Bodybuilder Nick Walker Structures His Workouts By Feel

The 2021 Arnold Classic champion prefers to have fun in the gym, which doesn't include tracking numbers.

2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker took to his YouTube channel on Feb. 2, 2022, to share his back workout performed at Revive Gym in Stuart, FL — where three-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead recently trained legs. As is routine for Walker, he attacked his back training without a plan.

I’m just going to go by feel. I like going by feel. I don’t normally plan my workouts.

Despite admitting that tracking progress over time is “smart” and helpful for measuring strength gains, Walker has an awareness when training to know if his strength is dipping or not. For Walker, his appearance in the mirror is a decent indicator of his progression. He prefers his time in the gym to be fun and that logging numbers would put him in his head too much.

Check out Walker’s entire back workout below:

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Walker previously opted for higher volume when training back to add more muscle density for his back poses. That remained the case in this workout.

The 2021 fifth-place Mr. Olympia finisher opened his workout with assisted pull-ups, which he believes is the “most effective back exercise for overall development.” As is also fairly routine for Walker, he wore his headphones over his temples rather than his ears — presumably, no music was playing.

To remove his grip as a limiting factor, Walker used straps on the weight-assisted pull-up machine to better focus on engaging his back and driving his elbows to the floor. He appeared to take his sets to failure before moving on to seated wide grip cable rows.


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A post shared by Nick “the Mutant” Walker (@nick_walker39)

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Walker’s choice of attachment to use for the seated rows is a lat pulldown bar. It gives him the width he needs for an overhand grip to allow his line of pull to target his mid to upper back. The headphones remained on his temples. Walker pulled the entire weight stack by what appeared to be his fourth set.

The third movement Walker was feeling in the gym was a chest-supported seated row with a neutral grip and a line of pull that better targets the lats. Before performing a drop set, Walker appears to max out with 270-pounds in each hand, not including the machine’s weight. He followed that up with more chest-supported rows with an overhand grip and focused on full contractions, long eccentrics, and sets of 30 reps.

Walker performed machine pullovers to work the lats from a stretched position. He considers this exercise a staple of his back training. He closed his session with back extensions. He didn’t feel the need to add weight or use a resistance band as the intensity was satisfactory.

A Long 2022 Olympia Prep

“The Mutant” was pleased with his back workout and increased weights. We’ll see how far those gains can go during his prep in 2022, with the fruits of his labor shown off at the 2022 Olympia weekend on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.

Featured image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram