The Back Day Burnout: A Big Thick Back Workout

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
January 10th, 2017
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Workouts Back Workouts
213.8K Reads
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!
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration4 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-90 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

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.

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Back Day Burnout Breakdown

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.

Lat Pulldowns

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

Close Grip Lat Pulldown

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.

Meadow Rows

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.

Supported Rows on incline bench

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

Back Day Burnout Set

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.

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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!

Back Day Burnout Workout
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

Questions, comments, concerns? Drop them in the comments section below and we can continue this convo!

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2019 - 10:29

Asslam o alaikum I loved the workout tho the last 100 reps are kinda impossible to properly perform but I see amazing results I really want these kinda amazing workouts can you suggest any josh?? And thank you loved it

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/11/2019 - 10:13

Hi Talha,

Thank you. Yes, it is super challenging.

We have plenty of great workout programs. You can find ones that fit your individual goals here:

Khabat Aziz
Posted on: Mon, 03/13/2017 - 07:43

Is this workout for all type of body ? If i want workout specifically to my body which one you recomend

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/13/2017 - 09:55

Hi Khabat,

This is a back workout that can be performed by anyone who considers themselves an intermediate-advanced lifter.

We've got a number of workout routines perfect for people of all body types and goals on Muscle & Strength. Below is a link to our workouts database where you can search for a workout that you like and fits your goals:

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Mon, 02/20/2017 - 22:47

Sir for how many months should I follow this routine can't I get different different workouts of back.... Waiting for your answer

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 02/21/2017 - 09:36

Hi Nisar,

This workout is meant to be a challenge type of workout, performed sporadically whenever you feel the need to really challenge your back stamina.

Your normal back workout should be part of a whole routine. In terms of workout routines, you'll want to perform them for 6-8 weeks before taking a week to deload. After you deload, decide if that particular workout is still enjoyable and helping you with your gaols. If it is, continue performing that same workout. If it isn't, it may be time to find something new.

Below is a list of our entire workouts database that you can look through to find a solid program.

Hope this helps!

Roger Rock Lockridge
Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2017 - 13:22

Dude, this looks brutal. Great article, Josh.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2017 - 13:28

Thanks Roger! Definitely one of the toughest workouts I've done lately.