Upper Back Training For Muscular Detail… “Like A Road Map Back There.”
Tuesday, September 27th, 2005. Most of the back work I did today was focused on detailing the upper back between the shoulder blades (“back double bicep pose muscles”), and also some rowing for the mid back and belly of lat thickness (cable and barbell). Definitely hit the bulls eye with this workout.
- A1 Wide parallel grip pulldown
- 2 warm up sets
- Set 1: 190 lbs X 15 reps
- Set 2: 200 lbs X 13 reps
- Set 3: 210 lbs X 11 reps
- B1 Seated Cable row with two single pulley handles
- 3 sets X 200 lbs X 12, 11, 11 reps
- B2 Seated Cable Row, One Arm, pronated grip, elbows high
- 3 sets X 90 lbs X 10, 9, 8 reps
- no rest between supersetted exercises B1 & B2, 60 seconds rest between supersets
- C1 Bent Over Barbell Rows, Reverse grip
- 3 sets X 205 lbs X 12, last set drop to 155 lbs X 10 more reps
- D1 Leverage Row Machine (wide pronated grip, elbows out)
- 3 sets X 70 lbs X 13, 12, 10 reps
- A1 Barbell Shrugs
- Set 1: 325 lbs X 12 reps
- Set 2: 345 lbs X 12 reps
- Set 3: 365 lbs X 10 reps
- Set 4: 385 lbs X 9 reps
- A2 Dumbbell Shrugs
- 4 sets X 70 lbs X 12 reps X 1013 (hold 3 seconds top of every rep)
- 10 seconds rest between supersetted exercises A1 & A2, 60 seconds rest between supersets
- A1 calf press (on Icarian 45 degree plate load leg press)
- 4 sets X 500 lbs X 15-20 reps
- B1 one legged Donkey calf
- 4 sets X 260 X 12-15 reps
- C1 Seated calf machine (Cybex)
- 3 sets X 115 lbs (2 plates + quarter) X 25 reps
The pulldowns with the parallel grip bar were perfect for what I was trying to achieve today. That grip really nails you between the shoulder blades, especially when you lean back slightly at the contacted position (but without cheating).
There are a variety of different bars you can use for lat pulldowns. This one has parallel grip (palms facing each other), and it also had a bend in the bar to allow a couple inches of extra range of motion.
The leverage row machine is the piece where you lay on your stomach and then row upwards towards your chest. This machine also has different grips and I used the wide grip with the elbows flared out and high to again work the upper back between the shoulder blades.
I also did seated cable rows and bent over barbell rows. The barbell rows were done with free weights and a reverse grip for a change (I was previously doing them in the smith machine with an overhand (pronated) grip. The seated rows were done with two (separate) single pulley handles instead of the regular triangle bar. This gives you just a little bit more range of motion in the contracted position and a slightly different muscle recruitment pattern. It was a nice change up. It also allowed me to drop weight and superset directly into one arm seated cable rows quickly, by just grabbing one of the cable handles after the two arm rows.
I went heavy on the barbell shrugs again, just a little heavier than last time, and supersetted the heavy barbell shrugs into lighter, stricter dumbbell shrugs.
The day after this workout, I was sore exactly in the place I felt it during the parallel grip pulldowns and the lever rows – right between the shoulder blades in the middle/upper back.
For the next 2.5 weeks, I will continue to work on detailing the upper back between the shoulder blades, so that my back double bicep shot looks as “gnarly” as possible… lots of veins and lines running across the mid upper back… kind of like that scene in Pumping Iron where Ken Waller was Checking out Arnold’s Back Double Bicep shot, and Waller says to Arnold, “Like a Road map Back there…” Okay, well maybe my back will be on a slightly “smaller scale”, but it will be same “gnarly” ripped look! LOL.