Earlier this year, we traveled up to Toronto to visit Kaged Muscle athlete Fouad Abiad.
Fouad, a 20 year veteran in the sport of bodybuilding, knows a thing or two about packing on muscle.
And, when this was shot, he was wrapping up his off-season.
What better way to end the off-season than a heavy (HEAVY!) back workout?
I can’t think of any. So check out Fouad’s heavy back workout and give it a shot!
Fouad Abiad’s Back Workout Program
Below you will find the workout table for Fouad Abiad’s back workout.
This workout incorporates both high volume and heavy weight to maximize your back muscle growth.
You’ll hit the back from multiple angles and focus on moving heavy weight when necessary as well as contracting the back when necessary (each lift will have a different focus).
The program begins with heavy machine lat pull downs, before moving on to heavy deadlifts, followed by assisted pull ups and heavy t-bar rows, and concluded with straight arm lat pull downs.
Keep rest periods between sets and exercises to 60-120 seconds. Obviously, when you go heavier, you’ll need more time to recover.
Fouad generally likes to mix up things during each workout. This allows him to maintain an instinctual approach while in the gym.
That being said, you can utilize this back workout once per week by incorporating it into your workout program to put on back mass.
|1. Hammer Strength Lat Pull Down||4||12-15|
|2. Heavy Deadlift||5||5-8|
|3. Assisted Pull Up||4||10-12|
|4. Heavy T-Bar Row||5||7-10|
|5. Straight Arm Lat Pull Down||3||12-15|
Fouad’s Tips on Each Back Exercise
Throughout the video, Fouad explains the importance of each exercise and provides tips on how to execute proper form. He also provides some insight on to how he gets the most out of each lift.
By incorporating these exercises and techniques, Fouad works the back muscles from every angle to maximize his time spent in the gym.
Exercise 1: Hammer Strength Lat Pull Down
Fouad begins his workout using the hammer strength lat pull down. This exercise is an excellent option to warm up the back and begin the workout moving some fairly heavy weight.
His workouts, generally, aren’t for strength anymore. He trains as a body builder and tries to train smart now that he has gotten older.
Exercise 2: Heavy Deadlifts
Lift heavy here. Fouad’s not a big deadlifter and it’s not something he’s done for the majority of his career.
While deadlifting, he pauses with the weight on the floor at the bottom of each rep. This strategy is known as the dead stop.
The deadlift is primarily a strength based exercise. Using the dead stop prevents you from bouncing the weight and letting momentum take over the movement. And in the long run, you’ll build more explosiveness and more strength during every single rep.
Exercise 3: Assisted Pull Ups
Fouad views chins as the squat exercise for the back. And since Fouad is 285lbs, he utilizes the assisted chin up machine. Sure, he could perform regular pull ups, but his form wouldn’t be ideal.
There’s no shame in leaving your ego at the door and utilizing assistance. The focus should be on keeping tension on the target muscle groups, not simply knocking out reps.
The biggest myth Fouad hears about pull up and pull down exercises is you have to use a wide grip to get a wide back. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The wider grip you use, the more focus you’ll put on the Teres muscle (the smaller back muscle near the arm pits).
If you want a big and thick back, utilize multiple grips. And if you want to build the lats, you need to utilize a medium to close grip.
Exercise 4: Heavy T-Bar Rows
Another exercise Fouad likes to do heavy and to focus on building back thickness is the t-bar row. This is Fouad’s favorite back exercise.
Like the deadlift, Fouad uses the dead stop on t-bar rows.
To ensure hypertrophy, Fouad focuses on lifting heavy within the 7-10 rep range.
Exercise 5: Straight Arm Lat Pull Down
The last exercise in Fouad’s workout is an isolation exercise. Fouad mostly feels it in his outer lats and rhomboids.
Fouad sees two common mistakes when people perform the straight arm lat pull down. The first is that people tend to row inwards with their elbows at the bottom of the movement. It’s not a row, It’s a pull down. Keep your arms straight throughout the movement.
The second problem Fouad sees is people roll their shoulders forward during the movement. When this happens, your traps and delts take over the movement. Keep your shoulders decompressed while you do this exercise and you’ll get more out of it.
That wraps up Fouad’s back workout. As mentioned, he focuses on hitting it from all angles with an emphasis on width and thickness.
The main thing is, you have to give every set everything you’ve got.
Every workout has got to count. Every meal has got to count. Every night of rest has to count.
Until you reach your goal.