Baby Got Back Routine

A massive back is a beautiful thing. Like Michelangelo’s statue of David, it is a work of art. Some of the greatest bodybuilders – Ronnie Coleman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorian Yates – all possessed well developed backs. Their backs were both wide and thick, giving a depth to their physiques that many pros lack nowadays.

The Baby Got Back routine was part of the Baby Got Back article.

We’ve broken the routine out specifically because of it’s popularity on the forums. (See Baby Got Back discussion thread)

Day 1: Horizontal push pull, calves, and abs


  • Rack pulls 5×5 (direct, hard, strength range)
  • Bent-over rows 3×8 (hypertrophy range)
    (If you do a third, Hammer Rows 3×10-12)


  • Flat bench 5×5
  • Incline dumbbell press 3×8
    (if you do a third, Incline cable flyes 3×10-12)

Calves: (soleus) 3×12-20 seated calf raises. Pause at the bottom

Abs: 3 sets of 8-12, weighted

Day 2: Quad dominant, hamstring accessory. Biceps.


  • Full squats 5×5
  • Leg press 3×8


  • Leg curls or high foot placement leg press 3-4 sets of 12-20


  • Seated alternating bicep curls 5×5
  • Hammer curls 3×8-12

Day 3: Vertical push-pull, calves, abs


  • Chins 5×5
  • Hammer high rows 3×8
    (if you do a third, Hammer Behind the Neck rows or lying pullovers 3×12)

Shoulders: (I like to warm up with bent over side laterals, which work the often-neglected rear delts anyway – 3×10)

  • Arnold Press or Military Press 5×5
  • Standing side laterals 3×8

Calves: (gastrocs) standing or donkey calf raises, 3×8-10

Abs: 3 sets of 8-12, weighted

Day 4: Hamstring dominant, quad accessory. Triceps.


  • Romanian Deadlifts 5×5
  • Good mornings or high foot placement leg press 3×8


  • Walking lunges or seated leg extensions 3×12-20


  • Skullcrushers, Dips, or between bench dips 5×5
  • Cable pressdowns 3×8-12

MariAnne got Back!

Written by MariAnne Anderson, BSc, MSc (B)