Bodybuilder Nick Walker Shares An Effective Workout To Build A Massive And Thicker Back

Nick Walker Thicker Back Workout

IFBB Pro bodybuilder and 2021 Arnold Classic winner Nick Walker recently shared his back workout. Walker is currently in the middle of his off-season training and he is expected to make his comeback at the 2022 Olympia. He last competed at 2021 Olympia and finished fifth in the Open Pro division.

Walker recently took a de-load week and has been ramping up his training this week onwards. Currently, he has increased the number of rest days in his training schedule and follows up two training days with one rest day. Nick Walker posted his mass building back and hamstring workout on his YouTube channel and here is the summary of the entire training session.

Nick Walker’s back and hamstrings workout

Back workout

Cable pull-downs

Nick Walker started the back session with working sets of cable pull-downs to ‘get the lats fired up’ and pump the muscles with blood before delving into heavier exercises. Cable pull-downs work the latissimus dorsi muscles that run along the length of the back, or simply put, lats. The cable pull-down is a compound movement that is used in everyday tasks as simple as pulling the blinds down.

Nick Walker performed five working sets of 12 to 15 reps. Out of these, three were hard sets according to Walker. As usual, he performed the reps with slow movements in the eccentric phase.

Bent over reverse grip barbell rows

An aesthetically perfect Physique is the one where the sculpted upper body is capped with a wide upper back and shoulders. To work the upper back, Nick Walker performed the staple movement in the gyms around the world – the bent over reverse grip barbell rows

He worked his way up to 315lbs for 10 reps and admitted to have done this after a long time. Walker used lifting straps to aid the movement.

One-arm bent over dumbbell rows

Nick Walker felt sufficiently warmed up heading into the third back movement. As a result, he directly pounced upon 150lbs dumbbells for the one-arm bent over dumbbell rows rather than working his way up through working sets.

The movement is another common exercise for building the upper back. Nick Walker performed two sets of 12 to 15 reps and moved on to the next one.

Seated rows on the drive piece machine

Walker incorporated another rowing movement in his back workout. However, this time he loaded the length and position of the lever to vary the degree and extent of resistance after two regular working sets. While explaining it, Nick Walker said:

“I’m going to hit them with the 10-10-10… Pin it from where it makes harder to stretch. Then we’re going to do 10 when it’s harder to stretch in the shortened position. Then 10 when it is hard in the whole thing.”

Walker performed the rest of the sets with that method and moved on to the next one.

Seated free motion cable pull-down

Nick Walker stated that the pulleys of this machine were placed wide apart. Therefore the movement allowed a greater range of motion and enabled him to squeeze the lats better.

After the first working set, Nick Walker employed the rest-pause method for the last set. After 15 reps, Walker took a 15-second rest, did another five reps and finished the set with four more reps after another 15-second pause.

Machine rows

Walker performed one working set with a rest pause method. He performed 10 to 12 reps and took a 15-second rest pause before finishing with a few more reps. This workout served as the finisher for Nick Walker’s back workout.

More Back Workouts:

Hamstrings workout

Lying leg curls

Nick Walker incorporated hamstring movements on the back day. Walker admitted that lying leg curls are not particularly his favorite movement to work the hamstrings. However, he performed one working set of this movement and the second set was a drop set with heavier weights.

Belt Squat RDL

Belt Squats are an effective way to bring about lower body hypertrophy. They involve hanging the weights by a belt wrapped around the individual’s waist. Therefore the squatting movement significantly reduces the stress on the athlete’s spine. This in turn helps make lower body gains with reduced risk of injury.

“It’s preference. I always alternate. But I just like these more of like a dumbbell or a barbell just for the constant tension that these give. I do feel that these are a touch safer as well,” Nick Walker said.

Belt squatting has become more popular recently as many strength sport athletes are seen employing this movement. Nick Walker finished the session with two sets of belt squats and called it a day.

Related: Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs) Guide.

Overall, the back day workout consisted of:

Back workout

  • Cable pull-downs – 5 sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Bent over reverse grip barbell rows – (Exact number of sets not revealed)
  • One-arm bent over dumbbell rows – 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps with 150lbs dumbbells
  • Drive piece machine rows – 2 working sets and 1 set with the 10-10-10 method
  • Seated free motion cable pull-down – 2 sets (second set with rest pause method)
  • Machine rows – 1 working set with rest pause method

Hamstrings workout

  • Lying leg curls – 1 set of 12 reps and 1 drop set
  • Belt squat RDL – 2 working sets of 15 reps

Courtesy of Nick Walker’s YouTube channel, you can watch the full workout video here:


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