Rear delt bench flys Reuben Priddy (Tom Miles)Rear delt bench flys Reuben Priddy (Tom Miles) © Copyright

Get back

If a large chest and bulging biceps are all that you’re after, you’re not going to get very far without training your back and shoulders.

As the muscles in your back are the main antagonist muscles for the ones in the chest, it’s important to build them up, otherwise you won’t be able to perform proper push-pull functions when engaging in lifts that use either muscle.

What’s more, without strong shoulders to back this up, you will never be able to transfer sufficient power through the arms to lift any sort of weight, as the connecting tissue will be weaker.

City Athletic’s Reuben Priddy is on hand to help. He’s devised a great strength and mass trainer that will build a solid foundation for any further lifting that requires all muscles in the upper body.

This workout uses a mixture of big compound movements that build the back in its entirety, and isolation moves for shoulder strength and mass. As hypertrophy will be achieved fairly quickly and consistently using a workout like this, it will suit anyone who ultimately has physique modelling as their goal.


A back and shoulder workout for the bodybuilder looking to add lean muscle mass in a hypertrophy phase of training.


Because large compound movements that build the back stimulate growth in the shoulders and arms, so working the shoulders as well will give an all-important platform
of support.


Using a mixture of large compound exercises that target the back, isolation exercises for the shoulders, and a mixture of rep ranges and set types.


These exercises target major muscles in the back. The weight should be fairly heavy for the three types of row and the chins, as the rep range is fairly low, but you want to be able to keep strict form throughout. If the weight is right, you should be reaching failure by the final rep of each set. 


Clean and press Reuben Priddy ()


Technique: Using an empty Olympic barbell, start in a half squat, pull the bar up to your chest rolling elbows upwards. Press above head until arms are fully extended.

20 reps // 60 secs rest // 2 sets



 Cable rows

Technique Stand feet shoulder-width apart, flaring your lats. With elbows tucked in, pull cable to lower chest, squeezing your back for one second. Repeat.

20 reps // 60 secs rest // 2 sets



Sternum chin ups 

Technique Using an underhand grip (palms facing you), perform one chin up, and bring your chest to the bar. Push your chest out at the top of the movement.

8-10 reps // 60 secs rest // 3 sets