Bodybuilder Brett Wilkin is all set to elevate his career to the next level under Coach Joe Benett AKA the Hypertrophy Coach’s guidance. Wilkin announced the association in the latest video on his YouTube channel. The client and his new coach are now in the process of formulating the new training program for the year 2023.
Wilkin is an American professional bodybuilder that calls the Men’s Open division his home. Although he won the IFBB Pro Card in the Classic Physique division, the 35-year-old never competed in the weight class professionally. Instead, he made the pro debut in the 212 division. But following a couple of humbling performances at the 2019 Puerto Rico Pro and 2019 Toronto Pro Supershow, he took an extended break from the competition to work on his physique.
After a two-year hiatus, Wilkin returned to the stage but in the Men’s Open division. His divisional debut at the 2021 Chicago Pro resulted in a runner-up finish and Wilkin became a hot prospect of the division. However, he could not capitalize on the momentum built in 2021 and the 2022 competitive season yielded moderate success.
After a sixth place finishes at the 2022 Arnold Classic, Brett Wilkin’s hope to compete at the 2022 Mr. Olympia relied solely on winning the 2022 Romania Muscle Fest Pro as per the qualification criteria. However, he secured a runner-up finish at the show and called an end to the 2022 competitive season.
Brett Wilkin is now getting ready for this year’s challenges and Joe Bennett’s presence can certainly make a huge impact in making leaps in terms of progress. The famed coach is widely praised for his hypertrophy inducing training methods and has worked with big names like Terrence Ruffin and Dave Bautista. Under Bennett’s guidance, Wilkin went through a back workout. So let’s take a look at how Bennett’s guidance shaped Brett Wilkin’s workout.
Brett Wilkin demolishes a back workout under Joe Bennett’s guidance
Brett Wilkin has trained by himself for the majority of his workouts. However, he feels that ‘Hypertrophy Coach’ can really level him up with his expertise.
“I’ve somebody who’s looking over the shoulder at everything I am doing, somebody providing feedback… He’s gonna be watching my training just to level me up,” Wilkin said in the beginning of the workout.
One Arm Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown (Machine)
Coach Bennett started Wilkin’s back training with this movement on the plate loaded iso-lateral front lat pulldown machine. Bennett advised Wilkin to bring the arm down and press the triceps against the lats to line up most of the muscle fibers and contract the lats more effectively. He suggested going at a really slow pace to become more aware of the mechanics of the movement and increase the pace only after he was familiar with it.
“Warm-up sets in general, go slow, feel what you’re trying to feel and when you’re going the working sets just go after it,” Bennett added.
Speaking about the benefits of the Hammer Strength machine used for this exercise, Bennett added:
“The most important part of this machine or the range of motion is that stretch… The stretch that you get here, you’re not going to get it on a row, right? So a row doesn’t fully stretch your lat. You have to bring your arm up here somewhere (in the starting position of lat pulldown).”
“It’s probably good for almost everyone to pause for a second and make sure that it’s the lat and not momentum (that pulls the lever down again).”
Wilkin pushed through some heavy sets of this exercise under Bennett’s watchful eye and performed the last set with both arms. He then followed the coach to the next exercise.
Chest Supported T-Bar Rows
Bennett instructed Wilkin to take up the chest supported T-bar rows next to build the upper back muscles. While it is good to have a dedicated machine for this exercise in the gym, The Hypertrophy Coach stated that you can almost always get the same results as long as you can get the similar grip and position. So for example, doing the dumbbell rows using an incline bench for chest support can accomplish the exact same goal as a dedicated T-bar row machine.
“This exercise is going to pretty much train everything when I say upper back form shoulder to shoulder. So there’s going to be rear delts involved, traps involved… rhomboids involved… Pretty much your entire upper back musculature… But yeah, you’re going to get some lats working as well too…”
“Now what I want you to do is feel like you’re keeping the spine position. So slow everything down just a little bit so as everything pulls forward, you don’t do any spinal flexion. This (The spine) stays still and everything just kind of moves around that.”
After getting a few sets of chest supported T-bar rows under the belt, Wilkin curiously went to the Prime chest supported rows machine for the next exercise.
Prime Chest Supported Rows
This horizontal pulling movement followed next and Coach Bennett set up the machine in such a way that it targeted the latissimus dorsi muscles more than other back muscles.
“He (Coach Bennett) turned this Prime chest supported row and set it up so it’s fully isolating the lats, especially the lower lats. So our body’s in the position and all we have to do is keep our elbows tucked to our side, drive down, keep your traps lower. Don’t scrunch up,” Brett Wilkin added.
With this set-up, the resistance profile was harder in the beginning and got easier as the arm was pulled back. Wilkin started out with the warm-up sets to understand the movement and performed a few working sets. Following this, he did a couple of drop sets before taking up the next exercise.
Chest Supported Straight Arm Pulldowns
Straight arm pulldowns increase the scapular strength of the muscles and stability. These attributes are necessary for maintaining a safe posture while performing heavier compound movements like deadlifts, pull-ups and bench press etc. Coach Bennett guided The Butcher through a few sets of this exercise. Wilkin performed it using a banded attachment to the cable machine.
Weighted Back Extensions
Bennett instructed Wilkin to position himself in such a way that his hip crease was blocked. This way, he could bend forward and extend back up using only the lower back.
“All I want you to think about is – some of it’s obviously rounding and folding over the front. But while you’re doing that I actually want you to feel like you’re pushing your lower back to the ceiling as well.”
“So it’s a combination… So obviously as you go down, because your hips are blocked, everything’s going to half the round but by overdoing it, you’ll get even a little more rounding from that. That’s what we want here… As much rounding as we can and then as much extension as we put on the way up,” Bennett explained.
Wilkin performed a few reps without the barbell to get accustomed to the movement as Bennett watched over. He then cranked out some sets using the barbell which summoned the end of the training session.
The training session comprised of exercises in the order mentioned below:
- One Arm Reverse Grip Lat Pulldowns (Machine)
- Chest Supported T-Bar Rows
- Prime Chest Supported Rows
- Chest Supported Straight Arm Pulldowns
- Weighted Back Extensions
Brett Wilkin’s training program heading into the 2023 Mr. Olympia competition will be documented on his YouTube channel and will be available on Joe Bennett’s app as well. So those looking forward to elevating their own performance can stay tuned to his YouTube channel to take its advantage.
You can watch the full workout video here, courtesy of Brett Wilkin’s personal YouTube channel: