When it comes to building a legendary back, it’s important to target width and thickness for a complete look. This means targeting the back across multiple angles, using heavy controlled reps for thickness, and higher rep exercises for definition. We connected with IFBB Pro Sadik Hadzovic and his coach Kash Guidry for a hellacious back day workout.
Sadik’s Back Workout
- Lat Pulldown
- Rack Pull
- T-Bar Row
- Plate Loaded Row
- Incline Dumbbell Row
- Prone Row
You want to lean back slightly and look up. Back day is so mind-to muscle so that when you’re looking up and envisioning pulling up changes everything. When you’re looking downward, your neck muscles pull you forward, and it takes away from your back.
The sole purpose that we’re trying to accomplish with this movement is to add thickness to the back. When you’re doing a deadlift from the floor, the initial portion is mainly the legs and lower back. Plus, you’re putting yourself in a dangerous position. This exercise allows you to focus on the sole purpose we’re trying to accomplish, thickness in the back. And it’s safer. So, rack pulls are one of my favorite back exercises. Based on your height, you’ll want to position the rack so that it’s just below the knee. You don’t want the rack to be too high or your range of motion will be very small. You want to set up the rack in the “power position”.
You want your torso to be at a 45-degree angle for this exercise. The whole premise of this exercise is to keep the chest up and arch the back. You never want to be rounded forward or all the way straight up. Keep the pressure so that you’re isolating the lats throughout the exercise.
For the back, there’s no way around it. Machines are good for finishers and details but to build thickness, you’re not getting away from rack pulls and T-bar rows. You look at all the guys with the greatest backs in bodybuilding and they all implemented these movements. And there’s a reason for it.
We stretch and contract in one fluid motion with this exercise. This is a leg machine, so there’s really nothing you can find that you can duplicate this exact motion. It allows you to really stretch the lats forward and come back in one fluid motion to hit the outer lats.
What we’re trying to attack is an area that a lot of guys never truly hit, the erectors and middle back area. We do this for 8-10 reps followed by rows where we activate the lats a little more. Everything we’re doing is focused on our middle and lower back, that happens to be a weakness for many guys.
The back is a body part where you can do a combination of heavy controlled reps and high reps. You have to have that mixture. Whereas with biceps, we never go heavy because it’s an easy muscle to tear and you likely won’t develop it going too heavy. We tend to stay at the lowest in the 8-rep range and at the highest 15-16 reps.
When you’re dealing with men’s physique, you only have two shots, the front and back. So, when you’re widening the lats, it can make you look shallow in your mid-back. So, you must be on your A-game with the density and detail of your mid/lower back.
A guy that can normally row 315 lbs. with a barbell, routinely. Put one plate on each side on this exercise and they feel weak. It’s not that you’re weak, it’s that this exercise removes the leverage.
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