So while I said I’m going to adopt a policy of only syndicating updates to my front page or Facebook that have good content, today was probably my best workout in two weeks so I’m syndicating this otherwise bland post because I wanna.
In short, I’MMA EAT THE APPLE!
Today was back day so after warmups I did some deadlifts, wanted to bang these out while I was fresh given I felt groggy from a last minute nap prior to my workout. Warmed up with 10 light deadlifts, set 2 was a 5 rep moderate weight and then I did a 5 rep set at a heavy weight (225lbs). After this started the calvacade of deadlift failure, as I tried and failed to lift a new max or match my old max rep. That’s okay though, because when reps fail volume never fails… did 5 more reps at this heavy weight (slowly focusing on eccentric motion and breaking as needed) then started yet another 5 rep set but on rep 2 I stopped and noticed that my loosening grip had the bar rotate in my hand a little too much and tore open a callus. Lesson learned, either have a tight grip or don’t rep the bar. Not particularly bad (no bleeding), but annoying given my whole day is planned around gripping heavy weights and I just started the workout. So I wrapped up with 10 reps at a moderate weight (and got myself a band aid).
I was all squatted out by this point, but it was just the start of my workout day and even with the nap prior to going in to work out I was there way too early so I kept moving on. Lateral pulldowns I did rather heavy, taking a cue from Scott Herman’s youtube back workout videos I tried doing lateral pulldowns near my body weight. I could only really get in about 5 reps @ 145lbs for 3 sets, but it was very good, then did a burn set at a little over half that weight for 16 reps, wrapping up with 3 more reps of 160lbs (which is my body weight, it took some doing to get the bar down that’s for sure).
Did lateral pushdowns (I’ll link the video below on these, a new exercise for me). I had no idea what was good here so I started low and ascended, did a set of 12 at 60lbs, 12 at 80lbs, 10 at 100lbs and 6 reps at 120 lbs. Then descended to two drop sets, 90lbs for 8 reps and 60lbs for 12 reps. That was quite a few reps, but it was a new exercise so I felt I needed to learn the pattern.
A great and fun exercise for back day
Next I did bent over rows, 2 sets of 10 reps at 90lbs then 2 sets of 10 reps at 110lbs (which is the most my preloaded curl bars go up to in the gym). After that T-Bar rows, 3 sets of 70lbs at 8 reps. Doesn’t have to go too heavy you’re only working the upper back with T-bar rows. I did two heavier sets though at 95lbs, one went 6 reps and the other I tried for 6 reps but only hit 5 (landing failure right near the very end of a particular exercise is always a sign you picked a good weight limit for yourself).
Then I did hyperextensions (4 sets, 10 reps each), which honestly is a new workout to me on a rack I’ve seen used in the gym almost every single day and never thought much of. I honestly think one mistake people do with hyperextensions (and if you don’t know what I mean, check out Scott Herman’s video below… yep, he’s a go to guy for back workouts, his back is obscenely strong) is that they often choose weights when really it doesn’t need to go beyond body weight for a lot of people. Having added weight does make it harder, and these can be easy, but you lose the focus on the actual back as you rely on pelvic motion, on hip and arm motions. For instance with weight you’ll brace more of your lower body then pull up well beyond the normal neutral plane of the back, and it’ll just be more a rocking pattern than a real tense back exercise. There are a lot of ways to go wrong here so I like this exercise as it’s done below, and I did it the first time today and this is one of those exercises you really gotta focus on your neurological energy being thrust into your back muscles to bring you back to a neutral stiff plane.
I did these with my arms crossed gripping my shoulders since it was new to me, called it the “Count Dracula” pose
Alright after this I did some back stretches, got some great stretching tips from a friend at the gym she loves lifting weights and clearly understands functional fitness… if you see someone at the gym who has diverse functionality and lifts good and stretches good, always seek them out for advice!
I literally put every ounce of energy I had into this workout and by the end, I was absolutely exhausted. Which is good because I had planned to meet my running partner for a difficult run to make up for all my awful runs earlier this week! Yay…?
I had the good fortune to be done way early so I had 30 minutes to just relax, unwind and frankly sit down before the hard run. It did me good because even though the workout depleted some of my energy stores I had enough to bust out a treadmill jog at my existing 5K personal record pace, if not a little harder, then dragged myself another extra mile for a 4 mile run.
The night ended with me drenched in sweat, spent on every level, which is how every night should end if a man is lucky. Although for different reasons than the night tonight if you catch my drift. Innuendo!
Have a fun time guys and if you want a killer back workout, try what I did tonight. I’ll write it in shorthand in a format you can duplicate so you can even copy it to go try it… how about them apples?
- Warmup (any back rowing motion, light weight)
- Deadlifts (do a warmup set with light weight, then increment weight in 5 rep sets, try to hit your heavier weight by set 3, then do 1-2 more heavy sets or 2-3 drop sets, 5-10 reps as is appropriate for the weight you are on)
- Lateral Pulldowns (3 sets, heavy weight try to match your body weight, do a 4th drop set and maybe a 5th heaviest weight set to failure)
- Lateral Pushdowns (5-6 sets, shoot for a weight level that gives you 6-10 reps)
- Bent over rows (4 sets, aim for 6-10 rep weight, do heavier if need be)
- T-bar rows (5 sets, 5-8 rep sets, try to make at least 2 sets “heavy”)
- Hyperextensions (4 sets of 10 reps, no additional weight, focus on a neutral back do not arch heavily, keep body steady and flex laterals hard on the peak of every rep)
- Cardio 20-30 minutes hard run