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January 30, 2022
IFBB Pro, Nick Koeu takes us through his go-to back workout that he's used to develop a remarkable musculature. This is a to-the-point back workout where Koeu shares some insightful tips on how to build thickness and width using top sets and back-off sets.
Nick Koeu is an IFBB Olympian Men’s Physique Professional that holds a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. He was born and raised in California and has been a competitive athlete all his life. Nick transitioned into competitive bodybuilding after suffering an injury making him unable to pursue his passion and dream of Olympic Water Polo. Through commitment and many months of rehab, Nick started training again. This is where he found his passion and love for bodybuilding, health, training, and nutrition.
Within two years of non-stop work as an amateur and a handful of regional shows, Nick attained his pro card in the IFBB in his second national show appearance at NPC Universe in 2018. He is a fitness coach with Maxim Vitae Performance (TeamMVP) and helps people perform at their highest potential. Nick Koeu has recently started a Youtube channel, “Nick Koeu,” to showcase montages, educational/motivational videos, and other things related to bodybuilding, fitness, and health.
The workout that Nick did in this video is something he does during his off-season and in-season. He says that once he sets a program, it doesn’t typically change during the season; one of the biggest mistakes people make is changing exercises up too quickly, and it results in them not being able to progress through the workout. When it comes to your physique, find the exercises that work the best for you, stick with them, and progressively overload the muscles to see more results. This back workout is a mix of strength and volume training, with the modality of 2-3 feeder sets per exercise.
The top sets of each exercise are to be done to failure with a heavy load and finished with a back off set. Back-off sets are when you use a heavy weight to start then follow up with a rest then load reduction. Back-off sets help to increase total training volume.
The first exercise in the workout is a Prime row machine or a chest supported row. Nick likes this machine because it has different fixtures to work different parts of the back. This exercise is to be done with an overhand grip to target the mid trapezius and lats to help build density towards the middle of the back. The first working set is done till failure with at least 15 reps.
The following exercise is the plate loaded underhand pulls to focus on the lat density. Again, Nick recommends focusing on the stretch from the top all the way to the bottom of the lat with each rep and driving the elbows down. Just like the last exercise, 2-3 working sets with one top and back-off set.
Exercise number three is single-arm dumbbell rows, a staple in Nick’s regimen. Nick says he uses them to build density and also lat development. But, again, he recommends keeping it simple, “pick heavy things up, put heavy things down. That’s it” Nick hits back twice a week.
The last back exercise in this workout is overhand grip lat pulldowns to isolate each and make sure he pulls the weight evenly. Sets and reps are the same as the other exercises above.
He typically works his rear delts on pull days since he is already working the posterior chain and his push days are already jam-packed. To wrap up his workout, Nick finishes with machine rear delt flys. Nick says to look the best; you can't focus on working on one thing instead you should be as complete as possible. As a result, Nick only spends about an hour to an hour and a half in the gym.
Below is an excellent sample workout you can test out to help develop your back! As always, let us know in the comments below what you think if you give it a try!
This back workout focuses on high volume with each exercise. Total training volume in the workout above is enough to build some serious muscle. Nick Koeu seems to have his training dialed in, we love his advice of finding something that works for you then stick with it long enough to progress before switching things up.
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