For athletes who long for a wider, thicker back that looks carved from stone, a video posted to Shaun Clarida‘s YouTube channel on Sept. 28, 2022, might garner attention. During an intense, high-volume back and biceps session at Destination Dallas Gym in Dallas, TX, Clarida walks through what it takes to have Olympia-winning back.
With 12 weeks until the 2022 Olympia in Las Vegas, NV, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022, at the time of the video’s publication, Clarida aims to reclaim his success at the 2020 Olympia, when he took home the 212 title. Clarida emphasizes the quality and control of each movement, adjusting as necessary to maximize workouts and further develop his back. Check out Clarida’s workout in the video below:
[Related: Bodybuilders Nick Walker, Derek Lunsford, and Kamal Elgargni Dominate a Team Back Workout]
Shaun Clarida’s Back and Biceps Workout
Here are the exercises performed by Clarida, followed by a breakdown of each one:
- Assisted Wide Grip Pull Ups
- Meadows Rows
- Standing Single Arm Hammer Strength Rows
- Lying Chest Supported Hammer Strength Rows
- Close Grip Pulldowns
- Underhand Grip Seated Rows
- Single Arm Machine Preacher Curls
- Supinated Forehead Curls
Clarida opens his back and biceps workout with several sets of assisted pull-ups to get blood into the muscles and get everything firing correctly. He worked with an overhand grip. Bodyweight movements are great for warming up the target muscle for the more compound movements ahead.
Meadow Rows & Standing Single Arm Hammer Strength Rows
Clarida kicked his workout off with some bent-over single-arm meadows rows using a chest-supported row bar to complete the exercise. This is similar to a single-arm dumbbell row but with a slightly different line of pull.
Headphone on, head down, and put in the work.
“The Giant Killer” started off with a single 25-pound weight plate and worked this way up to five 25-pound plates, sticking to 10 reps through all five sets on each side of the body.
Moving over to his second movement — a standing single-arm hammer strength row variation — Clarida tweaks it slightly by using the pad as support with his opposite hand while pulling into his lower lat.
Get a really good stretch at the top and drive that elbow, keeping it close to your body and squeezing the lats.
Clarida started with four 45-pound plates total for four sets and worked up to five 45-pound plates on each side for seven reps. Not satisfied, as he likes a higher rep range, Clarida admitted that he probably should have stuck with a lesser weight for better reps, so he completed one final back-off set with three 45-pound plates on each side.
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Lying Chest Supported Hammer Rows
Next up was a lying variation of the hammer strength row, which Clarida has utilized in the past and finds effective. This piece by Prime simulates a bent-over barbell row to pack mass on the lats.
When I travel, I try to keep things the same but if they have a great piece in the places I go, I want to try them.
Clarida started with a single 45-pound plate on each side and worked his way up to three 45-pound plates and a 25-pound plate on each side for 10 strict repetitions each set.
Close Grip Pulldowns with a MAG Grip & Underhand Grip Seated Rows
Utilizing a MAG (Maximum Advantage Grip) attachment, Clarida performed close-grip pulldowns to train his lats in the lengthened position. Clarida hit a seated underhand-grip row to hit the lower lats and round out his back workout. He completed 20 total working sets.
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Single-Arm Preacher Curl & Supinated Forehead Curls
Warming up his biceps, Clarida jumped to his go-to exercise: the single-arm preacher curl. He stuck to the 10-12 rep range.
I am only sprinkling arms, maybe two exercises a week. Once I hit about 10-12 weeks out, I will bring back a separate arm day.
The last up exercise was a cable curl variation where Clarida kept the elbows on a pad to curl to his forehead and squeeze at peak contraction. This finisher gives him a massive pump.
Definitely can’t go heavy on this…the stretch and the constant tension going both ways.
We’ll see if Clarida’s committed routine and mentality focused on details helps him in December 2022, when he attempts to reclaim the 212 Olympia crown. Clarida is qualified for the Men’s Open Olympia contest and could try to topple two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay as his rival from 2021, Derek Lunsford, will do.
I’m gonna sneak up and shock the world again!
This will be Clarida’s eighth year competing at the Olympia. Regardless of which division Clarida competes in, he will be a contender for the podium finish and potentially another Sandow trophy.
Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram