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Mike O’Hearn’s Power Bodybuilding: Back Workout

Mike O’Hearn’s Power Bodybuilding: Back Workout

Want to get big, strong and cut? Part bodybuilding, part powerlifting, Mike O’Hearn’s “power bodybuilding” concept builds muscle and strength at the same time.
STEP 1: Back | Legs | Chest
STEP 2: Nutrition | Supplementation | Motivation
Looking for more? Start the 12 Week Program


This back workout is centered on some crazy-ass, heavier-than-hell deadlifts and only two secondary lifts: one-arm rows and pulldowns. After you finish these deadlifts, that's all you're going to have left in the tank. Trust me.

- 07:28

This is one example of a Power Bodybuilding workout. Your weights and reps will change depending on where you are in the 12-week program.

Follow that program to the letter, and you too will end up with a big S stamped across your chest.

The deadlift is the best lift in weightlifting. It hits EVERYTHING. It's the superhero lift, the beast lift, the man lift. You can cheat a squat by not going deep, but with the deadlift, there's no cheating. You just grab hold of that bar and rip it from the ground like a freakin' caveman.

Take your time. Warm up slowly. Conserve energy. Don't rush through this. Save your energy for the heavy weights. Wait till you hit the working sets before you really work it.

I don't use straps. You can't use 'em in competition, why use 'em here? I switch grip every set. I don't listen to music. I don't need that to get psyched. I like the noise of the weight. I like feeling the heavy weight tear down my fibers. Go heavy enough, and the next day, you'll feel everything hurting - but in a good way.

It's not a slow pull for me. I rip it up. People ask, "Aren't you going to hurt your back?" but I don't know why people think that way. I don't get hurt. I don't worry. I just destroy the weight. It's not the other way around.

When I deadlift, I'm already putting density and thickness in the mid-back. The one-arm rows hit the lower and outer lat. Beautiful exercise to give you nice wingspan.

Take a wide-screen grip for pull-downs. You know how to do pull-downs, don't you? If you don't, I'm going to come through that screen and slap you silly. Do pull-downs to the chest instead of behind the neck. You get a longer pull down to the chest, more of a squeeze.

Ready? Go out and be great.

THE "POWER BODYBUILDING"
BACK WORKOUT

Part 1: Back

Warm-up:

Working Sets:

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sunsbla

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sunsbla

stupid quastion, but..
when i start deadlif I need to rise my weight up?
for example:

7 sets, 2 reps

-1set 2 reps ( i take 180kg x2 , next i need to rise my weight or make lower (175kg?)? or i need to do all 7 set with 180kg?

tnx ;)
Im new in here :)

Jan 14, 2012 2:46am | report
 
Perrylai

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Perrylai

From what I've read about the program; it usually states "max weight"

From that, I think we can determine he means from where you're at in the program, you should do your 4repmax (4rm) or 3rm or 2rm.

But from how it's done in the videos, it always looks like he's increasing weight drastically, adding a plate on each side after each set

Apr 1, 2012 2:31am | report
LeoIII

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LeoIII

The way this program explains it; Use the same weight for all 7 sets, but do a few warm up sets first(the warm up sets are when you're slowely increasing the weight). Rest at least 3-5 minutes in between sets. You're not trying to burn yourself out, you trying to lift as much weight as possible. Don't rest so long that you're no longer warmed up though.
Mike makes it very clear if you watch the video.. Take Your Time.

Jul 27, 2012 11:12am | report
jrm62

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jrm62

I actually asked Mike this same question because of how the video was edited. Just finished week for and each week my weights went up on my 7 sets. The 70% of 1rm suggested for first 4 weeks is pretty light considering your only doing 4 reps per. My four week progression on deadlifts have been
Week 1 335 7x4
Week 2 365 7x4
Week 3 385 7x4
Week 4 405 7x4
No getting around it those 7 sets aint easy but man youfeel good when your done. Drive on!!!

Dec 15, 2012 5:56am | report
spikeRTK

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spikeRTK

I agree with Leolll. This is how I do it.
Warm-Up:
60kg 6 rep, 80kg 4 rep, 100kg 2 reps, 120kg 2 reps, 140kg 2 reps

Working sets:
150kg 2 reps for the entire 7 sets with 5min break in between or as long as I need.

I am 5'5.5" and weigh 63.6kg. 150kg is incredibly heavy for me but not a one rep max. I can manage 4 clean reps on a good day.

Feb 4, 2013 10:58am | report
superdes21

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superdes21

you only change the weight on the 3 warm up sets so ur increase the 3 warm up sets so by the time uve done them your be on your working sets so example.

for me my 2rm deadlift is 200kg so i would start on something like 120kg 150kg 180kg these would be considered my 3 warm up sets which don't count so now at this point i would put my working set weight on 200kg and do my 7 sets of 2 reps hope that helped =).

Mar 18, 2014 1:37pm | report
shagsmalone

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shagsmalone

What is the rest time between sets?
short (60secs) or long (3 mins)?
Thanks

Jan 16, 2012 6:11pm | report
 
LeoIII

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LeoIII

3-5 minutes. You want to be well rested to destroy the heaviest weight you can on every set.

Jul 27, 2012 11:14am | report
spikeRTK

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spikeRTK

I agree with Leolll, take as long as you need to recover and than destroy the weights!! You shouldn't be thinking about going heavier after a few sets since that means you were taking it easy to begin. You shouldn't even drop the weights as you start to fatigue, just take longer breaks, drink fluids and recover before your next set.

Dec 22, 2012 7:40am | report
msurfboi

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msurfboi

to be honest i fell that 3- 5 minutes is too long of a rest but thats just me i always take 2-3 minutes when going heavy

Jun 14, 2013 9:46am | report
superdes21

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superdes21

mike o'hearn says he takes 3-5 mins in his work sets he wants to fuly recovery before the lift for the strength as you need all the strength you can musta when your lifting heavy its alot of stress on the CNS so he advises to recover first so 3-5 mins if you recover sooner then thats all good too just be ready for the lift hope that helped =)

Mar 18, 2014 1:41pm | report
PhysicsCrime

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PhysicsCrime

That was actually my question as well ^

Feb 2, 2012 2:15am | report
 
PhysicsCrime

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PhysicsCrime

I meant that sunbla and I had the same question.

I've been doing this for about 8 weeks now and have seen gains every week thus far. I warm up 3 sets in every exercise, but then stay with the same weight during my working set. I was also wondering if I needed to progress upwards throughout the sets instead. I will say that it makes more sense to do it that way, as even with my warmups my muscles aren't fully "activated" until my 3rd or 4th set.

Feb 2, 2012 2:21am | report
 
spikeRTK

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spikeRTK

I would suggest that you do as many low rep sets as you need to warm up. Even if this means lifting 3 reps of let's say 60,80,100,120kg before you start your working sets.
Once on your working set, choose the highest weight you can handle and power through the 7 sets. Take as much rest in between sets as you need. Most of it is a mental game. You destroy the weights, not the other way around.

Dec 22, 2012 7:38am | report
superdes21

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superdes21

ye the generally rule of thumb would be to use the warm up sets to build up to your working sets once there stick with the same weight for all 7 sets of two and if you manage to complete all sets and reps up the weight the next session by 5-10lb

Mar 18, 2014 1:43pm | report
beefyzealot

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beefyzealot

I have the same question as sunsbla. Lol btw this guy is too funny hahaha

Feb 11, 2012 7:36pm | report
 
elmeato

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elmeato

I did the back training yesterday and it was massively awesome. Serious soreness in the back right now.

Feb 20, 2012 9:29pm | report
 
MaximumResults

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MaximumResults

Loving this program, thanks Mike!

Apr 3, 2012 8:54pm | report
 
Scargrim

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Scargrim

Really enjoying this program so far (first week) however I need some advice!

For a few of the workouts like the Back and Legs it states really different sets/reps on this page vs the PDF?

What do you recommend doing for Barbell Deadlifts for eg?

7 Sets, 2 Reps or 5 sets, 4 reps (PDF) Really appreciate any help!

Apr 26, 2012 9:07pm | report
 
LeoIII

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LeoIII

The reps change throughout the program. I'd say 5 sets x 4 reps the first month, 6x3 the second month, and 7x2 the third.

Jul 27, 2012 11:19am | report
superdes21

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superdes21

ye when you start the program ur ment to start off slowly to ease yourself into the program so you can gradually build up your strength gradually Weeks 1-4, 70%: 5 sets of 4 reps
Weeks 5-8, 80%: 5 sets of 3 reps
Weeks 9-12,90%:5sets of 2 reps so basicly weeks 1-4 you want to be doing 5 sets of a weight you can lift for 4 reps being able to lift 4 reps would kinda workout to be 70% as it says above then by week 5-8 you increase the weight so that you can manage 3 reps which = around 80% as it says above then by week 9-12 your be seeing your biggest strength gains its here your be going into the 7 sets of 2 90% of your 1rm once you complete the program rinse and repeat using that same method hope that helped

Mar 18, 2014 1:54pm | report
Big_adam123

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Big_adam123

Awesome Video

Jun 19, 2012 10:38pm | report
 
Thwill

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Thwill

I was doing the deadlift today at Max weight which for me was 120kg. I got to about set 5 and started failing and could not pick it up no more. Should I lower the weight so i can finish the sets or should i try and power myself through them?

Thanks

Jul 6, 2012 8:26am | report
 
spikeRTK

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spikeRTK

If you managed 5 sets, 3 reps of 120kg you are doing it right. On the last few sets take longer breaks and make sure you are hydrated. Don't lower the weights just take time to recover, heck sip on some amino/electrolyte drinks. It gets tougher half way through the workout so remain head strong and motivated and watch your form.
I did 3 reps 7 sets of 140kg today and destroyed every set. On set 3 I lost focus and struggled so had to slap myself a few times to regain my focus. I weigh 60 kg.
You can do it!

Dec 22, 2012 7:35am | report
jramos9

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jramos9

cant wait to start this program. how is it so far for those who have been doing this

Sep 10, 2012 9:56pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 49 Comments

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