đź’Ş 7 Back Exercises for Serious Gains


Today’s newsletter is presented by Major Fitness. Click here to pre-order Major Fitness’ new Cobra AH-1, a powerhouse 2-in-1 leg press and hack squat machine.

Here’s what we’ve got today: 

  • Try bodybuilder Andrew Jacked’s seven favorite exercises for building a bigger back

  • Check out how bodybuilder Hunter Labrada eats during his off-season bulking diet

  • We dive into the pros and cons of creatine for your fitness goals


Get “Jacked”

Credit: Andrew Jacked / YouTube

Superior back development is non-negotiable for excelling in bodybuilding at the highest level. Chinedu Andrew Obiekea, known in the IFBB Pro League Men’s Open bodybuilding circuit as “Andrew Jacked,” is focusing on enhancing his upper body's posterior to climb the ranks and surpass his fifth-place achievement at the 2023 Olympia. 

Andrew Jacked recently took to YouTube to reveal his seven favorite back exercises and offer invaluable advice to help anyone expand their muscular frame. For example, rather than using an underhand grip on the handles — which would primarily work his forearms and biceps  — he opts to grasp the machine’s bar during the seated chest-supported row to better target lat development.

Discover advanced back training techniques from this world-class powerhouse and elevate your bodybuilding game.


Build Lower-Body Strength With the New Cobra AH1

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Muscle-Building Buffet 

Credit: Hunter Labrada / YouTube

During the off-season, competitive bodybuilders like Men’s Open contender Hunter Labrada prioritize muscle growth by consuming more calories than they expend daily. In a video on YouTube, Labrada shared his comprehensive off-season training day diet, noting he now requires fewer calories than before to achieve muscle growth.

Labrada’s diet consists of six meals daily, including 300 grams of rice and roughly 200 grams of protein, such as chicken or beef. He meticulously times his meals around his workouts and before bedtime, optimizing his nutrition for muscle recovery and growth. Explore the nutrition strategy behind what Labrada believes to be his most substantial off-season physique yet. 


Creatine Addict 

Credit: BarBend

Creatine, an amino acid known as creatine phosphate, is a standout supplement among gym enthusiasts. It plays a pivotal role in energy storage within the brain and muscles and is among the most thoroughly studied supplements. It’s celebrated for its muscle-building and performance-enhancing capabilities. However, the extent of its benefits and the integrity of its portrayal as a wonder supplement merit examination.

Creatine is found naturally in red meat and can be supplemented through powders or pills. Adding an extra five grams daily can significantly boost adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, enhancing recovery and the ability to execute high-intensity, explosive movements. Yet, it's not without its drawbacks, including potential bloating and risks for individuals with kidney disease.

We get into creatine's advantages and disadvantages in the article below. 


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Hug Life

Credit: Vladimir Sukhachev / Shutterstock

  • The cable crossover allows you to literally hug your way to bigger pecs. Learn how to do this machine isolation movement for a buffer chest. 

  • How does a strongman fair during an intense bodybuilding workout? Watch strongman Mitchell Hooper try to hang with the 2023 Fitness Olympia silver medalist Taylor Learmont's off-season chest and arms workout. 

  • Row machines are an excellent cardio-intensive workout, but modern magnetic rowers bring a much smoother (and quieter) full-body cardio experience. Check out our review of the top six on the market.