The Wonder Workout: Back, Posterior Deltoids, and Biceps

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My first wonder workout that I prescribed engaged the chest, shoulders and triceps.  Now I am outlining a workout that utilises their antagonists (the opposing muscle groups).  It is imperative that in all forms of exercises undertaken that it is equally balanced.  If you work one muscle group you must always work the opposing — not necessarily in the same day, though.

In fact I do not want you to work the opposing muscles the same day, but the following day.  And why is this?  Simply, I want the workouts to be as short and intensive as physically possible, and thus if you work chest one day, while that is recovering you can work your back the following day. I follow this principle because all muscles require at least 48 hours recovery, and if you just repeat the same exercises day in day out, you will unnecessarily force them into too deep a state of recovery causing them atrophy (waste) and become injured.  Therefore, you work one group on one day, the opposing the following day, and then a couple of days time after the first group of muscles have fully recovered, you can safely and effectively work them again.  This way I get to work all my muscle groups at least twice a week without spending every waking hour in the gym or over-exerting myself in a superfluous manner.  As I said, I just work out for 30 minutes 5-6 times a week.  I spend more time in the London Tube than I do lifting weights.

So this regime is a tri-set combination and follows exactly the same format as the chest, shoulder and tricep workout.  Remember for you ladies, it’s imperative to lift as heavy as you can otherwise you are wasting your time.  And no, you won’t bulk up!  You need copious amounts of testosterone for that.  However, for the first set, though, I want you not to lift your maximum but to lift relatively light and treat it almost like a warm up.

The Tri-Set Combination for Back, Posterior Deltoids and Biceps

  1. Narrow Row 10 reps – for latissimus dorsi (back)
  2. Wide Row 10 reps – for lower traps, rhomboids and posterior deltoids
  3. Bicep curls 10 reps – for biceps

Remember there is no rest between each of these exercises.  After completing the first set of these three, you rest for 2-3 minutes. Then, up the weight significantly for the narrow row, but not too much for the wide row because this is a particularly weak group of muscles in most people.  Now repeat the combination 3 times endeavouring to progressively increase your weights to overload those muscles to your safe maximum.

After doing this combination 4 times, reverse it. But, you should start off with the biceps first with a slightly heavier weight, follow with the wide row again with a slightly heavier weight, then finish with the narrow row with a lighter weight than before. If you can cope with the same heavier weight, though, then don’t lower it.   

Again, like the chest workout I am forcing the supporting muscle groups, in this case the biceps and posterior deltoids, to fatigue first so to recruit the back more effectively.

Coaching tips

Narrow Row

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Lay facing down on an inclined bench with your feet secured on the floor.

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Pull your scapulars down, holding dumbbells in both hands, and pull the elbows in and up tight to your sides.  It is imperative you do not shrug your shoulders, try to isolate in the lat muscles.

Wide Row

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Remain in same position as narrow row but this time lifting lighter dumbbells with the elbows out wide in line with the shoulders to hit your middle back muscles more and the posterior deltoids.  Again, keep pulling the scapulars down — don’t allow the shoulder girdle to destabilise otherwise the upper traps will be overly recruited.

Bicep Curls

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Stand up with dumbbells or with barbell and keep elbows pull back and in tight to your sides, and lift from hip bone to nipple line, keeping the movement compact to get a deep contraction in the biceps.  

This is a pretty gruelling workout, but thankfully the suffering is over swiftly.  And it’s certainly worth it.  Good luck and next time I will show you a fantastic body weight leg workout that you can do at home!    

If you are interested in learning more about this style of training or would like a fitness consultation, contact Darren on darrencheersfit@gmail.com

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