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Back To Back Workout

April 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
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ONE shot, ONE opportunity.

If you are currently using a traditional bodybuilding split and hitting your back once per week, this lyric runs true. The problem here is… well there are a few:

  • If you have an ‘off’ day and your intensity is nowhere to be seen, you won’t get an opportunity to redeem your GAINS until the following week.
  • Larger muscle groups like your back require additional exercise selection and volume that is near impossible to achieve in a single hour or so long workout.
  • You’re limited in the varying rep ranges, load and intensity techniques that can be implemented into your training within a single workout per week.

 

So what’s the fix to building an OUTSTANDING Back? Training it twice per week of course!

In light of research proving that protein synthesis (the signal for muscle growth) typically maxes out within 1-2 days after training (Duncan MacDougall, et al 1995), the majority of growth you will see from a workout will be had within the first 24 hours. So if you’re only training a large muscle group like your back once per week you’re MISSING OUT on significant growth for 5 days!

Take it from Bodybuilding & Physique Coach Cliff Wilson “ Training frequency is often overlooked as an important factor in continued strength training progress. Many bodybuilders simply train each body part once per week and think nothing of it. Big mistake! A higher frequency approach will bring about much faster and effective growth.”

When you get a spare moment check out the complete article by Cliff Wilson on How You SHOULD Train Here!

If you’re not used to utilising lower rep ranges and higher frequency training, expect to feel sore and fatigued for the first 2-3 weeks of utilising this Back to Back workout. Stick with it, your body will adapt and some new found GAINS will be just around the corner!

What You’ll Need:

  1. A reliable training partner
  2. A super strong Pre-Workout Supplement
  3. A set of TMJ Lifting Straps
  4. A TMJ Weight Lifting Belt

OK! You’ve got the goods, you’ve done the research… Now time to get stuck in to the workouts! 

Workout 1 of 2 (Strength / Thickness Focus)

Workout 1 has a distinct focus on using HEAVY compound movements in the lower rep ranges, so for this workout you should adopt a powerlifting/strength mindset. You want to continue to increase the weight being lifted for each exercise over 4-6 weeks. This will really help develop that THICK myofibrilar muscle tissue and raw strength that carries over so well to bodybuilding. 

Exercise 1: Pause Deadlifts

Powerlifters, strongman competitors and the World’s best bodybuilders have MASSIVE muscular backs! They have earned their THICK and POWERFUL backs through a simple formula, getting to WORK and pulling HEAVY ASS weight from the floor! All of the major groups of the back are stressed when performing the Deadlift, which is why this single movement should be the cornerstone on which posterior size and strength is built! 

For this specific exercise we’re throwing a unique concept in the mix by introducing a pause (isometric hold) variation of the lift during the lifting (concentric) phase of the Deadlift. This is not an uncommon practice for strength athletes especially in the squat and bench press to push past sticking points. Incorporating this into the Deadlift will place TREMENDOUS stress on the lats, rhomboids and traps and help to SKYROCKET muscle and strength GAINS!

We’re keeping the sets and reps basic going for 5×5, using a 3 second pause at 3 positions during the lifting (concentric) phase; the first holding the bar just 2-3 inches above ground, the second held at knee level and the third at the waist with full lock-out. The movement is performed EXACTLY the same as a traditional Deadlift, however using a 3 second pause at each position greatly increases the time-under-tension on the lats, traps and rhomboids so expect to be using around 60%-70% of your true 1RM.

Before getting started be sure to check your form against our EXERPEDIA HERE.

Set 1-3: Warm up sets, start light and work up to a manageable set for 8 reps

Set 4 -8: Working sets. Using a heavy weight (approx 70% of 1RM Deadlift) perform 5 reps, using a 3 second pause at each position of the Deadlift, reset the bar on the floor after each rep.

*Rest a minimum of 3-5 minutes between sets

Exercise 2: Braced Incline Bench Dumbbell Row

We’re hitting it HARD with another compound multi-joint exercise to put considerable stress on the the back to force it to GROW! It’s likely your lower back has taken a beating so the Incline Bench Variation of the Dumbbell Row is a great way to hit a HEAVY compound movement without undue stress and potential for injury.

To perform the exercise, set up a bench on approximately a 45 degree incline, placing two dumbbells underneath the head of the bench and lay face down with your chest firmly in place and your chin resting at the head of the bench. You may need to place some 20kg plates or aerobics steps underneath the bench to allow enough elevation so that when you grasp the dumbbells they are at arms’ length without touching the floor. Take each dumbbell in either hand and whilst keeping your chest firmly against the bench lift the dumbbells to your sides keeping your elbows close to your body. At the top of the movement contract and squeeze your back muscles for a moment then slowly lower to the starting position. 

Set 1: Warm up set using a moderate weight for 8 reps

Set 2: Base working set, use a weight that allows you to fail at 8 reps (your 8RM)

Set 3-6: Working sets, perform 4 sets of 8 reps using 90% of your 8RM

*Rest a 1-2 minutes between sets

Exercise 3: T-Bar Row

The final exercise of this POWER based workout… and DAMN it is a good one!

We recommend using the machine variety with a chest pad for support, if this is not available the free standing machine or makeshift barbell and v-handle variety will work just as effectively, however we would recommend throwing on your TMJ Weightlifting Belt for some added support. 

To set-up for the movement, straddle the bar and grasp the fixed handle or v-handle whilst bending at the waist. Ensure to activate your hamstrings, glutes and core to prevent any chance of injury. Begin the movement by keeping your elbows close as you pull the handle below your sternum and S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E HARD at the top of the movement for a single count. Depending on individual leverage we recommend you experiment with pulling to different positions on your torso until you find the position that allows for MAXIMUM contraction!

Before you get started check out our complete exercise video guide on how to perform the perfect T-Bar Row!

Set 1: Warm up set using a light weight for 20 reps

Set 2: Warm up set using a moderate weight for 15 reps

Set 3: First working set, use a weight that allows you to perform 10 reps just shy of failure

Set 4: Second working set, increase the weight and perform 8 reps just shy of failure

Set 5: Third working set, increase the weight and perform 6 reps just shy of failure

Set 6: Final set, keep the weight the same as Set 5 and perform 6 reps, rest 10 seconds, then chase reps until failure (rest-pause)

Workout 2 of 2 (Hypertrophy / Width Focus)

Workout 2 is designed to be completed in traditional bodybuilding style… we’re talking multiple angles, higher rep ranges and shorter rest periods to fatigue the back and bring on that sarcoplasmic (muscular fluid) GROWTH! You NEED to focus on perfect form and getting a strong mind-muscle connection, whilst increasing the working weight at least at every second workout.

LET’S DO THIS!

Exercise 1: Reverse Close Grip Pulldown

The grip variations used on the Lat Pulldown are SO important for targeting specific areas of the back. Evidence suggest that taking a reverse grip at shoulder width stimulates greater activation of the lower-lat muscle fibres as the elbows are pulled from in front of the torso to behind the back for MAXIMUM contraction! Make sure to throw on your FRESH pair of TMJ Lifting Straps to reduce the assistance of the forearms and biceps during the movement.

Set 1: Warm up set using a light weight for 15 reps

Set 2: Warm up set using a moderate weight for 10 reps

Set 3: First working set, use a weight that allows you to perform 12 reps to failure

Set 4: Second working set, use a weight that allows you to perform 10 reps to failure

Set 5: Final working set, use a weight that allows you to perform 8 reps to failure

*Rest 1-2 minutes between sets

Exercise 2: Hammer Strength Row

There are a LOT of back machines out there, but the Isolateral Hammer Strength Row is one of our favourites! The beauty of the machine is that you can load up some SERIOUS weight with minimal stress on ancillary muscles to stabilise the weight (as opposed to the barbell or t-bar rowing variations). For the working sets you will require a spotter to help unload the plates for each drop-set and we highly recommend pulling both arms simultaneously as you would with a barbell row. If you really want to AMP up the intensity ensure you don’t let the weight touch down between reps.

Set 1: Warm up set using a light weight for 15 reps

Set 2: First working set, use a weight that allows you to perform 12 reps to failure

Set 3: Second working set, increase the weight to cause failure at 10 reps, then drop half the weight for another 10-12 reps (drop set)

Set 4: Final working set, increase the weight to cause failure at 8 reps, then drop half the weight for another 8-10 reps, then drop the weight in half again and get as many reps as possible (double drop set)

*Rest 2 minutes between sets

Exercise 3: Rope Pullover Superset With Reverse Grip Barbell Row

In our opinion this SUPERSET will put your ability to withstand pain to the test! The combination of an isolation movement (Rope Pullover) followed by a compound movement (Reverse Grip Barbell Row) is what’s known as a pre-exhaust technique. The goal is to volumize the muscular fluid (sarcoplasmic fluid) as much as possible, so you want to keep a ‘piston-like’ tempo (1 second up, 1 second down) and maintain tension on your back AT ALL TIMES. Keep rest times between each superset to a bare minimum, just enough to recover your breath and switch back on to DESTROY each set!

Before you get started check out our complete exercise video guide on how to perform the perfect Rope Pullover and Barbell Row.

Set 1: First working set, use a weight that allows 12-15 reps on the Rope Pullover, immediately move to Reverse Grip Barbell Row for 12-15 reps (super set)

Set 2: Second working set, increase the weight to cause failure at 10-12 reps on the Rope Pullover, immediately move to Reverse Grip Barbell Row for 10-12 reps (super set)

Set 3: Third working set, increase the weight to cause failure at  8-10 reps on the Rope Pullover, immediately move to Reverse Grip Barbell Row for 8-10 reps (super set)

*Rest maximum 1 minute between supersets

Exercise 4: Close Grip Seated Cable Row

You want those WIDE flaring lats? Then you better STRAP yourself in for this final exercise! The key to performing the perfect seated row is getting full scapular retraction (contraction) during the pulling phase and also aiming for a DEEP stretch at the front of the row. Were not going to lie, these drop-sets will take it out of you and you may want to resort to short ‘hitch’ reps to completely FLUSH the back with nutrient dense blood!

Check out our complete exercise video guide on how to perform the perfect Close Grip Seated Cable Row Here!

Set 1: First working set, use a weight that causes failure at 10-12 reps 

Set 2: Second working set, use a weight that causes failure at 10-12 reps, rest 10-15 seconds and perform as many additional reps as possible (rest pause)

Set 3: Third working set,  increase the weight to cause failure at 8-10 reps, rest 10-15 seconds and perform as many additional reps as possible (rest pause), rest another 10-15 seconds and perform as many additional reps possible (double rest pause)

BOOM! We’re Done!

Make sure you leave at least 48 hours in between these two workouts for MAXIMUM GAINS!

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