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Big Man On Campus: Week 1, Day 2

If a barn-door back is on your list of school supplies, you’ve come to the right place. Steve Cook will take you to mass class.

You're probably sore from yesterday, but it's not time to rest. Not yet. To become the Big Man, you need to focus and prepare for another hour against the iron.

Your classes, homework, friends and girlfriend can wait. This hour is yours. It's time to hit the gym; it's time to blast your back and biceps.

Big Man On Campus: Back & Biceps Training

Watch The Video - 12:24




Schedule. Track. Succeed.

Back/Biceps/Calves

Bigger Man Tips

Mental Strength ///

Get your game face on before you step foot into the gym. Spend 10 minutes thinking about what you're about to do; see yourself with that giant back and those incredible arms.

This visualization/focus period is important. If your brain isn't ready, your body can't do what it needs to.

When you get into the weight room, it's time to do work, not socialize. Put on your headphones, crank up the music, and pay attention to what you're doing. There's a time for chit-chat, but that time is not now.

Exercise Tips

Pull-Ups ///

You need to hit at least 10 reps per set. If you need to take a little rest, or get someone to spot you, do it. On the other hand, if you can get to 15 reps, put on a weight belt. These pull-ups should be challenging. They'll get easier over the next 12 weeks, so add weight and/or decrease rest as necessary.

Pull-ups are a great exercise to do at the beginning of a workout because they're very functional. They're also going to create that width you want.

Make sure you keep the elbows as wide as you can, squeeze at the top of the repetition, and control the eccentric (lowering) phase of the move.

Bent T-Bar Rows ///

For this exercise, grab a belt for some extra support. If you don't have one, don't worry; you can still perform the movement. As you begin, keep your back flat and your butt lower than your hips.

Fully contract your lats on your way up and fully extend on your way down. Like pull-ups, this movement is great for building a wide back.

On the last set, go to failure. But don't stop there. Strip some weights and keep going. It should be tough. No matter how difficult these are for you, don't let your form suffer. Bad form leads to injuries. Injuries lead to less growth.

Close-Grip Pulldown ///

This movement is great for lat length and it targets your lower lats. Since we've been focusing on width, the close-grip pulldown will help build density and depth. Your back should be wide and thick.

Dumbbell Single-Arm Row ///

To really isolate your lats, keep your elbow as close to your body as possible and pull towards your hip. Don't use straps unless you absolutely need to. Instead, try to build some forearm and wrist strength, which will help you with multiple movements.

If you feel too much strain in your arms, you need to lighten the weight. All emphasis should be on your lats, not your shoulders or arms. I think it's good to incorporate two rowing movements into any back program to accentuate the back's thickness.

Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown ///

Keep your chest high as you bring the weight down. The stretch is just as important as the contraction: the further you stretch, the better the contraction. Between sets, stretch out your lower lats.

EZ-Bar Curl ///

Your grip should be wider than shoulder-width, and you should be concentrating on the last two-thirds of the movement. Don't lock out your elbows at the bottom. Your elbows should be pinned to your side for pure biceps contraction.

For the second two sets, we're going to cheat a little. Now, that doesn't mean jerk backwards; it means you should use just enough momentum to get the weight up. You're still focusing on pure biceps contraction.

Incline Dumbbell Curl ///

At the top of the curl, turn your wrists out and bring your pinky up to really help bring out that lower cut on your biceps. Get a full range of motion by stretching all the way down without locking your elbows.

On the last sets, I bring my legs up and cross them so I only use my biceps to lift the weight. I can't use any momentum from the floor to help me. It's pure contraction for peaked-out biceps.

Spider Curl and Dumbbell Hammer Curl ///

Supersetting these two exercises targets your brachialis, building biceps thickness and emphasizing your peak. This finisher should also deliver a sleeve-splitting pump.

If your biceps aren't swollen to the point of bursting, you need to lift heavier and work harder.


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Rouge771

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Rouge771

that tank,....where can I get one.

Aug 31, 2012 3:22pm | report
 
stevecook_32

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stevecook_32

urban Outfitters

Sep 3, 2012 4:24pm | report
TheMusketeer

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TheMusketeer

The model wearing the tank on urban looks like he weighs less than Steve's delt.

Sep 5, 2012 12:15pm | report
Steelhead3686

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Steelhead3686

It's backwards, Stars are always supposed to be in the top left... just sayin

Jul 16, 2013 10:31am | report
Steelhead3686

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Steelhead3686

It's backwards, Stars are always supposed to be in the top left... just sayin

Jul 16, 2013 10:31am | report
aguiliani

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aguiliani

^--- The flag is definitely inverted long ways bud ;)

Aug 6, 2013 6:40pm | report
Chromath

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Chromath

Can't wait to try this next week.

Aug 31, 2012 4:37pm | report
 
CaptainMarc

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CaptainMarc

THAT TANKTOP IS BANGIN, Never thought of spider curls before, cant wait to try

Sep 1, 2012 9:31am | report
 
Maxx26

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Maxx26

no deadlift?

Sep 1, 2012 11:29am | report
 
SamCarroll

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SamCarroll

whats the song that starts playing on the 3rd set of bent T bar row?

Sep 1, 2012 12:14pm | report
 
AsherNZ

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AsherNZ

Lose Control by Jack Brown

Sep 11, 2012 8:11pm | report
asfand798

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asfand798

This should be good!

Sep 1, 2012 12:42pm | report
 
luluser

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luluser

hi steve, whats an alternative for t bar rows?

Sep 2, 2012 5:44am | report
 
stevecook_32

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stevecook_32

Put a a 45 lb bar on the floor in the corner of the gym and load one side up with weight. Using a triangle handle (one used for close grip cable pull downs) put it under the bar at the end with the weight...... boom your very own TBar row

Sep 3, 2012 4:27pm | report
Echo40191

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Echo40191

Some gyms won't allow this though, so be sure to check with the front desk. When I tried that a couple weeks back one of the dudes told me not to do it because it ruins the walls. :(

Sep 4, 2012 10:37pm | report
luluser

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luluser

by doing close grip cable rows, does it have the same affect?

Sep 5, 2012 8:06am | report
Mdblake93

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Mdblake93

What I do is take a 100lb dumbell and place it on the other end and it keeps it from coming up or have someone place there foot on it to keep it from raising up. I know it works for atleast 220lbs :)

Sep 6, 2012 11:38pm | report
dahatley

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dahatley

you can do it in a squat rack if need be..ive had to do that before

Oct 8, 2012 10:11pm | report
Okfks

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Okfks

can I do Bent over barbell rows instead ? , Its kinda the same movement I think , but please correct me if Im wrong.

Feb 24, 2013 6:25am | report
Trentmeister

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Trentmeister

What about deadlift?
I usually go around 8 sets of deadlift.
Then 5-6 sets of hangups (8reps)

Am I overtraining?

Sep 2, 2012 6:18am | report
 
michaelaloysius

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michaelaloysius

That's exactly what I was wondering. I always try to include deadlift in my back workouts.

Feb 3, 2013 6:42pm | report
Wallas14

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Wallas14

Rather do deadlift for hamstrings/glutes, as that is where the power comes from to execute the deadlift properly.

Jan 20, 2014 6:01am | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'11"
  • wt: 200.62 lbs
  • bf: 18.5%
nethram

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nethram

Where can i download, this backround music ?

Sep 2, 2012 7:01am | report
 
ForestH

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ForestH

Where to get that tank top and a alt for T-Bar would be awesome to know (T-Bar at my gym you have to make it yourself and usually cramped in a corner)

Sep 2, 2012 2:42pm | report
 
ironman891

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ironman891

just wondering if this plan still targets fast, slow, and medium twitch fibres? i'm coming from y3t

Sep 3, 2012 12:31am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 194 Comments

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