March 29, 2022
Dr. Mike Israetel of Renaissance Periodization and IFBB Pro Jared Feather worked IFBB Pro Ashley Lakomowski through a vertical pulling workout to maximize back muscle growth. This is a killer workout to mix into your program, and it follows the scientific principles of hypertrophy training. Don't miss these pro tips inside.
Dr. Mike Israetel is the face of Renaissance Periodization AKA RP. RP was "founded with the understanding that science is the surest path to the truth and to results." Therefore, they approach fitness with the application of scientific principles to nutrition and training.
Everything they do is built on a foundation of peer-reviewed literature and experimentally confirmed theories because the team comprises several PhDs, RDs, and top athletes within the fitness industry.
They have been featured in Forbes, Men's Health, Shape, and many more top publications worldwide. So you can say they are more than qualified and are knowledgeable about most things within the fitness industry.
Ashley Lakomowski is an American IFBB Pro bodybuilder that has a large social following and serves as an inspiration to people around the world. Lakomowski won the 2020 NPC National Championships in the Figure division.
Dr. Mike Israetel starts the video by introducing IFBB Pro Ashley Lakomowski and IFBB Pro Jared Feather. Ashley is apparently preparing for a competition that they couldn't disclose. Jared says to keep the workout a little shorter; they were going to be working with some different intensity techniques. The reason they were using a vertical pull workout was to mitigate some of the axial loading.
The first exercise of the workout was assisted overhand machine pull-ups. Throughout the exercise, you can see Ashley focusing on a slow and controlled negative, with a pause at the bottom and an explosive pull to the top. When exploding from the bottom of the movement, don't jerk yourself up; focus on maintaining your form and keeping it smooth.
To keep the theme of vertical movements, the second exercise was overhand lat pulldowns for a giant set of 60 reps. Just like the assisted pull-ups, keep the negatives slow and under control; the pulldown should be smooth and explosive.
The goal of this giant set is to complete as many reps as possible until you have to take a break. The break should only be long enough to slightly recover and then hop back into the set. Repeat this process until you hit 60 reps. Ashley looks to be doing 10-15 reps at a time before taking a break.
They changed the final back exercise from a one-arm dumbbell row into a machine row to utilize some intensity techniques to move quicker through the workout.
To keep the intensity high, they used myo reps. Myo-Reps are a specific rest-pause training technique that involves taking a working set to the point of failure to ensure maximum muscle fiber activation and then maintaining this muscle fiber activation over a sustained period of time by utilizing short rest breaks and multiple short sets.
Dr. Mike recommends at the bottom of the lift to arch forward, stretching the erector spinae, rhomboids, middle traps, and lower traps. When you come back (pull handles toward you), arch the whole posterior chain, pulling the scapula back. What this does is it trains all the muscles that power these motions, which is roughly 65% of the back. Dr. Mike says that not moving your back a lot is robs you of a ton of potential gains.
Next up is some lateral machine raises; Ashley's goal was to get 15-20 reps on the first set; whatever reps she was able to hit were what dictated how many she would have to do for the other two sets. She lifted the apparatus to well above shoulder level and got a good squeeze in at the top.
The final exercise of the day is some straight bar cable curls. Nothing fancy here since figure competitors like Ashley don't really have to work their biceps a ton, but they do have to make sure they stay toned.
The following pull workout is based on the video that Ashley Lakomowski completed in the video above. if you're new to giant sets or myo-sets this one will be a real treat.
Note: Keep breaks between 45-90 seconds between exercises.
Hopefully, you learned some new pro tips on how to create an optimal pull workout. Let us know if you try this workout and what you think about myo-reps below.
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