Kris Gethin's Muscle Building Series: Back

Welcome back to part two of the KAGED MUSCLE Building Series for Monster Supplements. Building a wide back engrained with detail should be a priority for any true bodybuilder. Below is a comprehensive overview of my back training philosophies, designed to quickly insight growth.


There is simply no replacement for deadlifting where adding thick muscle is concerned. Some people do lack the mobility to deadlift safely so then I’d recommend using rack pulls instead. The range of motion is less which means there’s even more freedom to go heavy and develop dense muscle. Back in 2016 I prioritized deadlifting, reaching six plates aside for multiple reps and sets. This quickly added thickness throughout my posterior chain.

Do Unilateral Exercises

Most back exercises are bilateral which means both hands are used to pull. Occasionally I will train an entire week only using unilateral exercises. The next day my back is much more sore because of the improved isolation and neurological connection.

To experience improved isolation and benefit from a different kind of stimulus switch to more unilateral exercises. Single arm seated rows, bent over single arm cable rows and even single arm pulldowns are all great choices.

Use Cables

Deadlifts, T-bar rows and bent over rows will always have their place in my back workout, however, cable exercises are also included because they allow for more tension and specificity. Doing seated cable rows, single arm rows with a cable or even a T-bar variant are all exercises I’d highly recommend. This gives a more three-dimensional appearance to the back muscles especially when you’re being more disciplined with rep tempo, slowing things down.


High volume and intensity are two ingredients I very rarely stray away from. Adding supersets into my back workouts ensures I get enough of both and the byproduct is annihilation across my back. It pays to remember that the back is a very strong muscle group and it can take a lot of punishment. Sometimes it requires more than regular straight sets to break the muscle tissue down which is why I tend to use supersets.

Moving between two planes of motion is a great place to start, maybe super-setting pulldowns and seated rows.

Pull Up Variations

Pull ups are always a welcomed addition to any back workout, however I recall learning some very unique variations from a gentleman in the gym a few years back. This guy had the most

unbelievable waist to back ratio and I got chatting to him, his two favorite pull up variations went like this:

Do a wide grip pull up, as you reach the peak contraction you attempt to push yourself away from the handles whilst staying in that position. This doesn't lead to much movement but it aggressively emphasizes the tension right through the back. It takes a little practice to perfect.

Do a reverse grip pull up, but lean back as you pull upwards so your back is as parallel to the floor as possible. This requires a great deal of core strength and will take time to perfect, but it’s a great move for the lats.

Building the Right Foundations: Nutrition & Supplements

In the first installment of this series I made reference to the importance of sufficient protein intake, consumed across regular intervals. To expand upon the impact of high meal frequency eating plans for muscle growth, there’s a lot of scientific data pertaining to the anabolic impact this has. Elevated muscle protein synthesis because of the way leucine (from the protein) triggers the mTOR pathway is the most obvious reason. However, there’s also the increased secretion of insulin via higher meal frequency meals which also has a muscle sparing affect.

To further harness the impact of leucine I like to supplement with fermented BCAAs throughout the day in my water. In my experience this helps improve muscle recovery and growth even further, alongside a high meal frequency diet plan. Given that the taste of unflavored BCAAs can sometimes be unpalatable, I add KAGED MUSCLE Hydra-Charge electrolyte supplement and flavor enhancer to my water and BCAAs. Not only does it act as a very nice tasting natural flavoring system, it also contains magnesium, potassium, chloride, sodium, and calcium. Each electrolyte listed is crucial to performance preservation in the gym, facilitating faster progression. SPECTRA, an innovative blend of fruit, vegetable and herbal extracts which provides immune support, is also a staple in Hydra-Charge. Having used fermented BCAAs, fermented Glutamine along with Hydra-Charge throughout the day for many years I’ll never go without now.


After legs, back training deploys the most trauma on the body. This is why hydration and recovery are particularly important during and after back workouts. Referring back to my tips for back training, implement them for eight weeks and I guarantee the results will start shining through!

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