“The Godfather of Bodybuilding” Charles Glass recently walked bodybuilder and KAGED Co-Founder Kris Gethin through a workout focused on adding thickness and width to the lats. Their training session was filmed and published on Gethin’s YouTube channel on June 13, 2022. Gethin, who is well known as a biohacker of sorts, is often searching for new ways to utilize exercises better and bring out his and others’ potential.
I want to turn my weaknesses into a weapon using the angles and education that Charles has gained over the years.
This was the first workout Gethin had performed in six weeks due to a stem cell procedure in Mexico, which required him to refrain from training until his doctors cleared him. Once he got the green light, he thought, what better way to return to the gym than with the master trainer, Glass. Check out the full video below:
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Below are the exercises in the same order performed during Glass and Gethin’s workout:
- Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns
- Incline Close-Grip Pulldowns
- Incline Underhand-Grip Pulldowns
- Close-Grip Seated Rows
- Single-Arm Standing Hammer Rows
- Neutral-Grip Hammer Pulldowns
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns
The first exercise in Glass’s arsenal is the tried and true wide grip lat pulldowns. After adjusting Gethin’s positioning and form, Glass focuses Gethin on pulling slow, controlled reps to assure he is appropriately engaging the lats. One can’t always see the back during a pull day to check for form without a mirror, so a mind-muscle connection to engage the target muscles is essential and more important than load.
Don’t try to pull too low ‘cause you’ll miss it, just below the chin.
Glass has Gethin aim for 12 solid repetitions on every set.
The second and third exercises are incline variations: close-grip pulldowns and underhand grip pulldowns. Gethin lies face down on an incline bench facing the weight stack of a pulldown station and pulls to his chest, ensuring a full stretch of the lats at the bottom of each rep. These two slight variations hit the lats differently and activate different portions of the lats.
It feels like it’s thickening the lats, giving that three dimensional look.
Glass has Gethin complete slow eccentrics on every rep, aiming for 12 to 15 repetitions. The cue that helped Gethin find a clear mind-muscle connection was to “pull it apart,” meaning that rather than pulling the D-handles in each hand down, trying to pull them apart during the concentric portion of the rep engages the lower lats more effectively.
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Close Grip Seated Rows, Hammer Rows, Hammer Pulldowns
The fourth grueling exercise in Glass’s lat attack is the close-grip seated row. Glass adds a box to the end of the pad so that Gethin can maximize his range of motion. The focus for Gethin is to fully stretch the lats with each rep while maintaining the load on the lats and not the lower back. Glass has Gethin aim for 10 reps.
Glass has Gethin burn out his lats with the single-arm standing hammer rows and neutral-grip hammer pulldowns. Each exercise is slated for 10 reps to reach mechanical failure with a squeeze at the bottom of every rep. Gethin questions Glass about how he programs workouts, asking if Glass has his clients train their backs more than their chests due to the volume of muscle fibers inserted in different directions in the back.
“Yes, [but] it depends on if that guy has a weak back or strong,” says Glass. “Let’s say he has a weak back; I look at it first, talk about it. Now, I am looking at his back; we need more here; I need more center. That is our pinpoint as to what we need. Then it is easy. Then my exercises go in that rhythm.”
Gethin closed the workout by mixing up his post-workout vegan protein shake. Despite Gethin’s request to train lighter due to his stem cell treatment, Glass still delivered a “phenomenal” workout in Gethin’s view.
I was really able to isolate the lat and the traps when I really needed to and the rhomboids.
It was apparent throughout the training session that Glass prioritizes form above all. He also takes the time to set up each exercise correctly, so the line of pull is aligned to the target muscle fibers. Ensuring proper setup and stability for each exercise for Gethin’s structure allowed Gethin to maximize each rep without wasting energy. If working smarter in the gym is the goal, Glass’ tips pay dividends.
Featured image: @krisgethin on Instagram