Former World's Strongest Man Eddie Hall recently announced that after his successful strongman efforts, as well as his brief stint in the boxing world, his new goal is to compete on stage in bodybuilding. Lucky for us, he's documenting his journey, so we can try his workouts and train like the strongman himself. If we can keep up that is.
In his latest workout, Hall, together with his son Max, demonstrated a bodybuilding back session fit for Mr. Olympia. He prefaced the workout by saying 'the aim is to get a full deadlift and back workout in under one hour.’ A sizeable task, especially as you're starting with deadlifts and working your way through the session very quickly. But if you have an hour to spare and lofty goals of gaining serious muscle mass, look no further.
'For deadlifts, you don't want to go too heavy; it's more about time under tension'. The king of compound lifts; the deadlift predominantly works the entire posterior chain: back, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Hall completes a warm-up set and while the reps and sets of the working set aren't mentioned, as a rule of thumb for hypertrophy 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps should do the job. Hall can be seen slowing the eccentric phase of the deadlift (downward portion) which nods to the bodybuilding style of training to increase time under tension. This juxtaposes strongman style where the downward phase of deadlifts is less controlled.
Lat pulldown & Plate Loaded Lat Pulldown
These lat (latissimus dorsi) exercises have massive bang for your buck when it comes to adding size to your back. Hall recommends a superset of 3 sets and 10 reps on each machine and to get a big stretch in your lats between each rep. The plate loaded lat pulldown allows you to complete single-arm reps, and Hall can be seen completing right, left and then both arms together to count as one brutal rep. To complete a superset, complete one exercise and then the other with a break in between, before you return to the first exercise for your second set.
Plate Loaded Row & Seated Row
The primary muscles worked in these row exercises are the rhomboids and the lats. Hall recommends 3 sets and 12 reps of each exercise. He can be seen encouraging his son, Max, to pause at the top of the rep and hold before releasing the weight 'super slow'. The apple clearly doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to the duo's training capacity and mental toughness.
The pair finish with alternating hammer curls for 4 sets of roughly 12-15 reps and a final drop set. A drop set means to lower the weight and complete as many reps as close to failure as possible. This is programmed with the intention of stimulating muscle growth by working to failure. While you don't necessarily have to work to failure in order to stimulate muscle growth, this is a good test and will surely result in a massive bicep pump. Try to keep the reps throughout this workout slow and controlled to increase time under tension and deliver a bodybuilding muscle building blast.
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