"Aye aye sir, all ahead full, right full rudder"
"Comm, read back last report from HQ"
"Aye sir, last report reads threat eminent in immediate area."
"Con Sonar, anything on screen?"
"Negative sir, waters are clear."
"Crew, press with... @#$"
"Sir, Con Sonar detects massive obstruction 3000 meters starboard. Huge massive freaky V shaped threat. What the hell is that?!?"
"It could only be one thing, some sort of freak, some sort of hardcore bodybuilder."
"It must be... The Shadow!"
Corny huh? Got you reading though didn't it? Who here has read the first or second Shadow? Ok, hands down. Who has been taking to heart the principles and the foundation I laid out in it? Ok, no one. That's ok, because you don't have to, you don't have to grow to freaky big proportions.
When you spread your lats, its ok if they stick out a little, a little, get it, a little. When I hit a spread, it is going to be like a tidal wave hitting the crowd in the face, a big slab of granite etched out that comes off the stage and engulfs people and things like the blob, just scary. It will take a long time to spread it out, so thick, so dense, freaky.
My Basic Routine
Earlier, my basic routine revolved around rowing, rowing and rowing. Well I have changed that up from the last year and a half. Now it consists of heavy rowing, heavier rowing and the heaviest rowing. Deadlifts, Bent Rows and DB rows are the core of this routine. I come into the gym with my water, headphones, wrist straps and my shake. In case you are wondering I use Sci-Tec Myo Max Gain. Why, because it is the best, period. No arguments, it is the best. I also use Isolean, why because its 100% CFM®WPI, if you don't know what that means, hit the "back" button and read someone else's articles.
Anyway, I walk over to the treadmill and walk for 5 minutes, get my heart rate up and roll out my upper body. Then I go loosen up the mid section with 6-8 sets of abs and a couple sets of back extensions. Hit the calves real quick. Warm up my arms, shoulders and traps.
From there it's to the deadlift area.
I always do one plate for 2 sets of 10 to be sure all the muscles needed are ready to go. From there I go up to five plates. Plates 1-3 I do 12 reps, four and five I do as many as I can. I don't use my wrist straps until the fifth set.
I don't mind yelling out some insane comments to the spectators that view the 495 pounds rise from the floor over and over, as it comes up it pulls my shorts up showing off my quads, locking out at the top on the last rep and looking at both sides, then the crowd, then dropping it. Thanking them for attending and signing autographs.
The first three plates are easy, four plates is pretty easy, I actually start feeling it in my back at this point. I lock back and squeeze the lats and fill it up with blood.
Five plates is paradise, pulling that up is when it gets good. On these heavy-ass deadlifts I like to keep my feet just inside shoulder width and use an alternating grip grasping the cold steel as close to my calves as possible. I sink my butt down as far as I can, squeeze my abs, tighten my body and drive up. When I get to the top I squeeze my lats together as hard as I can.
Bent Over Barbell Rows:
When I am done deadlifting, which does take a while because I rest about 3-4 minutes between the heavy sets, I stroll over to knock out some heavy Bent Over Barbell rows. I love this movement because it really helps bring out that V-taper while adding mounds of mass to the thickness of the back. I usually go 135x20, 225x20, 315x12, 405x8. I keep the bar close to my legs the entire time pulling the bar into my lower abs.
It's crucial to pull with the elbows and squeeze every rep at the top. If you haven't seen Ronnie Coleman's video The Unbelievable yet, then buy it. It will be the best investment you ever make. He shows you how to do heavy ass rows, and what your back should look like! I grab the straps on the third set. Sometimes I jump right to two plates when I am feeling froggy! Also, I don't wear a belt, just so you know.
At this point my back is flaming, I can feel blood engorged in my lats from top to bottom, from east to the west coast. But by no means am I done. I go grab the DB's. The gym I work at the DB's only go up to 120lbs, so I start with those and do 4 sets back to back to back to back for 12 reps each arm with a deep squeeze at the top and a good stretch at the bottom. I am thinking I might move to a gym with heavier DB's, the 120's aren't cutting it.
Gravity Assisted Pull Up Machine:
After I catch my breath I wheel myself over to the Gravity assisted pull up machine. Damn I love this thing. I set it so I can do 20 slow reps for 4 sets. I just pull and squeeze my lats until it hurts like hell, because that is what you have to do! By this time I am wiped. My back is toast, absolutely toasted. I recommend this routine to anyone needing thickness, because naturally the width will come from this!
- Chins/Pulldowns: 2-3 sets warm up
- Deadlift: 4x12, 1xfailure, 1x failure
- Bent Rows: 2x20, 1x12, 1x8
- DB Rows: 4x12
- Gravity Assisted Pull Ups: 3x20
Afterwards stretch the muscle and do your poses to finish it off by pumping tons of blood into the lats. I promise this will make you grow after 2 months. This is an advanced hardcore routine to etch out huge boulders of muscle!
About 4-5 days after this I hit back again with mainly pulling movements with high reps to stretch it out and widen it across. Pulldowns, wide and close grip, cable rows and machine rows. This has helped out in so many ways. It makes me stronger for my next day at the park of rowing through the weights!
Have a huge spread, it will make a champion out of you!