💪 The Worst Back Exercise? This Mr. Olympia Thinks So

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Here’s what we have for you today: 

  • How the reigning Men’s Physique Olympia champ Ryan Terry is training and dieting to defend his title at the 2024 Olympia

  • A deep dive into two training techniques eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman used to build muscle

  • Legendary bodybuilder Dorian Yates explains the lat pulldown variation to never touch

BODYBUILDING

Pressure Creates Diamonds 

Credit: @RyanJTerry / Instagram

Coming off a triumphant 2023 bodybuilding season, Ryan Terry, the current Men's Physique Olympia champion and three-time Arnold Classic Men's Physique winner, is preparing to defend his Olympia title. Recently, Terry offered valuable insights into his bodybuilding success and meticulous preparation for the show. He candidly revealed there’s a significant amount of pressure to defend his title this year, so he’s upping the ante of his preparation. 

Terry began his regimen with four months to go before the show, adhering to a strict diet and ramping up his aerobic exercises. Additionally, he has intensified his training, targeting to hit the gym seven days a week for an hour each session. His workouts incorporate advanced training techniques like drop sets, super sets, and giant sets, pushing the boundaries of his physical limits.

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WORKOUT

“The King’s” One-Two Punch 

Credit: Ronnie Coleman, YouTube / Giphy

Winning Mr. Olympia eight times like the great Ronnie Coleman is no small feat — it requires an in-depth understanding of training and the type of discipline that most can’t even fathom. In a recent post on social media, bodybuilding coach Joe Bennett shed light on two pivotal training techniques that propelled Coleman to his eight Mr. Olympia titles. 

Among these, progressive overload played a crucial role, enabling Coleman to not only develop immense muscle mass but also achieve remarkable strength. Bennett explains that Coleman adhered to the principle of progressive overload by maintaining the same exercises for extended periods. 

This consistency allowed him to gradually increase the weight lifted in each session, week after week. Beyond merely focusing on lifting heavier weights, Coleman paid special attention to the most challenging parts of a lift's range of motion. For instance, during the barbell incline bench press, he concentrated on the phase where the arms are parallel to the ground or slightly below — where torque and tension reach their peak. Joe Bennett offers an in-depth analysis of these techniques and discusses the scientific backing behind their effectiveness.

TRAINING TIPS 

“The Shadow” vs. Science

Credit: @TheDorianYates / Instagram

The significance of a well-developed back cannot be overstated in the competitive world of bodybuilding. And among the plethora of exercises aimed at enhancing back strength, the lat pulldown stands out as a cornerstone. Dorian Yates, a six-time Mr. Olympia celebrated for having one of the most impressive backs in the history of Open bodybuilding, shared his preferred exercises for back development. Perhaps more importantly, he singled out one specific variation of the lat pulldown as an absolute “waste of time.”

Yates argues against the wide-grip lat pulldown, suggesting that its broader grip limits both the range of motion and the activation of the lat muscles while also diminishing the engagement of the biceps. He advocates for the narrow-grip variation, positing that it offers superior effectiveness. 

This claim rests on the premise that altering grip width during lat pulldowns can significantly impact which muscles are engaged. The question then arises: does scientific evidence support Yates' preference for the narrow grip variation over its wide grip counterpart in terms of efficiency? Read on to discover the answer.

THE DROP SET

Does Hydration Equal Weight Loss? 

  • Sweating during a workout is beneficial for cooling down, improving cardiovascular health, and detoxification, and it doesn’t have to end after your workout. These are the four reasons to hop into a steam room after a sweat session. 

  • Former Women’s Physique Olympia champ Dana Linn Bailey goes through a shoulder workout with bodybuilding coach Joe Bennett. Explore the heavy superset workout she does to build those delt muscles. 

  • Staying hydrated has many health benefits, but does it aid weight loss? Check out the research behind water and dropping pounds.