Bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn Shows Techniques To Build A Beastly Back

Bodybuilding and fitness icon Mike O’Hearn demonstrates how to do a lat pulldown, chest-supported seated row, and more.

Four-time Mr. (Natural) Universe Mike O’Hearn knows his way around a gym. The six-foot, two-inch tall, 300-pound bodybuilder and fitness model posted a workout to his YouTube channel on April 17, 2022, and offered some training advice for building a strong and muscular back

O’Hearn was joined by the Titan crew, including his partner Mona Muresan, his client, Ryan, who flew in from Manchester to train with the legend himself, and several others. The video opened with O’Hearn repping out the entire weight stack on the cable lat pulldown machine using an underhand (supinated) grip, and the rest of the session did not disappoint. Check it out via the video below:

[Related: Bodybuilder Breon Ansley Shares Mass-Building Chest And Delts Workout]

Underhand Grip Cable Lat Pulldown

The supinated lat pulldown was the first exercise of the back workout shown in the video. O’Hearn used the lat pulldown bar to perform his first set with the full weight stack and then added a 45-pound weight plate before doing another three sets. As the reps became more challenging, he used a bit of momentum and, later on, explained why:

Get a little motion, it’s ok. I don’t want strict form to where you’re just doing arms.

O’Hearn had his client Ryan perform a set of pulldowns using what seemed like a challenging weight but abruptly stopped him for using too much of his arms and not enough back. As O’Hearn performed the exercise, the cameraperson pointed out the difference between controlled momentum to help the weight down versus heave-hoing. O’Hearn coached Ryan through another set using the same technique.

Underhand Grip Chest-Supported Row

For the next movement, the posse moved to the outdoor area of the gym, where O’Hearn went into more detail about how he felt the chest-supported row should be executed.

There’s a range, there’s a movement to the exercise. I want a rotation, I want movement, I want movement through that.

O’Hearn demonstrated on the chest-supported row, exaggerating the range of motion during the eccentric portion of the movement to really stretch the lats and the concentric portion where his torso lifted off the bench.

Don’t be so rigid, don’t be so tight,” he added. “Open up the movement.

O’Hearn did a set with five 45-pound plates for what appeared to be seven reps before adding another 45-pound weight plate for five repetitions.

Standing Chest-Supported Hammer Strength Row

The video cut to O’Hearn doing two sets of the Hammer Strength row next. His chest was on the pad while he assumed a more athletic stance with his hips hinged forward. While the standing chest supported row is a muscle and strength builder, it’s also an excellent movement for developing explosive strength and power.


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Seated Hammer Strength Lat Pulldown

After the standing row, O’Hearn moved to the seated lat pulldown, and instead of using the handles, he grabbed onto the actual machine. This allowed him to get a massive stretch in the lats and overcome the weight from a naturally weaker position. Three sets were shown, and he pumped out six reps with five plates loaded on each peg.

Standing Chest-Supported Single-Arm Hammer Strength Row

O’Hearn credited IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski for the variation of this exercise shown in the video. O’Hearn, using a staggered stance, expressed the key to this movement is simultaneously pushing the hips back and extending the working arm forward to stretch the lats fully. Then pull the handle back (row) and push the hips forward into the bench to maximize the contraction in the back. He used a supinated grip.


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[Related: Professional Bodybuilder Joe Mackey Deadlifts 900 Pounds in Training]

Mike O’Hearn Full Back Workout

Below are the exercises O’Hearn performed in order during his workout. Due to the video editing, the exact number of sets and reps for each movement is unclear.

  • Underhand Grip Cable Lat Pulldown
  • Underhand Grip Chest-Supported Row
  • Standing Chest-Supported Hammer Strength Row
  • Seated Hammer Strength Lat Pulldown
  • Standing Chest-Supported Single-Arm Hammer Strength Row

Insight from O’Hearn during his workouts offers a wealth of training knowledge from his decades of experience. At 53 years old, the Washington native remains an absolute beast in the gym. 

Featured image: @mikeohearn on Instagram