Jay Cutler Teaches Eddie Hall the Difference Between Training for Strongman Vs. Bodybuilding

Cutler and Hall hit a back workout aimed at getting a massive pump.

Four-time Mr. Olympia champion Jay Cutler used to feel like he “could walk through walls” after his back training sessions because of how intense the pumps were. On March 5, 2023, Cutler attempted to convey the exercises in the gym that helped achieve that feeling to 2017 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Eddie Hall on Hall’s YouTube channel.

While Hall still dabbles in strongman competition, such as leading the UK to a victory over the USA in the 2022 World’s Strongest Nation contest, his focus has shifted toward finding success in a different strength sport: bodybuilding. Tough to think of a more beneficial athlete to acquire some tips from when the target is to put on mass and get carved up for the judges of a bodybuilding show. 

Check out Cutler and Hall’s back training session in the video below:

[Related: Andrew Burton Wins 2023 World’s Strongest Firefighter Competition]

Since Hall is used to lifting the heaviest weights humans are capable of — Hall was the first person ever to deadlift 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds) — Cutler prefaced before a lat pulldown that the weight being light isn’t what matters. Rather, the contraction after moving through the full range of motion is the critical factor while training for aesthetics.

We try to focus on three working sets of 12 repetitions — 45 to 60 seconds of rest between each set.

In strongman training, moving weight by any legal means necessary is the goal. The target is often to achieve max reps or move a given implement from one place to another. The means of doing so are more-or-less up to the athlete. Bodybuilding is less about moving the weight and more about developing the mind-muscle connection that applies continued stimulus to the target muscle group through the range of motion.

Along with that mind-muscle connection is ensuring the setup of each exercise coincides with the desired line of pull. This orients the target muscle fibers to move their full contractile range — shortening the muscle at peak contraction matters; moving the weight is simply a byproduct of that.

Use your hands as hooks, that’s it.

Cutler advises using lifting straps to take grip out of the equation and allow Hall to focus more on contracting his lats.

[Related: Hafthor Björnsson and Dan Bell Deadlift Together at the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival]

Cutler and Hall’s Back Workout

Below are the exercises Cutler included in his session with Hall:

At proper intensity, Cutler rarely finds the need to train for more than 45 minutes.

Featured image: @eddiehallwsm on Instagram