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Day 38:Back

This workout may be a tough one. Not only have we dropped calories for Phase Two, but we’re performing the third large body-part workout for the second week on low calories. This is where quality nutrition and supplements really come into play. You can’t rely on quantity of calories to support recovery when you’re this deep into a fat-loss program, so you have to rely on quality and timing to get in your best workout.

You should also be impressed by the way your body looks based on your training and nutrition efforts. Take a close look at my suggestions on your Rest and Recovery days to make sure everything is working for you. And remember that you can add a small targeted cheat meal if you need more gas in your tank.

One suggestion for this is to get in a breakfast sandwich for your first whole-food meal of the day. Consider a whole-grain bagel with 23 eggs, a couple slices of turkey bacon, and a slice of cheddar cheese. That may help refuel you for your back workout later today. But then keep it strict after that. Remember that this ALWAYS comes after your morning cardio, never before. [SOMMER: This is all me. Cut this if you don’t like it, but I wanted to provide a way to “cheat” without destroying the intent of the program.]


*I feel as though all of your back muscles get awakened when you’re performing deadlifts. That’s true even when you’re “resting” at the top of each rep. It still takes a lot of strength to control the weight when you’re fully upright.

*I spend quite a bit of time on my first exercise for each back workout. I get in all the warm-ups I need for deadlifts before I begin my 5 working sets. That gets more crucial as you diet down, reducing body fat and calorie intake. Make sure your body is warmed up and feels good before you perform your first working set.

*I’ve designed this program so that you complete the most challenging moves earlier in your workouts. The later moves are designed to improve detail, which is critical when you’re on a fat-loss program.

*You can also include partial reps, which I explain at the end of the video. This is a great technique for working the most challenging portion of a full rep for better overall development.

Early morning cardio


25 minutes

Perform this session upon waking before consuming food.




Every lift should be smooth with your legs, hips, and back moving in sync. Don’t allow this to become a two-phase lift.

6 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Notice that I bring the weight up and back toward my working-side hip rather than to my upper chest—that’s where I feel this move best in my lats.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

Lat pulldowns

SUPERSET: You’ll perform this combo without rest, but make sure you’re pulling the weight down to your chest for pulldowns. Keep momentum out of this move—all the effort should come from your lats. Again, up to about 9 seconds of rest between supersets.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

Seated Cable Row

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

T-bar row

I prefer the unsupported version, but you can use those where you press your chest into a pad if you prefer that move.

5 SETS / 12, 10, 7, 3, 15 REPS

Post-Workout cardio


25 minutes

Get this in any time of the day, but it’s best immediately after your weight-training workout.

TIP: As your calorie intake drops, it’s crucial to get in all the protein you need before your workouts. The 3060-minute window before your workouts is crucial for providing your body with free-floating amino acids to fuel your training and prevent breakdown of your muscle tissue. During a fat-loss program, your body often cannibalizes muscles you aren’t training to fuel those you are. Intake of protein from whole foods and supplements helps prevent this.

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