Muscle Hack Series – Part 2

A man showing his back muscles

Muscle Hack Series. Part 2 of 3: Back (Lats)

In part one of this series we covered the upper chest, which is a key area of development for an aesthetically pleasing body that looks great in nice clothing.  BUT I think this next muscle hack is the most important of all.  The reason I didn’t put it as hack #1 was because men love to train their chest.

Part 2 of 3: Back (Lats)

The back is a big muscle group and is often overlooked because we can’t see it with our own eyes.  But do not be fooled.  The back is an important muscle group for performance, health and aesthetics.  For the sake of this article, we’ll cover more on the aesthetics of it.  But note that if you have a strong back, your athletic abilities, power, and injury prevention will skyrocket.

Nice big shoulders and an armor plate chest are great.  But the true key to any aesthetically pleasing body is the V-taper.  That trumps having only abs, or a nice set of arms, because a V-taper requires a taut waits.  It’s almost impossible to have a V-taper if you are overweight and carry excess fat in your midsection.

Remember the most important factor of a great body is the shoulder to waist ratio.

The stronger your back is, the better your physique will look, plain and simple!

The back is so important because it provides the majority of your upper body’s width.  If your back (lats specifically) gets bigger, your shoulders and upper chest will get wider.  There is only so much width you can gain in the shoulder/chest region without proper back growth.  In fact, you can have an underdeveloped chest, but as long as your back is developed properly, you can have obtain the V-taper (shoulder to waist ratio) we want.

Key Area of Focus:

The Latissimus Dorsi, or lats for short, comprise the key area of focus.  Yes, there are more muscles in the back, but the lats are our main focus here.

anatomy pick of the lat muscle

Key Area of Focus – Latissimi dorsi


BEST Back Movements:

  1. Pull-ups – This is the best movement I have found for developing the lats, and creating a wide back.  Pull-ups will truly enhance your physique in every way possible.  Most men lack the proper shoulder to waist ratio.  Pull-ups will change that, and change it fast.  In fact, I have found pull-ups to work so well, that eventually you will have to drop your volume, or your back will get too big.  I challenge any guy to build up to 80 lbs pull-ups for 4-6 reps and tell me their back isn’t great.  Plus it’s just bad ass when you can strap 80 lbs. to your waist and pull yourself up to the bar for reps. *** I utilize both pull-ups and chin-ups in my routine.
  2. Rows (any variation) – I am a big fan of simplicity, and think you should master the pull-up before you worry about any other back exercises.  And that is why I am not recommending a specific exercise for #2.  I think any variation of row is good for your back, whether they are seated rows, bent over, or any other version.  They work the back well, and have their place.  But I think focusing on one key movement (pull-ups) is best.
Bruce Lee famous quote - I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee


Bruce Lee said it best!  Master one move and you’ll be thankful you did.  If you master the pull-up and build great strength in that lift, you’ll be well on your way to building an amazing Dapper Fit physique.  There are no two ways around it.

Look for an article soon on the steps to take to build up to 80 lbs. pull ups!

Now go master the pull-up!

Be Fit.  Look Great!


If you missed Part 1 of this 3 part series, find it here.

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