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ood day all from Semper Fitness. Today, our workout is focusing on that motivating back, or technically the latissimus dorsi (lats). Nothing looks more appealing than that beautiful V-shape. Well, let's get the back muscles smoking and pump some iron.

The first exercise we're going to do is pull-ups. This exercise will give your back a good warm-up. With pull-ups, you're going to do four (4) sets. The first set will be the all-important warm up set. When doing your warm up set, use a palms facing out grip and try to go as slow as possible. This first set should consist of a number of repetitions (reps) that can be done comfortably. Let's say 5-10 repetitions. For the 2nd set, you'll need the aid of a dip belt. Hang some weight from your waist. Do as many pull-ups as you can (total failure). The amount of weight you use depends on your pull-up capability. If you can do 15 or more pull-ups with no weight, use 25-45 lbs. If you are achieving 5-10 pull-ups with no weight, use 5-25 lbs. For your 3rd set, double the weight you are using. Do a max set of pull-ups. Your 4th and final set of pull-ups will be done with no weight. Do a max set and get a good rest afterwards.

The next exercise you'll do for that beautiful back is lat pull-downs. You can alternate between close grip pull-downs and wide grip pull-downs. The wider your grip is, the more your upper back is targeted. The closer your grip, the targeted area worked moves lower. Either way, you are going to do 3 sets (one warm up, two heavy sets). For your warm up set, do 10 good reps. Increase the weight on your 2nd and 3rd set, and do between 4 and 8 reps (total failure). If you can do 10 reps on your heavy sets, increase the weight.

The third exercise we're going to do is one-arm dumbbell rows. This is a good mass building exercise. This exercise will be done in the same set-rep scheme as pull-downs (one warm up, two heavy). To start, kneel on a bench with one knee, keep the other leg straight. Bend at the waist with your back relatively parallel to the bench. Brace yourself with the arm that is on the same side as the knee that is on the bench. Grab the dumbbell with the working hand, making sure that your lat feels the full stretch of the weight. Pull the weight upward and to the rear. As you pull the weight up towards your outer hips, push your chest out to get maximum contraction in the lats. Always ensure that your elbows point to the rear and not out to the sides.

The final exercise that we'll be doing is seated cable rows. This exercise will help you with all-around thickness and width. Sit on the seated cable row machine with your feet on the pads. Make sure that your knees are slightly bent. Lean forward and grab the bar (handle), feeling the stretch in the lats as you hold the bar. This is your start position. As you pull the handle to you, arch your back and push your chest out. Pull the handle to a point as close to your waist and belly button as possible. As the handle nears your torso, squeeze your lats tight. Keep your elbows as close to your sides as possible when pulling the weight back. Return to the start position. Do this exercise in the same set-rep scheme as the other exercises (one warm up, two heavy, total failure). This concludes the V-shaped back building workout. Good luck in the gym.

Next time, we'll be working the biceps and triceps. Gotta build those guns. Well until next time from Semper Fitness, stay motivated, stay pumped and OO-RAH!

Semper Fi.

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