Bodybuilder Nick Walker Shares His High-Intensity Back Workout Focused On Lats

"The Mutant" currently weighs 300 pounds and is getting stronger.

Bodybuilder Nick Walker is capitalizing on every workout during the offseason leading up to the 2022 Olympia scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. Each workout is performed with high intensity and the guidance of his coach, Dominick Mutascio, to build on his strengths and improve his weaknesses. The 2021 Arnold Classic (AC) champ took to his YouTube channel on March 28, 2022, to share his latest back workout. Check out the entire workout in the video below, courtesy of Walker’s YouTube channel:

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Nick Walker’s Road to 2022 Olympia Back Workout 

Here is a summary of Walker’s back workout:

  • One-Arm Cable Pulldown: 3 x 12 reps (third set of 12 with lighter weight)
  • Smith Machine Barbell Row: 3 x 10-15 
  • One-Arm Prime Row (Chest Supported): 2 x 10
  • Plate-Loaded Row: 3 x 10 (superset with top and bottom grip)
  • Straight Arm Pulldown: 1 set (2 rounds of 15-second movement and 15-second rest period)
  • Standing Calf Raise4 x 12-15

One-Arm Cable Pulldown

Walker started his back workout with the one-arm cable pulldown. Instead of sitting right under the pulley, “The Mutant” got into position by setting up a weight bench in an inclined position a few feet away from the pulley to get better lower lat recruitment and stimulation. He pulls the D-handle bar towards his midsection but stops a few inches away to contract his lats before returning to the starting position. Walker lowered the weight and slowed down his rep tempo for the final set to ensure better contraction at the bottom of the lift. 

Smith Machine Barbell Row, One-Arm Prime Row, & Plate-Loaded Row

Before starting his first set, Walker shared his preference for the Smith Machine barbell rows over the conventional barbell rows as it allows him to contract harder and engage his lats better.

It’s not about the weight — that comes with time. It’s about contracting the muscle the best you can.

Nick Walker followed up the Smith Machine rows with Prime rows. He opted to perform them one arm at a time to, again, better isolate his lats. “The Mutant” hit a superset on the fourth exercise of his back workout. He began the plate-loaded row with a neutral grip — palms facing each other — and performed a superset using an overhand grip

Straight Arm Pulldown & Standing Calf Raise

Walker used a time target instead of a rep target and utilized a rest-pause technique to annihilate his lats. The set included two rounds of 15-second pulldowns followed by a 15-second rest.

The 2021 AC champ wrapped up his back training routine with the standing calf raises. “After going to dinner yesterday with Hunter and seeing his calves, I’ve got to do some calves,” says Walker before jumping onto the standing calf machine. 

I was able to go heavier, contract the muscles still, and did lower volume. I got what I needed to get out of it.

Per Walker, he used relatively heavier weights and a lower volume for this workout as he “was feeling a little beat up” before the training session. “You don’t want to tax the system too hard, which I think I’ve been doing a little too frequently,” adds Walker. 


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Walker turned Pro after winning the 2020 NPC North American Championships in the Superheavyweight division. Less than a year later, he won the 2021 New York Pro, earning himself a qualification for the 2021 Olympia, where he finished fifth overall in the Open division.

In January 2022, Walker parted ways with his former coach Matt Jansen and has since been working with Mutascio to guide his prep for the 2022 Olympia. Walker is not expected to compete at a pro bodybuilding show before the 2022 Olympia weekend.

Featured image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram