• "Attack the Back" Routine

    If you're looking for a back routine that will build some serious muscle, try this on. MACHINE PULLOVER You will hit your lats far out to the side. Be sure to stretch your back as far as possible. While driving your chest forward, contract the lats as you bring your elbows down and behind you. Be sure to pull down all the way. The greater the rep range, the more muscle fibers you will hit. SHOULDER-WIDTH REVERSE GRIP PULLDOWN SUPERSET WITH A WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN [caption id="attachment_12808" align="alignright" width="300"]WideGripPulldown Wide Grip Pulldown[/caption] Grab the pull down bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Sit slightly back so that you feel the lats stretch. Push your chest up and flex the middle of your back. Drive your elbows down and imagine you are trying to touch your elbows together behind your back. That's the first half. Now, without a rest, go into the wide grip pulldown. You're going to use less weight than usual, so drop it down. Grab the pull down bar (hands facing away from you). Go as wide on the bar as you can. Go for the full stretch at the top. As you pull down, don't swing backwards at the hips. You should be static everywhere except your arms and shoulders. Pull the bar down so that you are fully contracted with the bar about 6 inches in front of your chin. Hint: Keep your muscle flexed on the negative portion of the movement, never let gravity do the work for you. If you are working both the contraction and eccentric parts of the movement, you get twice the workout. DUMBBELL ROW [caption id="attachment_12794" align="alignleft" width="173"]The Christmas Tree The Christmas Tree[/caption] With a left knee on the flat bench and right foot on the floor, make a triangle with your legs. This is your foundation for this movement. Now bend over and put the left hand on the bench. With the right hand, you will pull the weight upward as high as you can go toward your hip. Pretend you're sawing lumber. You will feel a contraction in your lower lat. This will help create that coveted "Christmas Tree" in your lower back. PARTIAL DEADLIFT Here, the goal is to flex the lats and bring in the spinal erector muscles. This will be performed in the Smith Rack. Bend slightly at the waist and let the weight pull your shoulders forward. As you pull the weight up like a shrug, you drive your shoulders upward and elbows back as if you are try to tuck them behind your back - flex your lats hard. Slowly and controlled, lower the weight for the negative portion of the rep. It is important to keep your abs flexed to support the spinal erector muscles and prevent injury. BACK HYPEREXTENSIONS Hyperextensions are crucial for conditioning your back. I always finish my workouts with hyperextensions. Lifting your own body weight preps you for lifting heavy amounts of weight on other days - like in 1977's ‘World Strongest Man’ Competition. I lifted a 2,000 pound car in that contest - beating out Franco and the rest of the crew. [caption id="attachment_12802" align="alignright" width="202"]Dumbbell Row Dumbbell Row[/caption] The rep range I recommend is a rep at which you fail. Failure means you cannot do another rep WITH GOOD FORM.
    • Machine Pull Over: 12-15 reps x 4 sets
    • Shoulder-width Reverse Grip Pulldown SUPERSET with a Wide Grip Pulldown: 12 Reps x 3 sets
    • Dumbbell Row: 8-10 reps x 4 sets
    • Partial Deadlift: 12-15 reps x 4 sets
    • Back Hyperextensions: 12-15 reps x 4 sets
    See you this November at my first annual bodybuilding and fitness show, the NPC/IFBB Ferrigno Legacy, in Santa Barbara, California.
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