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Fouad Abiad's Project Inferno Day 32:Back

Man, we’re already midway through week 5. Shit’s moving fast. I’m getting leaner and my skin’s starting to get thinner. Today’s emphasis is on back thickness, so that means more rowing movements to create that bubbly look that gives you more thickness that’s noticeable when you turn to the side. Today, we’ll be performing three exercises on their own followed by a superset of two moves. So that’s a total of 5 exercises for back. Then I’m going to include my abs recommendations for the end of the workout before you perform your 40 minutes of post-workout cardio.

Let start with some single-arm dumbbell rows. I like to keep my upper body slightly higher than parallel to the ground, maybe a little higher at times, which allows me to row the dumbbell into the lower portion of my lats. A lot of guys do this move with one knee on the bench, which is fine, but I think it involves the hips more, and I want to do avoid this. I start light and work down the rack going up in weight, keeping rests to 30 seconds between sets. Remember, you also rest the muscles of one side while you’re working the other, so keep the rest periods tight on this first move. This move is taxing on your cardiovascular system because your sets are long. That makes it a great first exercise. Notice that I also keep my feet closer together to emphasize back more, preventing me from cheating.

My second back thickness move is T-bar rows from the ground. This is the unsupported version rather than the machine with the pad. I’m using an underhand grip on this move because that emphasizes the lower lats, and that’s what’s going to help you create that V taper. You have to go a little lighter because you’re placing some stress on the biceps, but this gives you more stimulation in your lower lats. Remember to hold your upper body in place to prevent using momentum.

Then I perform Hammer Strength rows to emphasize the upright position. Normally you see people do this move one arm at a time, but I’m performing both arms at the same time because I already did a single-arm move in this workout. I feel like I get really good contractions in my lats when I perform both sides together. Still, both sides have to work independently because the arms of the machine are not attached so my strong side can’t take over for my weak side. I also place hands down at the bottom of the handles to make sure I’m working my lats. Placing them higher emphasizes the traps and rhomboids, which is not the purpose of this move. I also set the seat as high as possible and decompress my shoulders throughout the set—you’re not looking for a maximal forward stretch as many people do—you want that contraction and then a controlled stretch without letting your shoulders drift forward.

My finishing movement for back thickness is a superset of seated cable rows and band rows. For seated cable rows, I’m using a bar with a wide-grip—in this case a pulldown bar. That’s because I want to row into my upper lats now because I’ve done so much work for my lower lats. For upper back, I’m now going to focus on rhomboids, teres and upper lats. So we’re going to pull high into the upper sternum.

Then, for some added nastiness I’m going to perform band rows. I just loop this over a stable machine. I grab the band with an underhand grip, bend-over and pull into my midsection. This workout completely annihilates the back.

For abs, you should include two moves for a total of 6-8 sets. Today I’m recommending you go with kneeling cable crunches to work the rectus from the top. Then you’ll finish with Russian twists, which I added to Project Inferno last week. Remember that this move works the intercostals and emphasizes the lower portion of the rectus since you activate from the lower portion of your body. We’re bumping up our abs training as we diet down.

If you’re making shifts to Project Inferno then think about the variables I’m mentioning in my workouts as you reconfigure your workouts.

 

Download the Workout

 

Morning cardio

1

1

Perform 55 minutes before consuming food

 

Single Arm Dumbbell Row 6 sets x 10-12 reps
T-bar rows 4 sets x 8 reps
Hammer Strength Machine Row 3 sets x 10 Reps
Superset Movement A:
Seated Cable Row
2 sets x 12  reps

Superset Movement B:
Band Rows
2 sets x 10  reps

Kneeling cable crunches

4

15-20

Choose a weight that allows you to go to failure in this rep range and then rest only 30 seconds before the next set

Russian twists

3

15

Per side, emphasize the stretch in your lower abs

Post-workout cardio

1

1

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

 

TAKEAWAY:

If you want to come back to the gym for a late-night cardio session then you can also add your abs moves at that time. However, that does create three workouts a day, and that may be more than you can convince yourself to do at the end of the day. It’s much more important for you to get in that 40-minute cardio sessions than your second abs workout of the week. Keep that in mind as you’re making instinctive adjustments in your Project Inferno workouts. Feel free to move your abs training to another day if you don’t feel up to it today.


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