Monday: Back, Biceps, and Forearms

The following is a very effective Max-OT routine that trains each muscle group once a week over a three-day period with a day off in between each workout.

The sets listed in the workout below do not include warm-up sets.

Back Sets Reps *
Lat Pull-downs 2 4 to 6
“V”-Bar Pull-downs 2 4 to 6
Dumbbell Rows 2 4 to 6
Alternating Dumbbell Curls 2 4 to 6
Straight Bar Curls 2 4 to 6
Barbell Wrist Curls 1 8 to 10
Dumbbell Wrist Curls 1 8 to 10

* Remember, the weight you use should be light enough to do four reps, but heavy enough so you can’t do more than 6 reps. Each set should be done to positive failure.

Lat Pull-downs

are performed on a lat pull down cable machine. This is a popular back exercise and basically simulates pull-ups, but you can adjust the weight. Do these in front not behind the neck. Keep your elbows back and pull the bar to about mid chest. Use a grip about 6 inches wider than shoulder width. At the top of the movement stretch your lats and flex them at the same time.

Max-OT Power Tip:
A big mistake most people make doing pull-ups or pull downs is that they use too wide of a grip. Just because the bar is bent on the ends does not mean you should grab it there. Too wide of a grip increases stress on the fragile AC joint and also limits range of motion of the lat muscles. The wider the grip the less overload the lat muscles will get.

“V”-Bar Pull-downs

are performed on a Lat Pull Down Machine. Use a V bar and pull the bar to just bellow your sternum. Lean back on the way down about 45 degrees. Stretch and flex at the top.

Dumbbell Rows

are best performed on a bench to allow for a full stretch of the upper back muscles. This is an excellent back movement to add thickness and width. Keep your back straight and pull the weight to the bottom of your rib cage with your elbows in toward your sides. Lower the weight under control and stretch at the bottom.

Alternating Dumbbell Curls

should be done standing. Curl the weight up one at a time. Supinate (rotate from palm facing your side to palm facing up) your wrist on the way up. On the way down keep your palm facing up the entire way. One thing about curls that’s important is that at the top of the movement you do not cross the perpendicular plane to the floor. Always keep constant tension on the bicep through the entire movement.

Straight Bar Curls

are still the king of all the bicep exercises. Your form should be slightly loose. A good bit of weight can be used with this exercise. I find most people don’t use near as much as they could or should. It’s okay to be a little loose with your form as it will allow you to go a good bit heavier. Don’t be stupid and swing the weight like a mad man. Use a very controlled form of cheating. Lower the weight twice as slowly as you raise it.

Barbell Wrist Curls

are performed on the end of a bench. Seated on a bench with your legs separated (straddling the bench) your forearms should be lying flat on the bench with your wrists hanging over the end. With a barbell in your hands you do a curling motion with your writs. Flex your forearms tightly at the top of the movement.

Dumbbell Wrist Curls

are performed standing. With your arms down at your side and a dumbbell in each hand, curl your wrists in and flex at the top then curl your wrists all the way out and flex.

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