Shawn Rhoden's Back Attack workout!
Flexatron explains that a bar that provides a medium, parallel grip helps him better target his lats by focusing less on his biceps. Glass wants him to aim for at least eight reps on his own, and then Yoda usually helps his Jedi Knight eke out a few additional forced reps. “He gives just enough help to keep it going, no more,” Rhoden states.
Typically, Rhoden starts his workout with barbell or T-bar rows—the sort of free-weight basics that helped his mentor (and supplement company employer) Ronnie Coleman construct arguably the best back ever unfurled. Still, unlike eight-time Mr. Olympia Coleman in his prime, Shawn Rhoden doesn’t stuff all the iron he can on the collar of a T-bar. “I typically go up to six plates,” he says of T-bar rows. “I want to get a good range of motion, a good stretch, and then a full contraction. I don’t want to have to use momentum to get the weight up. And I don’t want to go so heavy that I can’t concentrate on my back and start using my biceps.”
ONE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW
“This is one of my favorite exercises,”
Though Rhoden says he can always use the heaviest dumbbell in the gym, the weight is never his focus. He’s always concentrating on his lats. “Charles says, ‘I want to see you twist that body,’ ” he says, explaining what his trainer considers a proper contraction. “I don’t want to see you use your biceps. Gotta be able to get that squeeze at the top. Get that good hang, and then drive high at the top. A lot of people tend to stop around halfway with the biceps holding the weight up. You need to go high and twist to focus everything on your lats. If you do, this is a great back exercise.”
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