Lat Pulldowns Suck: 6 Back Exercises For Real Muscle

Updated June 17, 2020

This just in…
Lat pulldowns suck. The end.

Did I just burst your bubble? Are you sad, and about to whimper? Are you now thinking back to all those lovely sets of lat pulldowns you did this week, after you were curling in the squat rack? And probably after doing 82 sets for abs as well.

Listen, Phil…lat pulldowns do suck. If you want real back mass, that is.

The problem with lat pulldowns…well…isn’t so much with lat pulldowns. Huh? Did I lose you? Sorry. Lat pulldowns suck because there are 6 better ways to spend your time on back day.

Now I don’t know if lat pulldowns are the 7th best back exercise, or the 11th. I’m really not keeping score. What I do know is that any heavy compound back exercise not in the top 6 will never get used, and thus it sucks. So without further ado, 6 back exercises that don’t suck.

The Deadlift


No, Skippy…deadlifts are NOT primarily a leg exercise. Nor do you “work in” deadlifts for your lower back. Deadlifts come first. They are a man-maker, a ball-buster, a nut-erupter, and a carver of muscle. Effin’ huge muscle, at that.

If you haven’t performed deadlifts, step now to the mirror…imagine thick slabs of beef slapped to your traps, and a massive V-shape so tremendous that you have to turn sideways to fit through the doorway.

Behold, the power of the deadlift!

But how do deadlifts work my lats? I don’t understand! It doesn’t compute!

Listen, Opie, think for a minute. If you are standing erect holding 500 pounds in your hands, do you think for a wee tiny moment that there is even a minuscule chance your lats might be contracting REALLY FUCKING HARD holding up that heavy ass weight? You bet your left nut, they are.

Go ahead, try it. Pick up 500 pounds. Now I just want you to hold it for…er…say another 20 seconds. Then put the weight down and go eat. There, that’s your back workout for the day. I guaran-damn-tee that the last 22.79 seconds of your life provided a more brutal back workout then the last 2,279 sets of lat pulldowns you’ve performed.

Other Back Exercises That Didn’t Make the Top One

  • Pull Ups. At least ten times more effective then wimpy ass light weight lat pulldowns. How many lardos have you seen in the gym power-lat pulldowning 2 billion pounds, yet they are unable to perform one real bodyweight pull up? The answer is…well, a whole hell of a lot!
  • Barbell Rows. Not much to say here. Your grandfather’s grandfather was ramming out sets of barbell rows long before he even busted his first nut. This is a classic mass builder. The end.
  • Dumbbell Rows. Dumbbell rows are as good as, if not better then barbell rows. Keep rowing heavier ass weight until you run out of dumbbells at the 24 Hour Fitness. Then leave that hell hole, go find a real gym, and start working up to the 150’s.
  • Yates’ Rows. The anti-row, of the row universe. If Dorian Yates used these suckers, that’s good enough for me…and you.
  • T-Bar Rows. Have you seen Ronnie Coleman performing T-Bar rows? Have you seen? If not, watch:

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