Workout of the Week: Back Builder




The Basics: 6-12 reps of each exercise. Do 3-4 sets with rest in between of 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes. (If you can do more than 12 reps in a set, you should go up in weight.)

Nick’s tip: make sure to have good pre and post nutrition to fuel the workout. Ideally some protein with slow digestive carbs an hour or so before your workout to keep energy levels stable during activity.


Bent over Barbell Row:

Holding a barbell with palms facing down, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up. The barbell should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.

Breathe out and lift the barbell to you. Keep the elbows close to the body and only use the forearms to hold the weight. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a brief pause.

Then inhale and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.


Dumbbell One Arm Row:

Choose a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side of it.

Place the right leg on top of the end of the bench, bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor, and place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support.

Use the left hand to pick up the dumbbell on the floor and hold the weight while keeping your lower back straight. The palm of the hand should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.

Pull the resistance straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your side and keeping the torso stationary. Breathe out as you perform this step. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. Also, make sure that the force is performed with the back muscles and not the arms. Finally, the upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the dumbbell; therefore do not try to pull the dumbbell up using the forearms.

Switch sides and repeat again with the other arm.


Reverse Lat Pulldown:

Position yourself on the lat pulldown machine and grab the bar with an underhand grip while keeping your hands at about a shoulder width distance. Pull the bar straight down using your back muscles and bring the bar in front of you until it is about even with the middle of your chest. Slowly return the weight back up to the start position and repeat

Wicker Park Trainer, Nick Eliopoulos, thinks “Not only can a person develop their physical capabilities and enhance performance, but also they can cultivate characteristics such as confidence, commitment, self-discipline, and mental resilience.”

Nick Eliopoulos is a trainer at Wicker Park.