Below is a video of Mike O’Hearns power bodybuilding workout. I wanted to post this just so you get an idea that just following in the routine of 3 sets of 10- 12 reps doesn’t work for everyone. You need to switch up your workouts to keep your body guessing and continue improving.
A strong back is one of the most important features to building a great body. In order to build a strong back you need to master the basics first. Mike’s workout is great cause it sticks to three key exercises to help build a strong back.
What I love about this workout is that he starts with one of the best overall compound exercises, the dead lift. (i think he refers to them as the superman of all lifts). Dead lifts are the best exercise for adding overall mass to your back, so I would start with dead lifts when working back. There are lots of other exercises for back but none that I would add over dead lifts.
In the workout Mike does a number of warm up sets before going into his working sets. Warm up sets are like dynamic stretches, it is a way of getting the body ready for the exercise and stimulation that follows (helping prevent injury). Warm up sets should be done with lightweight or no weight and should involve going through the motion of the exercise without eliciting a fatigue response. Warm up sets do not count as working sets so do not fatigue the muscle.
After dead lifts depending on how much strength and energy you have left you can add a number of different back exercises, to hit different areas of the back depending on whether you are trying to build width or add thickness to your back.
A wide tapered back or ‘V look’ is what most guys are aiming for so I would definitely add some wide grip pull downs, or wide grip pull ups to my routine.
(just remember before planning your back workout- your biceps will be involved in all pulling exercises)
You may have seen them in your gym and wondered what they were for. They remind me of those ‘pool noodles’ you used to float around when playing about in the swimming pool. So what are they doing in the gym?
A Foam roller is a cylindrical piece of hard foam- Essentially a tool for helping stretch the muscle and release any deep tissue pressure. By using your own bodyweight against the foam roller you can perform what is referred to as Self-myofascial release. Imagine the benefits of a deep tissue massage without the cost
If like me you exercise regularly you will now and again have tight muscles and areas of discomfort. The foam roller is amazing at helping release those tight muscles and help increase your range of movement.
I have always had a slight problem with my lower back but after being introduced to foam rollers I can honestly say that has changed- the strength in my back has increased and the range of movement has increased. I couldn’t imagine not using foam rollers now.
I try to incorporate them into the cool down part of my workout. As a way of helping relieve any stress on the muscles and aid recovery.
There are a few different types of foam rollers out there- essentially they all do the same thing- I would try them all but i personally like the orange one (see picture below)
Below is a video that helps demonstrate good technique for foam rolling.