You know the type of physique that really turns heads and makes a statement? One that is impressive from all angles.
Wide shoulders, big legs, and especially a broad and thick back are necessities to have for a great physique. When someone turns around and you can see muscles from left to right and top to bottom, you are assured that he knows what he’s doing in a weight room.
Mastering your physique takes years but you need to start if you want to make it happen. This program will help you make progress quickly and seeing those results will generate enough momentum for you that you’ll want to keep going.
If you focus on working and don’t waste time, it shouldn’t take you longer than an hour.
As you learn more about these exercises you’re going to notice that it isn’t only about lifting heavy weights and banging out reps.
Technique and execution are vital if you want to make those muscle building aspirations your new reality.
A Point About Straps
When it comes to workouts like this, there’s always a debate about whether you should use straps or not. For this particular program, I’m in favor of them.
The focus of this routine is bodybuilding – developing the muscles.
Your grip shouldn’t prohibit you from working your back. If strength is a priority for you, work grip another time.
Stimulation or Annihilation?
End every set with one or two reps left in the tank. If you have more than two reps left in you when you finish the set, then you need to go heavier.
Conversely, if you reach failure and have two or more reps to do, lighten the load.
|Assited Pull Up||3||10|
|One Arm Machine Row||4||8-10 Each|
|Low Back Extension (drop sets)||3||12/12|
I’m sure some of you reading this have the ability to do pullups on your own. Maybe you can’t do any pullups at all and have to use the assistant. My recommendation here is that everyone uses the assistant or a band on a pullup bar because you’re going to do several things at once.
You’re using this as a warmup to prepare the body for what’s to come. The assistant will help you get blood to the area and allow the shoulders to slowly warm up as well.
Secondly, you need to perform the reps slowly. If you do pullups with your bodyweight, your arms will inevitably get involved because it will be more about pulling up than training the back. Remember that the back is the priority. Pull up in a controlled manner so the lats and upper back do the work. The arms should be nothing more than a connection point to the bar.
As for the execution of the reps, go with an overhand grip that is a little wider than shoulder width. Using an overhand grip minimizes the biceps and going wider recruits the entire upper back. Lift up and squeeze the back at the top for a second. Lower yourself down taking at least two seconds to reach the stretched position at the bottom. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.
One Arm Machine Row
We need to work one side at a time so there is balance and symmetry. One arm rows are my favorite for that. Normally you might see the dumbbell version here but the machine serves a different purpose. The machine helps you isolate each side better because you don’t have to worry about stability.
There’s also a restricted path of travel so as long as you use a full range of motion, you can work the lat throughout the entire rep which makes each rep more meaningful. Quality of reps is as important as quantity.
If possible, set the seat on the machine higher so when you row, you can target the lower portion of the lats. It would also help if you grab the handle closer to the bottom. Take two seconds to pull the handle in and an extra second to hold the rep at the top. Lower the weight back down taking two seconds as well. That’s five seconds per rep.
While the machine is the preferred method for this particular program, there are some of you reading that may not be able to use the machine because it’s not available. Go with the one arm dumbbell row if you have no other option. Rest for 60-90 seconds in between sets on this exercise.
Normally when you see a T-Bar movement, you see a close grip and the emphasis is on working the lats. There’s a version of this classic exercise that doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. Going with a wider, overhand grip works more of the upper back, rear delts, and middle of the traps. It’s normally neglected because the closer and neutral grip allows you to use more weight.
When you pull the weight in, hold it for three seconds before lowering it back down. Doing this helps create that density and thickness that gives the back a more impressive look. You’ll also get stronger because of the challenge that comes with controlling weight for longer time than a traditional rep.
This is where the straps will be the most beneficial. You don’t want the grip to fail before the back. 90 seconds between sets should be enough to help you recover and prepare for the next set.
Now that we’ve worked the upper back effectively, we’re going to focus more on the lats.
There’s a reason that there isn’t a specific method of this movement. Some gyms have the machine version which is optimal. Other gyms don’t but they might have kettlebells. These are great too because when you hold the horns (sides) of the handle, the weight is beneath your hands so it’s more of an actual pull when you lift the weight.
Of course, dumbbells are the most popular method and they are effective too. So if that’s what you have to do, you’re still in good shape.
Regardless of the method, you should place the most emphasis on the stretch at the bottom of the rep. It isn’t just about lifting weights. Overall athletic performance is important too and that includes flexibility and range of motion.
Don’t push beyond your limits and risk tearing a muscle or suffering any other type of injury. You should feel a stretch but not pain. Once you figure out how far you can stretch, hold it for two seconds before performing the rep as you normally would. Rest for 90 seconds between sets.
Low Back Extension
As with any other good back training program, you need to pay attention to the lower back. That doesn’t mean you should blast out deadlifts or boost the ego by doing rack pulls with a bunch of plates. Low back extensions are going to work the muscles while minimizing the toll it takes on the spine.
Start by holding a weight that allows you to perform reps at a consistent pace. At no point should you struggle while holding the weight. Once you get to the final rep, drop the weight and continue. Doing a drop set will fatigue the muscles without placing unnecessary stress on the spinal erectors. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.