Author Topic: Back development, by Reg Park (1975)  (Read 1870 times)

Offline Sergio

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Back development, by Reg Park (1975)
« on: October 08, 2019, 11:48:25 PM »
Here is an article on Reg's back training I thought you guys would like to read. It is from a 1975 issue of Musclemag.

When the editor suggested that I write this article I immediately thought of previous articles I had written on this part of the body and also of all the articles I had read by leading bodybuilders. Items such as : since a budding bodybuilder cannot see his back he tends to neglect it etc. etc. I have given the subject much consideration and consider the best approach is to illustrate how after 28 years
active experience I would set about developing my back if I were a youngster withbthe knowledge I have accumulated.

There is no doubt in my mind that I would pay a great deal of attention to the development of the lower back or lumbar region, which not only keeps the body erect and therefore elevates the rib cage, but, also benefits the nervous systems which is located in the lower back area. By activating the muscles and blood supply in the lower back through exercise, one's nervous system is greatly benefited. Not to mention impressiveness of a thick deep development of the muscles on eitherbside of the lower spine.

When planning a course of exercises for back development I would start with the stiff leg deadlift whilst standing on a block. The reason for the block being, to get a greater range of movement and also to place more stress and stretch on the leg biceps and hamstrings a shortening or tightening of which has been the cause of much back trouble. In the case of the beginner, I would suggest 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, and for the advanced bodybuilder of more than 2 years experience I suggest 5 to 6 sets of 5 repetitions, but in both cases taking care to use a comfortable weight to start with and gradually heavier weights each set. I confess that I have tended to ignore this exercise due to the fact that I have a long body and short arms which puts more stress on my back muscles than the average person. As regards to grip, I would use the regular overhand grip with both hands.

There ar other good lower back exercises such as the good mornings, prone hyperextensions, stiff leg dumbell swing, which to overcome boredom and create variety and retain enthusiasm, you can substitute with, from time to time, and also because the body has a habit of getting used to a particular action when the amount of benefit is dimished, and performing antoher exercise or exercises for a particular body part snaps it out of a physical complacency.

For upper back there is even a greater selection of exercises. However, I prefer to follow the stiff leg deadlift with bent over barbell rowing performed with slightly bent knees, the body a little higher than parallel to the floor and the bar pulled to the stomach and lowered to a straight arm bar off the floor each time. This exercise can be substituted by the bent over close grip rowing with a fixed bar to be found in all professional gymnasiums. This exercise should also be performed with slightly bent knees.

At this stage I would do a one arm row action using either a dumbell or standing to one side of the fixed bar or use the base pulley action of the lat machine. For a fourth back exercise I'd make a choice for either close grip base pulley rowing, 45 degree pulldowns using overhead pulley with long cable or pulldowns to the back of the neck using overhead pulley.

If I felt a fifth back exercise was necessary and I'm inclined to think it would be, then I'd finish up with chins either to the chin or to the back of the neck which tends to activate the rhomboideus and teres more than the regular version.

In the case of the beginner, I would perform only the first three exercises 5 setsvper exercise. Performing 10 repetitions for the last two. The advanced bodybuilder should perform five exercises perform 5 sets of 8-10 repetitions of the last four exercises. If it's possible, you should try to fit in 3 back workouts per week but certainly a minimum of two.

In addition to the exercises you should spend some time practicing back poses to get greater control of your back and to emphasize not only size, but to obtain greater muscularity which such practice will give you.

Stictly from a personal point of view, I think nothing looks as physically impressive as a back development with deep lumber and thick wide upper back muscles.
Clearly evident even in repose, and I wish I'd spent more time on back development.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 09:50:42 AM by Sergio »