When you first watch Matt Kroc’s Back Workout video, the first thing you’ll notice is that this guy is huge. I mean really, really huge. Just the sight of him lifting those truly gigantic weights will convince you that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to workouts. But then his credential is impressive as well: he was the 2009 World Powerlifting Champion and he set the world record in the 220-pound class with a 2551-pound total.
In the video, Matt will take you through his famous Kroc Row workout. It’s designed to really develop your back: it will help your deadlift and essentially make you stronger.
Exercise #1: Deadlift
The deadlift is the mainstay and the foundation of any good back workout. You’ve probably heared that deadlifts may not be for beginners, but that’s not exactly true. As a beginner, you can always start with less weight than what the pros are lifting.
This involves 4 warm up sets and then two proper sets. The weights will go up a little as you go through the sets. And this applies to all the exercises in Matt Kroc’s back workout. But then your reps will decrease as well, starting from 6 reps until you go down to 3 reps.
You will want to do the over under grip, so that the barrel doesn’t roll off your hands. This also enables you to hold more weight. Remember to pause the weight on the floor fully, instead of bouncing it off the floor.
You can rest for about two to three minutes in between sets. You can even go a little longer, because the point of the rest is to allow your body to fully recover. By the third set, you may want to put the belt on. It’s for your own safety, and it provides the stability for you to lift more weight.
As the weights get heavier, you will want to focus more on technique. Just make sure you lift in a straight line, so you need to position yourself properly from the barbell. If you are lifting it forward over your knees, then you’re too close. And if the barbell goes backwards, you’re too far away.
By the fourth warm-up set, the reps are down to 3.
Exercise #2: Kroc Row
This is a variation of the dumbbell row. You’ll do three warm up sets of 10 reps each, and then a set of 6 reps on each arm. You should let your shoulder drop at the bottom of the movement to stretch out your lat, and then at the top you should force your shoulder blades together to really let your shoulder contract.
With the last set, you may want to use a strap since you’ll be lifting the heaviest weights in this exercise.
Exercise #3: Pull-Up
Here you should be able to do a hundred reps total, but with as many sets as it takes for you to get there.
Exercise #4: T-Bar Row
This is two warm-up sets of 10 reps each, and then another two sets proper with 10 reps each.
Exercise #5: Barbell Shrug
This exercise entails 3 warm-up sets and two working sets, all with 10 reps each. Use double overhands for this one.