In talking with many other lifters who are looking for that thick upper back look, I’m convinced that many people are not seeing the results they want, due to a lack of poundage and overall volume.
In my experience with training to build a bigger set of traps and a thick upper back, heavier weights are the way to go.
Optimally, I’d be Deadlifting once a week, hitting other deadlift variations on another day during the week, and then performing some form of heavy Rack Pull or Shrug that requires lifting straps on another day during the week.
However, my lower back has given me some problems through the last quarter of this year, so I haven’t been able to perform those kinds of lifts with the frequency I’d normally go for.
Instead, I’ve had to switch gears and go very heavy on my “isolation work,” for the upper back, and recently I was able to get some of this work on film to share with you.
In the video below you’ll see the following exercises and suggested volumes if you try them out:
1A – Heavy Incline Posterior Flies – 8 to 12 reps
1B – Lighter Incline Posterior Flies – 8 to 12 reps
1C – Heavy Dumbbell Shrugs – 10 to 20 reps
On this particular occasion, I used 65lb dumbbells on the first sub-set of Posterior Flies, followed by 35lbs (I think), then immediately went to 120lb Dumbbells for the Shrugs.
Optimally, I follow the Posterior Flies up with heavier Dumbbell Shrugs, especially if I’m working in my own gym with plate-loadable dumbbells, but I had to make due with the light 120-lb dumbbells at the local commercial gym.
I’m convinced, you need to hit these body parts with heavy weight. Optimally, you go with big weights on barbells, but if your back is acting up, you can do some of the stuff I showed you today.
Any questions, please let me know.
All the best in your training.
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Build Big Traps, Thick Back and Stronger Shoulders
Tags: back, big back training, big shoulders bigger traps, big traps, bigger traps, shoulders, traps, upper back
Posted in back training, Build Shoulders, how to build muscle, muscle-building-workouts, Yoketober | No Comments »
In 2014, I began doing month-long periods of specialization training to bring up specific parts of my body.
After doing August of Arms in August and Legtember during September, I was getting messages every day from people asking me to set them up with similar programming.
So, once October hit, I knew it was time to put something more formal together, and with that, Yoketober was born!
That was without a doubt one of the funnest months of training I’ve ever had, and I must say I thought I saw some pretty darn good gains too!
Since then, Yoketober has been a staple of my training, every Fall.
But this year, I wanted to shake things up.
I wanted to go through Yoketober, totally disassemble it, and put it back together to breath new life into it.
And now, I honestly feel that Yoketober is the best it’s ever been.
So, I’m having a special sale for the last few days here in September, so you can get the new and improved Yoketober for a special price.
And, if you have picked up Yoketober in the past, I’ve got an even better deal for you – all you need to do is contact me through email, Facebook, etc, and we can set it up.
You’re gonna love Yoketober, and the massive gains that come along with it.
Thanks and all the best in your training.
Click the Yoketober Banner Below to Start
Building Big Traps, Meaty Shoulders and a Thick Upper Back!
Tags: big shoulders, big traps, big yoke, bigger shoulders, bigger traps, build a big yoke, build a bigger yoke, build big yoke, build bigger yoke, shoulders, upper back, yoke, yoke building, yoke training, yoketober
Posted in back training, build bigger arms, Build Muscle, Build Shoulders, how to build muscle, how to build strength equipment, muscle building nutrition build muscle mass, muscle-building-workouts, Yoketober | No Comments »
Sample Circuit from Yoketober Program
I want to show you a sample of the Yoketober program. Here’s a circuit from Workout #3.
Workout #3 was a Chest day, so you’re going to see some Chest work, with some Yoke work sprinkled in.
C1. Shrug Top Holds
3 sets of 10 reps with 3-ct hold at the top
C2. Incline Bench Press
3 sets of 12
3 sets of 15 to 20
Here’s a video from yesterday’s workout. Sorry that the audio is gone. There was an Ozzy Osborne song playing in the background, which YouTube didn’t like, so they zapped all the audio out of it.
Yoketober Workout #3: Shrugs, Inclines, and Push-ups
If you want to blow up your Yoke this month, then there’s no better way to do it than Yoketober.
You can pick up your copy by clicking the banner below or this link: Yoketober 2016 Program
All the best in your training.
Tags: big traps, big yoke, bigger traps, bigger yoke, build big traps, build big yoke, build traps, build yoke, traps, yoke
Posted in how to build muscle, muscle-building-workouts, Yoketober | No Comments »
Monster Yoke Finisher
Every Friday, I wake up early, knowing I’m about to step into battle.
This is not the type of battle that is fought amongst opposing teams or countries, though.
This is a battle fought within myself.
The constant struggle to physically keep fighting, or to listen the voice inside my head telling me to stop and give up.
Fridays is when, I do a my Yoke workout with my adult men training clients, where we hit Upper Back, Traps, Posterior Deltoids and Triceps.
This week, the final siege included this 5-exercise superset:
- Banded Paused Rows
- Rope Bodyweight Rows
- Posterior Flyes
- Dumbbell Triceps Skiers
- Triceps Kick Backs
Each exercise was done for a total of 15 repetitions. We rest-paused as needed and/or dropped down in weight in order to get the reps.
It was nothing short of all out struggle, waged until the very end.
Monster Finisher for Building a Massive Yoke
We went through this one time, as we were running out of time, but if you go through this with the goal of finishing in 3 to 4 minutes, one set is really all you need, brother.
I’ve talked about it before, how much I love the Back & Triceps combination – can’t say enough about the rush I get each and every week. These workouts are probably the hardest I do each and every week, because at only 1 hour, including warm-up, I don’t take up a bunch of time with Grip Sport lifts, which is actually a big mental relief for me.
If you’re looking for some absolutely SICK WORKOUTS that will help you build a big Back, cannon-ball deltoids, and Traps that deform every tee shirt you put on, then try out Yoketober, below.
All the best in your training.
Build a Big Back, Thick Traps, and Massive Delts:
Each year, I go back through all of the uploads I have put on YouTube to see which ones were the most popular, based on views, and post them on the site at the end of the year.
Every year I do this, someone writes in asking “How did I miss this one?” or “Thanks for re-posting that, because I didn’t see it the first tie around,” so I am going to continue the tradition this year as well.
As always, I invite you to subscribe to my channel and set up email notifications so that when I upload a new video, you instantly get a message and you can watch it.
Also, I hope you will hit the “Like” or “Thumbs up” button when you view my videos. This is the rating system that YouTube uses and by hitting this button, it will help my channel grow. Thank you so much for helping me out in this regard.
As you watch the videos, please feel free to go to the video and leave a comment, if you have any questions. I log all of the questions I get for the weekly show I do called “Cooking with Napalm.”
And now, let’s begin the countdown…
Top 20 Videos of 2014
20. #Yoketober Workout #1 – 873 Views
Yoketober took place during October, 2014. This program laid out an entire month of training here the Yoke, the traps, upper back, shoulders, and triceps, was trained in some fashion. I enjoyed this month greatly, and want to do something like this again. If you want to build your Yoke, you can still pick up Yoketober here: Yoketober – Build a Scary Yoke.
19. Grip Monster Challenge: IronMind Hub Lift – 888 Views
At the beginning of the year, Juha Harju of Finland, ran several rounds of GripMonster Challenges, and one of them was the IronMind Hub Lift. In this video, my partners, Luke Raymond and Dan Ely, and myself push one another to get some big lifts on the Hub.
18. Giant Goblet Squat – 200lb Kettlebell – Massive Upper Back Strength – 894 Views
Earlier this year, I borrowed a 200-lb Kettlebell from my friend Robbie. I uploaded a few different videos that featured this Kettlebell, and in this one, we attempt a Goblet Squat with it. Dan Ely, by far, got the best one out of us. This thing is freaky huge but a heck of a lot of fun to train with!
17. Pain Free Barbell Hip Thrusts – The Special Device I Use – 985 Views
One of my primary goals this year was to build bigger stronger legs. After years of avoiding leg training, I decided I’d have enough of being called “Chicken Legs” and “Light Bulb.” One of the lifts I began doing this year religiously was the Barbell Hip Thrust. However, I got sick of the pain of the barbell digging into my body really quick, so I began using my Saxon Bar instead. I have since graduated to a bigger Saxon Bar with a larger loading surface, so I don’t have to worry about plates falling off the sleeves or binding everything together using JumpStretch Bands.
16. Trying the Derek Poundstone 100 Rep Empty Barbell Curl Challenge – 1008 Views
I was introduced to the Poundstone Curl Challenge by my friend, Jason Steeves. At first, I thought this challenge was absolutely absurd, but tried it anyway. Then, after failing several times to come anywhere near 100-reps, I decided I would really try to focus on this. I have since succeeded in hitting 100-reps in the unloaded barbell as well as with an additional 5lbs of weight added. It really is a fun challenge and a good way to finish off an intense arm training session.
15. Upper Body Muscle Workout with Barbell and Dumbbells: Chest, Shoulders, Biceps – 1166 Views
In the Winter of 2014, it was so stinking cold in the garage, that I had enough and said, “Let’s Go to the Edge,” which is a pretty darned good gym in Towanda, PA owned by a friend of mine, Scott Wilcox. Luke and I went there for at least 2 or maybe 3 workouts during the Winter and we introduced Grip Training to some of the members, and watched a couple of them end up manhandling #2.5 grippers and even put a hurting on light #3’s. Here’s the highlights from one of those trips to the Edge.
14. Card Tearing: Ripping a Deck in Half and Then Quarters – 1208 Views
One day in the late Spring/early Summer, out of nowhere I got the urge to rip some cards, so I went and grabbed the first deck I could find and tried to quarter it. I got the first half, but my hands were cooked and couldn’t finish off the second half into quarters.
If you ever thought it would be cool to learn card tearing you were right. It is cool and lots of fun, and my Card Tearing eBook shows you exactly how to learn this awesome feat of strength.
13. 80lb Strict Dumbbell Curl – For 2 REPS Per Arm! – 1248 Views
I love all forms of curls. I don’t care what kind they are. One of my ultimate goals in training is to build 20″ arms cold, and another is to curl 100-lb dumbbells. I am getting closer, as in the video below I am able to knock out 2 reps per arm with 80’s.
12. Back Training with the Back Bull – 1296 Views
I’ve had the Back Bull in my equipment arsenal for several years and I love it. My Friday training partner, Mark, and I use it quite often throughout the year, mainly for Pull-ups. I did a video this year showing some of the ways I like to use the Back Bull, as well as why I think it is so awesome.
If you like the Back Bull, and want to learn more about it, check it out here: The Back Bull
11. How to Build Arm Size and Strength: Negative Preacher Curls – 1317 Views
During #AugustOfArms, I hit #31DaysOfArms and was very happy with the arm size increases I saw. One of the things I did throughout the month was mix up the types of contractions I was doing, so not only was I blowing up the volume with lots of isotonic work, but I also did isometric and eccentric-emphasized training, like I show below.
Are You Training to Lift the Blob?
Get the Ebook That Shows Exactly How to Train for This Famous Feat of Strength:
Lift the Blob: Even If You Have Small Hands
10. Get Super Strong Hands – High Volume Blob Training – Open Hand Strength Density – 1304 Views
At the beginning of the year, there were several cool challenges going on, especially the Grip Monster Challenges. These included Dips Plus Weight, Wall Curls, and several grip challenges like the one below – 50lb Blob to 50cm Platform for Max Repetitions. I ended up winning this challenge, eventually knocking out 20 repetitions with a 50-lb Blob.
9. Build Big Arms and Strong Wrists with Scale Weight Curls – 1527 Views
Throughout #AugustOfArms, I was trying to challenge myself to hit as many variations of arm work as possible, and one of them that I did several times was the Scale Weight Curl. I liked this one because not only did it make the biceps work hard, but it also hit the wrist with authority as well, and any time you can kill two birds with one stone with a lift, I am ALL ABOUT IT, BROTHER.
8. Build a Big Back – Sally Pull-up Challenge – 1812 Views
Since I began training wrestlers from my alma mater, I have always been looking for new ways to challenge them in order to make them better and stronger, both physically and mentally. One of the wrestlers showed me Sally Push-ups and we gave that a try. Once I saw how much they liked it, I knew we had to apply it to some other lifts as well, and one of them was Sally Pull-ups.
7. Poundstone 100 Rep Challenge – New PR – WOOOH! – 1823 Views
This is the second Poundstone Challenge video on the countdown, and it might be my “craziest” video I put up all year. I got into a different frame of mind for this video, and it resulted in a much better performance on the challenge than I had attained before that point.
6. Heavy Dumbbell Curls +/- 80×3 – Big Strong Biceps Training – 1941
I think my viewers like watching Dumbbell Curl videos as much as I love producing. That sounds like a match made in heaven to me! In the #6 video, I curl 80’s for a set of 3. I think I can probably do even more than this now, as recently my loading has been based on much heavier weights with lower volume, compared to lighter weights with higher volume through most of the summer.
5. Giant Kettlebell Swings – 200lb – 2 Hands and One – 1941 Views
People love watching GIGANTIC KETTLEBELLS getting lifted. This is the second video on the countdown of this monstrous 200-lb Kettlebell.
4. Leaning Press: Overhead Lifting WITHOUT Back Pain – 2105 Views
Back pain is something I’ve dealt with ever since my Freshman year in High School. It was a daily struggle of mine through most of the 2000’s. These days though, I’ve managed to reduce my number of Back Pain Episodes greatly. However, when I do hurt my back, I’ve found several work-arounds that allow me to still get my training in. This is one of them:
3. Grip Monster Challenge – Dip Plus Weight: Jedd Johnson 404.9lbs – 2460 Views
Here’s one of the Grip Monster Challenges that didn’t actually have to do with Grip Strength. This is the Weighted Dip. I believe I came in 2nd or 3rd place in this lift. Great times. I certainly think Heavy Weighted Dips are a great training method, although constantly testing your 1RM all the time isn’t completely necessary.
2. Pain Free Pull-ups | Build Your Back | No Elbow Pain – 3568
Pull-ups are a great back builder. Unfortunately, if I do too many of them on a regular Pull-up Bar, I often start feeling pain in my wrists, elbows and shoulders. That doesn’t mean I don’t do them though. This video shows a whole bunch of variations I like to use. This also marks the second video where the Back Bull makes an appearance.
1. Lifting the 200-lb Kettlebell – 7325 Views
And now it’s time for my most popular video of the year, based on views. With more than 7,000 views this year alone, it’s yet another video featuring the Giant 200-lb Kettlebell.
WOOOH – there it is, brotherrrr – the Top 20 Countdown of 2014’s top videos is complete!
Thank you for watching, rating, and sharing my videos this year. I truly appreciate your support.
Make sure you are signed up for email updates, so you know when knew videos and blog posts come out on the site.
All the best in your training,
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