💪 Back, Back, Back It Up

Monday is International Chest Day, which means the benches are getting pretty lonely by Wednesday. Maybe give them a little love with some dumbbell pullovers instead of just walking on by.

Today's edition of The Ripped Report includes a BIG focus on back training — unheralded, if you ask us — as well Brandon Curry's Olympia prep diet and the most jaw-dropping back squat set we've seen in at least four days.


It's Not Just Lats (But Mostly Lats)

Image: Nick Walker

It's safe to say Nick Walker is one of bodybuilding's biggest stars. But what separates All-Time Greats from everyone else? A big, juicy back. As Ronnie Coleman would say, it's a "Lights Out, Game Over" body part that makes all the difference on stage.

And Nick Walker is capitalizing on every workout during the offseason leading up to the 2022 Olympia in December. Each of his back workouts is performed with high intensity and the guidance of his coach, Dominick Mutascio, to build on his strengths and improve his weaknesses. The 2021 Arnold Classic (AC) champ took to his YouTube channel on March 28, 2022, to share his latest back workout. 

Here's a summary:

  • One-Arm Cable Pulldown: 3 x 12 reps (third set of 12 with lighter weight)

  • Smith Machine Barbell Row: 3 x 10-15 

  • One-Arm Prime Row (Chest Supported): 2 x 10

  • Plate-Loaded Row: 3 x 10 (superset with top and bottom grip)

  • Straight Arm Pulldown: 1 set (2 rounds of 15-second movement and 15-second rest period)

  • Standing Calf Raise4 x 12-15

And INTENSITY is the name of the game here. It's a workout that kicks things up a notch and is definitely worth a view. Just click that beautiful little link below for the full thing.


We're Eating This Up

Finish this sentence: "Brandon Curry looks like the kind of guy who _______."

If you answered "Dials in competition prep nutrition like a true Mr. Olympia champion," you'd be correct. 

Curry won the Arnold Classic in 2022. Should Curry recapture the Mr. Olympia title in 2022, he would be the first bodybuilder to win both events in the same year in two different years. (It's a feat he first accomplished in 2019.) 

On March 30, 2022, Curry was featured on the Men’s Health YouTube channel, wherein he shared everything he eats in a day during his Mr. Olympia prep. While performing two training sessions per day to hit every body part multiple times a week, the reigning Arnold Classic champ needs sufficient fuel to maintain his award-winning physique. Check out Curry’s diet in the video a the link below.


5X5 @ 685

Kyle Kirvay needs a reality check. And by that, we mean someone needs to check if he lives in his own reality, wherein gravity operates by different rules.

Because this dude is just lifting in a different universe.

Kirvay's presence is felt in the powerlifting and bodybuilding spheres with his consistently heavy monster lifts in competition and in the gym. On March 27, 2022, the IFBB Pro bodybuilder posted a video of himself on his Instagram page, wherein he squatted 310.7 kilograms (685 pounds) for five reps raw. 

Kirvay went through the first three reps with relative ease while breathing sharply between reps. However, he struggled during the fourth rep, but that didn't stop him from completing the fifth rep after pausing for a short breather. The 27-year-old bodybuilder's depth and form during the set were unquestionable.

This is one you have to see to believe. 


Are Lats Lower or Mid-Back? 

When IFBB Pro and elite powerlifter Dr. Ben Pollack talks about back training, we listen. When he writes about back training, we read. (And read again.) And in writing about the best lower lat exercises, he starts like this:

Big lats serve two primary purposes: They support your spine during squats, deadlifts, and bench presses and make you look big in sweaters. However, many lifters have trouble engaging their lats because we don’t use them much in daily activities — it requires a conscious effort. The lower lats specifically often lack strength and development, mainly because many people cut the range of motion of their upper-body pulling movements short, leaving gains on the table.

Ben outlined five of his favorite lower lat exercises for us, and we're already packing our extra-special straps for this session.


Everything Else Around the Web

  • For the past seven weeks, Dr. Jim Stoppani has been dishing out sage advice for bodybuilders in an interview series by Generation Iron and BarBend. This week, Stoppani trims the fat — or at least clarifies how much body fat is optimal in all sorts of scenarios. He also gives some legit great tips on meal prep that even the most seasoned chicken breast aficionados can learn from.

  • Hunter Labrada has made some SERIOUS back gains in the gym recently. It's the training side-by-side that might cause a double take.

  • Upping your home gym game? Or just day dreaming about new equipment while you're pretending to work? We've got the best squat racks for the money, space, and features — so daydream away.

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