Men’s Open bodybuilders Brett “The Butcher” Wilkin and Martin “The Martian” Fitzwater hit a full-back workout together at Destination Dallas Gym in Dallas, TX. They filmed their session together when Fitzwater was nine days out from competing in the 2022 Texas Pro on Aug. 12-13, 2022.
In the video published to Wilkin’s YouTube channel on Aug. 8, 2022, the bodybuilding duo grappled with a grueling back workout where Fitzwater set the pace, and Wilkin brought the intensity. Check it out below:
Wilkin & Fitzwater’s Back Workout
Check out the full workout session details below:
Assisted Wide Grip Pull-ups
Fitzwater and Wilkin started their session with some assisted wide grip pull-ups. Wide Grip pull-ups are great for building mass and chiseling out that muscular conditioning that Fitzwater is chasing. They’re an excellent warm-up for the joints to prepare the body for heavier movements.
When you get to Wilkin and Fitzwater’s size, a little assistance is needed sometimes. Pull-ups are a great compound movement for the back. Both bodybuilders powered through several sets to near failure.
Single Arm Stiff Arm Lat Pulldowns
The second movement was the stiff-arm pulldown — an excellent isolation movement for the lats. Both athletes opted for a single-arm variation to work both sides of the back equally. Unilateral movements help to eliminate imbalances and add extra detail to rear lat poses on stage. According to a 2018 review in Sports Medicine, bilateral training “may produce the greatest comprehensive strength adaptations,” but “utilizing single arm movements can offer more motor recruitment resulting in greater muscle fiber activation.” (1)
You’re taking grip out of the movement, so you can keep tension on the lat.
Wilkin demonstrated a variation he used at his home gym to Fitzwater. Wilkin uses a cuff instead of a handle to puts more of the load on the muscle being worked.
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Wide Grip Pulldowns
Fitzwater and Wilkin performed wide grip lat pulldown, which can help Fitzwater show additional detailing in his back when he flares his lats to a greater degree on stage.
At this phase of Fitzwater’s prep, every workout is focused on detailing his musculature. Due to his caloric deficit, his strength isn’t where it usually would be. Lower calories could also make him more prone to injury. He adjusted his training accordingly by moving to higher reps and lighter weight.
Chest Supported T-Bar Row
Fitzwater and Wilkin moved on chest-supported T-bar rows. Laying prone against a near-upright weight bench, bracing is removed as a limiting factor, so all of the power output can derive from the working muscle.
The bread and butter for rows.
They were working their way up a relatively heavy top weight of four 45-pound weight plates, which is impressive with Fitzwater only nine days out from the 2022 Texas Pro.
We want to slow down, get the full stretch. More time under tension here.
Starting with explosive reps, both Fitzwater and Wilkin finished with slower reps to focus on the stretch through the full range of motion to work the lower lats and mid-back.
Seated Row Machine, Seated Cable Rows & Single Arm Hammer Rows
Both bodybuilders headed to a seated row machine with a wide grip to target the upper back, traps, and rhomboid. Fitzwater and Wilkin hit squeeze sets, focusing on contracting at the top of the movement.
For Fitzwater, it’s all about detail, detail, detail, volume, and detail.
In another seated row variation, for some more lat detail, Fitzwater and Wilkin hit the seated cable row with a MAG grip attachment to allow for more emphasis on the muscle itself. They followed with a supported hammer row with a neutral grip.
We want to finish here with low lats…not a lot of guys have low lats.
The age-old adage in bodybuilding is “shows are won from the back.” Fitzwater continues to improve his lower lats to step on stage with a first-place worthy back. Fitzwater and Wilkin finish the workout with active stretching by hanging from a pull-up bar.
A lot of blood in there, a lot of volume, feel good, really pumped and soaked.
It is imperative, especially for bodybuilders mid-prep, to stay limber. Fitzwater wants to step on stage with the flexibility and mobility necessary to effectively showcase the physique he sculpted this season.
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Full Back Workout
Below is each exercise in the order performed by Fitzwater and Wilkin during their session:
- Assisted Wide Grip Pull-Ups
- Stiff Arm Lat Pulldowns
- Wide Grip Pulldowns
- T-Bar Rows
- Seated Row Machine
- Close-Grip Cable Rows
- Single-Arm Hammer Rows
- Hanging Wide-Grip Pull-Up Stretch
2022 Texas Pro
The knowledge and motivation Wilkin passed on to Fitzwater could help him chisel the remaining details in the last few sessions before the 2022 Texas Pro. Fitzwater’s awareness of muscle imbalances and drive to push through his current low-energy state could improve the package he brings to the 2022 Texas Pro on Aug. 12-13, 2022.
Suchomel, T. J., Nimphius, S., Bellon, C. R., & Stone, M. H. (2018). The Importance of Muscular Strength: Training Considerations. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 48(4), 765–785. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0862-z
Featured image: @martfitzh2o on Instagram