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Strength Tip Of The Day…Emphasize The Back

Strength Tip Of The Day…Emphasize The Back

by: Brandon Richey–Get Free Updates And Training Guides Here

Strength Tip Of The Day…Emphasize The Back


Well it’s been quite a challenging week, but today I figured I would start trying to get back into the groove of things by talking about emphasizing the back when it comes to your training. Getting “back” by talking about the “back”…get it? Anyways, today’s post will be a good topic on stressing an area of your strength program that many folks tend to neglect for the most part which is why it’s the topic of discussion for today. 


It’s always fun coming up with ways to build strength. You see to me strength is a creative process. The process of building strength should involve us thinking up more creative ways in order to build it. This is why I love doing what I do for a living because there is no single “box” that carries a particular size shoe that fits everyone. It’s always a creative and evolving process. 

A common issue with most of the general population is that they lack the understanding of what it is they should be training for in terms of their own physical development. You see everyone wants to be all Gorilla by going into the gym and emphasizing more pushing rather than more pulling oriented activity. This is particularly true with guys.  

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You see everyone looks at the bench press and decides that benching, then inclining, and then declining the press is what they want to train 2 to 3 days a week. This emphasis on the anterior development of the body (chest & shoulders) has really been a problem in terms of it being overdone as it applies to the needs of the general public. Instead of constantly training the push in order to be all Gorilla looking why not strive to be a Latzilla instead? 

Here’s some ways you can build some functional strength!

Pushing the Limits with Al Kavadlo

Of course I’m using a play on words to describe the latissimus dorsi muscles. The root of the word latissimus means “broadest” and dorsum means “back.” So essentially we’re talking about the broadest muscle of the back, hence the term Latzilla. Now who can top that play on words? Ok, don’t answer that. Moving on. 

Granted the Lats are not the only muscles of the back, but I’m just pointing out that if the emphasis were shifted by a trainee to developing more posterior chain musculature (lats, traps, erector spinae, etc.) then we may not have so many problems in the arena of function as it applies to the shoulders, backs, and necks of the general population. The truth is that there are just too many bodies that are out of balance. 

If you are looking for something to watch then here’s some strength stuff for your viewing pleasure!

Dragon Door Video Direct

Look, the fact is that we’re all going to have asymmetries associated with our bodies, me included. The key though is learning how to minimize them and to develop a more structurally sound body by training in more of the areas that we need, rather than the areas that we want to develop. 

I understand that we all have different goals concerning our physical development, however a smart trainee must always pursue those goals to the tune of smart training. Remember that a nice looking body isn’t always a well functioning body, but a well functioning body can ALWAYS be a good looking body. Let that sink in for a second. 

Here’s some techniques to help you become Latzilla!

Raising the Bar

As a general rule of thumb I always program in 2 to 3 times as many pulling oriented movements to push oriented movements when developing a strength program, unless there just happens to be a great amount of pulling volume from a single exercise. In other words, if the workout calls for a truckload of deadlifts and everything else is pretty much a pushing drill then I may not program in anymore pulling if the deadlifts sufficiently meet the need. 

A common example of this as an upper body workout may look like the following. 

Bench Press: 5×5

Superset Pull Ups 5×5

Single Arm Dumbbell Press: 3×6

Superset Kettlebell Swings: 3×20

Kettlebell Swing, To Clean And Military Press: 3×5 ( This is both pull and push being that you must pull the bell to the rack position before pressing.)

The point is that in this small sample the pulling oriented drills outnumber the pushing oriented movements. Once again we want to ensure a solid balance in an attempt to avoid getting that Gorilla posture which can place such limitations on functional ability. I hope you enjoyed today’s post and once again thank you for your patience with the whole YouTube situation that I’m currently dealing with.

Never fear though, because I’m working to fix the issue so that I can have some videos up for more great training content. As soon as I’m moving forward with it I will let you know. What did you think of today’s post? Make sure you post up in the comment box below. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. 

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Strength Tip Of The Day…Emphasize The Back



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. The biggest hurdle many people face is if they can’t see it then it’s not that important. I had my Son doing Deads when he was a young boy and little else. The foundation built upon heavy pulling has served him well into his late teens.

    People doing a lot of pushing and very little pulling need to go into a dressing room and check out their total appearance. Just take a garment into the room so it looks like you are considering buying something. I think a lot of folks would be shocked at what they really look like from the side or behind. Unless someone plans on going through life with their back perpetually pressed against a wall, pulling is a necessary exercise motion and one that many find fun once they get into it. There is just something viscerally satisfying about pulling heavy weight from the ground and everyone respects those who can crank out solid Pull Ups as well.

    1. Doc that’s an excellent idea about utilizing the dressing room with the multiple mirrors. That’s something that would really put this into perspective particularly if a trainee is all about “chest” and “biceps” most days of the week.

      You’re right, once they get into the habit of pulling some weight off the ground the enjoyment from it will come. Great feedback as always Doc. Now I’m going to tell everyone to go find a dressing room in some department store to get them to up the weight on the deadlift!

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