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How to Build a Stronger Back

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“With This Back-Building Programme You Can Massively Boost Both Your Appearance and Your Sports Performance in Just 12 Weeks – GUARANTEED”

Let me share a secret with you.

When it comes to strength and bodybuilding type training, many people make the mistake of only targeting the muscles that they can see in the mirror – specifically the chest, arms and abs.

But while these muscles are important for both function and aesthetics, excluding the muscles that are less obvious is a big mistake. And a very common one...

The muscles on the back of your body might not be as glamorous as the ones on the front – but they are every bit as important.

Why? Because weakness in your back muscles can lead to a myriad of joint and muscles imbalances as well as poor posture and limited fitness performance.

What’s more, a bigger, stronger back actually enhances the appearance of your chest, shoulders and abs! When you stand in a bold, upright posture, your shoulders appear broader, your stomach flatter and your chest deeper.

And the same goes for women.

No amount of press ups, pec deck flyes, or incline dumbbell bench presses will lift your bust. But some concerted development of the muscles between your shoulder blades will lift your chest like magic!

In strength sports like weight lifting, power lifting, rugby and mixed martial arts, a powerful back is essential. Tackling an opponent or hoisting a heavy load requires a well-conditioned back. That’s why, in strength-to-weight-ratio terms, climbers and gymnasts rule the roost, while power-lifters are the top of the performance heap in terms of pure brute power.

And for everyday activities such as carrying children and lifting shopping bags, well developed back muscles can help you avoid problems such as non-specific back pain – the scourge of office workers the world over. Millions of pounds are spent on back care treatments and even more money is lost due to reduced productivity.

Ironically, in many of these cases, avoiding back pain is simply a matter of performing some targeted exercise to address muscle weakness. Introduce some muscle tone, and you’ll avoid injury. Simple as that.

Visit your neighbourhood gym, and you’ll see that a strong, well developed back is a rarity. Men, in particular, put most of their effort into heavy bench presses and biceps curls. Your average weight-lifter doesn’t know that a well-built back not only functions well but also looks impressive.

Just take a close look at a bodybuilder’s back, or a power-lifter’s and you’ll see that they are actually visible from the back, side and even the front! It’s a level of muscular development is impressive to behold and sets their physiques apart from the typical ‘pecs and biceps’ brigade so common in most gyms.

So whether you are training for muscle size, strength, general sports performance or simply to look better, the results are well worth the effort. That’s why my latest special report focuses entirely on developing a bigger, stronger set of back muscles.

How to Build a Stronger Back is a 12-week programme that in no time will have you attracting envious looks from your workout partners and friends – not to mention admiring looks from the ladies.

It’s the latest in the new series of sports training programmes from us at Peak Performance: the ‘Solid Muscle Series’. Each programme is designed to help you achieve the muscle development you desire, quickly, efficiently – and without injury.

What sets our muscle building programmes apart from the rest – including all the ‘freebie’ stuff you’ll find on the internet? Simply this: our training advice is PROVEN to work, because it’s based on the very latest sports scientific thinking.

Remember: our track record of helping athletes achieve their best goes back twenty years. Because since 1990 we’ve been analysing the very latest sports science research, as soon as it is published in peer-reviewed academic journals, turning it into plain English, and sharing it with our many thousands of Peak Performance members worldwide.

So you can be sure that every word of How to Build a Stronger Back rests on a solid, proven scientific foundation – and that it’s safe for you to use.

The programme carefully weaves together several advanced weight training strategies into a unique, 12-week programme which will give you leg muscle development that makes you the envy of your friends...

How to Build a Stronger Back is available to you as a PDF download, so you can start putting the ideas it contains into practice within just 24 hours. So why not order your copy right away.

It’s available to you at an exclusive discount price. (More details on how to get your copy below.)

Where else can you find such reliable, cutting-edge advice in one place – all of it based on the very latest sports science research?

In just twelve short weeks you will develop a back that is strong, functional and more injury resistant than ever before.

And you’ll look better than ever, in the gym, at the beach and on the street.

A Word On the Author

The How to Build a Stronger Back 12-week training programme has been specially written for you by someone who knows what he's talking about – because he's put his training knowledge to work for himself. He's no amateur theorist!

Patrick Dale is a man who lives by his ideals. A qualified health and fitness professional, Patrick joined the Royal Marine Commandos – one of the most elite fighting forces in the world – for five years, during which time he saw active duty in many parts of the world, including Northern Ireland. The Marines have a reputation for “training hard and fighting easy” and Patrick's high level of fitness was tested to the extreme during his service.

Patrick left the Marines to resume his Health and Fitness career and began teaching other people how to become personal trainers and gym instructors, starting up his own company, Solar Fitness Qualifications. Today, Patrick's main areas of interest include strength and conditioning for improved sports performance.

Here’s what John Shepherd, the Editor of our 'Solid Muscle Series' (and Editor of ultraFIT magazine), says about Patrick and his training techniques:

"I've come across hundreds of similar programmes on the internet, but very few are as extensive and well-thought out as the Build Bigger series written by ex-Marine and fitness training course teacher, Patrick Dale. Dale provides a balanced programme which, although concentrating on specific body parts, ensures that you won't ever over-train or over-emphasise that particular body part during the overall training plan. Dale's knowledge of training systems is second to none and the author realises that in order to maximise muscle growth, you have to use a variety of training systems and loadings optimised for hypertrophy. With easy to follow month-by-month workout routines and exercise descriptions these programmes are a must."

Back Anatomy and Physiology – How Do You Get Top Results From Your Training?

To get maximum benefit from any exercise regime, first you need to understand which muscles are being targeted, and why – and this is the starting point of our How to Build a Stronger Back programme.

Everything from the nape of your neck to the base of your spine and out to the rear of your shoulders constitutes your back musculature. This wide expanse of muscle covers the entire rear of your upper body. It’s no wonder then that a token couple of sets of lat pull downs and rows are not an effective way to train this part of your body!

While it is not essential to know the names of all your upper back muscles, it does help to think in terms of upper, lower, inner and outer back muscles when selecting appropriate exercises. So we focus on the primary muscles that do the majority of the work - the ones closest to the surface that you can actually see.

But in How to Build a Stronger Back we go much further than simply identifying the muscles to be targeted week by week. You find out not just which muscles make up the back, but how they work – from concentric, to eccentric to isotonic contractions – so you’re best placed to get maximum results from the week-by-week exercise programme that follows.

And we address the question that so many weight-trainers face at one time or another: does the wearing of a weight-training belt do you more harm than good? The answer is sure to surprise some of you...

We also explain the six principles that underlie successful training programmes – so you can be sure you’re not violating any of them.

And, crucially, we tell you everything you need to get right when you’re NOT working out – in order to get the very best results from all that effort you expend in working your leg muscles.

Because as every serious athlete knows: working out is only a THIRD of the muscle building equation. You need to eat right, get sufficient rest and supplement your diet wisely. It’s certainly not necessary to take all the supplements that are on the market. In fact, you may be surprised to learn what works... and what doesn’t...

So you’ll learn seven tips to ensuring you get the best results from all your hard work in the gym.

Then we detail the four different types of resistance training – and tell you how to get the very best out of each one of them in this 12-week programme.

Finally, we detail each of the 45 individual exercises that, together, underpin this complete, 12-week training programme. You’ll find out exactly how to do each exercise correctly – and avoid injury. Each exercise description has an accompanying illustration, so you can see for yourself exactly how to perform it the right way.

The bottom line: by the end of this section, you’ll have all the underlying knowledge you need to get the very best out of the exercise programme itself.

How the ‘Build A Stronger Back’ Programme Works For You – Week by Week

Now we get to the nitty-gritty. The 12-week step-by-step training routine that contains everything you need to know to get the more powerful upper and lower back muscles you want quickly – and without injury.

NB: this programme is designed for intermediate and advanced exercisers who have plenty of relevant experience and are already training regularly.

If you are a beginner, these workouts maybe too challenging for you at present. So, if you are new to exercise or are coming back after a long break, we suggest a few months of regular training before you try our 12 week How to Build a Stronger Back programme.

Yes, it’s powerful stuff!

The plan consists of three phases over 12 weeks with two Back Development Workouts, one Maintenance Workout and two days of light Cardio each week.

Phase One – General Physical Preparedness and Muscular Endurance This ‘foundation’ stage is designed to get you ready for the more challenging workouts to come. Although the intensity (weight) will be relatively low, this is an important part of the programme and will ensure that your muscles and joints are adequately prepared for the tougher workouts that follow. This phase is also designed to eliminate any left to right strength imbalances in your body, and make sure your supportive core muscles are in great shape.

Phase Two – Hypertrophy

The middle phase of the programme is all about hypertrophy (i.e. muscle growth). Because bigger muscles are generally stronger muscles, this will help you cope with the third phase of the programme.

Phase Three – Strength and Power

The third and final phase is designed to improve your functional performance. Big back muscles are all well and good but if you can’t make use of that increased muscle mass then much of your training effort will have been wasted. This part of the programme is designed to improve the ‘go’ that accompanies the ‘show’ of bigger, better developed back muscles.

NB: Do not skip any of the phases, and be sure to perform them in the order specified. If you need to switch your training days around to meet your personal circumstances then make sure that you try to keep a day between strength training sessions and two to three days between ‘back specialisation’ workouts.

Phase One – Weeks 1 to 4

Back Workout 1 and 2: both of these ‘foundation-building’ sessions utilise two training systems across five different exercises with the key training objective of easing you into the more demanding workouts to come: (1) Simple Sets , which is a variation of the ‘5 sets of 5 reps’ method used by bodybuilders since the 1950s to pack on muscle and develop prodigious strength. The aim is, after an appropriate warm up, to perform 5 sets of 5 repetitions using the same heavy weight for each set; and (2) Super Sets, which involve pairing two exercises and performing them back-to back. Perform the first exercise, designated ‘a’, and then move straight to the second exercise, designated ‘b’. On completion of the second exercise, rest for the prescribed time and then repeat the pairing.

Developmental Stretch: each back workout ends with a protracted lat stretch to a) stretch the fascia or outer lining of the back muscles to facilitate muscle growth, b) to minimize adaptive shortening which may result in developing poor posture and c) to minimise DOMS. Don’t skip this vital part of each workout – it’s both important for your shoulder health and the development of your back muscles. Hold the stretch for as long as possible.

The maintenance workouts are designed to preserve the rest of your muscle mass while you focus on developing your back muscles. The exercises in each workout are specially selected to be the most effective for working the areas of your body not worked during the preceding back specialisation sessions.

Maintenance Workout One uses four training systems: (1) Pyramids - increase the weight set by set while simultaneously decreasing the reps to ensure that you are fully warmed up by the time you reach your heaviest weights; (2) Simple Sets (as described above); (3) Super Sets (as above); and (4) Drop sets ( also called strip sets) which is a method is used to extend a set beyond its usual termination point. It takes advantage of the fact that just because you can no longer lift a weight, it doesn’t mean that your muscles are completely exhausted.

Phase Two – Weeks 5 to 8

Back Workout 3: uses two training systems across four different exercises: (1) Simple Sets (as described earlier); and (2) Non-Stop Sets – a demanding hypertrophy-specific training system that is a great way to really recruit and exhaust the maximum number of muscle fibres in the minimum amount of time. You perform the designated number of repetitions for single arm dumbbell rows and then immediately perform another set for your opposite arm. Once all the reps are completed, switch back to your first arm and perform another set. Continue going back and forth until you have completed all the prescribed sets and reps. Essentially, each side of your body only rests when you are exercising the other.

Back Workout 4: also uses two training systems across four different exercises: (1) Simple Sets, again; and (2) Pre-Exhaust Super Sets – like regular super sets, these involve performing two exercises back-to-back. The main difference between the two training systems is the specific order of the exercises. In regular super sets, the order is subject to the whim of the designer, whereas pre-exhaust super sets use a very specific ordering pattern. In pre-exhaust super sets, an isolation (single joint) exercise always precedes a compound (multi-joint) exercise for the same muscle group. This ensures that the synergists or assisting muscles are kept in reserve ready to provide assistance to the agonists or target muscles in the second exercise. This results in an increase in muscle fatigue and growth potential.

Developmental Stretch: as before.

Maintenance Workout Two uses the same principles established in workout one but the exercises have been changed to target your muscles in a slightly different way and to provide you with some variety. The exercises selected still provide plenty of whole body ‘bang for your buck’ to stimulate the muscles of your body that are not trained during the Back specialisation workouts.

Maintenance Workout Two uses three training systems: Pyramids, Simple Sets and Super Sets, all of which have been explained above.

Phase Three – Weeks 9 to 12

Back Workout 5: uses two by-now-well-understood training systems – Simple Sets and Super Sets – to get the best results from the six stipulated exercises: simple sets.

Back Workout 6: employs three training systems, the previously-used Simple Sets and Pyramids – and a new one, Super Slow, which might just be the hardest rep you ever do! Super Slow involves moving at a very slow and deliberate pace to eliminate all momentum and keep the maximum amount of tension on your muscles as you exercise. You’ll get full details of how to perform this exercise correctly with your copy of How to Build a Stronger Back.

Developmental Stretch: as before.

Maintenance Workout Three: the last of the three maintenance workouts uses the same systems employed in maintenance workouts one and two but with a different selection of exercises – six in all. As with the preceding maintenance workouts, this session is designed to target the muscles not directly targeted by the chest specialization programmes. Three now-familiar training systems are used to achieve your training goal – Pyramids, Simple Sets and Super Sets.

So there you have it. Forty-five individual back exercises carefully woven together in a proven, scientific way to achieve your muscle-building goals.

The bottom line: everything you need to build a bigger, more powerful back – and in just 12 weeks too. Guaranteed!

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