could lead a beginning deadlifter to confusion or to abandon the lift in general. 

Barbell Row (3x8)

I like to stay at a lighter weight for this lift to ensure I fully contract all the muscles (middle back/lats) being worked. Not much to say, just get out an do it!

Lat Pulldown (3x8) (Super Set: Standing Lat Pushdown (2 sets until failure)

I use to despise lat pulldowns! I thought of them as one of the laziest, least effective back exercises around...Then I learned how to pull with my lats and not with my arms.

Oh man! the feelings you get in your lats will make you want to fly! The idea behind lat pulldowns is to use your hands as hooks and pull with your back. In my experience, you start to incorporate your biceps and forearms when you're putting to much resistence on the bar (to much weight.) 

Superset! The standing lat pushdown is an exercise I've only recently incorporated in this workout. Don't expect to move a ton of weight on the exercise cause you won't need to. This exercise further works your lats to exhaustion. This also delievers a funny feeling in your lats once completed, try it out to see what I mean!

T-bar Row (3x8)

Tip: Use smaller weights on this exercise for an increase in range-of-motion. Where I come from, 45's are larger in diameter then 25's. Using 25s (or 10's or 5's whatever you can do) you can bring the bar closer to you body allowing you to squeeze the muscles (middle back, rear delts, traps) working. 

This is an old-school exercise that adds serious mass to your middle back, traps and lats. 

Upright Row (3X12)

I've actually never done these with a barbell! I use to use cables but now I will pick up a 45 pound plate and perform the movement. This exercise kind of doesn't fit in the theme of things (focuses more on the lateral deltoid head) but I like the trap involvment that the workout needs. I really focus on the "squeeze" at the top of the movement and will pause at the top to make the muscle groups burn. 

Some would say shrugs (barbell or dumbbell) would work in replacement. If you think that fits better then by all means substitute it!

Rear Delt Flies (3x12)

There is no scientific reason I leave the posterior deltoid out of the "Push Day" routine where I work the rest of the delt. I think of rear delt flies as a "pulling" movement that belongs in pull day! I do this exercise on either the rear delt fly machine or with dumbbells (trying to alternate equally each pull day.) Don't worry about moving heavy weight with this exercise but rather the muscle contractions your making.. 

Barbell Curls (3x8)

Curls for the girls, right? I don't see any need to perform a warm up set for this exercise as your biceps are involved in almost all those exercieses. For some reason I've always felt ez-curl bars uncomfortable. Use an ez-curl if you want it's up to YOU. 

I don't like doing dumbbell curls either as I find it is easier to swing your arms and allowing more room to cheat the movement. 

Make sure curls aren't where you decided to lay it all on the line, you should already be pretty tired from previous exercises. We're all guilty of this thinking. 

Hammer Curls (3x8)

These are a great way to end your workout! I like to "run the rack" on the third set of this exercise until failure. 

Running the rack is a form of "drop set" that involves you starting at a weight you are comfortable with then going to failure with it. After going to failure immediately pick the next ligthest weight and go to failure with it! Then repeat 2 or 3 more times.

I love the pump you recieve from this exercise and you will too!


I'll hit up which ever piece of cardio equipment I'm feeling like at the end of my workout for 12-15 minutes in a HIIT (high-intensity-interval-training) fashion. 

Starting Strength
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