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Fouad Abiad's Project Inferno Day 29:Back & Abs

Congratulations on making it to the half-way point of Project Inferno. As you now know, this program is more challenging than it sounds in any of my individual videos. You’re still getting in a reasonable number of calories every day, but it feels inadequate when you’re training with intense training techniques and eliminating bad foods from your diet. Don’t forget that feeling of inadequacy in your food intake is also the signal to your body to burn stored fat.

Here are my points on what you need to do at the beginning of Week 5:

* Weigh yourself and adjust nutrition intake. You need to know how much you weigh to shift your calorie intake. As you lose weight your metabolism begins to slow, so it’s important to cut calories a bit to accommodate for this. 

* Take photos of yourself. Again, take them from the same angles in the same lighting, wearing the same clothes. Also make sure to take them at the same time of day every week because your body fluctuates with times of day as well. You’ll be surprised how valuable these photos are during Project Inferno as well as for future reference.

* Increase the length of your cardio. Here’s the good news: This is the last time we’re taking up the amount of cardio you’ll perform during Project Inferno. During Weeks 5-8, you’ll perform 55 minutes each morning before you consume calories other than Kaged Muscle supplements. Then you’ll perform another 40 minutes immediately after your workout or later in the day, whichever you prefer. You’ll do this every day from now until the end of Project Inferno. I’ll remind you about this each week because this is essential for reducing body fat without burning muscle mass.

Now that I’ve given you this week’s overview, I want to focus on your back for the first workout of Week 5, Day 29. Today’s back workout emphasizes width, which means I’m building the workout around pulldown moves. We’re hitting back twice a week to emphasize both width and thickness, going with one aspect in each workout. Then we’ll finish both of these workouts with some abs training.

First up is standard pulldowns with a neutral grip. I perform 7 sets of this move, beginning with a light weight. This is the most basic form of pulldowns. Remember that it’s a myth that a wider grip for pulldowns leads to wider lats. You’re going to emphasize the teres muscles underneath the armpits. To target lats you only need to use a grip just a little wider than your shoulders.

My next pulling exercise is straight-arm pulldowns or pressdowns, whichever you prefer to call them. I’m using a cambered bar with a wider grip for this move today. This is more of a pump move, and you should emphasize feeling it in the outside edges of your lats. Note that I bend over about 10 degrees at the waist and that I allow the weight to rise just above shoulder height for an extra inch or two of action. With my upper body bent it’s a little hard to notice I’m going just a little higher with the bar. Power this move from your lats, emphasizing the stretch at the edges of your lats.

Next I go with underhand-grip pulldowns leaning against an incline bench that’s close to upright. This supports my lower body so I can’t use momentum to perform this exercise. Another reason I do this is that almost all pulldown moves allow you to lean back, and I think it’s crucial to perform at least one pulldown exercise where you’re tilted forward to hit your lats from that angle. Leaning back takes away from your lower lats. In an effort to make sure I work the full length of my lats—from top to bottom, I include this move. Even though you see me arching back, I’m not able to remove my lower lats from this move—as you can do with standard pulldowns. I’m also using a close-grip to really feel the contraction in my lats.

I’m going to finish by back width-training day with a superset of close-grip pulldowns and machine high rows. Close-grip pulldowns work the inner lower lats, and then high rows with a wide grip hit the outer lats. That’s going to drive as much blood as possible into the whole back. Use a moderate weight so you can perform 10-15 reps for each move. Go immediately from one to the other and only rest about 30 seconds between supersets.

Today, I’m also including an abs move in my video. Hanging legs raises holding your legs straight is one of the most challenging abs exercises. But that’s why I use it. Note that I never allow my legs to swing behind me. The key is to bring your legs up as high as possible to avoid involving your hip flexors. You can use other modification if you can’t perform this one so that you feel it in your abs. You can bend your knees while pulling your legs up, or you can perform the move on a Roman chair with straight or bent legs. The key is to feel the exercise in your abs—it’s not to perform reps or burn calories. Just make sure to use your rectus abdominis, emphasizing a crunch in your six pack at the top, rather than emphasizing your hip flexors.

The second abs move I recommend for today is standing cable abs crunches. This is a great balance to hanging leg raises for a couple reasons. First, it works your abs from the top of the rectus while the first moves works from the bottom; second, this is one of the easier abs moves to perform, yet it still allows you to force a deep contraction. To perform this move choose a moderate weight and stand bracing your shins against the pad of a pulldown machine using a rope or other attachment that’s comfortable for you—some people like to use a triangle handle. Hold the weight behind  or beside your head, preventing your arms from moving during the set. Curl your upper body toward your hips, crunch your abs, and then release slowly feeling the stretch in your abs. This move is not about using as much weight as you can. It’s about emphasizing the contraction and stretch in your rectus.

This was a great workout, and I’m going to be hitting abs more intensely as I finish up Project Inferno. Stay tuned.

 

Download the Workout

 

Morning cardio

1

1

Perform 55 minutes before consuming food

 

Lat Pulldown 7 sets x 15 reps
Straight Arm Pulldown 4 sets x 15-20 reps
Superset Movement A:
Prone Incline Lat Pulldown
3 sets x 10-15 Reps
Superset Movement B:
Close Grip Pulldown
3 sets x 10-15  reps
Hammer Strength High Row
3 sets x 10-15 reps
Hanging Leg Raise 4 sets x 15 reps

Standing Cable Crunches

3

15-20

This is an easier weighted move that works your abs from the top of the rectus

Post-workout cardio

1

1

Perform 40 minutes immediately after weight-training or add this session later in the evening

 

TAKEAWAY:

Don’t forget to take your PRE-KAGED and IN-KAGED on the first day of each week. On these days, you may feel more energetic and recovered from your rest day, but it’s crucial to supplement at this point to stave off that feeling of depletion that comes later in the week when you’ve trained hard for several days in a row while continuing to follow your Project Inferno diet.


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