Many professional bodybuilders train together and push each other to be their best version in training irrespective of their professional goals. The IFBB Pro bodybuilders Derek Lunsford, Nick Walker, and Kamal Elgargni are among the best in this generation. . Lunsford and Elgargni are 2021 and 2019 Mr. Olympia 212 winners, respectively. Walker is a Men’s Open division bodybuilder and the 2021 Arnold Classic winner. He finished fifth in his Maiden Olympia appearance in 2021.
Kamal Elgargni will compete in the 212 division at the 2022 Olympia. However, the reigning divisional king Derek Lunsford received a special invitation to compete in the Open division at the show, putting him on a collision course with Nick Walker. However, the three have begun their preparation for the 2022 Olympia and train together often with a strong sense of teamwork and a positive attitude.
Recently, the trio went through an intense back workout as a part of their competition prep. Bodybuilders used straps to strengthen their grips. The video of this session was uploaded on Derek Lunsford’s personal YouTube channel. So without further delay, let’s jump into the detailed account of this training session.
Derek Lunsford crushes a back workout with Nick Walker and Kamal Elgargni
In the beginning of the workout, Lunsford, Walker and Elgargni discussed the number of exercises they prefer to include in the back workout. Lunsford stated that five is the magic number for him.
“For the back – you can take five, you can take six. It’s a big muscle,” Elgargni added.
The trio then set out to do the workout and started with one arm lat pulldown to get the blood flowing into the back muscles.
One Arm Lat Pulldown
This movement primarily works the Latissimus Dorsi and several other important muscles in the upper body. Doing this exercise unilaterally helps focus more on the movement and mind-muscle connection. The bodybuilder trio performed this exercise on the Nautilus Xpload plate loaded machine. It has a swivel handle that can easily be used to do the exercise with regular, reverse or neutral grip to hit the back really deep.
The trio performed a few sets of this exercise with slow and controlled motion. While speaking about his technique, Lunsford said:
“The hardest part for me on this exercise is just trying to drive that elbow down in front of you rather than pulling it back to really engage that lower lat. So, that’s what I’m trying to do in this exercise.”
One Arm Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
Lonsford, Elgargni and Walker next took to this compound free weight movement that engages the majority of back muscles and helps improve the fundamental pulling form. Additionally, bent over dumbbell rows activate the biceps and posterior deltoid muscles as well.
They applied the progressive overload principle to this movement and got a few good sets in before moving on to the next exercise.
Incline Rows on Plate Loaded Iso-Lateral Machine
The training partners next took to this variation of rows to target the lower lats in particular. The chest is firmly pressed against the pad during the incline rows. Hence it eliminates the possibility of any other muscle or joint taking over the movement as only shoulder and elbow joints have the scope of movement. This in turn helps focus on the target muscles to a greater extent.
Performing this exercise on a machine keeps the muscles under tension throughout the range of motion and helps bring about hypertrophy. Lunsford and his partners performed this exercise on an Iso-lateral machine. Since both handles of this machine move independently with different weight stacks, it helps eliminate strength imbalance.
“(This machine) is a little bit different from the standard rows… I really like it. Especially I get that extra stretch at the bottom…” Lunsford said.
After lighting up the muscles with a few intense sets of this exercise, the trio moved on to the next one.
Close Grip Lat Pulldown
This variation of lat pulldown targets the latissimus dorsi muscles. However, it heavily stimulates the rhomboid muscles in the upper back due to the close grip. Additionally, the biceps and triceps get a good workout with close grip lat pulldown as they are used to pull the weight down.
“A few exercises we did to get a nice stretch especially in the lats before we move on and do the seated rows. It’s going to light us up here,” Derek Lunsford said.
Lunsford, Walker, and Elgargni performed this exercise with a neutral-grip close grip bar to really hit the muscles and totally ‘lit up’ the back before jumping into the finisher of the day.
Wide Grip Cable Rows
The wide grip cable rows particularly work the rhomboids, trapezius, and the posterior deltoid muscles in the shoulders and help improve upper body strength. For those looking to improve overall fitness, cable rows can help improve the posture as slouched shoulders are a common problem among those working on a computer for longer periods. This movement served as the finisher to Lunsford, Elgargni, and Walker’s back day as they wrapped up the training session after a few sets of this movement.
The three finished their workout with lower back extensions (also known as hyperextension), Walker concluded the video.
Overall, the workout included:
- One Arm Lat Pulldown On Plate Loaded Machine
- One Arm Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
- Incline Rows on Plate Loaded Iso-Lateral Machine
- Close Grip Lat Pulldown
- Wide Grip Cable Rows
- Back Extensions
Derek Lunsford shared his thoughts on training with Walker and Elgargni after the joint training session and said:
“It’s not often you get to train with the former 212 Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic champion – a couple of best bodybuilders in the world. So when you see us three together, you know that’s going to be a good one. I appreciate the push from these guys.”
“It’s a good day, all pushing each other. Positive vibes… Yes, we may be competing in 11 weeks – all of us at the Olympia. But at the end of the day, we’re all here to get better and push each other to be better and that’s what it’s about guys…” Derek Lunsford said.
The 2022 Olympia is approximately 12 weeks away. Derek Lunsford will attempt to carve a niche for himself in the Open division and test his mettle against the bigger guys. On the other hand, Nick Walker is looking to dethrone reigning Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay and beat formidable competitors like Brandon Curry, Hadi Choopan and Hunter Labrada along the way.
With Lunsford’s move up to the Open division, 2020 Olympia 212 winner Shaun Clarida is the biggest hurdle in Kamal Elgargni’s goal to become a two-time Mr. Olympia 212 winner. 2022 Olympia will take place from Dec. 15-18 in Las Vegas and we will find out how these divisions play out and who emerges victoriously. Stay tuned with Fitness Volt until then for all the updates related to the Olympia competition.
A recent back training session by the bodybuilders did not leave anything on the table in terms of pushing boundaries. To remain competitive during the 2022 Olympia, all three pros must maintain this level of intensity.
You can watch the full workout video here, courtesy of Derek Lunsford’s personal YouTube channel: