The 2017 World’s Strongest Man champion, Eddie Hall, and IFBB Pro League Men’s Open bodybuilder Jamie Christian-Johal recently collaborated on a back training video on Hall’s YouTube channel. “The Giant” taught “The Beast” how to train for bodybuilding instead of for power as Hall typically does for strongman.
Hall intends to compete as a bodybuilder in late 2024. The video of their training session can be seen below:
After introductions, Hall and Johal began the session with wide grip lat pulldowns. Hall noticed immediately that Johal used a different form than he is accustomed to, keeping tension on the lats instead of pulling weight for function.
“You can feel your lats working way more,” Hall said. For Johal, it engages the brain to perform the reps in this fashion. Hall’s son, Maximus, was also seen training alongside the two massive athletes. They pulled the entire weight stack to perform a drop set as their last set.
The duo moved on to seated rows, and discussed the importance of the range of motion and tension on the muscles. Their breath is visual in the unheated gym that Johal called “The Giant’s Lair” while explaining that momentum has no place in bodybuilding training.
Momentum is allowing the muscle to relax. So, try to take the momentum out of everything.
Johal put Hall through a high-intensity training approach, which features fewer sets but takes each to failure via drop sets and rest-pause sets. Try the workout below for a sample similar to what Hall and Johal performed. Johal and Hall used either a drop set or rest-pause set for the second working set of each movement until the ending superset:
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns — two warm-up sets, two working sets of 12-15 reps
- Seated Row — one warm-up set, two working sets of 12-15 reps
- T-Bar Row — one warm-up set, two working sets of 12-15 reps
- Single-Arm Machine Row — one warm-up set, two working sets of 12-15 reps per side
- Superset: Lat Pulldown and Seated Row — four supersets of 10 reps each*
*No rest between supersets. Reduce weight slightly for each exercise for each superset.
Johal is preparing for the 2023 IFBB Pro League contest season, where he will seek his first professional win to secure his first Olympia qualification. The six-foot-five, 300-pound bodybuilder turned pro after winning the 2018 Amateur Olympia in San Marino, Italy. He came in fourth at the 2020 British Grand Prix, which was the only contest of his rookie season. He competed twice in 2021, finishing in ninth at the Puerto Rico Pro and eighth at the 2021 Arnold Classic UK.
In 2022, Johal finished in fourth place at the 2022 Yamamoto Nutrition Pro, in sixth place at the 2022 Arnold Classic UK, and in fifth place at the 2022 Legion Sports Fest Pro. He had not stated what contests he intends to enter in 2023 at the time of this article’s publication.
Featured Image: @eddiehallwsm on Instagram