Back in Time

Branden Ray goes coast to coast with his back routine.

Last but not least are deadlifts, and Ray prefers to use the hexagon-shaped bar instead of the standard Olympic barbell. Again, he gets a greater range of motion and, as an added benefit, does not have to be concerned with the bar hitting against his body. “I do four sets of 6–10 reps and don’t worry about a one-rep max like a powerlifter would do,” Ray says. “I do deads for repetitions to develop every muscle in my back, especially the spinal erectors and lower back.”

By performing deadlifts last, Ray allows himself the opportunity to go as heavy as he wants, as long as he can get a full set out of it. This power movement is very taxing to the entire body but a necessary one at this level, and Ray knows that doing it properly will shape his entire back and give him that winning formula.

By breaking down each movement, Ray has been able to turn back into one of his strong points. And his routine allows each muscle the proper amount of time to rest and recover, time and time again. 

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