Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls of all ages from all around all gyms on the planet. Grandpa Bennett has a new article out and, and it sums up back training from the first three "Shadow" articles. Hopefully you have stepped up from the Beginner, intermediate and advanced stages and are ready for the fourth installment in this b!tch we call "The Shadow IV."
Through the years of busting your balls in the gym, through the sore lower backs and burnt out biceps you've added slaps of meat to your back. Thick, wide, barn door style bad ass back. Now it is time to make that slab into something bigger, better and freakier. It is time to look stupid in your clothes again!
Welcome To Freakdom
Let me first discuss where I came up with the idea to write the Shadow articles. The nickname belongs to the great Dorian Yates. He is the man who started all this thick and wide bad sh!t amongst bodybuilders. Before him everyone had back like your Aunt Marry, stupid!
Once he started telling folks he was deadlifting and hitting bent over BB rows to get those lats to stretch across Texas, folks started catching on. So, through my liking of Dorian Yates and his nickname, one final ingredient was needed to get me to write articles about back training.
Looks at those lats, ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. Those things are popping out like I have never seen. Compare that front spread shot to fellow bodybuilders at the time, and you'll see why the man won 6 titles.
Once I saw this picture I started reading up on Dorian, and the one thing I always found in his workout routines, were bent over barbell rows and deadlifts. Whether or not they were first, last, heavy, light, regular, conventional, reverse grip, whatever, he did them.
Good Enough For Dorian...
So, when I was in college I started doing them. I couldn't figure them out at first, boy were they hard. And I didn't feel it in my back at all, just my biceps and delts. But I stuck with that sh!t like you stick with your girlfriend because her parents are rich, no matter what the discomfort and pain you endure.
I figured if they were good enough for Dorian, hey, they were good enough for me! About 6 months go by and I am still banging these things out, still stuck at 135 pounds and not getting it, at all.
Then all of a sudden like a bolt of light, and a chair, from the door being opened staying at your in-laws on valentines day it hits me, right in the head. I have it figured out, the movement actually is making my lats contract and I feel it. Holy schnikees I have it! I am so excited at this point, I almost lost it, like it was my first time... playing with a bouncy ball. But I am still stuck at 135lbs, its way heavy for me, I am a puss I thought. I could bang out 30 reps with it easy, but as soon as I put 10s on the sides it was too heavy.
And that my friends, is when I saw Ronnie Coleman's The Unbelievable video. That action fired me up like the doc telling me the cure is prep H, and asking how I got here in the first place. I felt nothing was too heavy after watching that freak row 495 like it was "nothing but a peanut!"
So the next back day rolls around, and I am at Washington Park in Denver Colorado, at the rec center. This gym is the bomb, I think I have talked about it before. It is all rust, free weights, mirrors and lots of sunlight. I am doing deadlifts and when I get done I go to Bent Rows. After doing a set of 135, I say F-it BIATCH and toss on another 45 pounder. I am screaming and yelling catch phrases like Willie Mays in 1954, game 1 of the World Series. I knock out 12 reps with 225 on the Bent over row. I couldn't believe it. I felt like Superman, or Dorian.
So I strap on another 25 to it and hit 6 reps with 275, well it was on from there. Each and every back workout I added more weight and more weight. And finally 3 years from that point I got to be doing 405lbs for 12 reps. I remember that day vividly. I was in Montgomery Alamaba at a school my employer sent me to lifting at the Gunter Annex. I had just got done deadlifting 500lbs when I started with the Bent Rows. I went 1 plate, 2 plate, 3 plate 4 plates just like that. BANG BANG BANG BANG. I was the shizzle. My back has never been bigger.
Over the course of the last 5 years I have been doing deadlifts and Bent Over BB rows almost every workout. I sometimes only do deadlifts twice a month, but Bent rows every time. And my back is great. It is thick and wide.
Note: I know there are going to be some high school cross country runners who do circuit training once a week that are gonna start writing saying I am a wanker and ego head and blah and blah and blah. I am not tooting my own horn, just saying that I have made great progress doing those two exercises consistently. But I know I am nowhere near the level of the folks that post on the chat boards; they are all bigger than me.
So that is what the Shadow articles have been about, my journey through time creating a big back using the tools and techniques set forth by awesome, champion bodybuilders. The key to every step of the transformation was intensity and never "sitting it out." You would never see me in the gym doing pull-downs, pull-overs and pull-ups and calling it good. It was always the hardest exercises and the best results.
Get big or die,