The Bradley Martyn Back Workout | The Ultimate Guide!


Are you curious about Bradley Martyn’s back workouts? Are you looking for a simple, step-by-step guide that shows you exactly how he trains for a huge deadlift and a thick, wide upper back? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, I will teach you exactly how Bradley Martyn organizes his back workouts to build size and strength.

Bradley Martyn Stats

  • Age: 32 years old
  • Height: 6 foot 3 inches
  • Weight: 245 pounds
  • Body fat: About 10%

Bradley Martyn is an incredibly strong bodybuilder. He is known for lifting 600+ pounds for reps on the deadlift and lifting 400+ pounds for reps on the barbell bent over row.

Bradley is also known for his incredible upper back development. So how does Bradley train his back for size and strength at the same time?

Bradley Martyn uses a powerbuilding style approach in his back workouts. He likes to train heavy on the first 1-2 exercises of his workout, such as deadlifts or barbell rows. These are the exercises that he uses to build strength using the progressive overload principle, and thick, dense myofibrillar hypertrophy.

Later in the workout Bradley performs more bodybuilding-style exercises to build size and achieve that bodybuilding-style look. Many people call this a powerbuilding training style, because you are combining elements of bodybuilding and powerlifting into a single workout.

Here is a perfect example of how Bradley Martyn likes to organize his powerbuilding style back workouts. Check it out:

Bradley Martyn Back Workout #1

  • Exercise #1: Conventional deadlift, 4 sets of 4-8 reps
  • Exercise #2: Hammer strength pulldown (holding uprights), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Seated cable row (V-handle), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Lying DB pullover, 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video:

This is a very simple, but effective back workout by Bradley Martyn. He starts by performing several heavy sets on the conventional deadlift. This is his main heavy exercise of the day where he is trying to get stronger and apply the progressive overload principle.

Bradley works up to 585 pounds for 8 reps – wow! After that he performs several different bodybuilding-style exercises to hit every area of his upper back.

At the end of the workout he performs one of his favorite lat exercises: lying dumbbell pullovers. He says this exercise is great because it isolates the lats in a way that you are not used to with rows and pulldowns.

“This is the exercise that I really, really like. Just because it’s not out of the normal horizontal pull or row – it’s a different type of movement.

When I’m doing this movement, it’s not about the weight I’m moving, it’s about the muscle contraction.”

Of course, Bradley Martyn also likes to perform pure bodybuilding style workouts for his upper back. Here is one of his favorites. Check it out:

Bradley Martyn Back Workout #2

  • Exercise #1: Lat pulldown (medium / pronated grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Kneeling one-arm DB row, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Standing cable rope pullover, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Bent over barbell row (wide grip / elbows flared), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Band assisted pull up (wide / pronated grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video:

This is exactly how Bradley likes to organize his hypertrophy-focused upper back routines. In this workout he performs 5 different exercises for his upper back using a variety of machine, cable and free-weight movements.

Bradley’s goal for this workout was to use perfect form on every exercise, and to really feel his upper back contracting on every rep. He has different tweaks that he makes on each exercise to make them even more effective.

For example, here is how Bradley likes to perform his one-arm dumbbell rows:

“So the dumbbell row, when I’m doing these guys, I’m thinking about one thing: I’m trying to keep my back nice and flat through the entire range of motion.

That’s the only thing I’m focusing on – just keeping my back in one spot.”

One of Bradley’s favorite ways to mix things up in his upper back workouts is to focus exclusively on pulldown or rowing exercises in his workouts.

Here is a crazy upper back workout where Bradley Martyn performs 4 different rowing movements. Check it out:

Bradley Martyn Back Workout #3

  • Exercise #1: Lat pulldown (narrow / neutral grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Seated one-arm cable row, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Barbell bent over row, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Meadows row, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Seated machine row (wide / overhand grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video:

In this workout Bradley Martyn performs one pulldown exercise, followed by 4 different rowing movements. He also performs some interesting high-intensity techniques throughout the workout.

For example, on the lat pulldowns he actually has his training partner push down on the weight stack during the lowering phase of the exercise. This is one of Bradley’s favorite ways to eccentrically overload his upper back muscles.

“With upper back training I think a lot of people are not getting a full contraction because they don’t see it. Doing the pulldowns in a way where you have a partner pressing down the weight on the eccentric portion.

On the eccentric, my partner is pushing down on the weight stack. It’s going to feel so good, I promise. Get a good contraction and then overload your lats on the way down.”

Here is another one of Bradley Martyn’s favorite upper back hypertrophy workouts. Check it out:

Bradley Martyn Back Workout #4

  • Exercise #1: Lat pulldown (medium / neutral grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Straight arm cable pullover, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Barbell bent over row, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: One-arm hammer strength low row, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Pull up (wide / overhand grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video:

This workout may look simple. However, Bradley says the key to getting the most out of this type of workout is to execute your exercises

with perfect form.

Bradley says that the biggest reason most people cannot build a great back is they have a poor mind-muscle connection.

He thinks the best way to correct this is to use lighter weights and to really focus on pulling with your elbows, rather than your biceps, when you perform your upper back exercises.

“One of the biggest reasons why I think people don’t have great back development is genetically they’re less connected there. They don’t have that mind-muscle connection.

I feel as if genetically my mind muscle connection there is not as great and doing these exercises this way is going to help you create a better mind-muscle connection.”

Every once in a while Bradley Martyn will actually train his upper back with other muscle groups, such as his shoulders or arms.

Here is a back / shoulders routine that you can try. Check it out:

Bradley Martyn Back Workout #5

  • Exercise #1: Chest supported row (medium / pronated grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Hammer strength pulldown (pronated grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Lat pulldown (wide / pronated grip), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Standing lat pulldown (V-handle), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Reverse pec dec, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #6: 30 degree prone barbell front raise, 4 sets of 8-15 reps

This is another one of Bradley Martyn’s bodybuilding style back workouts. He performs 4 different exercises for his upper back, and then performs 2 isolation exercises for his shoulders.

Bradley Martyn sometimes likes to mix things up in his workouts, so it’s hard to say if this was his intention right from the start, or if he decided to perform some extra shoulder work because he was feeling good that day.

Verdict | The Bradley Martyn Back Workout!

Bradley Martyn trains his upper back once per week on its own separate training day.

He likes to use a combination of heavy compound exercises, such as deadlifts and barbell rows, and lighter bodybuilding style exercises, such as lat pulldowns and dumbbell pullovers, to build size and strength at the same time.

If you are looking for a great powerbuilding style workout to beef up your upper back then you have to give the Bradley Martyn back routine a shot. It may be just what you need to take your training to the next level.

“I put myself in a trance before I even entered the gym. I’d lock myself in the office and go over the poundages from my last workout and visualize what I’m going to wear, how powerful I’m going to feel.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

 

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

What's going on! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen, I'm the creator of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to take your training to the next level, then you've come to the right place... My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world!

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