Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Competitors Edge

A Weekly Blog By Nationally Ranked Bikini Competitor Vanessa Prebyl

Hello!!!!!! I hope everyone is having a great day. Today I have decided to write in response to one of my readers questions. The question was regarding training back.

I would like to begin with a few very important Weider Principals that will help you arrange your routine in order to get the most efficient workout possible. Furthermore, by following these principles, you will have a more well-rounded workout, hitting all the necessary areas. With that being said, I have a few favorites that I live by in the gym, which are as follows:

1. Muscle Priority Principle (Work your weaker body parts first in any given workout; alternatively, work the larger muscle groups first, while you're fresh and energy levels still high)

2. Isolation Principle (All muscles act as stabilizers, synergists, antagonist or protagonist. By making any given muscle the prime mover in any given exercise you've "isolated" it as much as possible, and therefor the stress applied to it)

3. Continuous Tension Principle (Maintain slow, continuous tension on muscles to maximize red fiber involvement)

4. Retro-Gravity Principle ("Negatives" or "eccentrics" as they're called, make it possible to get more muscle cells to respond because you can lower about 30-40 percent more weight than you can successfully lift concentrically)

5. Peak Contraction Principle (holding the weight trough maximum contraction for a few seconds at the completion of the movement)

6. Iso-Tension Principle (Method of practicing posing, tensing each muscle maximally for 6-10 seconds up to a total of 30-44 flexes in a variety of posing positions)

** Weider Principle definitions were acquired from

First, before you start applying these principles to a back routine, you should assess your back to see what area(s) you need to work on. If you are able to have someone take a picture of your back pose, this would be a great way to see where you are and point out where you would like to improve. Furthermore, by having a picture taken, you are able to get a starting point that you will be able to compare your next pcitures.

When working the back, there are two basic types of movements: pulldown movements, and rowing movement. THe beautiful part about a back workout is that many moves incorporate many of the backs muscles as they work as a team to move an ammount of weight. Remember when doing a back exercise it is key to focus on the back muscles, flex your back muscles, and then begin to lift the weight. Focusing on your back muscles will enable you to feel your back work and decrease the use of your biceps while performing the movement. Furthermore, if you want to increase the size of your back you will want to do heavier weight with less reps (8-10) and if you would like to define your back, you want to lift a medium to light weight with more reps (12-14). I ahve included an example of a back workout beelow with links to the proper way to execute the movement:

1. Wide Grip Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (Rest: 30 seconds to 1 minute)

2. Lat Wide Grip Pulldown: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (Rest 30 seconds to 1 minute)

3. Barbell Rows With Underhand Grip: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (Rest: 30 seonds to 1 minute)

4. Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (Rest: 30 seconds to 1 minute)

5. Straigh leg Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (Rest 30 seconds to 1 minute)

The importance of a beautiful and strong back can not be overstated. A strong back will aid in your overall physique, posture, pose, and everyday life.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to psot a comment on this blog. Also, if you would like to ask a question and dont want to ask it in a blog setting, feel free to email me at I hope this workout helps you as much as it has helped and continues to help me and my clients.

Quote of the week:
"If you dont invest very much, then defeat doesnt hurt very much and winning is not very exciting"
Dick Vermeil

Much Love to ALL!!!!!!
Vanessa :-)

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