These 3 Exercises Can Boost Back and Shoulder Hypertrophy For Competition

Dr. Mike Israetel, Ph.D. in sports physiology, is training for a bodybuilding competition. On May 27, 2024, Dr. Israetel offered a glimpse into his rigorous back and shoulder training regimen. Here’s a detailed overview of his workout seven weeks into an 18-week preparation:

Dr. Mike Israetel’s Back & Shoulder Exercises

Dr. Israetel performed the following three routines:

Seated Chest-Supported Rows

Straight-Arm Pulldowns

Cable Lateral Raises

Watch the video below:

[Related: A Guide to the Best Pre-Workouts, Tested and RD Approved]

Seated Chest-Supported Rows

Dr. Israetel begins his routine with a warm-up, completing 12 reps on the row machine. Subsequently, he increases the weight to 215 pounds, executing eight reps before a heavier final set of two to four reps. Dr. Israetel shares that he opts for high-volume training, having found that training to failure was ineffective for him, only inducing fatigue.

“I’ve been stopping short of failure [keeping] two-three reps in the tank,” says Dr. Israetel. “I’m having some of the best training in my entire life consistently week after week after week. I’m getting stronger, recovering, and my muscle size is absurdly the biggest it’s ever been.”

Dr. Israetel is fond of the PRIME row machine and praises its ability to facilitate peak contractions. His first working set comprises 12 reps, followed by a second set of nine reps focused on engaging each stretch. His third set of eight repetitions precedes a final “down set,” reducing the weight to 170 pounds for 12 reps.

Straight Arm Pulldowns & Cable Lateral Raises

Dr. Israetel incorporates straight-arm pulldowns sparingly, performing two sets. He warms up his lats, executing six reps with 95 pounds. For his working sets, Dr. Israetel completes 15 reps of 115 pounds. He employs a straight bar attachment, adopting a pronated grip that positions thumbs and pinkies outward, effectively engaging the teres major.

Dr. Israetel advocates experimenting with different grip variations to discover superior muscle engagement while easing joint stress. For his second set, he hits 13 repetitions, focusing on muscle activation.

Dr. Israetel transitions to cable lateral raises for side delts. Again, warming up, this time with wrist wraps. He sustains his energy levels towards the end of his training by consuming a shake blended with Gatorade and whey protein. In his initial working set, Dr. Israetel ambitiously completes 20 reps, pushing near failure. 

Dr. Israetel maintains this intensity for the second and third sets, performing 20 reps each, allowing brief rest between each rep. He employs slow eccentrics throughout. A free-motion Y-raise targets the side deltoids, fostering the development of well-rounded shoulders.

Other Exercises

Before embarking on his back and shoulder exercises, Dr. Israetel performed a series of calisthenics, including arm circles, rotations, side bends, and good mornings, to warm up. He proceeded with belt squat calf raises before his back and delt workout, completing four working sets of 23, 15, 11, and seven reps. 

Dr. Israetel emphasizes slow eccentrics throughout his training, incorporating a deliberate pause during the last rep. He believes muscle fibers are optimally primed by prior exercises, and combining a pause with slow eccentrics on the last rep significantly enhances muscle stimulus.

Dr. Israetel feels his progress is on schedule. He weighs 233 pounds, marking the lower spectrum of his cycle. He aims to reduce his weight to about 229 to 227 pounds, noting that, unlike a natural athlete, who might aim for a steady weight loss of one or two pounds per week, his approach deviates due to using performance enhancers.

Featured image: @drmikeisraetel on Instagram

The post These 3 Exercises Can Boost Back and Shoulder Hypertrophy For Competition appeared first on BarBend.


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