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Barn Door Back Workout

July 23, 2013 | 0 Comments
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This workout is a complete back workout targeting mostly back thickness but also stimulating back width. It is inspired by Kai Greene and designed to put barn doors chunks of muscle on your back. We are going to hit all parts of your back; upper, lower, middle… and we are going to use all kinds of intensifying techniques to spark some serious muscle growth.

The MOST IMPORTANT aspect of any back workout is to ensure that you are not jerking through movements, especially as your muscles fatigue – keep tension in your muscles and keep your mind /muscle connection on your lats.

You’re definitely going to need a pair of Team MassiveJoes Lifting Straps and a Team MassiveJoes Lifting Belt to get you through this workout… You’re also going to need a good, strong, reliable training partner for this workout; somebody who can help you force out some heavy reps, and scream at you when you convince yourself that you’ve had enough… Enjoy!

Exercise 1: Deadlifts:

Any complete back workout simply must include deadlifts – and because we are going to deadlift HEAVY during this workout, we’re going to do them first when you are freshest and have the most energy. We’re also going to incorporate powerlifting style rep ranges and sets to really utilise deadlifts as a strength exercise. Because we’re going HEAVY, make sure you wear a Team MassiveJoes Lifting Belt and make sure your technique is SPOT ON! Don’t know correct deadlift technique? It’s all good – we’ve got a video to help you out! You can check it out here: http://massivejoes.com/video-library/in-the-gym/how-to-deadlift-instructional-video

Note: You want to be using the same amount of speed and power as if you are deadlifting your personal best on every rep. Make sure you stop and reset each rep and use PERFECT form.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 10 reps.

Set 2: Warm up set with heavier weight for 10 reps.

Set 3 – 5: Working sets. Increase the weight incrementally each set and aim for 5 powerful reps on each set.

Set 6: Fourth working set. Increase the weight again and aim for 3 powerful reps.

Set 7: Fifth Working set. This a 1 rep max set. Increase the weight to just above your previous personal best deadlift weight and hit it for 1 incredible rep!

*Rest as long as is needed between the heavier sets.

Exercise 2: Rack Deadlifts:

Having just maxed out on deadlifts, we’re going to take this opportunity to really exhaust the muscles down the middle of our back by hitting some rack dead lifts a.k.a. top half dead lifts. Remember to set the safeties no higher than the height of your knees and lock each and every rep out with as much power as possible. Don’t know correct rack deadlift technique? It’s all good – we’ve got a video for that too! Check it out here: http://massivejoes.com/video-library/in-the-gym/rack-pull-instructional-video

Set 1: Warm up with light weight for 15 reps

Set 2: First working set. Use enough weight to cause failure between 12 – 15 reps

Set 3: Second working set. Increase weight to cause failure between 8 – 10 reps

Set 4: Third working set. Increase weight to cause failure between 6 – 8 reps, then drop to half the weight for another 12 reps, then drop to half the weight again for another 12 reps (double drop-set)

*Rest 1 minute in between sets*

Exercise 3: Close Grip Cable Rows sitting on a Dumbbell

This has got to be one of the BEST exercises for targeting your lower lats. Nothing allows you to get constant tension in your lats like a cable row and by elevating your torso and sitting on a dumbbell, you are targeting that tension down towards your lower lats.

Ensure you are squeezing as hard as possible at the top of each rep, while allowing your lats to stretch out at the bottom of each rep. Don’t use too much body English or you may find yourself slipping off your dumbbell!

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 15 reps

Set 2: First working set. Use enough weight to cause failure between 12 – 15 reps

Set 3: Second working set. Increase weight to cause failure between 8 – 10 reps, then rest for a count of 10, then try for another 2 – 4 reps (rest-pause set)

Set 4: Third working set. Increase weight to cause failure between 6 – 8 reps, then drop to half the weight for another 12 TOP HALF reps (ensure your are only doing the top half of each rep and SQUEEZING as hard as possible), then drop to half the weight again for another 12 FULL reps. (double drop-set incorporating partial reps)

*Rest 1 minute in between sets*

Exercise 4: Underarm Barbell Rows:

Just when you thought your lower lats couldn’t take any more punishment, we’ve gone and thrown this exercise in! We’re going to go a litter lighter on this exercise and aim for more volume – let’s face it, there’s not going to be a whole lot of pulling power left in your back at this stage of the workout anyway!

Go with a “shoulder-width-apart” underarm (palms facing away from your body) grip on the barbell, a 45 degree bend in your torso and make sure you are pulling in towards your hips, NOT up towards the ceiling. Oh, and keep your head and chest up, and your lower back nice and flat.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 15 reps

Set 2: First working set. Use enough weight to cause failure between 12 – 15 reps

Set 3: Second working set. Increase the weight to cause failure between 10 – 12 reps 

Set 4: Third working set. Keep the weight from Set 3 and fail between 10 – 12 reps, then drop to half the weight for another 12 reps (drop set)

Set 5: Fourth working set. Keep the weight from Set 3 and fail between 10 – 12 reps, then drop to half the weight for another 12 reps, then drop to half the weight again for another 12 reps. (double drop-set)

*Rest 1 minute in between sets*

Exercise 4: Chin Ups superset with Lat Pull Downs:

Now that your lower lats are completely fried, we are going to switch gears and start working on your back width by hitting this EPIC superset of peace. You’re not going to need to use weight for your chin ups by this stage of the workout, so we are going to do as many of them as you can before heading over to the lat pull down machine.

On both exercises, ensure that your mind/muscle connection is spot on or else you will start cheating by using body English and your deltoids to move the weight. Ensure that you keep your chest up throughout each rep and control the negative phase of each and every rep.

Want more direction on how to do each exercise? Check out these episodes of EXERPEDIA:

EXERPEDIA: Chin Ups

EXERPEDIA: Lat Pull Downs

Set 1: Warm up on the lat pull down machine with a light weight for 15 reps

Set 2: First working set. Do as many chin ups as you can + use enough weight on the lat pull down to cause failure between 10 – 12 reps

Set 3: Second working set. Do as many chin ups as you can + increase the weight on the lat pull down to cause failure between 8 – 10 reps

Set 4: Third working set. Do as many chin ups as you can followed by 5 negative chins (i.e. prop yourself up to the top of each rep and then hold the negative phase for as long as possible) + increase the weight on the lat pull down to cause failure between 6 – 8 reps, then drop to half the weight for another 12 reps (drop set)

Exercise 5: Rope Pull Overs FST-7

The best way to finish this back workout off is with an exercise that allows you to SQUEEZE as much blood into your lats as possible… Rope Pull Overs FST-7 Style!

Ensure you are getting maximum stretch at the top of each rep and squeezing all the way through each rep to force as much blood into your lats as possible. This means taking advantage of using the rope to pull PAST YOUR HIPS on each and every rep. Keep your lower back flat and keep your head and chest up at all times.

Set 1: Warm up set with light weight for 20 reps

Sets 2 – 8: Using a weight that you can comfortably get 12 reps with on your first set, do 7 consecutive sets of 12 reps, taking 30 seconds rest in between sets to stretch and squeeze your lats.

And that’s it! Congratulations, you are one step closer to building a BARN DOOR BACK! Oh man, are you gonna be sore over the next few days haha!

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