We Got Your Back: Workout Tips from Curtis J. Williams

We Got Your Back: Workout Tips from Curtis J. Williams

In the early days of my training, I struggled with pulling movements that primarily target back muscles. But rather than skip these exercises I decided to kickoff every workout with three sets of ten pull ups – assisted if necessary – performing my most challenging work first.

Fast forward to present day I now have well-sculpted lats, rhomboids, traps, and posterior deltoids.

My recommendation to you is to systematically target the back with a varied exercise selection.

Most of us are interested in the beach body, getting jacked as the priority. This means that I’d program these exercises for a hypertrophic response. Working across rep ranges is optimal but for simplicity let’s say 4-sets at 8-12 reps each. Increasing weight for each set and staying around 80% of their 1RM (1 Rep Max). 60-90 seconds between sets. Again, this is a general approach

  • For strength trainers, we’d go as low as 4 or 6 reps with longer rest between sets.
  • Fat burners would want as little as 30-60 seconds rest between sets and maybe go as high as 12-15 reps.

My top 5 back exercises:

Bodyweight Pull-ups:

Seated Cable Lat Pull-downs:

Kneeling Lat Prayers:

YouTube player


Seated Cable Rows:



Dumbbell Rows:


Olympic Bar Rows:


If you’re like most of my high-performing clients you’re managing the demands of a busy travel schedule. In this case, the solution is to toss a resistance band into your carry-on. Use it to perform in-room morning circuit training. It’ll get you pumped both physically and mentally for the day ahead.




Curtis J Williams

Follow Curtis’ Instagram @curtis.j.williams

Photography: @felipe_arenas._

Please check out Curtis at www.optimusphysique.com