Mike O’Hearn understands training on a deep level and has possessed a shredded physique for most of his life. In a recent YouTube video, O’Hearn demonstrated two back exercises he learned from Kai Greene for improved mind-muscle connection.
For over 30 years, O’Hearn has been a juggernaut in the training room. He has built a reputation as one of the most dedicated and accomplished fitness personalities of all time. He won the Mr. Universe title as well, but O’Hearn’s talents extend far beyond bodybuilding. He has also been featured in numerous magazines, acted in movies, and even released his own fitness clothing line.
What is perhaps most impressive about O’Hearn is his longevity. At 54 years old, he is still in peak physical condition. He continues to train hard and has shown no signs of slowing down. Mike regularly collaborates with fitness influencers for workouts like Joseph Baena, the son of seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With longevity a top priority for many, O’Hearn doesn’t mind sharing some of his trade secrets. The last time he teamed up with Baena, he led the aspiring actor through a back workout intended to strengthen joints and ligaments. During the training session, Mike said if Joseph followed his guidance, he’d be able to lift like his father well into his 70s.
Mike O’Hearn Shares 2-Exercise Training Routine for Enhancing Back Mind Muscle Connection
O’Hearn performed sets of GHD back extensions and dumbbell pullovers as part of his workout demonstration.
- GHD Back Extension
- Dumbbell Pullover
While training the back can be a daunting task, O’Hearn underlined its importance for overall longevity. He added that he trains back even when he’s stiff or sore.
“Like Robbie or Arnold or anybody… when you see them doing an exercise, you can see it working. It’s a beautiful thing to see. So hopefully you guys can see exactly where I’m rotating at and where I’m trying to develop. Again, I think I would have incorporated this in so much younger but I just thought it was always such a – that young mentality. The lesser exercise compared to the deadlifts and everything. Yeah, there really is no lesser exercise, they all do something. They all play a part. Here’s rotation and flexing contraction. Three great reasons to do it.”
“I want you guys to know at home if it’s stiff when you wake up, that’s so irrelevant to the day and the workout if your schedule is set up. Our back is sore and stiff. Doesn’t mean we’re not going to train back. We’re just warming up. As soon as your warm-ups are done and you start getting into it, everything loosens up.”
“I would not not force blood into that area. That seems to be what a lot of people think. What’s going on there if I’m not putting any blood into that which I think is a very weak mental state because blood heals. Just keep that in mind when you’re feeling like something is a little stiff when you wake up, we’re all stiff when we wake up.”
According to O’Hearn, he learned these exercise techniques from bodybuilding veteran Kai Greene. During the mid-2000s, Greene was a perennial Mr. Olympia contender who gave seven-time winner Phil Heath all he could handle on stage. Even though Greene never touched a Sandow trophy, he’s well respected for his mass, class, and posing routines.
“I got this one from Kai Greene. He was talking about, sometimes – I don’t want to mislead this – he said for me… to connect to the muscle and I agree with this, this is how I do squats and everything. To connect to the muscle, you can choose an exercise to start with, that’s a hard exercise, by connecting to that muscle using that exercise not fatiguing yourself, it sets you up for a good back workout for guys that maybe can’t connect.
And the back is maybe one of the hardest muscles to connect to. And pull overs is one of the hardest exercises of anything to connect that to the back or to the chest depending on what you’re training,” said Mike O’Hearn.
O’Hearn said he can achieve better mind-muscle connection with a thorough warm-up.
“What I’m trying to do is what Kai Greene talked about is to connect solely with the back and have that great connection between my mind and that muscle today, prior to getting to the workout. I’m not even considering this part of the workout right now. I think that’s and again, it’s a great statement for all you kids. When somebody says well pull overs are a chest exercise, well pull overs are a back exercise, pull overs can be a triceps exercise if you do it incorrectly.”
“My point is just to be focusing on that connection between the back which it’s doing. You’re getting a nice sweat going right now waking up the body especially coming off a leg day like I did. That’s the biggest thing.”
Range of motion is important for O’Hearn but keeping the mind-muscle connection in his back was the main reason he performed this particular workout.
“On this one today for me, I’m just trying to keep it connected to the back. And then the range of motion is – if I feel any hiccups, I’m going to try to work through the hiccups, but I’m feeling nothing like that. What I mean is when I feel like something is holding me back, that’s a red light to me, like an engine light. Wait a minute why is there something going on? But I don’t feel anything like that. So I’m just going a good range of motion and stretching the back.”
Regardless of age, fitness level, or injury, O’Hearn doesn’t miss a chance to impart wisdom to other athletes. Fans last saw him join hands with strongman star Hafthor Bjornsson for a Tom Platz-inspired training session. Mike guided an injured Thor through most of the leg day workout.
After countless hours of training in the gym, O’Hearn has a unique grasp on exercising whether it be for muscle, leanness, longevity, or strength. As for training the back, O’Hearn highly favors GHD back extensions and dumbbell pullovers.