The Gain Trust™

Back

Traps and Shoulder-Blades

(Note: Always adjust the weight to fit your ability with the given repetition range. Never compromise form or range of motion for additional weight unless specified)

Warm-up: Use the Upper Body Ergometer (UBE) on medium resistance for 2-3 minutes. Then stretch your lats (leaning forward grabbing a pole with one hand and pulling that side of your body away from the hand while still holding onto the pole for a stretch down the side of your back – do for both arms). Then jump back on the UBE for 2 more minutes.

  1. Superset – 3 sets
    1. Wide-grip lat pulldowns – 12 reps (150lbs, 165, 165)
    2. Neutral-Grip Machine Rows - 15 reps (175lbs, 190, 205)
      1. Note: Pull back with your shoulder-blades (squeezing them together) and row the handle back toward your chest. A convenience is that these are usually attached to the same machine.
  2. Superset - 3 sets
    1. Standing Reverse Cable Flies (facing cable machine) – 15 reps (15lbs, 17.5, 20)
      1. Note: The weight here reflects the resistance for each hand. Remove the handle from the cable and grab only the bulb at the end before the clip. Remember to squeeze your shoulder blades back at the start of each rep to maximize blood flow and protect your shoulders.
    2. Olympic Rows (laying on stomach on the bench) – 10 reps (65lbs, 65, 65)
      1. Note: Remember to pull up and out with your elbows, not with your hands. This will force the muscles in the back to work more than the biceps.
  3. Pull-up Circuit – 5 sets (bodyweight – 6,6,6 reps)
    1. Note: Perform six wide-grip pull-ups. Then drop to the ground (only for a split second) and reposition your hands to do six neutral-grip pull-ups.  Then drop to the ground and reposition your hands again to do six chin-ups (palms facing you). If this is too easy add weight, if too hard and can only perform less than three reps of each type of pull-up, use band or machine assistance.
  4. Finisher Triple-Superset – 2 sets
    1. Bent over DB row – 15 reps (90lbs, 100)
      1. Note: Lean forward onto the hand you are not performing rows with onto a bench, and set up your feet just over shoulder-width apart. Row the dumbbell up to your hip, driving through your elbow and feeling the squeeze behind your shoulder blade. Each rep should be slow and controlled to maximize tension on the muscle and prevent injury. Then switch hands and repeat.
    2. Barbell Rows (reverse grip – hands face away) – 15 reps (135lbs, 155)
      1. Note: Leaning forward so your torso is just above parallel to the ground (or whatever is still comfortable and doesn’t bother your lower back), row the bar up to the bottom of your chest. KEEP THE BAR READY FOR THE NEXT EXERCISE
    3. Straight-Leg Dead –Lifts – 20 reps (same weights as above that is already on the bar)
      1. Note: Perform deadlifts, slow and controlled and keeping your legs as close to straight as possible for the entire set. Feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings. This will work your hamstrings, glutes and lower back.