This week we will talk about posterior Chain Training! This means training your back properly!
My lovely co-worker just said she saw the Hunch Back of Notre Dame walk into the gym while I was taking a toilet break. I knew EXACTLY which member she was referring too. Now before you think I’m being cruel or callous, which I know I can be, let me assure you that I have this gentleman’s Par-Q and he does not suffer with any spinal injury or postural anomaly. He is healthy. He does however suffer with gymretarditis, and if you don’t believe it exists, allow me to elaborate.
Let’s have a look at the standard male gym users training plan. Don’t deny that we all know at least 10 people with this plan!
Monday – Chest and Tri’s
Tuesday – Back and Bi’s
Wednesday – Shoulders
Thursday – Arms
Friday – Legs
Weekend – Off
We also know that legs rarely get done with any real effort or to any real benefit. Normally some legs press, extensions, ham curls and calves. This will sometimes include, not to repeat last week’s article, poor squats. We also know that a large number of gymretarditis sufferers skimp horribly on back day. Using poor form on many of the exercises and very quickly reverting to the *read sarcasm* ultra-mega-super-important biceps.
Basically, they work the front, the anterior, the mirror muscles. Neglecting the back, the posterior, the support muscles. The example I’ve given is extreme but true. The guy is literally hunched over where his pectorals and anterior deltoids are so much stronger than his rhomboids, posterior deltoids and spinal erectors that it is literally dragging him over. I’ve tried to talk to this guy about his training and how a more balanced physique not only looks better but will yield long term health benefits but my talks have fallen on deaf ears. So, back to the cruel and callous point, he can go suck a lemon.
A strong back is so important for a healthy lifestyle, correct posture and a strong support structure will help ensure that you do not live your life with lower back pain and gives you a far more dominating and confident look over some numpty with pecs like a stripper’s tits, so hunched over he looks like he’s going to topple. …..PS. I’m not dissing stripper’s tits at all!
Do not let your mirror’s ego dictate your training. Whether you are training as an athlete with function in mind or simply for aesthetics then it is essential you give your posterior chain the attention and respect it deserves.
Research has shown that the muscle in the back respond well to a high rep style of training as opposed to being assaulted with heavy weights and low reps. In short your volume for your back should be double your chest volume, even if the load used is less. Also, a focus on form is required to work the back correctly. There is no point in swinging back and forth on the seated row like your trying to kick start a motor cycle. Keep your torso still and secure with your core and use your shoulder blades to control the movement. They should come apart during the eccentric phase of a back exercise then the concentric phase should focus on pinching them back and together hard, feeling the contraction in the back muscles.
I can’t be much clearer on this without writing it in big letters so…
TRAINING YOUR BACK IS IMPORTANT. DO NOT NEGLECT IT IN FAVOUR OF THE MUSCLES YOU CAN SEE IN THE MIRROR…
There you have it. Quick and simple.
Also, if you have 2 days where you are training your biceps but only one where your legs are getting worked. You suck, go away and rethink your life!
“Gymretarditis” (Jim- ree- tard- i- tis) – Noun
1. A neurological disorder that leads to the belief that chest and arms are more important than legs and back.
2. Anyone who does not squat to full depth may also suffer with this disease.