Training Journal #3: Create Your “V”

IFBB Figure Pro Heather Dees' Training Journal #3: Back

Today I want to talk about the importance of training your back! Getting that great lat development can really accentuate and create a small waistline. It is also very important from an overall health standpoint because it will create a strong core and maintain stability for your spine with the muscular development of your back. Often, when women have an underdeveloped back it creates a rounded look as the chest muscles pull the shoulders forward, making the shoulders appear narrower than they really are. Therefore with consistent strength training and stretching, you can maintain better posture and create an aesthetic and symmetrical physique. Lat development is great for creating the v-taper, but it is equally important to develop your upper, middle and lower back (trapezius, teres major, spinal erectors and rear delts) for thickness and detail necessary for overall balance to your physique.

At the beginning of my Figure career, I needed to really develop my back. I wasn’t able to do one pull-up unassisted. Since learning how to properly weight train and maintain proper form through the years, I’ve gone hard and heavy with my back routine. I have performed one-arm dumbbell rows with a 70-pound dumbbell for 12 reps with strict form. I am also able to do 12 unassisted pull-ups. Now I am just trying to maintain my development and keep my body symmetrical.

Here is my current back routine; try it out for a new regime in the gym.


Wide-Grip Cable Pulldowns:

4 sets/ Reps 20, 18, 15, 12

  • Keep your hips tucked while pulling bar straight down to chest
  • Keep abs tight
  • Tempo is slow: 2 counts down, 3 counts up
  • Focus on feeling the contraction of the lats

Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows:

4 sets/reps per arm 15, 12, 10, 15

  • Use a dumbbell heavy/light enough to maintain proper form
  • Split leg stance with non-working arm on dumbbell rack or elevated bench
  • Pull dumbbell toward waistline, bending elbow to 90 degrees at top and slowly lowering arm straight, getting full range of motion

Dumbbell Pullovers:
4 sets/reps 18, 15, 12, 10

  • Lying on a ball or bench, extend arms directly above you holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • Slowly lower dumbbell towards floor keeping elbows straight
  • Stop at ears and raise dumbbells back up
Heather Dees

Heather Dees is a Top 5 IFBB Figure International and Top 4 IFBB Figure Olympia champion. She is a Species Nutrition Elite sponsored athlete as well as TMarie Suits Sponsored Athlete. She is a Figure and Bikini Coach, Cosmetologist and Master Esthetician. For more with Heather, check out her “Training Journals” online with FitnessRx for Women.

Find more of Heather on:

Muscular Development
Heather's Website

For appearances, contact Fitness Management Group