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Fouad Abiad's Project Inferno Day 36:Back

You’ve already made your most important shifts to Project Inferno by weighing yourself and decreasing your calorie intake at the beginning of Week 5. As you know, metabolism slows when you cut calories and your bodyweight reduces, so we have to find other ways to boost fat burning while building or, at least, maintaining muscle mass.

Here’s what you need to do at the beginning of Week 6 to make sure you’re on track:

* Take photos of yourself. Take these from the same angles in the same lighting, wearing the same clothes as you’ve done in all the weeks before. 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. Of equal importance, you can refer to them on your future diets. Trust me, that’s how bodybuilders make real progress—comparing themselves to their previous selves over time.

* Weigh yourself. Last week I gave you recommendations for your adjusted calorie and macronutrient intake. Now it’s important to weigh yourself again to see if you’ve dropped more weight. If you have, then you should reduce calories accordingly. This may only be a small reduction but it shouldn’t come from protein. Keep protein intake high to protect your muscle mass. Remember you’re now targeting a macronutrient level of 50-25-25 of protein to carbs to dietary fats.

* Maintain your cardio. You’ll continue to perform 55 minutes of steady-state cardio 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.

Today we’re training back for width. You know what that barn-door width means—mostly pulldown moves. Later in the week we’ll train back for thickness.

Let’s go to work to get our backs nice and wide. The first move is pulldowns with a wide parallel grip using a handle that is available in most gyms. One of the things I want to emphasize in this workout is that you want to feel every pulldown movement a little differently. We’ll use a different width and grip for the next move, but for this one you’ll perform 6 sets for 10-15 reps each, keeping rests to 30 seconds between sets. Start light to activate your lats and then increase weights, keeping reps and rest periods consistent.

I integrated straight-arm pulldowns last week. You perform these while standing, bending over only a little bit. Hold your body still with about a 10-degree bend at the waist. All the movement should come from your shoulder joints, allowing for a greater stretch and activation of your lats. Keep your shoulders decompressed and prevent them from rolling forward, which will help you activate your lats. Sure, you can pull more weight if you cheat, but the purpose of this move is to work your lats and the serratus muscles that tie in to your chest. I’m using a cambered bar, but you can use a longer straight bar if you want to widen your grip for this move.

My third move is unique and one you’ve already seen on Project Inferno— prone incline lat pulldowns. For this move, I press the front-side of my lower body against an incline bench while I’m standing and facing a cable apparatus. I’m using the same cambered bar that I did for straight-arm pulldowns. But now I’m using an under-hand grip to really pull the weight into my lower lats. The reason I’m doing this is because we tend to lean back in most pulldown exercises, which takes away the work from the lower lats. This version is designed to target lower lats, and eliminate the swing in the upper body when you aren’t pressed against a bench.

My fourth move for this back workout is one-arm Hammer Strength pulldowns. I like that it’s unilateral, and I haven’t performed any single-arm moves in this pulldown workout until now. It’s good to include at least one single-arm move in every pulldown workout—it doesn’t matter if you perform them at the same time, alternating, or all of one side before the other. Just make sure that each side of your lats has to work independently of the other.

Then I switch to grasping the Hammer Strength by the outside parts of the levers for the last few sets because I feel this version hits my lower lats more. When I use the handles I feel the move much more in my teres and upper lats. The wider grip allows me to pull more effectively from my elbows and feel the contraction in my lower lats.

We’ve hit back from every angle and grip for width training. Stay focused, and I’ll see you tomorrow for quads.


Download the Workout


Morning cardio



Perform 55 minutes before consuming food


Lat Pulldown 6 sets x 10-15 reps
Straight-Arm Pulldown 4 sets x 15-20 reps
Prone Incline Lat Pulldown
4 sets x 15-20 Reps
One-arm Hammer Strength pulldown 2sets x 12 reps each side
Hammer Strength pulldown
3 sets x 10reps

Post-workout cardio



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



I prefer to perform my cardio at the end of my weight-training workouts. Not only is it the most effective time for your second session of cardio when you’re also performing early-morning sessions on an empty stomach, but this cardio session allows my brain to recover from the workout I just performed. It gives me 40 minutes to meditate and think about my workout for tomorrow, or anything else that’s whirling through my brain. Try to use your cardio session as a break from the intensity of Project Inferno. These cardio sessions shouldn’t be difficult to perform—you’re using them to burn stored fat, not to amp up the challenge of following my Kaged Muscle Trainer.

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