Although Joseph Baena isn’t a seven-time Mr. Olympia like his dad, Arnold Schwarzenegger, he’s clearly cut from the same cloth. Much like his father, Baena prioritizes fitness, and, according to an interview with Men’s Health, claims to work out six days a week with two-hour training sessions and 20 minutes of fasted cardio in the morning.
That’s a whole lot of time spent fine-tuning his physique, and to shed some light on his approach to back gains, Baena recently took to Instagram to show fans what his pull day looks like. Here’s the video:
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Joseph Baena’s Pull Day Workout
Here’s a list of the moves Baena performed during his pull day, followed by a breakdown of each one:
- Reverse-Grip Pulldowns
- Bent-Over Rows
- Close-Grip Pulldowns
- Chest-Supported Rows
- Barbell Biceps Curls
“I always start my back pump with pull-up. An essential exercise for filling up the back and widening the lats,” Baena wrote.
Pull-ups require pulling dead weight in the opposite direction of gravity. The pull-up tests one’s strength for their size, also known as relative strength. The more reps one can perform on this movement, the more relative strength one possesses.
The reverse grip pulldown is performed on the cable lat pulldown machine. While this exercise targets the lats, it does so using an underhand grip compared to a pronated grip (palms facing down), which activates the biceps brachii to a greater extent. In addition, it’ll place less strain on the shoulders during the eccentric portion of the lift.
Barbell Bent-Over Row
This exercise primarily works the latissimus dorsi, but it also contracts other muscles in the back, including the traps, rhomboids, and posterior deltoids. In addition, the bent-over row enables lifters to use heavier weights since it’s performed with a barbell.
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As the name suggests, the barbell bent-over the row is performed in a bent position. This hip hinge mimics the same hinge required to complete a deadlift. Holding a continuous hinge in the hips while pulling weight ignites motor units in the core and lower back. As such, the barbell bent-over row makes for an excellent carryover exercise for deadlifts.
Close-grip pulldowns are another lat pulldown variation, except using a neutral grip (palms facing each other), usually with a V-bar attachment. This movement engages the mid-back muscles, including the rhomboids, trapezius, and lats as well. In addition, the biceps are activated to pull the load.
Chest-supported rows are done on a bench set at an incline, and Baena does his with dumbbells. Rowing at a slant effectively targets the upper back muscles and the lats. And it’ll give the body another angle to row, firing muscle neurons in the back that aren’t often hit since many pulling movements are horizontal and vertical rows.
Barbell Bicep Curls
Performing biceps curls with a barbell allows the lifter to utilize a heavier weights than when performing the move with dumbbells. And that heavier load could trigger greater muscle growth in the biceps.
Joseph Baena’s Bodybuilding Future
Despite posing just like his dad on Instagram and working out with bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn, Baena has yet to announce plans for an official bodybuilding debut. And despite being part of the Schwarzenegger legacy, he says he doesn’t feel pressured to live up to it.
“I don’t have to get into acting or bodybuilding,” Baena told Men’s Health in 2022. “I’m very motivated and driven. I’m happy about my relationship with my dad. But I’m more happy that I am finding joy in what I’m doing and that I’m doing exactly what I’ve always dreamed about.”
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Featured Image: @joebaena on Instagram